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Monday, December 7, 2009

Caramel Drizzled Marshmallows


I have always been intrigued with the idea of making marshmallows from scratch. I remembered having them once before and they tasted nothing like the rubbery specimens that you get in a bag from the supermarket. The recipe that I used for the marshmallows comes from Alton Brown here. He is always my go to guy when in doubt; I don’t think I have ever tried a recipe from him that has been a bust. I pretty much followed his recipe to the letter since this was my first time making marshmallows.


This is three envelopes of gelatine mixed in with half a cup of water. I think the last time that I used unflavoured gelatine was years ago for making a Maple Mousse. I couldn’t find the box in the dark recesses of my pantry so I ended up buying a new one. The proportion of water to gelatine in this recipe was pretty low so the mixture ended up solidifying pretty much immediately.


White sugar, corn syrup and water mixed together. The recipe calls for light corn syrup. I honestly don’t even know what the difference is as they only have light golden syrup in the grocery store, I’m guessing it’s pretty much the same thing.


The mixture at the beginning of cooking period and right before it was ready. You can see that it becomes more clear at the end. Cooking with boiling sugar always makes me a bit nervous since splashing any on yourself can cause really bad burns. I would recommend chasing away all small children and pets from the vicinity of the kitchen if you attempt this recipe.


Here is the gelatine waiting for the hot syrup in the mixing bowl.


Here are the marshmallows getting progressively fluffier and bigger in volume in the mixer. During the last minute I added in the vanilla extract. I wouldn’t attempt to make this recipe unless you have a stand mixer. In total everything whipped from 13 minutes and that is with a heavy duty mixer on medium high. With a hand mixer it would take even longer and if your mixer isn’t strong enough the motor might not be happy at running continuously for 20 odd minutes, that and your arm will get very tired.

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While that was going on I prepared the pan for the marshmallows. I mixed half cornstarch and half icing sugar in a bowl, I didn’t bother measuring precisely, and I sprayed a pan with non-stick spray. I sprinkled a good amount of the icing sugar/cornstarch mix into the pan and shook it around until everything was covered. Don’t be skimpy with this step as it keep the marshmallows from gluing themselves to the pan.


After the marshmallow mixture was sufficiently cooled down and the right volume I scraped it into the pan and sprinkled on enough icing sugar and cornstarch to cover everything. This part was a pain. Make sure that the spoon you use to scrape and pat down the mix is well oiled otherwise it won’t work. I then left the marshmallows to set uncovered for five hours.


After the five hours I flipped everything out onto a piece of parchment paper.


I had to get The Husband to cut the marshmallows with a well oiled pizza cutter since I pretty much have no coordination for that kind of thing. They look more like real marshmallows now, no?


After they were all cut I tossed them with the remainder of the icing sugar and cornstarch to make sure that they did not stick to each other.


To make them more interesting I decided to drizzle them with caramel. Since I couldn’t find a recipe for caramel that could be drizzled I decided to improvise and use soft caramel candies.

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I melted the caramels in little batches and quickly drizzled them over the marshmallows since they start to harden again super quickly.


These marshmallows were very pillowy and sweet and completely worth the trouble. The caramel on top was nice but a bit sticky when chewing the marshmallows. Next time I am drizzling them with chocolate for a change. This recipe would be really easy to change with different extracts or dippings. With strawberry extract and a bit of red food colouring you could easily make strawberry marshmallows for example. This was a fairly easy recipe to make and I’m definitely making them again next Christmas. The hardest part was cleaning up all the icing sugar that ended up everywhere in the kitchen!

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