There's a lot of famous in the title today and that makes this an extra special and famous Famous Fridays post, 'cause today I'm celebrating one of my favorite baking cookbooks, Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin and her world famous (yes, there's that word again) homemade marshmallows. If you like store bought marshmallows even the teensiest bit, you are going to go wild over these and the amazing part is that they are easy to make! Yes, we're going to get along famously today! Sorry I couldn't help myself!
Vancouver is one of those cities I've heard so much about but never visited. I know that it's supposed to have magnificent views, great food, especially Asian, an amazing climate and wonderful opportunities for outdoor living and sports. It's a place I'd really like to go to. In the last year I've also learned that it's also the home to the Butter Bakery & Cafe, the inspiration behind Rosie's terrific cookbook which makes me want to drop everything and go cross-country right now! Especially when I imagine her homey store filled with all of the amazing treats featured in the cookbook. I'd have to workout extra hard for probably a month in advance but I know, from the scrumptious treats I've already baked, like these Perfect Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies and these Chocolate-Dipped Chocolate Shortbread Hearts, it would be totally worth the agony!
It was really hard to pick just one treat to highlight here with you today--I sort of want to bake my way through the book from page one to the last, but since the bakery first became famous for its marshmallows...well, you understand. In honor of Valentine's Day I made the raspberry version but I've also made the original and I can't wait to try the toasted coconut and cinnamon varieties. They have over 18 different versions in the bakery!! But enough talk--let's get down to business. After you've softened gelatin with water you heat sugar, corn syrup, salt and water together and then beat the mixture with the gelatin, adding in vanilla extract (as well as liquified jam and a couple of drops of red food coloring if you're making the raspberry version) to create a thick sticky meringue-like substance that will seem to get everywhere--counters, mixer, even your hair, but washes out easily (yes, even from your hair) with hot soapy water and will totally be worth the end result.
Then you scrape that mixture into a baking pan and let it sit overnight. Really! That's all there is to it! If you've heard about homemade marshmallows but been a little bit intimidated to try them, you can see that you have nothing to worry about. It's super easy!
Once the marshmallows have set, you turn the slab out and coat the whole thing with confectioners' sugar. Now, the kitchen will get a little messy again, but guys, you'll have genuine pillowy marshmallows that you can do anything with! You can cut it up into large cubes and plop large squares into hot chocolate or use them to make incredible s'mores. For some of the pink ones, I used heart-shaped cookie cutters to make adorable little puffy pink marshmallows that would make an adorable Valentine's Day gift! The possibilities are endless!
And the taste--it's hard to describe how much lighter and fluffier these are than the marshmallows we've all been buying for years,--you've just got to try them for yourself! They say we're going to get some incredibly frigid weather in the Northeast this weekend and wouldn't a steaming mug of hot chocolate with one (or two) of these incredible marshmallows plopped in, make an amazing Valentine's treat?!!
So thanks for sticking with me all through this Valentine's Week. I hope you have a day, really a life, filled with lots of love! You know I'm sending some your way!! And If baking's your thing, definitely pick up a copy of Butter Baked Goods--you'll absolutely love it! See you next week with more goodies as we head into the depths of winter! Yikes!
Butter Baked Goods' Famous Homemade Marshmallows-Famous Fridays
Makes about 64 1 x 1-inch marshmallows--plenty for whatever you need.
Prep Time: 25-30 minutes, plus at least 3 hours to set up and preferably overnight to sit.
To make the original version
- 1 cup water, divided
- 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Plenty of confectioners' sugar for coating the finished marshmallows
To make the raspberry version
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam or preserves
- Red food coloring (optional)
1. To make the original version: Butter an 8-x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch pan and set aside. If you want thinner marshmallows, use a 9x13-inch pan.
2. If you have a stand mixer, attach the whisk attachment. Otherwise just use the large bowl for a hand-held mixer. Pour 1/2 cup of the water into the bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the gelatin to absorb the water.
3. Into a medium saucepan over high heat, add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a full boil and let cook for 1 minute. Take off the heat and set aside.
4. On low speed, mix the gelatin a couple of times just to loosen it a bit. Still on low speed, slowly and carefully add the hot sugar mixture, pouring it in a steady stream down the side of the bowl. Once it's incorporated, turn the speed up to high and beat for about 10-12 minutes or until the mixture triples in volume and becomes very thick. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides if you need to if it seems that the batter will overflow the bowl. Once the mixture is very thick, add in the vanilla, beat again briefly to incorporate and quickly scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. As it sets the marshmallow becomes harder to work with. Smooth the top with a spatula.
5. Butter a piece of plastic wrap and firmly cover the marshmallow in the pan with it, sealing the sides well. Let the marshmallows sit for at least 3 hours in a dry place and preferably overnight. If they don't have enough time to firm up, they'll be sticky and hard to cut.
6. Sprinkle a board or work surface with the confectioners' sugar. Use a knife to loosen the edges and turn the whole slab out onto the board. Rub the outsides of the slab with the sugar. Use a knife or cookie cutter to cut out 1 x 1-inch squares or any shape you like and then roll them in the sugar as well to coat. Eat immediately--how can you resist?
7. Marshmallows need to be stored in an airtight container or bag and last about a week at room temperature.
8. To make the raspberry version: Place the jam or preserves in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, until the jam becomes liquified. Remove from the heat and strain the jam through a sieve into a small bowl to catch any of the seeds. Add this mixture and a couple of drops of food coloring if you like during Step 4 of the above recipe.
Note: Recipe adapted from Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.