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Old 10-25-2004, 06:21 PM   #1
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Homemade Marshmallows

and keep seeing these cool hand made marshmallows in Williams-Sonoma and choc.dipped ones in Pottery barn. so of course I figured I could make them myself. a week ago I flippen on fn and caught the VERY end of someone making the marshmallows!!! I think it was the guy who normally makes all those chocolate centerpieces Jacques Torres maybe? anyway, wouldn't something like that be a hoot on top of the whipped sweet potatoes? anyone ever attempt to make them yourself? And how would you dip them in chocolate w/out melting them?????

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Old 10-25-2004, 07:25 PM   #2
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southerncook, I've got your recipe and the technique. But I've got to go to work for the night and will get back to you in the morning.

In the meantime, someone else may offer some help! If not, I'll see you tomorrow!
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:32 PM   #3
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SC, I'll defer to Audeo's actual recipe for the marshmallows, but we used to make these for parties at a place I worked. When you dip them in the chocolate, the chocolate can just be a little warmer than room temp - in other words, after you melt the chocolate, let it sit a little bit so it's cooler, then dip, place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate as soon as you can - we used to make 10 at a time, stick those in the fridge and do 10 more, etc.

You gonna do chocolate ones on the sweet potato dish??!
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Old 10-26-2004, 07:40 AM   #4
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It is always a pleasure to follow marmalady, and I would certainly follow her advice as to dipping marshmallows into chocolate!

A little background info on marshmallows first...

Marshmallows are not made from egg whites (although marshmallow crème is!), but from gelatin beaten with a cooked sugar syrup. The texture of homemade marshmallows is denser than the store-bought variety, and the flavor is more intense. They are so good…and are really a snap to make.

This recipe will make about 36 large pieces, or 48 smaller pieces (about the size of traditional store-bought ones). Please note that this mixture, once you begin to combine the syrup and the gelatin, is going to expand some 3-4 times its original volume, as air is incorporated during beating. So, this is one of very few times I set aside my large KitchenAid stand mixer and get out the hand mixer.

Homemade Marshmallows

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (I use Knox)
1 ½ cups of water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Butter for coating the pan
Confectioners’ sugar for coating the candy

Lightly, but thoroughly, butter a 9x13 pan and set it aside.

In a large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ¾ cup of the water. Cover the bowl and set it aside to allow the gelatin to soften until you’re ready for it later.

In a heavy saucepan (2-quart size is fine), combine the sugar, ¾ cup of corn syrup and the remaining ¾ cup of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until all the sugar is dissolved, and bring to a rolling boil. Attach your CALIBRATED candy thermometer to the saucepan and continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 238 degrees (F) (soft ball stage). (Do not cook any higher than 240 degrees, or it won’t work.) Remove from heat and pour in the remaining ¼ cup of corn syrup.

With your mixer on its highest speed, begin beating the gelatin while adding the hot syrup poured in a slow, steady stream. Once all the syrup is incorporated, you will continue to beat, for a total time of about ten minutes, until the stuff triples in volume and becomes very stiff. Beat in the vanilla extract at this point.

Spread the mixture into your prepared pan, smoothing the top as much as possible using a thin, flexible spatula or wide knife dipped into hot water. Set the stuff aside, uncovered, for 5-8 hours at room temperature until it is cool and firm.

Dust a large cutting board or work area with confectioners’ sugar using your sifter, and sift additional confectioners’ sugar over the top of the marshmallow. Don’t skimp! Run a small knife around the edge of the marshmallow to loosen it from the pan. Invert the pan onto the prepared area…and you may need to use your fingers to coax the stuff out of the pan, and it will be sticky! Once you have unmolded the stuff, sift more confectioners’ sugar over the marshmallow until it is completely coated with the sugar.

Using a sharp knife dipped into hot water, cut the marshmallow into squares. Be sure to dip the cut sides of the marshmallows in additional confectioners’ sugar. Shake off the excess sugar and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks


A note on calibrating thermometers:

Call me sentimental, but I prefer using my grandmother’s ancient candy thermometer or my mother’s from the 1940s to digital ones (have one of those, too), and in total, I probably have 8-10 candy thermometers….and every one reads a different temp from its neighbor. Hence the need for calibration, which everyone should do before they try to measure the temperature of anything, moreover a temperamental syrup.

To calibrate: bring an amount of water to a rolling boil in a saucepan and clip on your thermometer. {Water boils at 212-degrees (F)} Take a reading from your thermometer. If it reads precisely 212 degrees great! If not, then you will need to add/subtract that amount from the target temperature of your candy. (A thermometer that reads 215 degrees for boiling water will require you add 3 degrees to the target temp….say your goal is 238 degrees, then you will need to cook to 241 on that thermometer.)



A few variations to consider:

Instead of confectioners’ sugar, coat and roll the pieces in about 4 cups of toasted coconut. You can also beat in 2 cups of shredded, sweetened coconut with the vanilla.

For Halloween, add orange food coloring with the vanilla.

Instead of confectioners’ sugar, you can coat and roll the pieces in cocoa powder.

For Almond Marshmallows, add ½ teaspoon almond extract and beat in with the vanilla, then coat and roll the pieces a ground, toasted almonds.

Lemon Marshmallows are made by substituting 2 teaspoons of lemon extract and some yellow food coloring for the vanilla extract; the same substitution method using mint extract and green food coloring will yield Mint Marshmallows.

And they are downright indecently delicious dipped in semi-sweet or milk chocolate!!

Do let us know how they turn out, southerncook!!!
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Old 10-26-2004, 08:12 AM   #5
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PS: I probably don't need to mention this, but I will: Be sure you do this on a day with a relative humidity of less than 60 percent, or the syrup may not be able to get hot enough....
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:45 PM   #6
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I give you marshmallow makers credit. This is something I really don't want to do. All I can think of is the sticky mess and how easy it is to buy a bag from the supermarket. I'm sure the homemade stuff tastes better, but... I can just see myself taking all day to clean my sticky kitchen and having to take a shower right after dealing with the mess I know I will make.
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Old 10-27-2004, 08:13 AM   #7
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If anyone has a Whole Foods in their town, they make a scrumptious homemade marshmallow - comes in plain, coconut and I think chocolate!
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Old 10-27-2004, 01:14 PM   #8
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Audeo, I just checked the weather..I won't be able to make these until next week- and then only if a front comes through and cools/dries things up a little. I am going to try them asap- if only to see if they're worth 37.00/box! Now Williams-sonama says that the candymakers take 3 days and is a painstaking process, but unless they're really going from scratch, llike when marshmallow plants were used to firm the sugar up, I don't see how it takes 3 days! thank you for taking the time to post that for me. I will let you know how they turn out. or if they turn out.
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Old 10-30-2004, 10:29 AM   #9
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Southerncook, looks like you're going to have to wait a bit longer if the weather headed our way comes your way, too...which it does tend to do!

Incidentally, I just received my Williams-Sonoma Fall catalog in the mail yesterday and found their very pricey marshmallows mentioning their "meticulous three-day process" in making them. On one hand, I have to say that I've not ever been disappointed by W-S products. On the other hand, the only reason I can come with a three-day process is that they assemble the ingredients and polish the copper candy bowl on day one, actually make the candy on day two, then wait until day three to cut the stuff!

In all seriousness, candymaking is secretive stuff! It is entirely likely that the confectioner who is contracted to provide these to W-S is using this extended process of theirs for a reason. What that reason is, I can't imagine, because it wouldn't improve the texture or the "airiness" one whit. It certainly is an attention-getter in print, though!

I would be interested to know if anyone else out there has any insight...
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