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April 15, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: (Pumpkin) Marshmallows

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Marshmallows

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Marshmallows and was chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats!

I love homemade marshmallows...Whether they be chocolate, plain or even peanut butter I'm all about the homemade marshmallow! I like to make them from scratch because they are fluffy and sweet and you can control what goes into them (i.e. making sure there is no nasty high fructose corn syrup!) They are easy to play around with and you can make different flavors (like the pumpkin version I made for this) and you can change the colors or just leave them plain. Marshmallows are really fun to play around with!

Dorie's recipe calls for egg whites and I've made marshmallows this way before, but I'll be completely honest and say I prefer to make marshmallows that are egg white free as you can see if you take my marshmallow links above. These marshmallows were good, but not as good as the ones I usually make.

I chose to do the pumpkin flavor from Dorie's playing around suggestions because I've made chocolate and plain marshmallows before and I'm not a fan of cappuccino or raspberry, so pumpkin it was and that definitely gave it a nice undertone. It was especially nice as the marshmallow melted into a cup of hot chocolate.

At this point however let's talk about what went wrong...When I added the hot sugar syrup to the egg white mixture, even though the mixture was constantly moving and I did my best to the let the hot sugar mixture hit the sides of the bowl and the whisk BEFORE it hit the cool egg whites, I ended up with a bit of scrambled egg white here and there and that's a bit unnerving when you bite into a marshmallow expecting smooth and creamy and you get a bit of scrambled egg white. This wasn't a huge problem, but there was a bit of scrambling going on and the recipe did not mention tempering the egg white mixture. There was also no way to strain the mixture as it's too thick.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Marshmallows in Hot Chocolate

One thing I did do a bit differently, and it turned out to be a plus, was that I dusted the tops of the marshmallows with powdered sugar instead of using corn or potato starch:

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Marshmallows: Setting Up

I did use potato starch on the bottom of the marshmallows though. I usually use powdered sugar on my plain marshmallows, but I didn't think about that until after I had already lined the dish with the potato starch. If I ever made these again (which I doubt) I'd use powdered sugar for both steps.

Overall I'd give these a C. I want to try the pumpkin version by adapting the plain marshmallow recipe I use to see if I can get it to work, but most likely I'll try this close to Halloween and/or Thanksgiving.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Marshmallows

Be sure and stop over at the other Tuesday with Dorie blogs and see how their marshmallows turned out!

P.S. I got around to making the The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart! Check back on Saturday to see how it turned out! And for those of you who wondered how the Gooey Chocolate Cakes would do once frozen and thawed check that out here!

What You'll Need:
About 1 cup potato starch (found in the kosher foods section of supermarkets) or cornstarch
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

GETTING READY: Line a rimmed baking sheet -- choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high -- with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup -- without stirring -- until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites. In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)

Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy -- don't over beat them and have them go dull.

As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won't fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).

Dust the top of the marshmallows with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They'll need about 3 hours, but they can rest for 12 hours or more.

Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you'll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you'd like -- into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they're cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. When you've got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl, reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer them to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.

SERVING: Put the marshmallows out and let everyone nibble as they wish. Sometimes I fill a tall glass vase with the marshmallows and put it in the center of the table -- it never fails to make friends smile. You can also top hot chocolate or cold sundaes with the marshmallows.

STORING: Keep the marshmallows in a cool, dry place; don't cover them closely. Stored in this way, they will keep for about 1 week -- they might develop a little crust on the outside or they might get a little firmer on the inside, but they'll still be very good.

Playing Around:

RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOWS: Fruit purees are excellent for flavoring these candies. For raspberry marshmallows, you'll need a generous 1/3 cup of puree; reduce the vanilla extract to 1/4 teaspoon. After the batter is mixed, gently fold in the puree with a rubber spatula. You can use the same measurements and technique for other purees, such as strawberry, mango and passion fruit.

CAPPUCCINO MARSHMALLOWS: Sift 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon together into a small bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup boiling water and mix until smooth. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon, and add it to the espresso mix. After you add the sugar syrup and gelatin to the meringue, beat in the espresso mixture and continue.

LIGHT CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOWS: Melt 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/4 teaspoon, and after the marshmallow batter is mixed, fold in the chocolate mixture with a large rubber spatula.

PUMPKIN SPICE MARSHMALLOWS: Whisk together 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and a pinch of ground allspice. After the marshmallow batter is mixed, fold in the spiced pumpkin with a large rubber spatula.

Posted by Dianne at April 15, 2008 7:39 AM

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Comments

I've got to try the pumpkin spice variation. That top pic is selling me. ;)

And I definitely want to try a non-egg white recipe for these. They seemed a little off to me.

Posted by: Rebecca at April 15, 2008 9:21 AM

Your marshmallows look really scrummy! Nice and fluffy!! Well done! I made peanut butter cookie s'mores with mine.

