Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whip it: Marshmallows!


I know what you're thinking. "Marshmallows? Made at home, by me? Really? No. I couldn't. I couldn't poss--"

Stop. YES YOU CAN. If you have arms, you can make marshmallows. Of course, it helps if you have a mixer or an eggbeater or something with similar torque, but the point remains the same: they are WAY LESS SCARY than they sound. I promise.

I'd been thinking about making marshmallows for a while now, deterred up to this point by my wimpy arms and lack of any sort of mixer (the trouble with marshmallows is that they do require about fifteen minutes of vigorous whipping). This particular problem was remedied when I brought home the newest addition to our family, Big Blue. 15 minutes of whipping? Pssssh! Bring it.


I used this recipe, which comes from the awesome Thomas Keller himself; I have no additions to make, really--he's pretty spot-on (surprising, i know!). My only real comment is this: "12 large marshmallows," is slightly less accurate than "12 gargantuan marshmallows that could level downtown manhattan." I cut them down a little more and ended up with about three hundred million* medium-sized to large marshmallows.

I plan to experiment with this recipe some--there are some flavors I'd like to try (maple-mallows, anyone? Mint-mallows with dark chocolate? Smore-mallows?)...but really. As it stands it's simple, sweet, perfection. Truly awesome in hot chocolate.


*perhaps a slight exaggeration.


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
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes.
  2. 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 incorporate into mixture. Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper). After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan.
  3. Let mixture sit for a few hours. 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 (oil it. seriously). Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners' sugar.

Yield: 12 large marshmallows

Recipe Source: French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller (Artisan)


maggie said...

oh. my. awesome.
can i do this with an electric hand mixer? or is it hard work for the mixer?

the only substitute is to get to City Bakery for hot cocoa, stat.

shiv said...

from what i understand, a hand mixer works just fine--it never gets particularly thick or obstinate. your arm might get tired, is all!

doggybloggy said...

I made these for halloween this year and I had to mix for 20 minutes - hmmmmm - but I invented my recipe based on recipes I read - I used flavored jellos and used less sugar-- they came out great and yours look fantastic -

doggybloggy said...

dang that banner is 'wicked'

my totally obnoxious word verification for this 'lil ol comment' today is - rested...I think a post on those is in order..

AnticiPlate said...

Once you have tried homemade marshmallows, you will never go back. They make fresh ones at Whole Foods (for like 7 dollars) and it just puts those Kraft processed ones to shame! We bring them camping for gourmet s'mores.

maggie said...

That is some SERIOUS camping food. My former coworkers from OMSI camp (who did things like filter coffee through a bandana) would laugh...but what a treat!

Lo said...

LOVE this!
I've always meant to make my own marshmallows... and now all the bloggers out there are putting me to shame! Guess I'd better get to work :)

Rebecca said...

ohhh, good to know it's easy! what a great wintry gift. for fun, do you think they could be tinted easily with a little food coloring?