Friday, August 14, 2009

Oooey Gooooey Marshmallows!!!

We were going camping, with all Stella and Marcus's friends & family, to Glacier Park, to celebrate Marcus's graduation with great honor from Portland State University...
Of course, I had to make marshmallows for the S'Mores :-)

First, oil and heavily powder-sugar coat a 13x8x2 pan! Start the (2 tbs) agar-agar OR (3 pkgs) gelatin softening in a 1/2 cup of cold water, and put 2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. corn syrup, and 1/2 c. water in a pan on the stove to heat. Stir it until the sugar is dissolved, then stop stirring, turn to low, and wait for it to reach 240 degrees (soft ball).

Pour the hot sugar mixture over the agar-agar (or gelatin) and, with the whip, begin mixing on low then increase to high and let it go on and on and on and on. (about 5-6 minutes, or until it increases about 3 x in volume). We use organic, free trade sugar (from Costco!!) which is not truely white - you can see the tan color in the picture - but which turns very close to pure white by the time you've whipped it up!

Here's the secret to light and fluffy (and way less sticky!) which I got from the SmittenKitchen blog: take 2 egg whites, whip them to meringue-like texture, and gently mix them into the whipped sugar-stuff, along with about a tbs. of vanilla.

Pour this all into that sugar-coated pan, use a sieve and heavily sprinkle about another 1/3 c. sugar evenly over the top - pop it, uncovered, in the fridge for about 4-5 hours or more.

Run a sharp knife around the edges, turn the pan over a powder-sugared counter top, and slide a flexible spatula underneath the firmed up mallow to help plop it onto the counter. Set the pan aside, but dump in another cup or so of the powdered sugar.
Cut into 1" pieces, toss and roll the marshmallows to coat them, and reduce the sticky factor :-)

I used essentially the same recipe to make 2 batches. For our egg-allergic friend, we used the gelitin and did not add the 2 egg whites (and we just suffered with the sticky!). For our vegetarian cohorts, I used the agar-agar and the eggs. To tell them batches apart, and just for fun! I left out the vanilla and added about 1/2 tsp. peppermint and a spoonful of strawberry jam (i didn't have any food color) to the make the egg-free batch a lovely shade of pink.

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