Well I tried to make this week’s recipe for TWD! 2 attempts at sweet, fluffy, vanilla marshmallows and neither of them turned out I had never worked with egg whites before so I think that’s where I went wrong. (I was allergic to eggs as a kid and have never seen someone make meringue before.) The first time I clearly undermixed them (didn’t realize I was supposed to mix them until white and fluffy, I misinterpreted “firm but glossy”) and the second time I *thought* I beat them long enough but after about an hour the mixture separated in the pan. Bummer. I decided at that point that I wasn’t going to try again, it was late, I was out of gelatin, and I don’t really like marshmallows anyway, so I cleaned up the kitchen for the second time and called it a night. I am eager to see how everyone else did with this challenge. I will definitely give meringue a try again, I’d like to make a lemon meringue pie sometime this summer. I enjoyed the challenging aspect of this week’s recipe, I just wish I’d succeeded! I did go out and buy a candy thermometer, using a 40% off coupon at Michaels it was a great deal! I love getting new kitchen tools
I did take a couple of pictures of my “layered” marshmallows, and Tyler was brave enough to try them. He said they tasted like wet sugar, lol.
Here you can kind of see the gelatin layer on the bottom.
Here you can see what it looked like in the pan.
To see how other TWD participants fared with this week’s challenge, head on over to the blogroll.
Recipe for those that want to give it a whirl!!
Marshmallows (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, pp.404-405)
Makes about 1 pound marshmallows
About 1 cup potato starch (found in the kosher foods section of supermarkets) or cornstarch
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar (I don’t think anyone ever figured out where that 1 T of sugar goes!)
GETTING READY: Line a rimmed baking sheet — choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high — with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.
Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup — without stirring — until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites. In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)
Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy — don’t overbeat them and have them go dull.
As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.
Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won’t fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).
Dust the top of the marshmallows with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They’ll need about 3 hours, but they can rest for 12 hours or more.
Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you’ll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you’d like — into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they’re cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. When you’ve got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl, reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer them to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.
SERVING: Put the marshmallows out and let everyone nibble as they wish. Sometimes I fill a tall glass vase with the marshmallows and put it in the center of the table — it never fails to make friends smile. You can also top hot chocolate or cold sundaes with the marshmallows.
STORING: Keep the marshmallows in a cool, dry place; don’t cover them closely. Stored in this way, they will keep for about 1 week — they might develop a little crust on the outside or they might get a little firmer on the inside, but they’ll still be very good.