Snowy Marshmallows

For those of you who missed the Ottawa Citizens' Christmas 2010 Style magazine or are not in the Ottawa area, here is the recipe for homemade marshmallows which make sweet, soft and fluffy gifts.



Photography and Food styling by me :)

Homemade Marshmallows
Chef Gaetan Tessier, Chocomotive


Ingredients

1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) cornstarch
3 packages (7 grams per package, 21 grams in total) powdered gelatin
3/4 cup (175 mL) water
2 cups (500 mL) white sugar
2/3 cup (150 mL) water
1/4 cup (50 mL) glucose (honey or corn syrup can be used instead)
whites from 4 large eggs
Special equipment:  Kitchen thermometer

1.  Mix together the cornstarch and the icing sugar in a small bowl.  Line an 8- by 13- inch pan with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap comes up the sides of the pan.  Lightly sift a tablespoon or two of the icing sugar-conrnstarch mixture over the plastic wrap.   Set the pan aside.

2.  Pour 3/4 cup (175 mL) water into a medium-sized bowl.  Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the water and allow it to soften for a few minutes while you work on the next steps.

3.  In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric beater for 30 seconds.

4.  In a medium-size saucepan, stir together the 2 cups (500 mL) sugar, the 2/3 cup (150 mL) water and the 1/4 cup (50 mL) honey or glucose.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 140C (275 F) on a kitchen thermometer.  The mixture will bubble up as it cooks, so avoid a small saucepan.

5.  When the mixture reaches the right temperature (about 10 minutes), remove from the heat and pour over the softened gelatin.  The mixture will bubble up again as you do so.  Stir to blend well and completely dissolve the gelatin.

6. With the beater on low, slowly pour the gelatin-syrup mixture in a thin stream into the egg whites.  When the syrup is well combined with the egg whites, turn the beater up to high and beat until the mixture has lost all its heat (10-20 minutes).  It will get very fluffy and at least double in volume as you do this.

7.  Scrape the marshmallow mixture into the pan you have lined with plastic wrap.  Smooth the surface.  Sift another tablespoon or two of the icing sugar-cornstarch mixture onto the top.  Lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or 24 hours, long enough to allow everything to set.

8.  Either in the pan or on a cutting board, cut the marshmallow into cubes and toss the cubes with remaining icing sugar-cornstarch mix to keep them from sticking to each other.  Store the marshmallows in a sealed container and keep them refrigerated until you are ready to serve.

Tips:

1.  Instead of tossing with the icing sugar and cornstarch, you can set the marshmallow cubes on a rack and coat them with melted chocolate, taking care that the chocolate is not too hot.

2.  You can flavour the marshmallows by using a liquid other than water.  ie for eggnog marshmallows, use 3/4 cup (175 mL) eggnog.  You can substitute juice or liqueurs.

Enjoy!