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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows



I’ve been wanting to make a homemade marshmallows for a long time now, but never really had a reason. I love marshmallows, but don’t eat them very often (but if I have a open bag in the pantry I will eat every last one) — store-bought Stay-Pufts (or their generic counterparts) are just not as pretty as the homemade ones I have seen in Williams Sonoma, with their weird, dry texture and powdery coating (they they were good in a cup of freshly made hot cocoa, but again that didn't stop me from eating them). And believe it or not, I’d never had a homemade marshmallow in my life.

After flipping through a handful of my favorite food blogs, past a billion fudge and holiday cake pop recipes, I came across a tutorial for peppermint marshmallows, on a great blog site. I’d found my project.

I started  researching homemade marshmallow recipes. They were all similar, for the most part, but there were some different aspects. Most importantly, some contained egg whites. Having never made homemade marshmallows, I’m certainly not an expert — but I’d never heard of adding egg whites to marshmallows. I decided to make two marshmallow recipes, one with whites, one without, to see if there was a big difference.

 Two Recipes go head to head: Homemade Marshmallows

The first recipe I made was Alton Brown’s from the Food Network which did not use egg whites. This recipe was REALLY sticky and I got marshmallow everywhere, but the finished product was tender and puffy; not as springy as the ones you get from the stores. What I liked best about this recipe is that the marshmallows were moist, not like the parched, cottony ones I’d grown up with (but again I still ate them).

The second recipe was from Gourmet Magazine, which used egg whites to add a little more airiness to the finished product. The reviews on this recipe promised fluffy, flavorful marshmallows and it delivered. Adding egg whites didn’t make a huge difference to the level of puffiness in my homemade marshmallows, but they were very good regardless. These too were tender and moist.

Which Marshmallow Recipe Won you may ask?

If I had to pick a favorite from these two recipes for homemade marshmallows, I’d have to say that I liked the Gourmet recipe best. It wasn’t necessarily more light and airy, but with the addition of the egg whites, these homemade marshmallows had a better, firmer texture, and were less sticky than Alton’s version. 

If you’re not careful when making marshmallows, it gets everywhere. You’ll find marshmallow on your clothes, in your hair, and stuck to the counter, cabinets, and sink. There’s no way around it, really, unless you’ve got some serious marshmallow making skills. I defiantly don't have the skill.

After looking around for a healthier version... I found this recipe using a healthier sweetener – brown rice syrup – instead of corn syrup, though you’re free to use whichever you have on hand. Of course I favor my own over the two above, but I invite you to try them all you will pick your favorite!

Coat your marshmallows with powdered sugar and cornstarch, or they will stick to everything in sight.

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

Yield: about 36 marshmallows

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (just under four envelopes)
  • 1/2 cup very cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown rice syrup or corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Grease the inside of a 9″ x 9″ baking pan. In a bowl, mix powdered sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Coat the inside of the greased baking pan with 1/2 cup of the sugar and cornstarch, reserving the remaining amount for coating the finished homemade marshmallows.

2. Pour the cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle gelatin onto the surface of the water. Set aside.
3. In a heavy, high-sided pot, combine granulated sugar, brown rice or corn syrup, warm water, and kosher salt. Heat over a low flame and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Turn heat up to medium and continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. The sugar will bubble up, but if you’ve got it in a pot with high sides, it shouldn’t boil over. If it threatens to escape, remove the pot from the heat for a few seconds and stir the contents before returning to burner.

4. Once the sugar reaches 240 degrees, remove from heat. Immediately pour into gelatin and beat with a stand mixer using the whisk attachment until it becomes white, light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. You can use an electric hand beater, but it will take longer to fluff up, about 15-20 minutes. If you use a hand beater, be aware that the fluff will try to crawl up the beaters in its attempt to make a mess. Once done, the marshmallow fluff will have nearly tripled in bulk. Add vanilla and beat until well integrated into the fluff.

5. Beat egg whites in a small bowl until they reach stiff peaks. Scoop the whites into the marshmallow fluff and beat just until combined so that you don’t flatten the whites. 

6. Pour marshmallow fluff into the prepared pan and use a greased spatula to smooth out the top. Sift cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture onto the top to completely cover the marshmallows, and leave to sit over night, uncovered, to stiffen up.

7. Once the marshmallows have firmed up, cut them into 1″ x 1″ squares. Toss the individual marshmallows in a bowl of the remaining cornstarch and powdered sugar so that they are completely coated, otherwise they will stick to everything they come in contact with. You can also use sharp cookie cutters to cut out the marshmallows.

8. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

You can dip them into chocolate as well...so YUMMY!

Cut them nice and small then add them to your hot chocolate.

8 comments:

  1. You make my mouth water!! I love marshmallow anything!! I have never thought about making them though. Thanks for sharing that! Yummmmmm

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  2. Yum - thanks for the review... I've been wanting to make these too :)

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  3. Hi! Your blog was recently tagged as Blog-A-Licious! Do keep your great posts coming!
    Cheers - Dora
    http://peacefrompieces.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. *drools* I absolutely love home made marshmallows! I made some last Easter, and they were so great. I severely dislike Peeps, so I made my own marshmallows, shaped them like Easter eggs and bunnies, and used a damp towel to add colored sugar. :) You could do something simliar for any occassion! Write out "2011", "Happy New Year," or for Valentine's Day...

    Thanks for sharing and reminding me how great home made marshmallows are, ha!

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  5. that last picture has me wanting marshmallows & I don't usually even eat them! WOW!

    I can just picture the mess I'd make in my kitchen! YIKES!

    new follower via a blog hop - nice to have found such a gem of a blog!

    Would love if you stopped by my lil blog
    http://www.momto2poshlildivas.blogspot.com/
    and followed back! Hope to see you there!

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  6. HI there! I am your newest follower from the blog hop! Lovely blog:)
    You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

    Happy Holidays!
    These look amazing. I love cooking. Maybe I'll try them for Valentines day!

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  7. I've actually been looking at making marshmallows and trying to decide on a recipe so I found this at the perfect time. Thanks!

    I'm your newest follower from the Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop. I've had a lot of fun with these recently and I'm looking forward to checking out some of your older posts.

    I'd love for you to follow me back at:

    http://norwegianphoenix.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yum...Would love for you to add it to my link party The Treasurista's Thursday Treasures. www.thetreasurista.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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