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The Marshmallow Master Topic

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GilloD Aug 20, 2007 05:57 PM

So, I've been completely obsessed with making marshmallows lately. They're cheap to make (Yes, I did the math, and using the Keller recipe it costs about 4.00 to make around 2 dozen large-ish 'mallows), make you look like a kitchen wizard and inspire a kind of "Ooh-aah" from adoring eaters. As there seemed to be no MASTER topic for 'mallows around here, I figured I might as well start one.

I've worked from the Keller recipe in the past with great success, although I find them a little sweet and far too vanilla-y for confection. If you're going to melt them in Hot Chocolate, they're great. As a stand alone, cut the vanilla.

Things to consider on our great adventure:

-Corn Syrup!: Keeps the 'mallows light and fluffy, but do we need so much? Some users have reported cutting the syrup (And, indeed, Keller uses 1/3 of a cup less than Stewart) without damaging the texture or taste.

-Hand Mixer vs. Stand Mixer: Use a stand mixer if you can. There are a few horror stories of hand mixers not standing up to the pressure of beating sticky goo for more than 10 minutes.

-Depending on the depth and width of your mixing bowl, just scattering the gelatin over the water and saying "Amen" may not be enough. Give it a whisk before you add anything else.

-Egg whites?: The Keller and Stewart recipes do not call for egg whites, the Epicurious recipe does. I haven't done it that way in some time, so there's a project to report back to us about.

And we're off! I just moved into a new apartment and have no gas yet, so my marshmallow adventures are on hold for a day or two, but I'm dying to make a batch of ginger and coconut marshmallows the moment the utility guy flips the switch.

Recipes for the 'mallow maker:

-The oft cited "Epicurious" recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
-The Thomas Keller recipe: http://homecooking.about.com/library/...
-The Martha Stewart recipe: http://www.oprah.com/foodhome/food/re...
-The "Nightscotman" recipe for Strawberry 'mallows, a great jumping off point for other flavor variations: http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r2...

Resources for the 'mallow maker:
An Egullet Thread full of good idea, tips and tricks: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...

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  1. jillp RE: GilloD Aug 20, 2007 06:17 PM

    Making a marshmallow cake frosting from the Dorie Greespan cookbook has given me the marshmallow obsession, too. The home made stuff is truly light-years away from those silly plastic things one buys at the supermarket. I am thinking of doing a cake version of S'mores, but I need some guinea pigs to serve it to.

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      Lixer RE: GilloD Aug 20, 2007 06:18 PM

      The first thing I made when I got my kitchen aid was marshmallows! I used the recipe from Barefoot Contessa which looks close to the Keller recipe.

      One variation I did was adding a few drops of lemon flavoring and yellow food coloring then dredging them in toasted coconut. The pastel yellow with the gold flecked white was pretty and the flavor combo was great!

      1. l
        Laura D. RE: GilloD Aug 21, 2007 04:41 AM

        Since you started a thread on this topic (and thank you kindly by the way) might I use this opportunity to try and once again find a successful marshmallow recipe that doesn't involve gelatin? I don't eat gelatin but have never had luck with the few recipes I've tried that don't use gelatin. There are recipes out there that don't have gelatin in them (they probably have agar agar as a substitute) and one of them MUST be good...if anyone has guidance on where those recipes are that would be greatly appreciated. If one could be very specific with the type of agar agar (or other gelling product) they use that would be also be much appreciated. P.S. I don't eat gelatin because I'm a vegetarian, but I have no problem with egg whites and think they are probably pretty essential in this type of recipe. Thanks in advance!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Laura D.
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          Lixer RE: Laura D. Aug 21, 2007 05:51 AM

          I've tried making marshmallows for my BF's vegetarian sisters using agar agar and I just couldn't get it to work. The best I could do was marshmallow fluff. After a bit of research I found that the only "vegetarian" substitute that was able to properly make marshmallows secretly contained a fish product.

          1. re: Lixer
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            Laura D. RE: Lixer Aug 21, 2007 09:49 AM

            Hmm...oh well. Sweet and Sara (a company/bakery out of NYC that makes vegan marshmallows) finally has their equipment back up and running after a 1/2 year hiatus, so I'll just go ahead and order from them. Thanks!

          2. re: Laura D.
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            GilloD RE: Laura D. Aug 23, 2007 10:26 AM

            Laura,

            I remember just recently seeing a report on one of those "Inside Edition"-type, late night shows about how many vegan confectioners were duped by a fake Illinois company. They thought they were getting vegan gelatin, but it was just repackaged that way. I think ther interviewed Sweet and Sara among others. It's my understanding that they're back in the biz, but it took some kitchen wizardry.

