Monday, October 18, 2010

I want some more

My plan had been to post everything I've made in the past 2 months chronologically.  Well, I couldn't wait to post this.
I've been having dinner dates with my friend Jess, and we always try to think of something creative to make.  Well after I made homemade graham crackers (coincidentally, the last food item I posted), I told Jess about it, and we decided that a homemade s'more was definitely in order.  Jess is allergic to corn syrup, so we scoured the internet for marshmallow recipes that don't use any.  After figuring out the rest of our menu (goat cheese pizza and salad, coming soon), we decided that making both the graham crackers and the marshmallows in one evening would be a little too ambitious.  Some thick old fashioned cinnamon graham crackers from Trader Joe's definitely did the trick.  As well as a square of good quality dark chocolate.
You really have to make these marshmallows.  So simple to make.  I still don't completely understand how they got so fluffy!  This is a great recipe for anyone with food allergies, as well.  Next time I want to try to have some fun with them - maybe add some food coloring, or a different extract or spices.  I would also want to try making them in a bigger pan, so they aren't quite as tall.

Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows (from Sugar Plum)
2 tbsp unflavored gelatin (2 Knox envelopes)
1/2 cup cold water
pinch salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
butter to grease the pan
powdered sugar to coat the pan

In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water.  Over medium heat, stir the sugar, salt and 3/4 cup water until dissolved.  Once it comes to a boil, let it boil for ~15 minutes, until it reaches 236 degrees F.  (Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a candy thermometer.  I used just a regular probe thermometer and it worked just fine.  Just make sure you are careful when taking it in and out of the hot sugar, and that you run it under hot water after you take it out.)

When the sugar syrup reaches 236, take it off the heat and slowly pour it into the mixing bowl, while on low speed.  Add the vanilla.  Turn it up to medium, and beat for 20 minutes, until white, fluffy and partially cooled.  It will get REALLY fluffy.
Action Shot :)

While it's beating, prepare your pan.  Use an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan, and line with parchment paper or wax paper.  Butter the paper, and then dust with powdered sugar.
When the marshmallow fluff is ready, pour/spread it into the prepared pan.  It might be difficult.  I think I overbeat mine slightly and it was really thick and stiff already.  I just put a spatula under hot water, and then used that to spread out the top until it was relatively smooth.
Like my paper clips?  They were keeping my parchment structure together

Then let it sit until it's set!  And you'll have deliciously spongy marshmallows.  When cutting, use a thin sharp knife, and run under hot water if it gets too sticky.

Then....take a nice thick graham cracker, top it with a marshmallow, and stick it under the broiler until your marshmallow starts to brown.  Top it with a piece of good quality dark chocolate, and stick it back under the broiler until it melts a little.  Keep it open-faced, or add another graham cracker on top, and enjoy!

Yes, it was really necessary to include all 4 delicious pictures!


j. said...

Wow, looks great! If you make me salivate into tissue culture you'll be to blame! :p

Mary said...

OOOOO, Jen!! These look amazing! S'mores with corn-free marshmallow... my mind is racing... I cannot wait to try this recipe!

Kate's sister Mary