Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Have you never been Mellow...marshmellow that is

I can't believe it's been over a month and I haven't introduced you to the newest member of our family.

Meet Betty:
Ain't she a beauty? She's a Kitchenaid 5 quart Artisan Standmixer. Mrblocko bought her for me for Valchristmastinebirthmother's Day. Yup, that's right. He's off the gift giving hook for the rest of the year. Pretty lucky guy eh? Actually, I'm the lucky one cause the standmixer is totally rockin awesome!
Now the white color was not my first choice, but she was the one that was on sale. And by sale I mean MEGA sale so who really gives a flying flip about the color! She was dubbed Betty, after Mrs. Crocker and Mrs. White.

The very first thing I made with my cool new toy was Marshmellows! Yeah. I know I spelled the word wrong. Marshmellows is another word that I insist on misspelling. I think it looks much better than dumb old Marshmallow. Spelling the word Marshmallow correctly makes me think of the word wallow and that is not a happy word. Mellow is much groovier. In fact, it's the grooviest. And, since these treats are super duper groovy we are going to spell them my way! Marshmellow! Yeah, plus, these babies are so yummy they will make your eyes roll in the back of your head. I have been wanting to make my own marshmellows for years. It is not something you want to attempt without a stand mixer. The recipe requires you to beat the thick molten sticky batter for 15 minutes. My hand held electric mixer does not have a strong enough motor to handle that kind of abuse.

Betty was up to the challenge. There was a moment where I thought I had messed everything up. When you put the batter/syrup whatever you call it, into the bowl of your mixer and start it up, it turns this yellowy-tanish color. I thought I had burned the sugar or something equally horrid. Nope. After a few minutes it begins to get that nice fluffy white color

When the mixing was done I poured the sticky mess into a 9x13 pan and let it set up. This was the hardest part. The waiting. Pure AGONY!After a torturous 4 hours, the blob gets turned out onto a cutting board. With how sticky the marshmellows were when I put them in the pan, I thought this was going to be an impossible task. Apparently I coated the pan sufficiently. Don't skimp on the powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture. I think this is the key.

I cut my sweet treats into roughly 1 inch squares. Very rough. I can't cut a straight line without a ruler to save my life. If I was making these as a gift I'd whip out a ruler so they looked nicer, or even use a cookie cutter for a fun shape.

The recipe I used was marshmellows a la alton brown from the food network website. There are a ton of Marshmellow recipes out there. I chose this one because I had watched the episode of Good Eats where the marshmellows had been made. I felt this would be a safe bet since I knew sort of what was going on. Besides most of the other recipes contained eggs. The thought of eggs that may or may not get fully cooked in the marshmellows grossed me out.

I will be using this recipe from now on. When I'm feeling experimental I'll give the recipes below a try. They are all slight variations on Alton Brown's basic recipe.

Peppermint from Beantown baker
Cinnamon from the Family Kitchen
Chocolate malt from Piece of Cake
Irish Cream from My Adventures in Food
Candied Sweet potato from the Kitchn

A final note about these fluffy white clouds of deliciousness, if you want to take yourself over the edge, dip them in chocolate and sprinkle crushed candy canes on top. Ngaaaa! Drool city.

Alton Brown's Marshmellows
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
Nonstick spray

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 c water. Have whisk attachment standing by. In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 c water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over med high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3-4 min. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 F, approximately 7-8 min. Once the mix reaches this temp, immediately remove from heat. Turn mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour sugar syrup down side of bowl into gelatin mix. Once you have added all of syrup, increase speed to high. Continue to whip til mix becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12-15 min. Add vanilla during 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 13x9" metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add sugar and cornstarch mix and move around to completely coat bottom and sides of pan. Return remaining mixture to bowl for later use. When ready, pour the mix into prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into pan. Dust top with enough remaining sugar and cornstarch mix to lightly cover. Reserve rest for later. Allow marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Turn marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1" squares using a pizza wheel dusted with confectioners' sugar mix. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with  remaining mix, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing better than homemade marshmallows, except maybe some cocoa to go with it. :)


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