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?s for marshmallow makers

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?

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

            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

              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

          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. 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. 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. 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

                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

                  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

                  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

                    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

                        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

                          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).

                    1. 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

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

                      2. 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

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

                        2. 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?