(the title of this post may or may not be in refrence to a certain male ‘dance’ movie that I may or may not have seen)
Its marshmallow time Ladies and Gents! Are you ready to make a quick and easy confection that will have you dancing in your kitchen like the characters from a certain movie that I may or may not have seen and enjoyed but would never admit to?! Well I hope so, cause here it is!
Recipe Source: Alton Brown for the Food Network
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Step 1: Pour 1/2 cup of ice cold water into a bowl and sprinkle your gelatin over it. This needs to do its water absorbing thing for 5-10 mins so while thats happening, you can start on the sugar syrup. So far so good, right?
Step 2: Get your sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining water into a saucepan set over medium to high heat. Put a lid on it and let it cook for a few mins (this is so that any sugar bits on the side of the pan can melt down into the pot and you won’t get grainy bits in your marshmallow…I think). Take off the lid and get a thermometer in there. You are looking for 240 degrees and it will feel like it takes for-ev-er when in reality its about 8 mins. I don’t bother whisking or anything as all the sugars liquify and boil pretty rapidly, I figure its stirring itself.
Step 3: Once it hits 240 degrees get it off the heat immediately and take it on over to the now gooey-glob of not so-nice-smelling gelatin. Turn your mixer onto low and sloooooowly pour the hot syrup down the inside of the bowl. Once its all in, turn up the mixer speed and watch it go! The contents of the bowl will go from questionable looking muck to white unicorn wonderland in the span of about 12 minutes. Im not sure the exact puffiness, but basically if you stick a finger in there (with the mixer turned OFF, I might add. I’ve done it the other way and lets just say my ninja reflexes aren’t as good as I thought :/ ) it should be lukewarm. Also, the pre-marshmallow doesn’t taste too great, so if you lick the temperature testing finger and the taste is kind of odd, thats normal.
Step 4: Add your colouring and flavouring! These pictured ones were strawberry vanilla and yes, I used artificial flavour. I know this makes me a hypocrite as I am always preaching against the evils of artificial flavourings and colourings but…well…I was weak! I wanted strawberry! And I was out of my usual stuff :(
I used a bit of vanilla bean paste, a bit of strawberry flavour and a bit of Chefmaster natural food colouring but you can use any colour/flavour combo you want. Once you have it in the bowl let the mixer go again for another minute or so just to get it all incorporated. You can taste it to see if you have the flavours strong enough but remember that pre-marshmallow has a funky taste so don’t quit and think you’ve done something wrong if its not perfect. It will be!!
Step 5: Now here is something Frances didn’t get a pic of (thanks for NOTHING, Frances!) but its pretty self explanatory: Mix together your powdered sugar and your cornstarch, spray a 9×13” pan with baking spray and then dust it with the powdered mixture. Be generous! You are about to spread a sticky, foamy substance in there and need to be prepared or you will never get it out.
Once the pan is ready, spray a spatula and pour the marshmallow into the pan (you may need a rubber spatula to get it all out of the bowl so spray that too…just spray everything to be safe) and spread it out. Re spray if necessary. Purchase stock in baking spray. Then dust the top with more of the corn starch/powdered sugar mixture and your done for now! Wasn’t that easy?!?
Step 6: Now your mixture needs a minimum of four hours, I would say overnight is best as the texture and firmness is better when it has sat out longer. During this time your sticky, lukewarm, not-so-great tasting mixture will magically turn into marshmallow!!!! Pull it out of the pan (you don’t have to be gentle, this stuff can take it) and get to cutting it!
I really have nothing to comment under this photo as I already mentioned cutting them under the photo above. It’s pretty self explanatory. So now we are just left with an awkward pause…
Step 7: Using the same cornstarch/powdered sugar combo as before, dust all the sides of these suckers to stop the sticky. You could also coat the sides in toasted coconut or cocoa or graham cracker crumbs or whatever else you can think of that goes well with your flavours. I like to smack my marshmallows around a bit after I’m done dusting them just to get all the excess powder off (and release some aggression) and then thats it! Your pretty much done, Folks!
Provided you have a fab photographer friend (love you Frances, I totally take back my previous comment, you’re the best) then your sweet little confections can be documented as well as mine. If not, snap a pic with your cell phone and upload it to Facebook so you can show off and trick all your friends into thinking your are super gourmet and fancy with your kitchen skills! Cause thats what Facebook is for right? Right!??
Remember that flavour and colour combos are endless with these suckers so get creative and let me know what you come up with!