Fresh Herbs

A fresh and fun recipe catalog by a girl who likes to play in the kitchen the "from scratch" way.

|GUILTY PLEASURE| 01/02/2012

Filed under: Sweet — |FreshHerbs| @ 2:25 pm

{Hanging head in shame} I know it’s been nearly 3 months since my last post. I have no really good excuse – and it’s not like I’ve not been in my kitchen – I guess I’ve just been … lazy. I have started a kitchen journal though. {methinks that may be what’s kept me from recording things in cyber space} It’s been just brilliant to record my little tweaks so that I can actually repeat things that turn out well and to have a record of the trial and tribulations of my culinary adventures.

One such adventure is thanks to this post that I found on Tastespotting one day…MARSHMALLOWS! So, with visions of  a sticky disaster foremost in my mind I decided to conquer my fear of boiling sugar. You will absolutely need a candy thermometer. No improvising (ie. using your meat thermometer). Period. End of story. They’re fairly inexpensive (think less than $10) and it’s one of those empowering kitchen gadgets that once you have it you think you’ll become a badass candy-making machine…fudge, taffy, the sky’s the limit.

But back to these amazingly delicious (EASY!) marshmallows. After searching a few marshmallow recipes I landed on the aforementioned because it seemed to land in the middle as far as length of preparation and quantity of ingredients. These aren’t so easy that you can whip them up any time you want them, but if you make enough (as this recipe did) you’ll have homemade marshmallows for at least 1-2 weeks.

Sexy, sinful, little cubes of awesome.

Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
Adapted from The Galley Gourmet (link above)

(3) 1/4 oz. packets of unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water (divided into two 1/2 cup portions)
1.5 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 Tb vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting and coating

Variation
For minty marshmallows, try adding 1/2 tsp of mint extract with the vanilla for just a hint of minty ness. Have fun with the flavoring- the sky’s the limit!

______________________________________________________________

In a stand mixer (with whisk attachment) dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 c of the cold water.

In a saucepan, cook the other 1/2 c of water, sugar, salt, and corn syrup on medium heat until the sugar dissolves (stir with whisk as needed). At this point, the mixture will be cloudy, but the sugar granules will be gone. With candy thermometer in place (clipped to side of pan), increase the heat and boil to 242 degrees (between soft ball and firm ball).

Slowly add the molten sugar to the gelatin with the mixer on low until incorporated. Increase the mixer to high and whisk until the mixture volume triples and becomes white, thick, and shiny (about 10 minutes). {Watch in awe as marshmallow is born} Decrease speed of mixer and pour in flavor extract(s). Mix until incorporated (about 2 minutes).

Into a GLASS 9×13 baking dish that has been LIBERALLY coated with a dusting of powdered sugar, scrape your marshmallow mixture and smooth with a spatula. Dust the top with powdered sugar and let the mixture stand, uncovered, approximately 12 hours (or overnight…I’ve let it sit up to 24 hours) to dry out.

When “dry” use a kitchen knife that’s been heated under hot tap water (and dried) to score around the edges and cut into strips then cut into cubes. This isn’t easy, as the marshmallow is inherently sticky. Parchment may make this easier, but I haven’t tried that and I do find that the stability of the baking dish does provide some much needed resistance to cut against. The trick is to periodically rinse the goo off the knife with hot water (and dry) while cutting. And, you’ll want to dust your cut pieces liberally with powdered sugar so they don’t stick together. Throw about a Tb of powdered sugar in the ziplock or container you plan to store these in and give it a good shake as you add pieces. The powdered sugar is key to prevent sticking.

These will rock your world…and you’ll never buy packaged marshmallows again!

[Cook often, and eat well!]

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