Thursday, November 29, 2012
Springy, Fluffy Homemade Marshmallows - Corn Syrup Free
Have you ever tasted a homemade marshmallow? They are amazingly different from the store bought version in the plastic bag. I used to ignore store bought marshmallows in the cupboard for months (or I'll admit it might have even been years) at a time. Store bought marshmallows simply don't tempt me like these do. I made marshmallows for the first time a few years ago and now it's my tradition to make them at Christmas. This year, I was determined to figure out a substitute for the corn syrup that is used in most homemade marshmallows. I've seen recipes that use honey, but personally, I don't want a honey flavor to my marshmallows.
The recipe initially looks like a horribly long process, but it really isn't as time-consuming as it seems at first glance. Read the recipe start to finish a few times before starting and you shouldn't have any problems with it. Basically, soften the gelatin, make the sugary syrup, pour over the gelatin and mix until fluffy. Beat the egg whites, combine them with the sugar mixture and chill. Then cut, roll in powdered sugar and enjoy!
I'm including two different corn syrup free options below. You can use brown rice syrup, which I found at our local health food store. Or, you can make your own substitution for corn syrup by simply combining sugar and water in a 4:1 ratio. I made both versions this week to test them and both of them were a success.
The all sugar marshmallow was sweeter than the rice syrup version. The flavor was exactly like Jet Puffed marshmallows, with a slighter better texture than any store bought marshmallow. This version is much stickier when it is removed from the pan, but after the powdered sugar coating it was comparable to the original homemade version. This marshmallow is a bright white, as shown in the last picture at the bottom of this page.
My personal favorite and the ones that I could not stay away from are the marshmallows made with brown rice syrup. With a milder flavor that was not quite as sugary-sweet as traditional marshmallows, these were tempting me to sneak tastes all weekend, as they were waiting in their jar on top of the counter. This marshmallow made with brown rice syrup is slightly more of a cream color, as pictured at the top of this page and here with the hot chocolate.
Springy, Fluffy Homemade Marshmallows - Corn Syrup Free
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Gourmet, December 1998
Yield: about 96 1-inch cubed marshmallows
About 1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin, about 3 1/2 envelopes
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or an additional 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tablespoon vanilla
Grease the bottom and sides of a square-edge 9x13 rectangular pan with butter or flavorless cooking oil. Generously dust the sides and bottom of the pan with powdered sugar. Set aside. Pour half a cup of cold water in the bowl of a standing mixer. (The marshmallows can also be made in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, but it will likely double the times involved.) Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand to soften.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, syrup, 1/2 cup cold water and the salt. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and boil the mixture until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the sugar mixture over the gelatin, stirring until the gelatin has dissolved.
MIXING OPTION 1: Beat this mixture on high speed until thick, white and almost tripled in volume, at least 6 minutes. Grease a second mixing bowl and then transfer the sticky white mixture to the greased bowl. Clean the beaters and used bowl well and then whip two egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and then transfer the fluffy sugar mixture into the beaten egg whites. (The sticky white mixture should just slide or roll out of the well-greased bowl.)
MIXING OPTION 2: Beat this mixture on high speed until thick, white and almost tripled in volume, at least 6 minutes. In a seperate bowl, with a second handheld mixer or immersion blender whisk attachment, whip two egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and then transfer the beaten egg whites into the fluffy sugar mixture.
Beat the egg whites into the sugar mixture, just until combined. Scoop this mixture into the greased and powdered baking pan and spread it out to fill the pan. Do not worry about it if you don't get every last bit out of the mixing bowl. Sift 1/4 cup powdered sugar evenly over the top of the marshmallows. Chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
The brown rice syrup version was ready to cut at 3 hours. The all sugar version was still quite sticky at the three hour mark, so I left them in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, they were still a bit more sticky than I expected, but they did pull out of the pan just fine.
Run a knife around the edges of the pan and then invert the pan over a large cutting board. Lift up one corner of the pan and use your fingers to release the marshmallow from the pan and place it on the cutting board. Dust the top again with powdered sugar if it is very sticky. With a pizza cutter, or a large knife, (I HIGHLY recommend the pizza cutter if at all possible, it makes cutting them a breeze!) trim the edges of the marshmallows and then cut the marshmallows into approximately 1" cubes.
Sift the remaining powdered sugar into the now-empty baking pan. Roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before placing them in an airtight container. They will keep well at cool room temperature for at least 1 week. Enjoy!
ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Bowls and Tacos