A brand new year is just a few days ahead of us and to be honest I am feeling guilty of neglecting my blog during almost half of 2011. I was planning to share lots of recipes, beautiful photos and much more travel memories with you in here but as you all know life never goes in the way you planned. In any case thinking about your new year resolution and evaluating what went wrong last year is quite all right and it works like your annual settling up session with yourself.
If you also feel like you neglected someone for a long time due to all acceptable and understandable reasons you might have, this is the perfect time to make it up. As I am typing these lines at a very late night time with sleepless eyes after two cups of coffee to compensate my absence for months, you may also find your way to mend the things you broke throughout the year or dust off your forgotten relationships for some time.
Now it’s time to tell you how. Since I strongly believe the saying ”sharing is caring”, sharing something you made specifically for your beloved ones would melt their hearts as soon as they got your surprise. I was trying to find a recipe for a long time which can be packed individually and distributed as a small new year gift to people around. Marshmallow came out on top with its ease to share and potential to differentiate with different flavors. Besides all of these physical advantages, I am sure most of us have some sweet childhood memories related with this fluffy sort of candy.
I can still remember how me and my sister were fond of coconut marshmallows placed on a piece of biscuit when we were kids (my goodness! I just tried to calculate how many years before it was and still cannot believe we are that old now. Wish my arithmetic abilities got rusted but unfortunately not, the number I ended up is so damned right). We were trying to eat it as slow as possible just to make sure to have some marshmallow left while the other one devoured even the littlest crumb. When the other has just finished up it was time to make jealous with the fluffy marshmallow you still got in your hand.
For most of us, marshmallow is something not to be done at home, but when you solve its tricks it doesn’t take long time to master on it. As it is the case for most of the recipes, first batch is the worst, but by following my suggestions you have the chance to reach perfect fluffy marshmallows very soon.
- For basic marshmallow recipe
- 1/4 cup corn syrup*
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature
- a pinch of salt
- 10-12 drops of natural flavoring (according to your selection; coconut, strawberry etc.) or 1 tablespoon of genuine nut paste (I used pistachio paste for pistachio marshmallows but you may use almond paste or hazelnut paste if you would like to make almond or hazelnut marshmallows)
- 1 drop of natural food coloring matching with the selected flavor
- 1 cup of coating mix (corn starch and confectioners sugar mix or roasted unsweetened coconut/powdered nuts). You may also use some food coloring and a little bit of water to change the color of coconuts if you like. If you do so, it is highly recommended to dry out the colored coconuts at 110 C (230 F) for 15 minutes
* I know that the corn syrup is an unhealthy ingredient due to its high fructose content causing obesity and other health problems. But if you do not consume it everyday, a few marshmallows will not kill you. So it is important to consume such sort of stuff responsibly. Here we have to use it to prevent sugar from crystallizing, just adding more caster sugar will not give the same result. By the way it is important to be aware of the fact that almost all packed cookies, wafers, candies etc. sold at supermarkets contain corn syrup and that’s the main reason they are unhealthy.
|1.||In a small bowl, add the cold water and sprinkle powdered gelatin. Set aside to dissolve.|
|2.||By the help of a stand mixer with whisk attachment whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt at medium speed until soft peaks form. While egg whites are being whipped, in a heavy bottom saucepan placed on medium heat, combine water, syrup and sugar. Place a candy thermometer in saucepan and bring the mixture to boil. When you read 110 C on the thermometer increase the speed of stand mixer to high and make sure that egg whites start to form hard peaks. By the moment you reach 115 C (239 F) turn off the heat, add the gelatin-water mix and stir well. Pour slowly the hot syrup-gelatine mix into the egg whites you are whipping. It is very important that you do not pour the hot syrup mix on the whisk attachment otherwise sugar would be crystalized.|
|3.||Keep on whipping the whole mixture until the outer face of the mixing bowl cools down to almost room temperature. It should have a thick, gummy texture at the end and you should add the stuff you like (flavor, paste or coloring) at that point. If you add flavors or nut pastes before the mixture completely cools down it will suddenly lose its volume and liquified.Then you will end up with marshmallows that are not fluffy at all which is something you don’t want|
|4.||Cover a container (12cm x 18cm)with stretch film and sprinkle an well cover everywhere with the coating mix (roasted coocnut, powdered pistachio etc.) you chose. Pour the mixture into the container and sprinkle more coating mix over the top. Keep it at least four hours (better overnight) uncovered at room temperature. After that, sprinkle the remaining coating mix on clean surface roll the the marshmallows yıu cut into cubes on that mx just to make sure that each face is covered well. You can keep your marshmallows in an air tight container for a week at room temperature.|