My aim here is to make you a fan of marshmallows. I want to change that frowny look you get on your face when someone asks you if you would like some marshmallows.
These don't compare to the sort that come from the local grocery store in plastic bags. These are what ALL marshmallows should be; pillowy, soft, perfectly sweet, and luscious. These babies will make you forget all the other marshmallows you have ever had (unless of course you were fortunate enough to have had homemade).
This recipe is tasty and versatile. I decided to make them into cherry/vanilla flavored pops, drizzled with chocolate. You could replace the cherry flavor with one of your favorite flavors. They are fun to make.
The photography on this post was another experiment. I tried out some iPhone camera lenses. These photos were taken with the wide angle. It was easy to quickly change the point of view, but the depth of field was pretty shallow. I like the fisheye best for outdoor shots. I haven’t used the telephoto too much yet. I will share some of the macro shots I took in a later post. All in all it was a fun experiment all the way around. The wide angle and macro lenses are my favorites.
Hope you will try some homemade marshmallow. They will turn any frowny face into a happy face – really!
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2007, Food Network (adapted for pops – see notes in parenthesis)
Yield: approximately 9 dozen marshmallows (or 24 pops)
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 kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (plus 1 teaspoon cherry extract)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup white chocolate
1/2 cup milk or dark chocolate
1 tablespoon of white fondant
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
How to Make the Marshmallows into Pops
You will need 6” lollipop sticks, white chocolate, milk or dark chocolate, a disposable piping bag, scissors, fondant, red gel color, brown gel color, and some festive paper straws.
I like to cut generous size cubes of luscious marshmallow for making pops. I prefer to use a big knife lightly coated with cooking spray.
Take a small 1" ball of white fondant and divide. Add red gel food coloring to half, and brown gel coloring to the other half. Shape little pea sized red cherries and indent the top with a flat sided toothpick. Roll out the brown fondant for stems and drape over a paper straw to set up. Dry the cherries and stems for 1-2 hours.
Melt a 1/4 cup of white chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, a stirring in between, until melted. Poke a hole in the bottom of your marshmallow square, dip the stick in chocolate, insert, and wipe off excess. Melt 1/4 - 1/2 cup (depending on how much drizzle you want to make) of milk or dark chocolate and spoon into a disposable piping bag (or a zip top bag would work as well), snip off a tiny bit of the end and test the width of your chocolate drizzle, and adjust the hole size from there. Drizzle each marshmallow and set aside.
Dip one end of paper straw into melted white chocolate and slide over the pop stick.
Squeeze a tiny drop of melted chocolate onto the marshmallow top and set the cherry, indented side up. Squeeze a tiny drop of melted chocolate into the indent of the cherry and place the stem in. Place in your favorite container and share them...or not!