Monday, November 05, 2007
Mondays with Maida - Marshmallows
Page 267 in the old book / page 293 in the new book
No more cookies, but Maida ends the book with a couple of lagniappes. First up - marshmallows. If you've never made marshmallows before, it's worth doing at least once. It's really not difficult, and the end result is very satisfying. Maida points out that few people know what marshmallows are made of, and my experience was similar. In fact, one person seemed to think I had made my marshmallows from... marshmallows!
Marshmallows are made from gelatin and a sugar syrup (actually a combination of sugar and corn syrup). The hot sugar syrup is beaten into the gelatin, forming a dense foam that sets as it cools. Maida's recipe uses only vanilla as the flavoring, but Jocelyn over at Brownie Points gives a recipe for strawberry marshmallows along with lots of flavor variations. When you figure in coatings, etc., the possibilities are truly limitless.
I have it on good authority that Maida Heatter's mixer of choice is an old Sunbeam, so I was a little concerned that the 15 minutes beating time would be too much with a Kitchenaid. I decided to use the paddle rather than the whip (the last time I made marshmallows the recipe called for a whip attachment and had a beating time of 5 to 7 minutes). Beware - there'll be hot syrup flying around at first, so I wouldn't crank it all the way up right away. I started at 6 and moved up to 8, then briefly to 10, but decided to keep it at 8. I didn't think about using the pouring shield until afterwards, but if you have one use it. I beat the mixture about 13 minutes and then started worrying about the mixer overheating and decided that was enough. In fact, it was probably too long - I had trouble spreading the mixture in the pan. Rather than using aluminum foil and shortening, I lined the pan with parchment and oiled the parchment lightly.
Here's the panel ...
Suzanne: "Yum! These were delicious. I could definitely have a few of these. The marshmallows had just the right amount of sweetness. I’d love them in hot chocolate or roasting them over a fire. Rating - 5.0"
Denny: "I'm not a marshmallow person, except for s'mores, but these were very good. 3.0 with -1 penalty. Rating - 3.0"
Laura: "Yummy and gooey... like a spoonful of fluff dipped in powder sugar. Rating - 4.5"
Terri: "These are much better than the store-bought-in-a-bag type marshmallow. The difference is they aren't as airy and they're softer. Absolutely delicious! Can't wait to try them on hot chocolate tonight. Rating - 5.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 4.4
Next week - Cheese Pennies