Marshmallow – Chamallow
Sounds like an insult but really it is just pillowy cottony light homemade marshmallows that I am including in my gift baskets. When I was a child, they were known to me as "chamallow", I guess the French had an issue with the pronounciation, but if you were a purist, they were "guimauve" and they were good…no matter what you called them!
I had been wanting to make them from scratch for a while and although the technique is not difficult I never really had the occasion to take out the powdered sugar, candy thermometer just because I had 30 minutes to kill and why not stand at the stove to watch that syrup get to 260!
When T&D invited us to dinner and I was preparing their goodie basket I remembered a long standing joke regarding T. and some very precious marshmallows. About two or three Christmases ago, he was showing the town to a couple of friends visiting for the holidays and they stopped at a Williams Sonoma store. The ladies got a couple of items and T. grabbed a couple of bags of marshmallows. I had never seen someone as close to a heart attack as when the cashier said :" And your total comes to $30, sir"….. were they coated with gold, was there a precious stone inside one of them? Not wanting to look like a Scrooge, T. took out his wallet and paid. The worst part was that they were not "that" special….and that really bites coming from a fine-gourmet store.
As a joke I decided to make him a couple of bags and the three marshmallows you see in the picture above are the ones that I managed to save for us to sample.
The process is actually quite easy and like in most things confectionary the only requirements are a good dose of patience, following instructions, and a thermometer.
Marshmallows, adapted from Cooking Light:
2 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (2 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty plastic wrap, allowing plastic wrap to extend 1 inch over sides of pan. Lightly coat the plastic wrap with cooking spray.
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl; set aside.
Combine remaining 1/4 cup of water, 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Cook, without stirring, over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers 260° (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat; gradually stir in softened gelatin (mixture will appear foamy).
While sugar mixture cooks, beat the vanilla, salt, and egg whites at high speed in a heavy-duty stand mixer with whisk attachment until foamy.
Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Gradually pour in gelatin mixture, beating until very thick (about 5 minutes). Gently spread marshmallow mixture over coconut in prepared pan. Coat 1 side of another sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Place plastic wrap, coated side down, over marshmallow mixture. Chill 8 hours or until firm.
Sprinkle powdered sugar and cornstarch over a cutting board. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Invert marshmallow mixture over powdered sugar mixture. Using a dough scraper, cut mixture into about 1-inch squares. Store between sheets of wax or parchment paper in an airtight container.
Yield: 8 dozen
Results? Delicious! I am definetely making more! Next time I am trying them in color!