Tuesday, August 30, 2011

National Toasted Marshmallow Day: Homemade Marshmallows

Today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day. Marshmallows date back to ancient Egypt. Pharaohs used to eat the sweet extract that comes from squeezing mallow plants. It wasn't until the 19th century that marshmallows evolved into the treats we know today.

Toasted Marshmallows are a major ingredient in S'mores. If you've been reading this blog, you know I'm a big S'mores Fan. Recently I did a S'mores Wrap Up that included lots of recipes for these wonderful campfire and now haute cuisine treat! So many ways to prepare S'mores from Cupcakes to Bars to Pie--and, of course, the humble Girl Scout S'mores.

Chocolate is a major ingredient of S'mores, so choose the very best chocolate. That being said, one of the other 'big' ingredients is Marshmallows, and they should be Toasted, preferably on an open fire, but toasted is toasted, and you can always use a kitchen torch. It's essential to S'mores to toast these guys. Saying that, you should also have a good marshmallow, and homemade marshmallows are the best. Perhaps you like them straight out of the package, but if you want to try your hand at something unique and sublime, here's a great recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller (Artisan)


Hint: Keep an eye on the mixer while beating because the marshmallow mixture tends to "walk" up the beaters to the motor. Scrape down frequently.
Yield: 12 large marshmallows

3 envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dredging

1. In bowl of electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes.
2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in small saucepan. Bring to boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture. Scrape into 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper). After pouring marshmallow mixture into  pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into pan.
3. Let mixture sit for few hours. Remove from pan, dredge marshmallow slab with confectioners' sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors (best tool for the job) or a chef's knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners' sugar.

O.K. From the sublime to the ridiculous. No time to even toast a marshmallow today to celebrate National Toasted Marshmallow Day? Pick up a handful of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans Toasted Marshmallows. Yum!


vallerose said...

This is actually my day, especially if the marshmallows have melted chocolate on them. I thought I was ne of the few who remembered toasting marshmallows at camp, (I was a Girl Scout). But obviously I'm wrong as this article attests.

Might have to try making these some time.

Gloria said...

I love marshamllows specially with melted chocolate, are amazing, gloria

Angie's Recipes said...

Love toasted marshmallow! Thank you for sharing the homemade marshmallow recipe.

Anonymous said...

Is there a girl scout merit badge for making these?

Janet Rudolph said...

But of course there is: