I can't believe it! I have actually made it to 200 posts! When I first started blogging, I honestly never in my wildest dreams imagined I could make it this long, or this far. Back when I first began, it was sometimes hard for me to find the motivation just to write one blog post a month! Now I do at least 3-4 posts a week, have joined 3 different food blogging groups that I love participating in, and I have accomplished so much! I'm so excited to keep going, and to continue this crazy food journey I have been on!
I couldn't just post about any ol' thing for the 200th. No, I had to do something different. Something unexpected. Something like....Homemade Strawberry Marshmallows! Oh, how I have been wanting to make marshmallows from scratch. I'm always hearing, or reading, about them and how you haven't truly tasted a marshmallow until you've tasted one that's homemade. Then, a couple weeks ago, the family and I stopped into a local confectioner's shop, and they had homemade strawberry marshmallows that were out as samples. I think those marshmallows changed my life.
I know, I know. That's a bold claim to make. However, I can assure you that it was love at first bite. They are so perfect! They're pillowy-soft, sweet without being overly so, and they've got the prettiest pink hue from the real strawberries they're made with. Just blissful. From then on, I was impatiently waiting for an opportunity to make some of my own.
Just as though it was fated, I picked up an issue of Sauce Magazine the other day, and contained in its pages was a recipe for homemade Blackberry Marshmallows. In the St. Louis area, Sauce Magazine is a local food publication that you can find and pick up for free in many various food establishments all around the city. We read it every month; there's always a great tidbit or two in there about local food, and there's usually some mouthwatering recipes, too. I hit the jackpot with this particular recipe. I couldn't believe my luck. So, I finally got my chance, and I grabbed it. I made them! And they are every bit as wonderful as I imagined they'd be.
I was worried that they wouldn't turn out well, because sometimes it takes me a couple of tries before I get my candy-making right. But the instructions in the recipe are laid out very clearly, and I was patient and followed each step slowly and carefully. And it was easy! I was surprised at just how easy this was. Why have I waited so long to do this? Everybody should be making marshmallows at home! Why not?
By the way, the fruit-tinged variety is just sublime. Using fresh strawberry puree is such a brilliant idea. Any fruit puree, of course, would be fantastic, but I just really loved the strawberry. As indicated earlier in the article, you make your puree by blending about 20-24 oz. fresh or thawed frozen strawberries in a food processor or blender. Then, you pass the puree through a strainer to eliminate the seeds and chunks, and measure out the amount of puree you need from the strained liquid. Simple!
Thank you to everybody who reads this little blog. Thank you for listening to me for 200 posts! I love writing, I love cooking and baking, and I truly appreciate being able to share my thoughts and recipes with you. I hope you'll stick around for 200 more posts!
Homemade Strawberry Marshmallows
adapted from Sauce Magazine
makes 48-60 marshmallows (depending on the size you cut them)
4 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 cups plus 2/3 cup strawberry puree, divided
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1. Prepare the "bloom" by placing the gelatin in a small bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups strawberry puree and stir well. The mixture will begin to thicken quickly. Set aside.
2. Mix the remaining 2/3 cup puree with the water, corn syrup, and granulated sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 250 degrees, about 10 or so minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the bloom. The mixture will foam up, so stir carefully until the bloom is completely incorporated. Pour the batter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on a low speed, then gradually increase the speed to medium-high. Let the mixture whip for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is fairly stiff but still spreadable. Immediately pour the mixture into a well-oiled 9x13-inch pan (I lined my pan with nonstick aluminum foil, then sprayed the foil, just to be safe).
4. Allow the pan to sit, uncovered, on the counter overnight. This is called curing and reduces some of the stickiness factor. Once you are ready to slice the marshmallows, sift a thin layer of the cornstarch mixed with the powdered sugar over top of the marshmallows. Invert the pan onto a cutting board, releasing the marshmallows. Sprinkle more of the cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture over the marshmallows, then coat a knife or pizza cutter with some of the sugar mixture.
5. Cut the slab into bite-sized pieces (I did 8 rows of 6 squares, for 48 total squares), then toss the pieces into a bowl with the remaining cornstarch/sugar mixture. Store the coated marshmallows between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature. They should keep for several days, up to a week. Do not refrigerate!