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?s for marshmallow makers

toodie jane Nov 30, 2007 07:26 AM

I'd like to make some for Christmas gifts, but don't have a stand mixer. I have a hand-held which is pretty powerful, but would my HAND last?

Do you have any technique advice and/or flavor favorites to share?

  1. f
    fearlessemily Nov 30, 2007 07:36 AM

    I've got to be honest, having made homemade marshmallows several time, I can't even imagine doing it with a hand-held mixer... They whip on a super super high speed for 10 minutes... And they get quite thick -- I think you might burn out the motor on a hand mixer. Do you have a friend who has a stand mixer that you could borrow? And I'm assuming you've seen the 500+ post thread on egullet about homemade marshmallows and all their flavor variations?

    6 Replies
    1. re: fearlessemily
      toodie jane Nov 30, 2007 08:09 AM

      no- I don't go to egullet but I'll look there. I have a lead on a stand mixer! thanks for the feedback.

      1. re: toodie jane
        Caitlin McGrath Dec 1, 2007 02:09 PM

        I have only a strong hand-held mixer - not even a high end one, just Black and Decker - and it's never burnt out making marshmallows, nor has my arm fallen off. You're just whipping a lot of sugar goo and gelatin, not a stiff dough. Just be sure to use a really large bowl, because the volume of the mixture increases a lot.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          MikeG Dec 1, 2007 08:39 PM

          Only you know whether your arm will fall off, but if you can borrow a stand mixer, by all means do so, your arm will certainly thank you. I wouldn't avoid the project for lack of one, though. I've never made marshmallows but I have made genoises and kourabiedes (Greek shortbread) with 10+ year old KA hand mixer and while my arm wasn't particularly amused, the mixer didn't blink The consistency of the genoise batter sounds somewhat similar and it takes quite a while to beat whole eggs to moderately stiff peaks. Beating 1 1/2 lbs of cool butter for 30+ minutes for the cookies certainly isn't the lightest-duty task you can set a mixer too...

          1. re: MikeG
            toodie jane Dec 2, 2007 10:43 AM

            my Viennese pastry instructor showed us a trick to holding a hand mixer for less strain: grasp the mixer around the body (sliding you hand under the handle, not around it) and there is much less shoulder strain.

            1. re: MikeG
              Caitlin McGrath Dec 2, 2007 01:15 PM

              As I noted, making marshmallows with a hand mixer is far different from beating a stiff dough - and it is certainly easier, in my experience, than whipping eggs for genoise. I've never had the luxury of having a stand mixer to use for anything, but I've not found marshmallows to be challenging with my hand mixer. You do need a hand mixer with stamina, though.

        2. re: fearlessemily
          HungryRubia Dec 1, 2007 08:55 AM

          I agree with Emily. My husband burned out the motor on our handheld a few years ago when he was on a big marshmallow making kick. The stand mixer is pretty much necessary.

        3. k
          kodothedrum Dec 1, 2007 01:02 AM

          Over the summer, I ate at a 3-star Michelin restaurant in Epernay, France (Champagne region) who served canteloupe-flavored marshmallows. Sensational! They were served in a log form (about 10" long x 1-1/2" wide x 1" high) on a platter with a pair of sterling silver scissors. Really wonderful. You're making me think I ought to try marshmallow-making for Christmas gifts! I do have a Kitchen Aid mixer that I dislike and never bother to use. But I think I'll dust it off and make some marshmallows this weekend. Thanks.

          1. e
            Elizzie Dec 1, 2007 02:20 PM

            I made marshmallows last year (and I'll be making them again this year) and it was so easy with the stand mixer. I do agree, however, that since it's not a stiff dough that it might not be impossible to make them with a hand mixer. Besides, people were making marshmallows long before there were mixers of any kind, though I can't imagine making them by hand!

            1. optimal forager Dec 2, 2007 12:46 PM

              Two things: first, I just saw that the Good Eats tomorrow at 8PM EST is about making marshmallows. Second, I have personally burnt out the motor on a hand-held mixer on marshmallows.

              Good luck!

              7 Replies
              1. re: optimal forager
                toodie jane Dec 4, 2007 05:34 AM

                watching Alton pour the hot syrup into the egg whites and seeing the viscosity of the finished product has made me rethink using a hand mixer. I'm glad you gave me the heads up about his show; it gave me some very valuable tips. Thank you!

                1. re: toodie jane
                  toodie jane Dec 5, 2007 07:20 AM

                  oops I see there were no egg whites--I came into the show as he was pouring the syrup into the large bowl--in Alton's recipe. I found a Gourmet recipe that uses 2 egg whites, and instructions include using a hand mixer--maybe I'll try that one.

                2. re: optimal forager
                  ziggylu Dec 4, 2007 06:01 AM

                  I saw this last night as well. My husband has been wanting to make marshamallows for a while now and I haven't gotten around to researchign the how to, etc. Is Altons recipe/method a pretty typical one? Is there a better one to try out there?

                  1. re: ziggylu
                    scuzzo Dec 4, 2007 09:24 AM

                    I watched it too. I bought ingredients a couple days ago, and was waiting to see the show. His recipe seemed like the most common one. Similar to Martha Stewart's one. You can Google it. I guess there are some recipes that include egg, but they seem to be less favored.

                    1. re: ziggylu
                      Caitlin McGrath Dec 4, 2007 09:52 AM

                      This is the recipe I've used: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      1. re: ziggylu
                        ziggylu Dec 4, 2007 04:41 PM

                        OK thanks. I think I"m going to try making some next week. I'd like to make peppermint...do i just add some extract in? If so, at what point, early on or at the finish?

                        1. re: ziggylu
                          toodie jane Dec 5, 2007 07:23 AM

                          I bought some TJ's pepermint marshmallows this week, and they'd poured a layer of regular marshmallow into the pan, then topped with a layer that had VERY finely crushed peppermint candy for a second layer. Not too over the top minty. Nice. If you use mint extract, be careful-- use a toothpick to pick up drops. Add drop by drop. Like julietq I now use peppermint essential oil (after a 'mishap' with extract).

                    2. julietg Dec 2, 2007 01:07 PM

                      I made chocolate covered peppermint marshmallows the other day as a test run for Xmas. Using Martha Stewart's recipe (the EXACT same one as the one on that egullet thread, btw) and I substituted peppermint oil for the vanilla. I melted some lovely 70% Vahlrona, added a few tablespoons of powdered sugar, and dipped the cut squares (use scissors to cut them- it's easier than a knife) in the chocolate. Cooled on wax paper.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: julietg
                        Elizzie Dec 2, 2007 01:58 PM

                        Juliet, I'll be right over to save you from eating all of those marshmallows by yourself...

                      2. scuzzo Dec 2, 2007 02:14 PM

                        All this marshmallow talk got me to want to try it. Bought the stuff today, haven't made it yet. Was thinking a mug with a packet of nice hot chocolate and some homemade marshmallows might make a nice Christmas gift!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: scuzzo
                          Elizzie Dec 2, 2007 06:38 PM

                          Everyone I've given that to as a gift has loved it. I'd love it if someone gave that to me...

                        2. julietg Dec 4, 2007 10:09 AM

                          What are everyone's thoughts on flavorings? I wanted to do a cardamon scented one- will this work? I have pods, so I'd toast them, grind them all up, steep them in 3/4 c boiling water, strain, chill the cardamon "tea," and use that to bloom the gelatine?

                          Anyone have experience using lavender this way?

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