Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Home Made Marshmallows

Yesterday's recipe was for Maple Hot Chocolate so I thought today would be the perfect time to post my favorite recipe for home made marshmallows! I've made these several times over the last three or four years and they always turn out perfectly. The recipe itself is from the amazing, Michelin Star rated chef Thomas Keller and his The French Laundry Cookbook.

There's really no need to improve the recipe itself, as these confections are truly delicious and a true treat all on their own. Half the fun of cooking though is making each recipe your own and creating new versions of classics, so I offer up a couple of variations that scrumptiously accent the marshmallows.

Variations: Try replacing half of the vanilla extract with peppermint extract, add a couple of drops red food coloring (swirling it through out mixture) and press some crushed candy canes into the top for a wonderful holiday version.

For us chocolate lovers, an amazing version I made last year was spreading caramel sauce (or ice cream topping) over each square and then pouring melted baking chocolate over the tops and sides (you can dip them as well, the caramel just makes it slightly more difficult). For added texture you could press some toffee bits onto the tops as well.

This year I may substitute melted peanut butter for the caramel (and still pour melted chocolate over them) for a "fluffer-nutter" style candy!




Marshamallows

3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dredging


In a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and blend into mixture. Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper as well). After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan.

Let mixture sit for a few hours to set. Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners' sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef's knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners' sugar, coating each side.

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