Monday, April 14, 2008

TWD Marshmallows...

Marshmallows, marshmallows, marshy, marshy, marshmallows...(sing along with me) There's something about a treat like this that brings out the goofy kid in me (no kidding!?!) I have never made marshmallows, never really thought about making marshmallows, but...why not? I was really happy when I saw this weeks recipe choice. Judy from Judy's Gross Eats picked this one & I'm so glad she did!

There were some wonderful suggestions of ways to "play around" with additions to this recipe, and some of the amazing TWD participants really went for it and did an incredible job! Click here to check out the blog roll...there really are some fabulous & creative takes on this recipe.


A busy week and four little ones kept me from going crazy with this recipe, so I stuck with the basic vanilla approach. Even though I kind of waited until the last minute and felt like I rushed through the process (ahem), I really enjoyed seeing this come to life. I think I may actually enjoy it more as a marshmallow cream...before it set up...than the finished product, but they were tasty! (Visions from childhood of peanut butter & marshmallow cream sandwiches...don't knock it till you try it.)




Even though it was the first warm day in weeks...this was how one of my little guys wanted to enjoy his marshmallowy goodness! (Kind of looks like pats of butter floating around in there...)



Makes about 1 pound marshmallows

About 1 cup potato starch (found in the kosher foods section of supermarkets) or cornstarch

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup cold water

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar


GETTING READY:

Line a rimmed baking sheet -- choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high -- with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup -- without stirring -- until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites.

In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)

Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy -- don't over beat them and have them go dull. As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won't fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).Dust the top of the marshmallows with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They'll need about 3 hours, but they can rest for 12 hours or more.

Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you'll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you'd like -- into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they're cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. When you've got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl, reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer them to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.

SERVING: Put the marshmallows out and let everyone nibble as they wish. Sometimes I fill a tall glass vase with the marshmallows and put it in the center of the table -- it never fails to make friends smile. You can also top hot chocolate or cold sundaes with the marshmallows.

STORING: Keep the marshmallows in a cool, dry place; don't cover them closely. Stored in this way, they will keep for about 1 week -- they might develop a little crust on the outside or they might get a little firmer on the inside, but they'll still be very good.


**There are a few things I did a little different from what Dorie suggests...I used a mixture of half cornstarch & half powdered sugar in a large ziploc bag to coat marshmallows. I just tossed a few around in there at a time then shook off the excess.

I also lightly buttered my pan then coated it with the cornstarch & sugar mixture & after 3 hours, those little babies came right out.

I think it would be a fabulous touch to coat with a little cocoa powder, as well..YUM!!

29 comments:

diane said...

Mmmmm! Now I want one of those pb and marshmallow cream sandwiches! Your marshmallows look lovely!

Peabody said...

It does kind of look like butter...but I'm okay with that. :)
Oh and I love peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches.

Sarah said...

I love the shapes you made made your marshmallows...very cute!

Mary Ann said...

adorable shapes- Loving the idea of the hot chocolate. I thought about it but it was too warm yesterday (Finally)!

LyB said...

I love marshmallow fluff, I kind of liked these better before they set up actually! Then they went soggy, hmph. Yours look fantastic!

Marie said...

Your marshmallows look really scrummy! I love the cute shapes! I made peanut butter cookie smores with mine which were really moreish!

Anne said...

They look awesome with the cocoa- I love the round ones too! Great job!

Rebecca said...

So cute! I'm loving the simple shapes. They're adorable.

ostwestwind said...

Oh, you used the whisked attachment, I used the flatbeater.

I have to admit, until today I never thought of hot chocolate with marshmallows..

Great shape

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Carrie said...

What perfect little shapes your marshmallows are! Great job!

CB said...

Now that you mention it... I totally agree. I liked the batter more than the marshmallow. Yours turned out so cute! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

steph- whisk/spoon said...

they look beautiful! nice photos, too!

rebekka said...

I love the circle ones! Adorable!

Barbara said...

You never cease to amaze me. I love you honey.

Bumblebutton said...

Your mention of fluffernutter sandwiches and marshmallow cream reminded me of my son's birthday cake from last year--since you have little ones... He had a rock climbing party and we had a volcano cake that cloaked the peak in fog and spewed marshmallow fluff in small explosions (thanks to a little dry ice). Would be even better with the homemade stuff!

Lori said...

Your marshmallows are very, well, perfect. How neatly they cut for you! Great suggestions on the end of the post. All of which I will do next time. My daughter loved the fluff part but not the marshmallow part. Must be a texture thing.

Donna said...

So glad you loved them! Love your different shapes too.
I did the same thing with the cornstarch and powdered sugar. Worked out much better that way. I also dusted them with cocoa.

Lauren said...

Great photos. I enjoyed it.

Shirlie said...

Your marshmallows look perfect and I love the triangles and circles! Good learning for the kids, right? Good thinking having them with hot cocoa, too.

Hygeian Stew said...

They do look a bit like butter, but I'm sure they were delicious!

Natalie said...

Fluffernutter sandwiches! Love the second picture - great job!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Love different marshmallow shapes, looking good!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Great job! I think I will use your coating idea for the marshmallow pan.

Jayne said...

I love peanutbutter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches! Thanks for the reminder. I like the pictures!

Bridget said...

Hm, I'm pretty sure there's a reason only children eat marshmallow and peanut butter sandwiches. I don't think anyone over 18 could pull that off without it settling forever on their thighs... :)

Great looking marshmallows! This was my first time making them too, so I also stuck with the vanilla-flavored. They were great!

kim said...

i agree, i LOVED it in the marshmallow cream stage ;) nice job, the shapes look great!

alison said...

You are now so popular. I need to join this group so I can have more friends.

Madam Chow said...

They look great, especially in the cocoa!

PheMom said...

Very nice!