A while ago, my husband Brandon and I were watching Iron Chef America – the challenge was sugar and one of the Chefs made homemade marshmallows. I have been craving them ever since. The funny thing is I’m not really that big of a fan of marshmallows. But TV has this uncanny ability to make everything look delicious, which is also a good reason not to watch the food channel when you’re hungry; ya right like thats ever not going to happen. Well, a little while after I had seen the marshmallows on TV I received my winter issue of the food network magazine; low and behold there was a recipe for marshmallows in it. The down side of the recipe was that it said the marshmallows needed to sit overnight. I was hoping to take them to a birthday party a few hours later so I decided to look online instead. That’s when I found Alton Brown’s recipe. His recipe said the marshmallows only had to rest for four hours; I figured I could handle that. I actually ended up having to cut them three hours later and they were just perfect.
Though the recipe says the level of difficulty is intermediate, it was surprisingly easy and the marshmallows turned out amazing. I have heard that you have never had a marshmallow until you have had a homemade one. Whoever said that (I can’t recall) was right!!! They were like tasty little clouds of goodness. But there is something even better than just plain marshmallows and that is hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows. Oh ya, I said it! I could tell you how good it was, but well, lets just say you have to try it for yourself. The recipe can be found on www.foodnetwork .com when you type in marshmallows just choose the one by Alton Brown. However I will also post it below.
1.The recipe says to coat the spatula in butter when you are spreading out the marshmallows, well since you have to reapply it several times and this can be a hassle, I found that cooking oil spray worked better. I just lightly sprayed the spatula every time it started sticking.
2.The marshmallow mixture will also start to stiffen as soon as you start dumping it into the pan so you will want to work quickly.
3.The one thing you will need for sure is a good stand mixer. If you don’t have one, ask a friend who does if you can use theirs. I bet if you offer to give them some they will say yes.
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007. www.foodnetwork.com
Prep Time: 35 min
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hr 0 min
Cook Time:10 min
Serves:approximately 9 dozen marshmallows or 1 1/2 pounds miniature
• 3 packages unflavored gelatin
• 1 cup ice cold water, divided
• 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• Nonstick spray
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
For miniature marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.