Monday, January 11, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows

From: Inspiried Nutmeg

2 Tablespoons 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (3 packets)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
cornstarch for dusting the cut marshmallows

Soften gelatin in the cold water. This will turn into a fairly solid clump of gelatin but never fear, this will go away. Mix sugar, corn syrup, hot water and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook to soft ball stage (234 degrees on a candy thermometer). I was taught me to test my candy in a cup of cold water and that is the most reliable way for me. All you do is dribble a bit of the mixture into a small cup of cold water and see how it hardens. For soft ball, you should be able to gather the syrup into a ball that slightly flattens when you lift it up out of the cold water. This is much easier for me than testing a thermometer and fiddling with trying to keep it in the pan right. Besides, with the cold water method you can sample the tests as you go along. Can't exactly throw out that little ball of syrup can you?

While your syrup is cooking, beat the egg white to soft peaks. A stand mixer works best for this! After you decide the syrup is soft ball stage, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla and the gelatin. It will bubble up when you stir it in but stir on. As soon as the gelatin is well mixed pour it into the beaten egg white with the mixer running. That is why you need a stand mixer or helper, that syrup is super hot!
Once you get the syrup mixture beat in, beat for 10 minutes (see I told you would need help). The marshmallows with triple in volume and be very fluffy. Pretty isn't it?

 After 10 minutes, pour into a buttered 9 x 13 pan and cover with a piece of buttered waxed paper. If you do not butter it you will hate me and come looking for me, so butter away my friend. The paper smooths the top and gives the final marshmallow a nice square shape. After several hours you can remove the paper and sprinkle the top with cornstarch. This keeps it from sticking. Turn it out onto a cutting board and cut into strips then cubes with a knife. I put a 1/2 cup of cornstarch in a big bowl and toss the marshmallow in the cornstarch after I finish cutting a strip. This is very messy and sticky but fun. I keep them in a gallon ziplock bag and use them for smores and hot cocoa. Really, they are great, you have to try them!

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