            So, off hand, no easy cheats around the gelatin problem. I'd welcome suggestions, though!

            1. re: GilloD
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              Laura D. RE: GilloD Aug 23, 2007 10:36 AM

              Yes, apparently it is ridiculously challenging to make confections such as marshmallows vegan, and I believe Sweet and Sara has been knocked out of business on two different occasion for months at a time because of other companies claiming to sell vegan confections which were anything but.

              If you haven't tried any of Sweet and Sara's stuff I'd highly recommend it...the product is great and I have nothing but good things to say about the quality of the customer service there. Sara has personally responded to my emails and phone calls!

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            HillJ RE: GilloD Aug 21, 2007 07:22 AM

            Cookbook treasure, Better Than Store Bought by Witty has a classic recipe for homemade marshmallows. We followed the recipe to the t for years and then began to experiment with oils and fruit purees. Next we tried batches of crumbled add-ins to the outer 'mallow skin' and finally decided that the classic recipe was still our fav.

            You can find the book on Ebay or thru vintage book sellers. Well worth the search.

            Thank you for the add'l information, great research!

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              foodandscience RE: GilloD Aug 23, 2007 08:06 PM

              I had great luck with the martha stewart recipe. My mom and I love marshmallows and so I decided to make them for mother's day for her. My issue with hers ( and I haven't tried any others) is that even after letting it dry overnight in the pan, it was still waaaay to sticky to cut with her *cute little star cookie cutters*. I ended up letting them dry more and then just cutting them into squares and then dipping in powdered sugar again. Still, it was one of those moments when a hidden camera would have caught me with marshmallows stuck everywhere as i could not peel them from my fingers, arms.. etc. It took forever to cut and put on wax paper. Aaaurgggh!!! I've had luck with various flavorings too and rolling them in toasted coconuts. Love them all!!! Good luck.

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                ScarletB RE: GilloD Aug 23, 2007 08:20 PM

                I just made them last Christmas for the first time using Nancy Silverton's recipe from the La Brea Bakery cookbook. Then I made caramel, although her recipe was terrible and I had to find another one, and made little sandwiches like she suggests, smushing marshmallow in between two pieces of caramel and then wrapped individually in wax paper. They were a huge hit and people were so impressed, especially with the marshmallow. But it's funny how easy they are to make. We also made the salted peanut marshmallow recipe from the same cookbook, which are basically a fancier rice krispie treat with peanuts that were highly addictive!!!

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                  GilloD RE: GilloD Oct 19, 2007 05:43 PM

                  I was out of vanilla this afternoon so I snuck in about 3/4 tbsp honey. The flavor isn't quite there, but it does distract from the "raw" flavor of naked marshmallows and imparts a sort of mellow quality to the sometimes shocking sweetness.

                  1. g
                    girlwonder88 RE: GilloD Oct 20, 2007 01:38 PM

                    I have made these a few times and they've been great fun. The first time was off the recipe in Sheila Lukins' USA Cookbook-I made all the components for s'mores and it kicked ass at my Stitch'n'Bitch club, which had been the battle grounds of dessert escalation. The second version I've made is a variation of the epicurious recipe listed above: http://familyslowfood.blogspot.com/20... and I like these the best so far. They have a great vanila flavor, were easy, kept well for quite a while in an air-tight bag, and melted deliciously in cocoa. Yum.

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                      bouffe RE: GilloD Feb 18, 2008 06:11 AM

                      I made the egullet recipe mentioned above with the strawberry puree. However I did not use the orange water. I plan to make many more flavors in the upcoming days, I am completely hooked with the mallows.

                      Cooking for engineers also had a Keller recipe that was slightly changed with step by step pictures of the marshmallow process which is great for beginners if something doesn't look right.

                       
                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bouffe
                        Carb Lover RE: bouffe Feb 18, 2008 06:33 AM

                        Thanks for the cooking for engineers reference. It's linked here:
                        http://www.cookingforengineers.com/re...

                        I tried my hand at marshmallows for the first time in Dec. for holiday presents and used the toasted coconut marshmallow recipe printed in Gourmet that month.

                        Recipe:
                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                        The recipe was very easy, and the results were very good. I liked the texture and color of the toasted coconut.

                         
                         
                         
                         
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                        LisaPA RE: GilloD Nov 25, 2009 01:43 PM

                        I always use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I use the Slashfood recipe, which I think is the same as the Keller recipe. I've made plain, plain rolled in cinnamon sugar, chocolate (made with cocoa powder), mint, and I just made a batch of spiced honey marshmallows for Thanksgiving. Replaced the corn syrup with clover honey, added a cinnamon stick to the sugar as it boiled, then added 1 T of pumpkin pie spice with the vanilla at the end. Will roll in cinnamon sugar.

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