Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vanilla Marshmallows

Marshmallows have a special place in my heart because my boyfriend and I made these together on our third date.  He's a chemist and I remember commenting on how precise he was with measuring everything.  Nothing sexier than a guy who can cook... and who wants to help make candy. :)

Unfortunately, he's on a business trip this week, so I made a half batch by myself from my favorite book, Chocolates & Confections.

 
And in doing a search I see they have an At Home version!!! Wow.  If only they had this when I started trying to make candy in 2008.  Oh well, the harder path only makes you stronger... right?

Anywho...

Stacey's Half Batch Vanilla Marshmallow Ingredients:
0.8 oz gelatin (powdered)
4 oz water (for hydration)

12 oz sugar, organic
6 oz glucose syrup
2 oz local honey
2 oz invert sugar
3 oz water
2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Parchment paper
9"x9" cake pan
Canola oil, organic

1:1 ratio powdered sugar to cornstarch

I've found that sprinkling the gelatin on top of the water with a spoon works best for avoiding clumps and allowing it to bloom
Then I placed the gelatin in another pot filled with hot water (not quite boiling, otherwise you may damage the gelatin - you just want it to melt). Here it is bloomed, but not melted yet.
In another pot, I put in the rest of the ingredients, minus the vanilla bean paste.
I heated over medium flame and put in a candy thermometer.  


Then I turned the heat off when the thermometer reached about 251.5F and continued stirring.  It reached 252F shortly afterward. Candy continues to heat a bit after the flame is turned off.

I poured the liquid into my standing mixer bowl.  
Then I let it sit until it reached 212F before pouring in the melted gelatin.  This prevents the gelatin from being damaged by the heat of the sugars. Once I poured in the gelatin, I started the mixer on a medium setting for the first minute, then to the highest setting.
I used to be terrified of making marshmallows so it was fairly long into my candymaking quest that I decided to finally bite the bullet.  My worst fear was that 200+F degree sugar was going to be flying all over the place from the mixer.  I thought I'd take a little video proving otherwise - just in case anyone else had this same fear, perhaps this will allay it.

While waiting for the mixture to get fluffy (recipe calls for 8 minutes, but since it's a half batch and a different mixer, I just try to watch it and see when it looks fluffy enough), I cut some parchment to fit a 9"x9" cake pan and poured about 1.5 tsp of the oil on the paper and brushed it around with a pastry brush. Then I oiled a silicone mat in the same fashion.

Once the marshmallow mixture turned white, I poured in the vanilla bean paste and let it continue to whip until the correct fluffiness.

Then I used an oiled silicone scraper and scraped the mixture into the prepared pan, on top of the parchment paper.  I put the oiled silicone mat on top and pressed it down so the top was flat.

It leaves a big mess, but it's easy cleanup because it's water soluble.  
 Just soak in some warm water.

Then I waited a few hours before I started cutting it up.  I peeled back the silicone mat and using the parchment paper as handles, took the marshmallow slab out and placed the paper on a cutting board.
I took an oiled knife and cut strips, and then cubes so I had about 1.5" square cubes.  These cubes were then dredged in the powdered sugar / cornstarch mixture.
After being rolled, I put the marshmallows in a colander to shake off the extra powder.
Once the whole block was cut up, I had a nice bucket of marshmallows.  Yes, I keep my marshmallows in an old glucose bucket. :) Handy dandy marshmallow carrier.

Also, coated in white chocolate...

3 comments:

  1. omg yum!!! home made marshmallows are the best!!

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  2. that is sooooooooo awesome!!! we should have a chocolate fountain party and dip those in chocolate. with fruit. and icecream. and cake... and everythinge else!

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  3. Sounds like a good time to me! I made ice cream before too - it's fun. :)

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