By Patrick Engel[Chef Patrick shares delicious recipes, his thoughts on cooking, cooking with kids, food shopping and more!]
With the warm weather upon us, I'm beginning to feel a little extra "Canadian." I want to spend time outdoors. I'd like to catch a fish. And I also want to build a campfire. And anytime I build a campfire, my kids go genuinely bonkers about ... MARSHMALLOWS!
Marshmallows have been known to lead to s'mores. And what's more Canadian than s'mores on a long weekend? Nothing short of a salmon stuffed into a beaver stuffed into a caribou poached in maple syrup. Who needs a turducken when you can have a maple-poached "salm-beav-ibou" anyway?
There is one catch: I am a chef. I work long weekends. I won't be outdoors. I won't catch a fish, and there will definitely not be a campfire. But as a freshly hatched batch of blackflies as my witness, there will
be s'mores! With homemade marshmallows at that.
I've been making my own marshmallows for a few years now. There is nothing particularly wrong with store-bought marshmallows. They are basically sugar, more sugar and a couple of things you can't pronounce. In the cheffing world, however, if I want to make "marshmallow anything," I can't go to the grocery store and pick up a bag of commercially produced marshmallows (gotta keep my pride!)
. I need to start with my own homemade marshmallows. They are still basically sugar and sugar, but I leave out the unpronounceable stuff - plus they are quite easy to make, not to mention just a terrible (-ly fun) mess for the kids to get into.
So here we go with a recipe for homemade marshmallows, followed by s'mores, and a great method for making gooey s'mores in the absence of a campfire.Homemade Marshmallows
(printer friendly pdf
You'll need ...
- 2 packets powdered gelatin
- 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup ice water
Here's what you do ...
1. Combine the gelatin, vanilla and 1/2 cup of water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
2. In a small heavy bottomed pot, combine the remaining water, sugar, corn syrup and salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook this mixture until it reaches 240˚F ("soft ball" stage) then remove from the heat.
3. Start the mixer on low speed, and slowly and smoothly pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixer until combined. Now jack the mixer up to high, and whip until the mixture is thick and foamy and cooled to about body temperature.
4. While the mixture is whipping, spray a 9 X 9 or a 9 X 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Sift together the icing sugar and cornstarch, and generously dust the sprayed pan (but save some powder for later).
5. With the help of a rubber spatula, pour the marshmallow stickiness into the dusted pan (the kids will LOVE licking the beater on this one).
6. Smooth out the marshmallow slab, and dust the top with the icing sugar/corn starch blend (save a bit for later!). Allow to cool at room temperature for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. No need to refrigerate.
7. Once cool, cut the marshmallow slab into the kids' favourite shapes, and dust again with the icing sugar/cornstarch powder. Congratulations on your homemade marshmallows!S'mores
Below is a simple and tidy method for making s'mores in the absence of a campfire. A toaster oven is all you'll need.
Here's what you do ...
1. Cut the marshmallow slab into squares the size of a graham cracker.
2. On a small cookie sheet, place 4 or 6 graham crackers, top them with a marshmallow, and broil until the marshmallow is toasty and soft - about 3 or 4 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips over a double boiler (or microwave the chips). When the marshmallows are toasted, drizzle liberally (is there any other kind of drizzling?) with the melted chocolate, and go to town on your "open-faced" s'mores!
Cheffer's Inside Scoop
- These homemade marshmallows can be a little goopier than the commercial kind.
- Trust me, leaving your s'mores open-faced will seriously cut down on the already massive "mess factor."
Related articles/recipes:Chocolate Mousse
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||Patrick Engel has been cooking professionally for 15 years. After graduating from George Brown College in Toronto, and training in the kitchens of Rodney's Oyster House and Bymark Restaurant, Patrick relocated to Niagara's wine region, working at Inn on the Twenty, followed by six years as resident chef instructor at The Good Earth Cooking School. Patrick is currently the chef at Hospice Niagara's Stabler Centre and associate chef at The Garrison House in Niagara-on-the Lake. Patrick lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, with his wife, Marnie, and their two boys, Charlie (7) and Johnny (5).
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