Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mallows, Sans Marsh

I made marshmallows today--from scratch! I am so proud of myself I could just blog.

Once upon a time (when I was teenager-ish aged), I realized I had no idea what marshmallows were. None. I'd been eating them my whole life, but I couldn't have told you any of the ingredients beyond sugar, or by what industrial alchemy they are wrought. To make things worse, I soon realized I also didn't know what mayonnaise was.

As it turns out, sugar is pretty much all there is to marshmallows. Here's the recipe:


3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water

3 packets plain gelatin (that's about 20 grams, or 3 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup cold water

pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

- Prepare an 8 x 11 inch pan by greasing it, then dusting it with icing sugar.
- Mix gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water and let it sit for 10 minutes to "bloom".
- Boil sugar and 1/2 cup water together until it reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 C). For those of you who know the lingo, this is the "hard ball" stage. You need a proper candy thermometer for this.
- Drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture while beating at a slow speed.
- Once all the sugar syrup is in, add the salt and vanilla extract, then beat at high speed for 12 minutes. The marshmallows will become very thick and gluey by the end.
- Pour the marshmallow goo into the prepared pan and smooth its top with a silicone spatula or greased plastic wrap.
- Allow to cool and set (a few hours), then cut into cubes and dredge the sides with icing sugar until the marshmallows are no longer sticky to the touch.

Makes 20 large marshmallows.

Edit: If you place your mixing bowl on top of a potholder for insulation, it cuts down on the small crunchy sugar crystals mentioned below.

Husbandos and Goblins agree: these taste JUST LIKE STORE-BOUGHT (maybe slightly better.) The mouth-feel and texture are exactly the same also, although my marshmallows have a slight bit of crunch from the sugar that you feel between your teeth. El Husbando actually really likes that.

So...why would someone make marshmallows when it's so easy to just buy a bag? Well, because Goblin is gibbled. Store-bought marshmallows contain corn syrup, and I've got an allergy to corn. Although I can eat the pre-packaged ones with no noticeable consequence, I probably shouldn't. Hence, adventures in mallow-land.

So that was my fun for the day. Has anyone other than Sarf done something quirky and adventurous lately? Tell us about it!

And by the way, mayonnaise is made by beating egg yolks and oil together for a really long time. Who woulda guessed that?

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