Sunday, February 10, 2013

Marshmallow Mania

For some reason the girls and I were on a sugar rush today.  So it was just natural that later in the afternoon it seemed the perfect time to indulge in sugar decadence - homemade marshmallows!  I really had wanted to try these for the FIRST time before the girls got here so I would feel a bit more adept, but it was humid and rainy and that is not good marshmallow making weather, according to those who are much more experienced than I.  So I was not about to tempt fate and have my first batch be an almost guaranteed sticky mess!

So I got my courage together, gathered all of the ingredients (very few really) and decided to overcome my fear. I have NEVER used a candy thermometer.  I know that is hard to believe, but there was just never a compelling reason, until today.  I wanted to see if I could duplicate the white billowy fluffiness that various authors spoke of.  I used the Marshmallow Madness recipe By Shauna Sever for vanilla marshmallows to keep it simple.

Even though there are not many ingredients, there is a bit of prep.  You have to be sure you have a bag of coating which is simply sifted powdered sugar and cornstarch.



The rest was a blur as you had to move fast. I was so afraid I was going to make a mistake that I forgot to take pictures of the process - darn it all. Suffice to say, it was not bad.  Well, except that I had to bring a mixture of ingredients to a boil and keep it going until the temperature reached 240 degrees.  Easy , right?  I thought so too!  And I had two thermometers at my side, a candy and a digital that both went up to well over 300 degrees.  Well the digital stopped COLD at 230. No matter what I did, it would NOT move.  No problem - I had my backup non techie standard candy thermometer.  It barely moved after a minute.  I was NOT going to give up at this point, so I boiled a bit longer and continued with the process.  (NOTE TO SELF - invest in a quality candy thermometer!!)

Too panicked to take enough photos, I poured it into a running mixer that was slowly whipping gelatin and corn syrup.  



It was a LONG beating process but toward the end, this unattractive liquid transformed before my eyes into a beautiful glossy white bowl of fluff that had tripled in size!  It was quickly poured into the prepared square pan and liberally dusted with the coating.




It looked amazingly interesting - but how would it taste?  There was more work to be done before the sampling could begin. And this was painful for my granddaughters who were anticipating trying Grammy's yummy creation!  The pan of fluff had to sit a MINIMUM of SIX hours - sheer torture.

So we made a pact to get up in the morning and make hot chocolate and sample the marshmallows.  Even then, I heard for the next FIVE hours preceding their bed time.... "is it time yet??"

The next morning we dumped them out of the pan (I held my breath on this one hoping they would be set and look close to what I thought they should....




Then we dusted more, cut into squared and dusted again so there was no icky stickiness!!
And rolled them into even more coating!  Look at those precious helping hands!



But were they good?  You will have to decide from these pictures!!
Haley and Kendra with first tentative bites!!
Haley is not at all sure!  LOL
Melting in hot cocoa goodness - that was the best!!
Kendra was happier by the sip - SUCCESS!!
And yes - we would do it again!!

But it may be awhile before the white dusting disappears from all over the kitchen...it looked a little like it snowed INSIDE this weekend!!  Ahhhhh the memories........!!! Pin It Now!

About Me

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I am a mother to three and Grammy to two beautiful granddaughters and one very handsome little grandson.  Was born and raised in southern California and am happy to call it home.  I fill my days with volunteer work, paper crafting, needlework of all kinds and cooking and baking.   I am blessed with wonderful family and friends who fill my heart on a daily basis.