Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Strawberry Marshmallows

It was my good friend’s daughter’s 8th birthday and she had the best party planned – a baking and crafting party!!! She asked me to lead a baking station and of course I said Yes! I’ve been doing baking sessions with her daughter, which have been really fun, so she thought it would nice to extend it to her daughter’s friends.

Since we only had a limited amount of time during the party, I decided to pre-bake the goodies and have the kids decorate them. I made vanilla bean cupcakes and butter cookies for the kids to frost with buttercream in the theme colours and lots of sprinkle options.

My friend was planning a sweet bar/display for which I suggested I make marshmallows. I’ve been wanting to try the LorAnn strawberry flavouring that’s been sitting in my cupboard, so this was a great opportunity to test it.

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!
Spoiler: I had to throw out the first batch as I added too much flavouring – LorAnn flavouring is super strength so don’t be fooled – it’s SUPER strength.

Strawberry Marshmallows
Adapted from here.

5 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin
½ cup cold water
¾ cup sugar
½ cup light corn syrup (divided into ¼ and ¼ cup)
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon LorAnn super strength flavouring (I used strawberry)
Pink gel food colouring
2 Tablespoons sprinkles (more to sprinkle on top)

¾ cup icing sugar
½ cup cornstarch

1.  In a small bowl, combine gelatin and ½ cup cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes so that the gelatin absorbs the water.
2.  In a saucepan, combine sugar, ¼ cup corn syrup, ¼ cup water, and salt. Heat on high until 240 degrees F.
3.  Meanwhile, microwave gelatin for 30 seconds or until dissolved. Place in a bowl of a stand mixer along with the remaining ¼ cup corn syrup. Mix with the whisk attachment on low until the sugar in the saucepan comes to temperature.
4.  When the sugar mixture has reached 240 degrees, pour it in a slow stream into the bowl of the stand mixer.
5.  Increase speed to medium, then medium-high, then max and beat for 5 minutes at each speed.
6.  Add vanilla and other flavouring and beat to incorporate. Add food colouring and beat to incorporate.
7.  Add 2 tablespoons of sprinkles and beat to incorporate.
8.  If piping, add to a piping bag and pipe on a piece of parchment dusted with lots of icing sugar. If using a pan, line with parchment and dust with lots of icing sugar. Pour into pan and spread. Top with additional sprinkles.
9.  Let it set overnight. Cut (or use cookie cutters) and toss in a mixture of ¾ cup icing sugar and ½ cup cornstarch. (I did this a couple times to make sure that they weren’t sticky.) Store in an airtight container.

Verdict: The marshmallows were super easy to make and turned out nice and fluffy. I liked the look of the piped ones from the first batch – too bad I had to throw them out due to a heavy hand with the flavouring. Live and learn.

The birthday party was really fun! It’s so rewarding giving kids an opportunity to get creative and see what they can make. They seemed to really enjoy it. Check out these photos from the party:

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