Sunday, May 29, 2011
I feel like a total jerk, b/c I was so excited to experiment, that I forgot to take pictures of the entire process. Don't fret ladies, I have a few more marshmallow ideas (coffee flavored & root beer) so I will repost with pics in the next few weeks. Honestly, I would love to have an entire blog category devoted to gelatin and all of it's awesomeness.
I have made marshmallows a few times before and have made some mistakes, so please take my suggestions seriously. This is kind of a sticky, messy project and throwing that hard work down the drain is pretty depressing.
First and foremost you MUST have a candy thermometer! Don't try to get all crafty and think you know what the soft ball stage looks like. Guilty.
Second DON'T forget the flavoring. I once made a batch and at the tail end realized I was out of vanilla. Oh the heartbreak!
I like big fat ridiculous marshmallows so this recipe is calling for an 8x8" pan. Obviously any pan will do, but your thickness will vary. Using an 8x8, produces marshmallows about an inch thick.
This is Alton Brown's recipe...with a few tweaks of course.
3 packages unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup raspberry puree*
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Red food coloring (optional)
Nonstick spray or a neutral oil
*You can make any berry puree. Just toss a handful of berries in your food processor and strain out the seeds.
Lightly oil or spray your pan and coat generously with powdered sugar.
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer (with whisk attachment) along with 1/4 cup of water and the puree. For a super berry flavor, sub the 1/4 cup of ice water with puree (totalling 1/2 cup). I have used a hand mixer with no problems, other than total boredom from standing over a bowl for 10 minutes.
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 a food coloring during the last minute of whipping.
Take a spatula and dip it in oil (something neutral like safflower or canola) and scrape as much of the marshmallows out of the bowl and into your prepared pan. You may need to re-dip if it gets too sticky. Just fill a ramekin with oil and keep handy. Spread out the mixture as evenly as possible (again don't be afraid to oil the spatula) and cover. Marshmallows need to sit for a few hours or overnight.
I wanted to experiment with shapes this time, but the old fashioned square is just as good.
Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar and flip the marshmallows out of the pan. Keep enough sugar out to continue dusting when needed. Do I need to explain cutting cubes?
Unfortunately not all of my cutters worked (actually most of them). I was really hoping for a bunny or pig, but sometimes dreams just don't come true.
Par freeze the pan for about 30 minutes and transfer to cutting board dusted with powdered sugar. Dip your cookie cutter in sugar and go to town. The hearts came out very cute, but I wanted to post the failed pig too.
So after cutting I had a pretty big mess of scraps and didn't want to throw them out. I put my brain to work and thought "oh snip rice crispy treats!" Toss the scraps in a pan over medium heat and add about a tablespoon of butter. Add a couple of cups of rice crispies ( or enough to get a good consistancy)and you have just made two magical treats!