Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 196: Mallow Out

When you think of foods that are easy to make at home, you probably don't think of marshmallows. Unless you've made them at home. Then you know the secret.

It's really basic: add gelatin and cold water to your stand mixer's bowl; boil some sugar, corn syrup (it's an essential to candy-making; get over it), water, and salt to the soft ball stage; start the mixer on medium and slowly pour in the syrup; whip the crap out of it until it's thick, sticky marshmallow.

There's a science to it, of course. You need the right proportions. I used Alton Brown's recipe in the Good Eats 2 cookbook. Though he often goes a little overboard, in my mind, to get what he considers the "perfect" recipe (I recently watched an episode of Good Eats where he made really thick English muffins and dusted them with oatmeal instead of corn meal. I didn't agree with either of these alterations.) he is the most scientifically minded cook I can think of, so when it comes to candy, I'll put my trust in him. And I was right. The marshmallows turned out wonderfully. And for the first time in my life, I tasted a marshmallow that didn't come out of a bag.

I think the texture is the main difference. They're denser, softer, creamier. The flavor is less simply sugary, too. I'm excited to see what they do over a campfire. If it doesn't rain, I'll be testing that tonight.

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