Saturday, January 28, 2006

In Pursuit of Boo-berry

I made strawberry marshmallows a few weeks ago, and I thought that it would be fun to try blueberries instead.

They turned out satisfyingly bouncy and are slightly denser and moister than store bought ones. Blueberries have a mild flavor, esp when added into recipes, but I like the subtlety of it. Blueberries paired with chocolate is good, so I may cover a few of them in tempered melted chocolate.

If you really want a fruit flavor, though, go with the strawberries. Or perhaps, raspberries.

Marshmallows are considered a somewhat advanced confection to make at home, because it involves boiling sugar to about 240 degrees, setting the mixer to high, and pouring the hot liquid in. The only trick is not missing the bowl and pouring onto the side of the bowl, not the whisk. I find it empowering. I swear, the mixer won't explode. I guess it also involves actually having a stand mixer and a candy thermometer. It'd probably hurt a handheld mixer to do this.

The recipe here has been halved. The marshmallow mixture in the mixer grows as it get firmer, and the original recipe made too much for my 5 qt mixer--I had to bail out about half of it from the bowl so that the pink blob wouldn't take over my kitchen.

Strawberry Marshmallows

These are a variation on a Martha Stewart recipe.


envelopes gelatin
1/4cstrawberry puree (or raspberries or blueberries; frozen is actually better than fresh unless you have access to very flavorful local berries)
light corn syrup
1/8tsporange flower water (optional)

powdered sugar and potato or corn starch for dusting

Lightly butter or oil a shallow baking pan, about 13 x 17, and sprinkle with sifted cornstarch. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment.

Mix the strawberry puree, orange flower water (if using) and 1/2 cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the gelatin over to soften.

Put the sugar, corn syrup, remaining 3/4 cup water and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until it reaches the soft-ball stage (234-240 F).

With the mixer at full speed, pour all of the hot syrup slowly down the side of the bowl. Be careful as the mixture is very liquid and hot at this point and some may splash out of the bowl - use a splash guard if you have one. whip until the mixture is very fluffy and stiff, about 8-10 minutes. pour mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with an oiled offset spatula so that it's level. Allow the mixture to sit, uncovered at room temp for 10 to 12 hours.

Mix equal parts powdered sugar and potato or corn starch and sift generously over the rested marshmallow slab. Loosen the sides with a spatula. Turn it out onto a cutting board or counter and dust with more sugar/starch mixture. Slice with a thin-bladed oiled knife or oiled cookie cutters. Dip all cut edges in sugar/starch mixture and shake off excess. Marshmallows will keep several weeks at room temp in an air-tight container.

Variation - Chocolate Marshmallows:

Replace strawberry puree and initial 1/2 cup of water in mixing bowl with 1/2 cup of cocoa disolved in 1/2 cup boiling water in a separate bowl. Soften gelatine in an additional 1/4 cup cold water in mixing bowl. Add cocoa mixture to mixing bowl and procede with recipe as above. This will produce a marshmallow with a strong chocolate flavor, but somewhat denser than the strawberry version. To get a lighter texture as well as a lighter chocolate flavor, reduce cocoa to 1/4 cup.

Variation - Vanilla Marshmallows:

Replace strawberry puree and initial 1/2 cup of water in mixing bowl with 3/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or the seeds scraped from 2 vanilla beans.


Blogger McAuliflower said...

looks like the eGullet marshamllow recipe strikes again! Blueberry is an interesting flavor choice. Would be nice with a lemon white chocolate coating.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Yeah, I never would have made marshmallows if it weren't for that posting! I think next time I make marshmallows I'm going to try David Lebovitz's plain version in his Chocolate book, which has egg whites in addition to gelatin.

And that coating is a great idea...I just picked up some meyer lemons.... I think I feel a craving coming on.. :)

1:49 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.