Sunday, August 31, 2008

Marshmallow experiments

I'm excited about making the perfect marshmallows at home. For some reason their fluffy, mushiness is really compelling. And for some reason I'm more interested in the cooking of them than in the eating of them. But they are really fun to eat.

I'm starting this this recipe from Homeschoolzone.com because it has very explicit instructions (for kids).

Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
  1. Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in an electric mixer with whisk attachment (you can whisk by hand if you do not have the attachment). Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small, heavy,saucepan; place over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals.
  3. Clip on a candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches the firm-ball stage (244 degrees). Immediately remove pan from heat.
  4. With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.
  5. Generously dust an 8 by12 inch glass baking pan with confectioner's sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust top with confectioners' sugar; wet hands and pat it smooth. Dust with confectioners' sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out. Turn out onto board and cut marshmallows with a dry hot knife into 1 1/2 inch squares, and dust with more sugar.
I'll let you know how it goes!

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