TWD #8: Ten pounds of marshmallow

April 15, 2008 at 1:56 am 31 comments

“I had a dream last night, I was eating a ten pound marshmallow. I woke up this morning and the pillow was gone.” ~Tommy Cooper

Get it? He thought his pillow was a marshmallow. I get jokes… LMAO.

One of the first images that pop in my head when I think of marshmallows is the Ghostbusters’ Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I blame Laurie and her cupcake hero challenge last month. LOL. I am notorious for being easily scared but this was a villain that I could get behind and actually love. I just wanted to touch the screen and poke him in the belly like the Pillsbury dough boy while he was wreaking havoc on NYC traffic. There’s something about marshmallow that gives me a happy yummy feeling – smores, peeps, rocky road, marshmallow fudge etc etc…

This week, the TWDers are baking up 1lb of melt-in-your-mouth homemade marshmallows ala baking diva, Dorie Greenspan. I know some overachieving TWDers made several varieties that probably did bring them closer to 10lbs though! I hope I am not in the minority when I say that I never thought you could make homemade marshmallows. I just assumed they were magically available by the marshmallow fairy at your grocery store in the big puff or little puff variety. Once again, Dorie proves to me that I have so much more to learn.

What I learned this week:
I usually don’t like to get my hands or apron dirty with food bits while baking (I admit I am a strange cookie. LOL) but I was school-girl-giddy to play with these gelatinous meringues and cover my hands in sugar-y gooeyness. This recipe changed my mentality about “playing” with food. It reminded me of my childhood. I believe that baking that makes you nostalgic is always worthwhile.

Hosted by Judy @ Judy’s Gross Eats
Check out the Tuesdays w/ Dorie blogroll on the side menu bar.

Basic Vanilla Marshmallow

Click image to enlarge
(Recipe from DG Baking: From my home to yours pages 404-405 | photos from me!)


About 1 cup potato starch or cornstarch
3/4 cold water
1-1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 (1/4 oz) packets unflavored gelatin
3 large egg whites, room temp
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (I substituted with 1 vanilla bean)


Line a rimmed baking sheet – choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high – with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

[NOTES: On a recommendation from fellow TWDer, Nikki, I greased up saran wrap instead of using parchment paper. It worked great!]

Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1-1/4 cups of sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup – without stirring – until it reaches 265F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites. In a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tbsp) and let sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20-30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)

[NOTES: Do not be alarmed if the gelatin smells like shweaty balls. I am told that is normal. LOL]

Working in the clean, dry bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites (and 1 tbsp sugar) on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy – don’t overbeat them and have them go dull.

[NOTES: What is that extra 1 tbsp of sugar for? I do not see it anywhere in the recipe and I’ve read it a frillion times! Anyone got a clue? I just added it the egg whites per fellow TWDer, Stephanie‘s recommendation.]

As soon as the syrup reaches 265F, remove the pan from the heat and with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beaters and the side of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to the short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won’t fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter; then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).

I love the little specks of vanilla bean

Dust the top of the marshmallow with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They’ll need 3 hours, but they can set for 12 hours or more.

[NOTES: I skipped dusting the top with cornstarch and covered it with a well greased saran wrap instead]

Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thing knife. (I used various shaped cookie cutters for more whimsical marshmallows. Makes sure to grease them!) Whatever you use, you’ll have to rinse and dry frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you like – into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they are cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it in to the bowl. When you’ve got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.

My variation:
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
Replace 1 tbsp vanilla extract with 1 vanilla bean.

Strawberry Marshmallows
Prepare 1/3 cup strawberry puree and reduce vanilla extract to 1/4 tsp. Fold puree into batter and let set for 3 hours before cutting.

[NOTES: I tried to make the strawberry marshmallows per Dorie’s Playing Around suggestions but mine were too fugly for pics. At least the batter was pretty. *shrugs I got a thin layer of gelatin at the bottom and it was way too soft and really never set. Poo. I hate when recipes go wrong…]


Husband rating: N/A
He said they looked like lucky charm marshmallows but he’s not a big marshmallow fan so he didn’t try any. what a buzzkill. haha

Wifey rating: B+
Not sure if it was the recipe or the baker but mine weren’t as yummy as other homemade marshmallow recipes I’ve tasted before. They were good but not great.

Next week: Bill’s Big Carrot Cake pages 253-255


Entry filed under: Tuesdays With Dorie.

Day 14 NFR: 6 words

31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Helen  |  April 15, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Your pics are fab! I love how you talk us through each stage – you are not alone in that I thought there was a magic marshmallow factory somewhere in the world too! Hx

  • 2. April  |  April 15, 2008 at 4:17 am

    I love the litlle flower ones! I did pumpkin spice ones and also got the thin layer of gelatin on the bottom.

