Homemade Marshmallows

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe was chosen by Judy over at Judy’s Gross Eats. She chose homemade marshmallows, which were surprisingly quick and easy to make! I had just caught a segment on the Martha Stewart Show not too long ago on which they were making homemade marshmallows. It didn’t seem all that hard, but I probably would have never taken the initiative to try them myself if this Dorie recipe hadn’t been chosen, so thank you Judy!

These marshmallows turned out lighter and fluffier than any store-bought marshmallow that I have had in the past, and were completed with minimal effort. It took me less than 30 minutes from the time I started prepping the pan until the marshmallow mixture was poured in to set. That’s not too bad! I’m thinking that this year in place of my customary Christmas tins for friends and family, I might do some homemade cocoa mix with homemade marshmallows.

Be sure to check out the blogroll on the Tuesdays With Dorie blog to see all of the other marshmallow creations!

Last week: Fresh Orange Cream Tart
Next week: I am taking a pass on TWD and will be *attempting* a cake for our anniversary (that happens to fall on Tuesday) that mimics our wedding cake (at least in flavor!).

Marshmallow-making tips and the recipe after the break…

I used a lot of the tips shared by Melissa at Lalala… and I didn’t have a single problem with getting my marshmallows out of the pan (they slid right out) or getting them cut. Here are the tips that I took from her, and where I deviated from Dorie’s recipe:

  • I used a 9×13 pan instead of a pan with a 1″ lip so that the marshmallows set up higher
  • I sprayed the pan with Pam and then dusted it with a mixture of powdered sugar and corn starch; once the marshmallow mixture was in the pan I dusted the top with the same mixture.
  • To cut the marshmallows I sprayed a large pizza cutter with Pam and then cut the marshmallows into squares. I only needed to rinse, dry, and re-spray the cutter once.

**Please note that in the actual recipe there is an additional Tablespoon of sugar in the ingredients list that is never accounted for in the recipe. Although I never even caught this because I was busy boiling, microwaving, and whipping, a number of TWD members did and realized that it most likely was to be added to the egg whites during whipping for added stabilization.

Marshmallows

Yield: About 1 pound marshmallows

Prep Time: 12 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours

Ingredients:

About 1 cup potato starch or cornstarch
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet -- choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high -- with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

2. Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup -- without stirring -- until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

3. While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites. In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)

4. Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy -- don't overbeat them and have them go dull.

5. As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

6. Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won't fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).

7. Dust the top of the marshmallows with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They'll need about 3 hours, but they can rest for 12 hours or more.

8. Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you'll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you'd like -- into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they're cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. When you've got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl, reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer them to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.

SERVING: Put the marshmallows out and let everyone nibble as they wish. Sometimes I fill a tall glass vase with the marshmallows and put it in the center of the table -- it never fails to make friends smile. You can also top hot chocolate or cold sundaes with the marshmallows.

STORING: Keep the marshmallows in a cool, dry place; don't cover them closely. Stored in this way, they will keep for about 1 week -- they might develop a little crust on the outside or they might get a little firmer on the inside, but they'll still be very good.