Sunday, March 13, 2011

Homemade Shamrock Marshmallows

We have another patient in our infirmary, Sammy.

Last night Sammy became ill spending much of the late night in the bathroom getting sick. Eventually around midnight she slept snuggled in our bed next to a bucket just in case she felt sick in the night. As you may recall, Alex was sick last week and I should have known that this nasty bug would make its way to big sissy too. After a dreadful evening, Sammy slept until almost noon today.

While Sammy slept, Alex and I began compiling ingredients for making Homemade Marshmallows. Once all the ingredients were accounted for, Sammy shuffled her way into the kitchen looking surprisingly rested with a subtle hue of pink in her cheeks. Still moving at a snails pace, she hunkered down into the large leather chair where she sipped apple juice while watching Alex and I make the marshmallows.

This recipe comes from the blog, Sing For Your Supper which you can find here. I just loved how light and fluffy they looked and couldn't wait to make them. I've also heard that homemade marshmallows taste so much better than store bought. Everyone was right -- they do taste better.

To make the marshmallows, you'll need:

About 1 cup potato starch 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
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
green food coloring

Line a 9×9 pan {I used an 8x8 pan because it was all that I had}with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cups of 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 3 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 over beat 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, and green food coloring, if desired.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the parchment-lined pan. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out. 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.

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, a long thin knife or a cookie cutter. Whatever you use, you’ll have to rinse and dry it frequently (if you use a cookie cutter, be sure to dip it in some cornstarch or powdered sugar between each use).
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.

Makes about 1 pound of marshmallows.

After a day of recuperating, Sammy was feeling much better and was able to enjoy a wee bit of marshmallow -- and by wee, I do mean just a scant few bites. Poor thing. Alex on the other hand gobbled hers down like it was her last meal.

One would think that Alex would end up with a sick tummy.... not so much.

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