Wednesday, May 24, 2006

confections #1 : marshmallow experiments

Although I have made my share of desserts and have some chocolate making under my belt, I do not have much experience with confections. So, I recently decided to expand my knowledge of candy and confections. I started with marshmallows: they are light, soft, fun and seem to be in vogue. They also bring back some fond childhood memories. As I have discovered, marshmallows are one of those things that are much better made at home!

My first attempt at marshmallows a few week ago met with little success. They didn't achieve enough volume and were awfully sticky. My theory of why is fairly simple; the recipe did not bring the sugar to the correct temperature and I substituted white corn syrup—an ingredient I didn't have. Fortunately, I found another recipe and some white corn syrup. This marshmallow recipe can be found at Brownie Points. I halved the recipe for the three batches I made. I wanted to test flavourings that could be added to marshmallow; so, I experimented with a powdered spice, an alcohol and a fruit. The three I tried were cardamom, melon liqueur and strawberry.

cardamom marshmallow
add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom to the gelatin and water mixture

melon marshmallow
I used 1/2 cup of Midori Liqueur—a melon flavoured liqueur from Japan. I reduced the midori liqueur to 1/4 cup to concentrate the flavour and to take out the alcohol. I added the reduced Midori to a gelatin and 1/4 cup water mixture. I also omitted the vanilla extract. It is important to remove the alcohol content from the liquor; otherwise, your marshmallow will not get the volume required.

strawberry marshmallow
I used a 1/4 cup of strawberry juice. You can also use strawberry puree. Add the juice or puree to the gelatin mixture with 1/4 cup water and omit the vanilla extract. To make strawberry juice, place strawberries in a double boiler and heat for 15-20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve or cheese cloth to recover as much liquid as possible.

In the end, I was pleased with how the marshmallows turned out. I'm fond of cardamom as a spice; so I liked the cardamom marshmallow best. Marshmallow is surprisingly simple to make, once you have a little practice.

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Anita said...

Aren't marshmallows fun to make! I like your idea of flavoring them and they look delicious!

linda said...

They look great! I bet they tasted great too! I'm sure the cardamom would be my favourite too, I love the spice! And what a creative idea using the melon liqueur!Marshmallows are still on my to-do list as well (as are other confections).

Ivonne said...

Wow, Sam!

I'm especially intrigued by the melon marshmellows. I've never made marshmellow at home (or many other confections for that matter). I salute your daring!

Jasmine said...


There's something about the word "marshmallow" -- love the sound...all ooey-gooey-good :)


Sil (Buenos Aires) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sil (Buenos Aires) said...

We only have dark corn syrup, would it work?
The recipe asks for 2 gelatin envelopes, 14 grams is the correct amount? here each envelope contains 7 gr.
Sorry, but I'm trying to find substitutes!

sam said...

Hi Anita,

Marshmallows are fun. Everyone gets a kick out of eating flavoured marshmallows.

Hi Linda,

Thanks Linda. I recommend trying them.

Hi Ivonne,

It would be easy for you Ivonne. Everything you take on looks wonderful.

Hi Jasmine,

I thought about you when making the cardamom marshmallows. Cheers to you and the cardamom you sent me!

Hi Sil,

Each gelatin package that I used was also 7 grams. Not having used dark corn surup before, I unfortunately can't answer that question properly. If there are any expert marshamallow makers out there Sil and I would be curious to know. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

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