November 25, 2013

Marshmallows: Vanilla, Lemon and Raspberry

Marshmallows. Fluffy, light as air treats that can take on many shapes and flavors. Magically made from egg whites, gelatin, and sugar syrup, homemade marshmallows are light years better than the puffs you can buy at the grocery store. Although they may be intimidating to make at home, once tasted, they will convert you forever. It would be a sin to toast these over a roaring fire, they are so divine. This week we take on layered marshmallows: vanilla, raspberry and lemon, with the option to coat them in chocolate. You could easily make these whatever flavors you like, but this particular combination is very nice.


This recipe was quite a challenge. I decided to make all three flavors of marshmallow, layered, and chocolate covered. That required making three batches of marshmallow, waiting in between each batch, and cleaning the same dishes three times. But I will say, once you make a recipe three times in a row, you get pretty good at it! 

Vanilla marshmallows we had already made, for the witches hats and easter eggs, so that wasn't too hard. But I will say, adding the sugar syrup to the whipped egg whites is always nerve wracking. This is the one recipe that I've made where it seems like it's gone wrong during the mixing, but it turns out ok in the end. For the raspberry flavor, I didn't have raspberry powder, but I had freeze dried raspberries, so I just crushed them up and sifted out the big chunks.

I learned my lesson from the caramels, and instead of lining the pan with plastic, I used a nonstick 9x13 pan, sprayed with nonstick spray, lined with acetate and dusted with the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. After all three layers setting up overnight, it was quite difficult to get the marshmallow out of the pan. I managed to coat my entire kitchen, tiny as it is, with powdered sugar. So instead, I cut the marshmallows in the pan, removed the corners, so I could get a hold of the acetate sheet on the bottom and lift the rest out. 

I decided to coat half the marshmallows in chocolate. Again, I have no thermometer to properly temper the chocolate, so I guesstimated. I got it right! The chocolate was shiny, dried quickly and had a nice snap to it. 

So I dipped the bottoms first and let them set up. Some looked so nice that I didn't want to cover them completely, so I just dipped the other side, leaving the sides uncovered so you can see the layers. Others I dipped completely. I didn't have a dipping fork, so I put on a latex glove and hand dipped them. I felt a bit like Lucy in the chocolate shop! I had to re-temper the chocolate for the second batch, and it didn't turn out as well as the first time. It ended up drying streaky. 

Overall, these turned out really well. I love that you can see all three layers of flavors distinctly. The chocolate ones look like neapolitan ice cream sandwiches. Although it was a lot of work, they were super tasty and quite beautiful. Another great holiday gift idea.

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