Sunday, October 17, 2010
Why all the hype?
I have seen on TV, in magazine and on other blogs homemade marshmallows. Everyone raves about them about how delicious they are and how they would never buy another marshmallow again. So I figured it was time I saw for myself what all the hype was about.
The ingredients were fairly basic, had all on hand at home. Equipment needed required a new purchase, a candy thermometer, which I guess is a good item to have. Once in a blue moon when I am going to deep fry something I guess that the oil is the right temperature, now I can actually tell.
I followed the directions to a "T", candy making seems somewhat scientific. The hard part was spreading it into a pan, I could not get it smoothed out at all. The oiled spatula was a sticky mess to say the least and I couldn't even get allot of the marshmallow out of the mixing bowl. I allowed them to sit for about 6 hours then I cut them up using the pizza wheel, that went smoothly. A little sticky getting all the sides of the marshmallows coated in the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture.
The kids were pretty curious about my "concoction", when I told them they were marshmallows they both sampled. Dan gave a thumbs up, while Francis just kept coming back asking for more, I guess that kind of said it all. My take on them was they were good, but not something I would need to whip up on a regular basis. I am going to try them in hot chocolate and toasted over a fire, maybe done that way will sway me to be a homemade marshmallow lover, but for now I can live with store bought.
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
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.
For regular marshmallows:
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.