Homemade Marshmallows

I never put a stand mixer on my wedding registry.  I didn’t see a reason to put down an expensive equipment that I will never use.  After all, the extent of my baking skills were boxed cakes and brownies and Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.  None of which needed a stand mixer.

I still don’t consider myself a baker at all, but I’m starting to fear baking less and less all the time. Not that making homemade marshmallow involves baking, but I put it in the same category.  Hey, perhaps I’ll even tackle rolling out a piece of dough one day.

So, if you are like me and feel a tremor of trepidation when you read “clip a candy thermometer” and see gelatin as a key ingredient when you have only vague idea what gelatin even is, fear not. (Oh, and do not delve into what gelatin is. Trust me.)

Making homemade marshmallow is dead easy.  I can say this because I’ve made them without causing a major mess, without anything blowing up and without breaking my friend’s (Baker Mom) candy thermometer.  Are they the absolutely best marshmallows in the world?  Probably, not.  But they are edible.  They melt in your mouth.  ‘Nuff said.

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I used Alton Brown’s recipe since it is the first recipe that comes up when I Google “homemade marshmallow”.  Ingredients are simple, directions are easy.  My only complaint is that I find the marshmallows a little too sweet.  But, I’ve looked at other recipes and they call for even more sugar!  *shudder*

Note to self:  Must ask my friend to ask her SIL whether I can mess with the sugar ratio.

Of course as simple as the recipe is, I must create my own drama by being a complete flake.  So, learn from my experience.  You need gelatin powder, found near Jello in any supermarket.  The brand I used was Knox.

I swear I read the recipe at least 3 times and each time, I read gelatin sheets.

I also missed the “candy thermometer” line until 10 minutes before I was ready to start.  Thank goodness for Baker Mom.  I had to go to the supermarket anyway due to the gelatine mix up.  But not before I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out the gelatin sheet to powder conversion.  Don’t bother, just get the powder packet.

A couple of notes on the original recipe. 

1.  It says to add confectioners sugar and cornstarch and move around until the pan is coated.  Not as easy as it sounds.  Use a sieve to dust the pan.

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2.  Don’t panic if the sugar cornsyrup  mixture doesn’t reach 240°F in 7-8 minutes.  Mine took closer to 15 minutes.

3.  The mixture does get thick and white eventually.  Just let it whip for until you see what you see below.

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4. Marshmallow mixture is incredibly sticky.  It is really hard to even out the mixture.  I read at another site to use lightly oiled fingers to spread the mixture into corners.

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5.  Alton’s serving size is 9 dozen.  I only got about 6, possibly 7 dozen.  I got tired of counting, but I know it wasn’t 9 dozen.  May I cut them a little too large?

Don’t be afraid to try making these. If I can make them, so can you!

Homemade Marshmallows

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Prep Time:  10 mins     Cook Time:  30 mins     Inactive Prep Time:  4+ hours

Serving:  6 dozen inch square marshmallows

Special Tools: candy thermometer, stand mixer with whisk attachment

Ingredients

3 packages unflavored gelatin (Knox)
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
nonstick spray

Directions

Into the bowl of a stand mixer, add the gelatin and 1/2 cup of water.

In a small saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt and set on medium high heat.  Cover and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.  Uncover and clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan.  Continue to cook until the mixture temperature reaches 240°F.  Alton Brown states 7 – 8 minutes.  It took me closer to 15 minutes.

Remove immediately from heat.  With the mixer set on low, pour the sugar mixture slowly down the side of the bowl until all the syrup as been added.  Increase the speed to high (7 – 8).  Continue to whip until the mixture becomes thick and white, approximately 15 minutes.  Add vanilla or other flavoring during the last minute of whipping.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine confectioners sugar and cornstarch.  Lightly spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with nonstick spray.  Coat lightly with the sugar and cornstarch mixture using sieve.

Pour mixture into the prepared pan.  Use a lightly oiled spatula for scraping the mixture and for spreading evenly into the pan.  If you need, oil your hand and use your fingers to push the mixture into corners.  Using a sieve dust the top with sugar cornstarch mixture and let the marshmallow set for at least 4 hours to overnight.  It has to really set before cutting.

Turn the marshmallow into a cutting board dusted with sugar cornstarch.  Cut into 1 inch squares using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel dusted with confectioners’ sugar.  Dust all cut sides with sugar cornstarch mixture.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.


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