  • 3. Caitlin  |  April 15, 2008 at 4:37 am

    Oh, pretty flower marshmallows! So cute! Mine had a thin layer of gelatin too…

  • 4. Mary Ann  |  April 15, 2008 at 5:03 am

    I love the specks the vanilla bean adds as well! Very nice!

  • 5. NinaBeth  |  April 15, 2008 at 5:16 am

    So pretty! I love the specks of vanilla too. Glad to hear they aren’t as good as “others” that you’ve tried. We’ll pretend that you were talking about mine and not NB’s. :)

  • 6. Rebecca  |  April 15, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Glad I’m not the only one whose kitchen was a happy wreck after this! :D

  • 7. Marie  |  April 15, 2008 at 5:31 am

    You got to love Tommy Cooper!! Your marshmallows look really scrummy! Nice and fluffyand I love the vanilla specks!! Well done! I made peanut butter cookie s’mores with mine.

  • 8. kate  |  April 15, 2008 at 6:08 am

    i love making marshmallows!

  • 9. bombshellwithin  |  April 15, 2008 at 6:16 am

    I think I agree with your hubby’s assessment as to what your marshmallows look like. I was thinking it myself when I saw them. But they look so tall and snowy white. I’m not a fan of marshmallows if it doesn’t come in the miracle tub known as mallowfluff!

  • 10. rebekka  |  April 15, 2008 at 6:49 am

    I love the shapes…gorgeous!

  • 11. Ulrike aka ostwestwind  |  April 15, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Oh, what great shapes! I have to admit I didn’t like the cleaning between the cuts.

  • 12. April  |  April 15, 2008 at 7:09 am

    That is one of my favorite jokes ever. LOL

  • 13. carrie  |  April 15, 2008 at 8:07 am

    I love this quote:
    “I believe that baking that makes you nostalgic is always worthwhile.”
    Very well said and I couldn’t agree more!

  • 14. Judy  |  April 15, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Love the shapes! I just did boring squares this time. Nothing beats a homemade marshmallow, ha ha.

  • 15. LyB  |  April 15, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Your marshmallows look so darn cute! I love homemade marshmallows, but this recipe didn’t do it for me. Oh well, at least it was fun! :)

  • 16. Erin  |  April 15, 2008 at 9:36 am

    I love your marshmallow shapes! Great job!

  • 17. Michelle H  |  April 15, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Awesomeness job! :-D

  • 18. Dianne  |  April 15, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I love the shapes! Your marshmallows look gorgeous!

  • 19. Chelle  |  April 15, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Looks great!! And playing with the food is half the fun :)

  • 20. Mari  |  April 15, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I was just considering how I’d sub whole vanilla pod for the extract when I get around to my “Rewind” of this week’s recipe, and then I saw your marshmallows and that sealed the deal! Your mallows look marvelous, well done!

  • 21. Heather  |  April 15, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    I love your marshmallows! They look so cute!

  • 22. Sihan  |  April 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    great illustrations! anyway, ur marshmallows look fab! lucky charms… i’ll pop that in my mouth any time!

  • 23. Beth G  |  April 15, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    LMAO at “schwety balls”!! That’s hillarious!!! yours came out just BEAUTIFUL!! Great job!

  • 24. steph  |  April 15, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    nice looking marsh-flowers! regular gelatin totally smells funky (well, we all know what’s in there)…part of the reason i can’t stomach the stuff!

  • 25. Di  |  April 15, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    I’m with your husband–my first thought when I saw your picture was “Lucky Charms!” I love the shapes. =) I’m sorry your strawberry ones didn’t turn out the way you wanted.

  • 26. Natalie  |  April 15, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Mmmm… love the shapes!

  • 27. Donna  |  April 15, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I love the different shapes! And they ARE snow white! They are so freakin’ cute!

  • 28. Shari  |  April 16, 2008 at 5:07 am

    The flower marshmallows look great!

  • 29. Holly  |  April 16, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Ate his pillow. LMAO too! Funny, I was just reading your comment at Master Baker for the vanilla challenge when you were at my blog. Twilight zone. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for Master Baker. Your marshmallows look like fluffy pillows to me! Yum!

  • 30. Jenny  |  April 17, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Very nice!
    And if I spend today with the stay puff marshmallow man in my head all day, I may have to come back and beat you with your own marshmallows! (The little one though, wouldn’t want you to be hurt by it!) :-)

  • 31. Gretchen Noelle  |  April 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I am glad at least the vanilla ones worked for you. The flowers are adorable!


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