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
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, 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 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.
- 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)