Home Cooking

Recipe: Summer Marshmallows

August 15 2012 - 1:30 PM

Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a nice, shiny, KitchenAid stand mixer. Gee willikers! I don’t bake nearly enough to justify the counter space for this new toy, but heck, I’m not going to complain about never having to knead dough again.

After making a few loaves of bread, I was itching to test out the mixer on ludicrous speed #10. But what to make, meringue? Too obvious. A little more digging around on the internet turned up recipes for marshmallows. Conveniently, this would also make use of the Knox gelatin that had been collecting dust for several years in my cupboard. Plus, what with the abysmal wind chills and omnipresent snow on the ground, what could be better than marshmallows to remind us that summer is just (six months) around the corner?

Homemade marshmallows are easy to make, provided you have the proper equipment: a candy thermometer and a good mixer. I used a stand mixer for my heavy duty whipping, but you can also substitute a handheld mixer for a longer duration of time.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 T + 2 1/2 t (3 envelopes) of unflavored gelatin
1/2 c cold water
2 c granulated sugar (I used 1 c of brown sugar, 1 c white)
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/2 c cold water
1/4 t salt
2 egg whites
2 t vanilla (alternatively: food coloring, almond, mint or lavender extract)
~3/4 c confectioners’ sugar
Oil the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13″ glass dish. Dust generously with confectioners’ sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the gelatin with 1/2 c cold water.
Meanwhile, in a heavy sauce pan, heat the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt over low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase to medium heat, and let the sugar mixture boil until it reaches 240 F on a candy or digital thermometer (about 12 min). Pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl containing the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
Whip the sugar and gelatin until the mixture has turned white and approximately tripled in volume. This takes about 6 min on high speed using a stand mixer, or 10 minutes using a hand mixer. Watching the mixture go from watery and dark brown to white and puffy was almost miraculous!
Meanwhile, in another bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Do this as quickly as possible, since the sugar mixture will begin to cool and set. Fold the beaten egg whites and vanilla extract into the sugar mixture and combine.
Pour the sugar mixture into the rectangular dish. Spread 1/4 c confectioners’ sugar over the top in an even layer. Refrigerate the uncovered dish overnight, or for at least 3 hours.
After chilling, slide a knife around the edge of the dish to loosen the marshmallow cake. Flip the dish over a large cutting board to remove the marshmallow layer. I used a spatula to help coax the marshmallow out. Slice the marshmallow layer into 1″ cubes, or whatever size you prefer. In the now-empty rectangular dish, pour 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar. Roll the cubed marshmallows in the confectioners’ sugar and shake off the excess. Voila, you now have about 100 fluffy, bouncy marshmallows at your disposal! These will store for about a week at room temperature in an air-tight container.
They’re perfect for toasting over a campfire, but nothing’s preventing you from toasting your marshmallows indoors in this heat. I find my gas stove is an admirable substitute for producing those charred edges. Now, time to make homemade graham crackers…