Posted by: Marie at April 15, 2008 9:22 AM

I too made the pumpkin flavor. Yours look great! I am wanting to try the peanut butter flavor next.

Posted by: April at April 15, 2008 10:37 AM

That cup of cocoa looks yummy, as do your marshmallows! Good job!

Posted by: mari at April 15, 2008 12:43 PM

These look wonderful! After seeing how many people have made non-egg white marshmallows I'll have to try the recipes and compare. The only ever one I've seen (from a segment on Martha Stewart) had egg whites as well.

Posted by: Chelle at April 15, 2008 3:37 PM

I had no idea you could make them without egg whites. I'll have to try that. I wanted to try the pumpkin ones, but was worried about deflating them. Yours look terrific and I'm going to give them a try some time.

Posted by: annmartina at April 15, 2008 4:09 PM

I used powdered sugar to coat mine, as well...much better yhan corn starch!

Posted by: Annemarie at April 15, 2008 4:33 PM

Love the Hot Cocoa pic!!! Delicious!!

Posted by: Amy at April 15, 2008 4:51 PM

I love all things pumpkin, so maybe this version would make me a marshmallow convert. They look yummy!

Posted by: Sarah at April 15, 2008 5:12 PM

Using powdered sugar instead of starch is a great idea! Even after trying to dust them off, mine were kind of starchy tasting on the outside. If I make these again, I'll try that!

Posted by: Hygeian Stew at April 15, 2008 5:38 PM

I agree. The non-egg marshmallow recipe was better IMO esp since the idea of scrambled eggs and marshmallow does not appeal to me either! haha. Your marshies still looked lovely. The pumpkin adds such a great color.
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Posted by: CB at April 15, 2008 5:59 PM

They look very tasty! The pumpkin spice was a flavor I wanted to try. Great job!

Posted by: Heather at April 15, 2008 7:03 PM

I think they look really good. I am with you about the corn syrup...I used honey instead and it worked nicely.

Posted by: rebekka at April 15, 2008 7:33 PM

Mouth watering.

Posted by: Lauren at April 15, 2008 8:45 PM

I love that you rocked the pumpkin variation!! They look awesome :O)

Posted by: Beth G at April 15, 2008 9:13 PM

oh, they look so perfect, it's too bad about the whites. you've made lots of other great marshmallows, tho, i see!

Posted by: steph (whisk/spoon) at April 15, 2008 10:16 PM

The thought of a pumpkin flavored marshmallow melting into hot chocolate makes me wish I'd made the pumpkin ones! So do your photos!

Posted by: Jayne at April 15, 2008 11:00 PM

I love the look of your pumpkin marshmallows! And I think they'd be amazing in hot chocolate or even a latte! :)

Posted by: Natalie at April 15, 2008 11:42 PM

That's one GOOD looking marshmallow! The pumpkin version sounds heavenly!

Posted by: Donna at April 16, 2008 1:56 AM

Thanks everyone! The pumpkin flavor was really good...The texture of these left a lot to be desired I think. I'll probably make a pumpkin version of the non-eggwhite recipe I use closer to Halloween/Thanksgiving when I can make some fresh pumpkin puree.

Posted by: Dianne at April 16, 2008 8:58 AM

they look so good! love the texture in the photo. pumpkin sounds great, i am definitely doing that next time i make these :)

Posted by: kim at April 16, 2008 9:55 AM

I'm going to play around with my eggwhite free recipe and see if the pumpkin will work there. I had completely forgotten that I still have some pumpkin left over from this batch in the fridge so I may try it with my regular recipe tomorrow.

Posted by: Dianne at April 16, 2008 1:12 PM

great pics. yes pumpkin mallows for halloween/thanksgiving.

Posted by: zakia at April 16, 2008 6:41 PM

I thought it would be a cool treat for that time of year. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at April 16, 2008 9:03 PM

sounds like you're a marshmallow pro! :) your marshmallows look so perfect and fluffy - thanks for the links to the other recipes and the tip about the powdered sugar - i do one day want to try making these!

Posted by: Jaime at April 16, 2008 10:19 PM

Alexis enjoys marshmallows so I like to make them so I know what is in them. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at April 17, 2008 8:41 AM

I was just wondering if you ever made these with non egg marshmallows? The pumpkin, I mean. All I make are no egg marshmallows and I am looking for suggestions on how to get a good pumpkin flavor. Thanks.

Posted by: Laura at September 22, 2010 12:36 AM

I was just wondering if you ever made these with non egg marshmallows? The pumpkin, I mean. All I make are no egg marshmallows and I am looking for suggestions on how to get a good pumpkin flavor. Thanks.

Posted by: Laura at September 22, 2010 12:36 AM

I haven't yet, but I was thinking about this again the other day when I picked up a couple of pumpkins. I think I may have to experiment soon and see if it works!

Posted by: Dianne at September 22, 2010 10:50 AM

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