One of the motivations for starting this blog was to join Tuesdays with Dorie. This was my first official week — although I did make the yummy lemon tart from last week. Let’s just say it was an interesting start. Before going in I had no burning desire to make homemade marshmallows and clearly my subconscious was telling me something. For one, I don’t have a stand mixer. I covet those brightly colored kitchen wonders but I am making do for the foreseeable future with my hand mixer. Somewhere in the book, but not in the recipe itself, Dorie mentions that this is one of the few recipes where the mixer makes a difference. I am sure the result was really due to operator error, but I am blaming the mixer nonetheless.
I am not positive just where the problems started….limp egg whites, over cooked syrup, random distractions…but when I poured the syrup into the egg whites and it immediately began to crystallize I knew it was a downhill slope. Doesn’t everyone enjoy a little hard crunch in their marshmallows? I perservered picking “candy” chunks out the mixture and let them set up. I will say that I owe one of the small successes of the recipe to reading the board discussion beforehand. I oiled my parchment paper and used a pizza cutter and had no problems removing or cutting my sad little marshmallows. The other piece of good fortune is that I live with two children who could smell sugar a mile away and aren’t terribly picky about its appearance and texture. They loved the marshmallows and ate every last one.
The finished product was far more reminiscent of some of that weird multi-colored gel like candy that is marketed only to kids than a traditional marshmallow. Good week for my camera to be acting up. I had to take the one and only picture with my phone. No great loss.
This recipe is exemplifies one of the reasons I love to bake. If the end product isn’t what I expected, no great tragedy. Throw it out (or foist it on some unsuspecting children) and move on.