Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday’s Culinary Adventure VI


I am posting a little earlier than usual this Thursday, because my bottle of Pomegranate Juice and I are going to a friend’s Wine Tasting Party. (I don’t like wine.  But I do like the free bread, fruit, and cheese that will be served.)  So, yes, I cheated and did the recipe a day early.

Today on Thursday’s Culinary Adventure:


Hooray!  Haven’t you always wanted to find a harder way to make something that you can buy delicious and cheap, like marshmallows??!!  No?  Oh, well I have, and I hear that they are really good.  So many possibilities for the holidays too…but I digress.

I used the recipe for Vanilla Marshmallows that I found linked from One More Moore’s Blog.  I am not sure who wrote it, but it seemed like a pretty standard one.

You will need

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin,

Karo Syrup (corn syrup)


A candy thermometer (my first time using one!!)

Plenty of Powdered sugar

Regular white sugar

Parchment paper

Non stick spray

Your counter should look something like this:


Did you spot it?  Something in this picture doesn’t belong. 

That’s right, for some odd, odd reason, I bought 4 envelopes of PECTIN instead of GELATIN.  Why?  Why?  Why?

So, I had to make a quick trip to the store before I could begin.  This is what you should have.IMG_7916

Not pectin.  Sigh.

Spray a 9x13 pan and a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Line with parchment paper, and then spray again.  You DO NOT want these suckers to stick.IMG_7913

If you have a stand mixer, get out the mixing bowl and fit your mixer with the whisk attachment.  I highly recommend having a stand mixer for the recipe.  If you DO have a stand mixer, and never use it, I HIGHLY recommend that you give it to me.  I will give you my address. 

If you do not have a stand mixer, get out your little hand held one and an ordinary mixing bowl.

In the bowl, put 3/4 cup water and 1 Tb. vanilla extract.

Sprinkle the gelatin (not pectin) on top and let it sit so that it can “bloom.”  IMG_7918

Apparently “bloom” means to soften when you are talking about gelatin.  I think that, if you are going to call it “blooming,” it should look more like this.IMG_7918

In a saucepan, add 1/2 tsp. salt, 3 cups sugar (ahh!), 1 1/4 cup Corn syrup (yikes!), and 3/4 cup water (okay.)  Stir it on up and then cover it and bring it to a boil WITHOUT stirring. IMG_7917 This is a very important point, apparently, so DO NOT STIR!!

It is hard to tell when it is at a boil with the lid on. IMG_7920 I peeked a lot.

Once it is boilingIMG_7926 , uncover it but still RESIST THE URGE TO STIR!!  Put your candy thermometer on the pan, and cook until it reaches the “soft ball” stage or 234-240 degrees F. 

The “soft ball” stage does not mean that it starts to look like a soft ball, in case you are wondering. (I thought that it did…)

With the mixer on medium speed, carefully, carefully, pour the hot syrup mixture into the bowl of water/vanilla/gelatin.  If you are using a stand mixer, use the splash guard because it may splatter.  If you are using a hand held mixture, just hold your breath and may God help you.  (Okay, it didn’t actually splatter on me at all.)

I actually poured it in, and THEN turned on the mixer, but only because I needed both hands.  You should probably follow the recipe.

When all of the syrup is added, bring the mixer up to full speed!IMG_7927

Mix until thick and firm-ish, about 8-10 minutes.  I set up a book to read since I was doing this the old fashioned way. IMG_7929 Those of you with a stand mixer can go take a hot bath or watch tv.  Ahhhhhh…. see why I want one?

When it is looking thick and gooeyIMG_7940   IMG_7941 , pour into the pans, and let sit at room temperature for 8-10 hours.


Note:  DO NOT cover the marshmallows with Saran Wrap.  If you do, the Saran Wrap will stick to the top of the marshmallows like cement, and you will have to throw a whole pan full of marshmallows away.  Don’t ask me how I know…


Good morning!IMG_7949 (What a short night!  Believe me, it felt this short…)

And now I have an audience!IMG_7948

Sift some powdered sugar over top of the rested marshmallow slabs. (I don’t have a sifter so I used this shaker.)IMG_7951

Dump onto a cutting board, peel of paper, and dust the other side as well.IMG_7952

Use a pizza cutter to cut the marshmallows into desired shapes/sizes. IMG_7953 I tried to use a small leaf cookie cutter, but it just looked like a blob.  So, squares it is.IMG_7955

Dip the cut marshmallows in powdered sugar again, you don’t want any un-dipped cut edges!

And there you have it!  As I mentioned before, I had to dump out my large pan of marshmallows, and I still got this many.IMG_7958

The taste testers say:

Brian: IMG_7966

Caitlin: IMG_7970  (believe it or not, this was the LEAST cheesy and horrible picture of me out of the 5 pictures Brian took…)

Joseph:  No! No! No!  This was a test.  You can’t give marshmallows to babies!! They are a choking hazard!!  Sheesh!

Summary:  Yummy yummy yummy to my tummy tummy tummy!  They are delicious!   They taste like, well, marshmallows!  Hooray!  I actually think that they are softer and creamier than the store-bought ones.  Kind of like they are a little melty-er on the inside.  Brian thought that they were a richer than store bought ones too.

Wait until you see me make some holiday mint ones this Christmas!! :)

Grade: A- from me B from Brian

(but he doesn’t really like marshmallows, so I don’t think that you should trust him.)





Brian Bews said...

Momma says: I looked and looked at the picture of the MCP and couldn't figure it out. Then I got the bright idea that MCP must make gelatin TOO....then I read on a bit and congratulated myself for not being CRAZY!

T Rex Mom said...

This was an adventure - wow! What a lot of hard work. I am totally impressed. I give you an A+ for the effort! Looking forward to trying the finished product!

Maureen said...

You've done it again Caitlin! WAY TO GO - you DESERVE a night out for all your efforts! Have a fun guys night in Brian and Joseph :)

Sweet Pea Chef said...

This is so good to know! I love how you gave such great details, since I have always thought about making these.

My older son love, love, loves marshmallows, but I don't like all the funky things in the store bought ones. I may give this a try!

angie said...

They look great.......was it worth the work? Are they more expensive to make than buy?

Honey Mommy said...


I would never think of making marshmallows! What an adventure!

Carrie said...

Looks delicious, but also (sadly) like a diabetic nightmare... we'll have to pass. Will there be any left over when you come next week? I'll try one in my cocoa!