Monday, April 12, 2010
In my article about the incredible Hot Chocolate Cake, I mentioned that I had decorated it with homemade Cherry Marshmallows. At the time I said that I would post the recipe soon. Well, today is the day!
I have never been one to make candy. Up until now I have always found the candy making process either dauntingly difficult or too fussy for my taste, but last summer I became a convert.
Two things happened to help me make the mental leap to candy maker. The first was I finally invested in a proper candy thermometer. It is amazing what the right piece of quality equipment can do for your confidence level.
The second thing was I tried making homemade marshmallows. I was prepared for it to be a long and drawn out task that would forever seal my reluctance to make candy. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is shockingly easy to make marshmallows and now that I have made them by scratch I don’t think I can ever go back to store-bought again.
Homemade marshmallows are so much more light and airy than their store-bought cousins and the flavour is ten times better. These cherry ones had a subtle flavour that was a nice contrast to the complexity of the chocolate cake.
Now that I am so confident making marshmallows I think I am going to tackle homemade caramels!
adapted from Martha Stewart via Coco & Vanilla
Vegetable oil for pan
4 envelopes or 4 tablespoons of unflavoured gelatin
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup cherry jam
2/3 cup light corn syrup
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pink food colouring (optional)
For dusting the cut marshmallows
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with vegetable oil. (I used a large cookie sheet to make thinner marshmallows that I cut out into the daisy shapes). Line dish or pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on sides. Coat the parchment paper with a thin layer of oil. Set dish aside.
Pour 2/3 cup of cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle with gelatin; let stand while you boil the sugar.
In a medium saucepan stir together sugar, jam, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Brush the sides of the pan down with a pastry brush dipped in cold water until no sugar crystals remain on the side of the pan. This will prevent sugar crystals from forming in the marshmallows. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until syrup registers 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).
With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the syrup in a slow stream down the side of the bowl to incorporate with the gelatin mixture. Beat on low speed until slightly cooled. Gradually raise speed to high, beating until mixture is cool and peaks form, 10 to 15 minutes. Mix in red food coloring, if using, and the teaspoon of vanilla.
Pour mixture into prepared pan; smooth surface with well oiled hands. Let stand, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours or overnight.
To cut the marshmallows, combine icing sugar and corn starch in a small bowl. With a well oiled knife or cookie cutter, cut the marshmallows into the desired shape. Toss each marshmallow in the icing sugar mixture. Place in an airtight container when done. Marshmallows will keep at room temperature for a couple of weeks.
Next Post: "Smashed" Ontario Potatoes dressed with olive oil, kosher salt and fennel seeds.