Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Marshmallows!

I recently found an online baking group called Tuesdays with Dorie, which is a group of bakers making their way through Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, one recipe per week. I decided it would be a great motivational tool for me to get baking, so I joined up!

This week's recipe was homemade marshmallows. This is actually candymaking, but it was really simpler than I expected. The hard part was trying not to eat them all in one go ;)

I decided to make mixed berry 'mallows (blueberry, raspberry & blackberry puree). Here's a shot of the 'mallows as they took their 3-hour nap before cutting:

Although I used parchment dusted with potato starch as the recipe suggested, it still took me forever trying to scrape the marshmallows away from the paper. I think next time I'd put some sort of grease in there too... maybe Baker's Joy on top of the parchment.

Voila, the end product:

They were very tasty! I actually liked them even better the next day because they were pretty soft that first day. I used pasteurized egg whites in the recipe, so they weren't as fluffy as they should have been. There are actually some other recipes that don't call for any egg whites, so I might do one of those next time I get around to the 'mallows :)

OK, this pic is only *sort* of about the marshmallows... I've been wanting to try to take pics of glass since reading Light: Science and Magic:

One last shot before the recipe!

And here is Dorie's recipe:

Makes about 1 pound marshmallows

About 1 cup potato starch (found in the kosher foods section of supermarkets) or cornstarch

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup cold water

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups (248 g) sugar

GETTING READY: Line a rimmed baking sheet -- choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high -- with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Note: I used a 9x9 square pan to make mine pretty tall. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put 1/3 cup of the water, the sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup -- without stirring -- until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites. In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)

Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy -- don't overbeat them and have them go dull.

As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won't fill the pan (unless you are using a 9x9 pan!). Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).

Dust the top of the marshmallows with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They'll need about 3 hours, but they can rest for 12 hours or more.

Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you'll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you'd like -- into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they're cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. When you've got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl, reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer them to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.

SERVING: Put the marshmallows out and let everyone nibble as they wish. Sometimes I fill a tall glass vase with the marshmallows and put it in the center of the table -- it never fails to make friends smile. You can also top hot chocolate or cold sundaes with the marshmallows.

STORING: Keep the marshmallows in a cool, dry place; don't cover them closely. Stored in this way, they will keep for about 1 week -- they might develop a little crust on the outside or they might get a little firmer on the inside, but they'll still be very good.

Playing Around

RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOWS: Fruit purees are excellent for flavoring these candies.

For raspberry marshmallows, you'll need a generous 1/3 cup of puree; reduce the vanilla extract to 1/4 teaspoon. After the batter is mixed, gently fold in the puree with a rubber spatula. You can use the same measurements and technique for other purees, such as strawberry, mango and passion fruit.

CAPPUCCINO MARSHMALLOWS: Sift 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon together into a small bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup boiling water and mix until smooth. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon, and add it to the espresso mix. After you add the sugar syrup and gelatin to the meringue, beat in the espresso mixture and continue.

LIGHT CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOWS: Melt 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/4 teaspoon, and after the marshmallow batter is mixed, fold in the chocolate mixture with a large rubber spatula.

PUMPKIN SPICE MARSHMALLOWS: Whisk together 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and a pinch of ground allspice. After the marshmallow batter is mixed, fold in the spiced pumpkin with a large rubber spatula.


That's it! Thanks to TWD for having me, I hope to make lots more delicious treats this year ;) Check out the TWD page to see everyone else's photos and experiences!


Marie said...

Your marshmallows look really scrummy! Well done! I love your presentation as well. I made peanut butter cookie s'mores with mine.

kim said...

thanks Marie! i just left a comment on yours, great idea with the s'mores... yum!

April said...

I love the fact that you made mixed berry flavors. they look great!

Erin said...

I love the berry flavors! These look delicious!

Carrie said...

How pretty!
I bet they were wonderful!

Dianne said...

Welcome to TWD! Your marshmallows look fabulous!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

You've done a fabulous job, and I love the idea of mixed berry marshmallows! Well done on your first go!

Annemarie said...

They look AMAZING! Welcome & great job!!

Beth G. said...

Yum! They look fantastic! Great job :O)

Donna said...

Oooo...Mixed Berry Mallows sound absolutely divine!
I almost used parchment paper, but decided not to at the last minute. I'm glad I didn't now. But it looks like you got yours out OK!

Natalie said...

Those look really tasty! And great pictures! :)

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

These do look scrumptious. Excellent job!

Shari said...

Great pictures! Blueberry, raspberry & blackberry marshmallows sound delicious. I love them displayed in the martini glass!

kim said...

thanks everyone! this was a fun challenge and i'm glad i now have a reason to look forward to tuesdays ;)

LyB said...

They look delicious, I love the swirls!

Anonymous said...

Yum! I love the photo of the marshmallows in a glass. I did a similar shot with a large wine glass. Yours are so pretty!

Cecilia said...

The photos look great! Welcome to the group!

PheMom said...

Very pretty marshmallows!

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