Creamsicle Marshmallows and More

Photo by Jen Kaplan

I realized I never showed you pictures of the other desserts I made for Jen’s birthday party. When we started planning the desserts, Jen suggested marshmallows, and I said I could do a double layer. We decided on vanilla and orange, and the duplex dessert tasted exactly like Creamsicle..

I only needed about 60 marshmallows, so I was tempted to make one batch and split it to make two flavors, but I decided to make to full batches to avoid some roadblocks.

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Roadblock 1: What if I’m happily beating orange extract into half of the marshmallows, and the rest of the marshmallow sets in the bowl before I can add vanilla and then I’m stuck with a bowl-shaped mass of unflavored marshmallow?

Well, fine, I’ll make a half batch of vanilla, spread it out in the pan, then make another half batch of orange, and put that on top. That way I won’t have to deal with bowl-shaped marshmallow clumps. Roadblock 2: But if I make half the recipe, what if the stuff in the pot isn’t deep enough to get a good read on my thermometer?

You know what? What’s so bad about making two whole batches of marshmallows? That way you can make two pans of Creamsicle marshmallows and you can eat the whole second pan yourself?So I made two pans. I did eat my fair share, but I brought the rest to my internship to share. Nobody can say the Advertising department isn’t well fed.The marshmallows were deliciously creamy and fluffy. I used the same marshmallow recipe I always do for the vanilla, and made a couple changes for the orange layer.

Besides the marshmallows, I also made Dark Chocolate Dipped Honey Madeleines with fresh honey from my roommate Katie’s bees, Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Tartlets with a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust, and Chocolate Espresso Fudge Squares. I topped each fudge square with a chocolate-coated espresso bean for flavor identification purposes.

Creamsicle Marshmallows

Adapted from Alton Brown’s Homemade Marshmallows

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • ½  cup ice cold water, divided
  • ½ cup cold, freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • Orange gel food coloring
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray

Directions: 

Put half of the gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer with ¼ cup cold orange juice.

In a very small saucepan, mix together the rest of the orange juice, 6 ounces granulated sugar, ½ cup light corn syrup, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover the saucepan, and let it cook over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Uncover, and clip the candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan (the saucepan should be small enough so that the thermometer is inserted deep enough to get a good reading). Let the mixture cook over medium-high heat until the temperature reads 240 degrees F, which is the “soft ball stage.”
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Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, start mixing the bloomed gelatin on low speed. Slowly pour the hot sugar mixture down the inside of the mixer bowl. Then raise the speed to high and let it mix for 12-15 minutes.
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While the whisk is whisking: Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking pan. Mix together the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch, and use the mixture to coat the bottom and sides of the pan (dump it into the pan and shake it around over the sink).
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The marshmallow should be thick and luke-warm. Add the orange extract and the orange food coloring (a couple drops at a time until you get the color you want), and continue to whisk until the color is mixed in.
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When the marshmallow is ready, use a spatula to coax it into the pan. Wash off the spatula or grab another, lightly oil it with spray, and use it to spread out the marshmallow.
Repeat the entire process above, but substitute cold water for the cold orange juice, and vanilla extract for the orange extract. Leave out the food coloring unless you want your vanilla marshmallows to be orange.
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Once you’ve spread the vanilla marshmallows into the pan, sprinkle the top with any leftover cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar mix (if you need more, just mix together a couple tablespoons of each in a 1:1 ratio).
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Let the marshmallows sit out for at least 4 hours or overnight at most. Invert the marshmallow onto a cutting board and cut it up using a pizza wheel or sharp knife coated in more of the confectioners’ sugar/cornstarch mixture. Dust the sticky sides of each marshmallow with more of the sugar/cornstarch stuff. Put the marshmallows in an airtight container and save them for up to three weeks.
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Photo by Jen Kaplan
Photo by Jen Kaplan
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