Saturday, January 23, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows - week 4 of 52

I found this recipe from Alton Brown and decide it to give it a try. They were incredibly easy and the marshmallows tasted great – very fresh! Way better than store bought ones. The hardest part was waiting 4 hrs for them to set so I could have some. We put them in hot chocolate and made homemade smores – probably the best I’ve ever had!

For those of us who thought marshmallows were made with magic and mallow will be sadly disappointed – this week I found out that marshmallows are made with sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and water.

I’ve always wondered what went into these homemade marshmallows – they are pretty expensive at that high-end specialty kitchen store/gourmet food store (you know the one I’m talking about – the one with the half-price hot chocolate after Christmas).

The process is fairly simple – you will need a stand mixer and a candy thermometer. You boil water, sugar and corn syrup to 240⁰F throw that into a gelatin mixture a whip for 15 minutes. Then spread the whipped mixture onto a pan. Wait. Then wait some more. Cut and enjoy!

It is a little messy because icing sugar will get everywhere and once the marshmallow goo hardens it’s a little difficult to get off (but a soak in hot water will take care of that).

Kid approved: I gave some marshmallows to friends with kids and here are the reviews:
"These are the best marshmallows I’ve ever had in my whole entire life"

"These are even better than the REAL marshmallows" (I’m assuming they meant the Kraft ones)

Love it! Bon app├ętit!

Homemade Marshmallows - makes 100 small marshmallows


• 3 packages unflavored gelatin
• 1 cup ice cold water, divided
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar,
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup icing sugar
• 1/2 cup cornstarch
• Nonstick spray (I used melted butter instead)

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping.

While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Some tips:

Work FAST – once the marshmallow goo stop whipping, if you wait too long to pour into the pan, the mixture will harden

Alton’s recipe makes fairly small marshmallows – if you want larger marshmallows I suggest putting into a 9 x 9 pan instead.

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