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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Marshmallows

I have been wanting to make homemade marshmallows. I found a recipe I want to try but I don't know when I will, so I will post a recipe until I get a chance:


Homemade Marshmallows

Recipe created by Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar (for dusting)

Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let it stand 30 minutes.

Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup of water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals.

Clip on a candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244 degrees (firm-ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat.

With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.

Generously dust an 8 x 12-inch glass baking pan with confectioners' sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out.

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Here's one for Strawberry Marshmallows (and other variations):

Strawberry Marshmallows


4 envelopes gelatin
1/2 c strawberry puree (frozen is actually better than fresh unless you have access to very flavorful local strawberries)
1-1/4 c water
3 c sugar
1-1/4 c light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp orange flower water (optional)
powdered sugar and potato starch for dusting


Line a sheet pan with a 1" rim with aluminum foil. coat the foil with vegetable oil or non-stick spray. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment.

Mix the strawberry puree, orange flower water (if using) and 1/2 cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the gelatin over to soften.

Put the sugar, corn syrup, remaining 3/4 cup water and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until it reaches the soft-ball stage (234-240 F).

With the mixer at full speed, pour all of the hot syrup slowly down the side of the bowl. Be careful as the mixture is very liquid and hot at this point and some may splash out of the bowl - use a splash guard if you have one. whip until the mixture is very fluffy and stiff, about 8-10 minutes. pour mixture into the foil-lined pan and smooth with an oiled offset spatula so that it's level with the top of the rim (it won't completely fill the pan). Allow the mixture to sit, uncovered at room temp for 10 to 12 hours.

Mix equal parts powdered sugar and potato starch and sift generously over the rested marshmallow slab. Turn it out onto a cutting board or counter, peel off foil and dust with more sugar/starch mixture. Slice with a thin-bladed oiled knife or oiled cookie cutters. Dip all cut edges in sugar/starch mixture and shake off excess. Marshmallows will keep several weeks at room temp in an air-tight container.

Variation - Chocolate Marshmallows:

Replace strawberry puree and initial 1/2 cup of water in mixing bowl with 1/2 cup of cocoa disolved in 1/2 cup boiling water in a separate bowl. Soften gelatine in an additional 1/4 cup cold water in mixing bowl. Add cocoa mixture to mixing bowl and procede with recipe as above. This will produce a marshmallow with a strong chocolate flavor, but somewhat denser than the strawberry version. To get a lighter texture as well as a lighter chocolate flavor, reduce cocoa to 1/4 cup.

Variation - Vanilla Marshmallows:

Replace strawberry puree and initial 1/2 cup of water in mixing bowl with 3/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or the seeds scraped from 2 vanilla beans.


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Since I don't keep corn syrup on hand, I will use this to substitute for it:

Simple Syrup- Light Corn Syrup Substitute

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water

Instructions:
1. Combine ingredients.
2. Over medium heat, bring to full boil.
3. Boil for one minute, or until all sugar particles are dissolved.
4. Transfer mixture into airtight refrigerator container.
5. Use to replace corn syrup in recipes or to sweeten iced tea or other beverages.

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I haven't been doing too well with sticking to our meal plan. That seems to happen often when I create one. I end up switching things around or I get tired and make something easy. I want to make more of an effort in the future though.

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