Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alphabet Marshmallows

Who didn't love alphabet soup when they were growing up? I know I did. Well this is even better. I had this idea while making my first batch of quince sherbert marshmallows. I had just picked up these adorable alphabet cookie cutters from the 2 dollar shop. (How awesome are 2 dollar shops? I never used to understand my Mum's obsession with them, I found them so incredibly azn and pointless. But now I realise they are the perfect place to pick up stuff for baking!) And so I thought to myself, how cute would it be to make homemade vanilla bean marshmallows, that were cut out using these alphabet cookie shapes? The answer? REALLY FREAKIN' CUTE.
I decided to go with a nice, reliable marshmallow recipe. I didn't join Daring Bakers in time for the marshmallow cookies that they made, but I had heard the recipe was easy and good. The recipe from Gale Gand is indeed very good, light and fluffy and sets well, even better with the addition of real vanilla beans. If you can't get/don't want to spend money on vanilla bean pods, you can buy vanilla bean paste or just use vanilla extract from the supermarket. In hindsight, the cookie cutters were a tad on the large side for marshmallows, so I had a little trouble cramming them into my cup of hot chocolate. But the taste? And the look? Well this just says it all:
OMG, indeed. My only annoyance with this recipe is that it requires light corn syrup, something that is very hard to find in Australia. I managed to find some at the Essential Ingredient before it moved far far away from me :( I'd guess it might available at other gourmet stores or possibly David Jones food hall. Or you could possibly try replacing it with this Invert Sugar Syrup recipe at the awesome Not So Humble Pie blog. Or use a recipe that doesnt require corn syrup, and uses glucose syrup instead, like the quince marshmallows I did previously. And then get a giant teacup like the one I have so you can spell out as many funny words as you can think of.
Either way, homemade marshmallows are delicious. Vanilla bean marshmallows are uber delicious. Alphabet vanilla bean marshmallows are uber delicious and ridiculously fun! Kids will love them. You will probably love them too if you are a bit of a kid like me. And who doesn't love a melty, gooey marshmallow in a cup of hot chocolate?
Vanilla Bean Alphabet Marshmallows
(adapted from this recipe)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup (170grams) sugar
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 egg whites , room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, pod discarded (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)

3/4 icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup cornstarch
Alphabet cookie cutters
Grease with vegetable oil and line a 28 x 18cm cake tin. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees F on a candy thermometer. In the meantime, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and stir until the gelatine dissolves. In a large stainless steel mixing bowl, whip the whites until soft peaks form and gradually add the syrup into the whites. Add the scraped vanilla beans and continue whipping until stiff, and the mixture cools slighty. Pour into prepared tin and leave to cool and set at room temperature, this will take 2-3 hours or overnight.
Combine icing sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Lightly dust a clean surface with mixture and then turn out marshmallow on to surface. Dust all surfaces with icing sugar mixture. Cut out shapes using alphabet cookie cutter, gently prying the marshmallows out of the cookie cutters. Toss each marshmallow in the icing sugar mixture to coat all surfaces.
Try to cut out shapes without wasting too much of the marshmallow, leftover marshmallow scraps can be cut into small pieces and dusted, then saved as mini marshmallows. Store in an airtight container. Serve on it's own or with a cup of hot chocolate or other hot drink.
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  1. What a great idea! Can I ask, when you say 'pour into prepared tin', what kind of tin? Like a shallow tray?

  2. OMG steph you are all kinds of awesome!

  3. Here Comes The Aeroplane - Check the first step of the recipe - a greased and lined 28-18cm slice tin :)

  4. I've said it before... the way your mind works is awesome hehe.

  5. Oh so darn cute. My nephew would absolutely love these.

  6. These are fabulous! So, so cute, and I remember how yummy those marshmallows were from the challenge. I love your polka dot tea cup too :)

  7. I am definitely making these!

  8. I wish I had a cup big enough to spell 'freaking adorable' in it LOL!

  9. How cute are these? I love love love them! I think my favourite has to be the OMG ones... Dying to try these now!

  10. This is amazing in both concept and execution. What a great idea!

  11. I was so looking for this post!!! OMG OMG OMG!!! YUM YUM YUM!!!!

  12. Awww...these are so adorable! Now the shape possibilities are endless? =D

  13. ahhhh these are so cute!!! I've been wanting to make marshmallows for ages but this just takes it to a whole new level of cuteness :) awesome stuff!

  14. Steph, you are awesome! These are so cute! I've always wanted to make marshmallows.. Maybe when I save up for a Kitchenaid I'll make them :)

  15. OMG! Steph! THese are sooo freakin cute!! So cute!
    And yay for the milk bottle :D

  16. Hee hee these are soooo cuutte!! But I must be deprived as I never had alphabet soup before haha

    Is it safe to assume that you had at least 3 cups of hot chocoalte (or meelo) during the process of this post :P?

  17. Great idea! They look fantastic.

  18. aww steph, these are soo cute. LOL I'm soo azn cause I love $2 shops, they have the most random things in there.

  19. OMG that's so YUM, and it looks as easy as ABC.

    I know so many young mothers that would love this idea!

  20. Gosh these look so cute! And yummy to boot!

  21. hi! what kind of camera do you use???!

  22. very very cute and adorable! love the cup as much as your alphabet marshmallows! :)

  23. These stopped me in my tracks when I saw them on tastespotting. Just brilliant! I've never made homemade marshmallows before, but now I'm just going to have to, and then I'm probably going to have to try to toast them over a campfire to watch them get all swollen and golden.

  24. Wow these are so much fun! I love them hehe, woulde certainly like to have some of these in my hot chocolate.

  25. Brilliant as usual Steph! Love the playful spirit and cleverness.

  26. These are really cute. Great job!

  27. Love it, you should sell them!

  28. These are gorgeous!! I posted a link on my column, too ( I've been wanting to try homemade marshmallows for ages, and I think you just gave me that final push :)

  29. I've been making marshmallows with a very similar recipe for years. Cutting/forming them is an absolute bear. Worth the work, but there's lots of it.

  30. So cute! People wanting to make these with invert syrup should keep in mind that you don't have to make it like it's a separate component - you can just substitute the acid for the corn syrup in the recipe.

  31. Ha ha! If I was going to learn the alphabet, I would think - this would be the best way to do it! Again, another great Raspberri Cupcake idea!

  32. love these. and i have those exact cookie cutters at home! but remembering what a bother it was getting gingerbread out of them, i am not looking forward to the effort involved (just the results)

  33. OMG indeed. Oh, the mischief one could get up to with 'accidental' messages displayed in people's food, tee hee hee :)

  34. Eeeppp cuteness!!! Oh and I have the same cookie cutters too - must take them out and make some!

  35. Indeed - very. freakin'. cute.

    And I hear you on the $2 shops - they rock my world!

  36. These are very cute and look like the perfect addition to hot chocolate. I wonder what other creations can be made the alphabet cutters.

  37. How awesome are these?!? And how awesome are you ; )

  38. You may have trouble finding light corn syrup but your local $2 shop is obviously damn better than mine!

    You have made a cup of awesome.

  39. chocolatesuze - Hehe thanks Suze! It was fun!

    Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook) - Haha it works in mysterious ways ;)

    A cupcake or two - Hehe I hope so! I wish I had time to make more!

    Lisa - Thank you!! And thanks for recommending the recipe ;) Hehe I think the red one is cuter!

    procrastinatingbaker - Yay make them! They are super fun

    Karen @ Citrus and Candy - Haha that would be a freakin big cup!

    Celeste @ Berrytravels - :D Thank you so much! Haha I love the OMG one too! Wish I had done a WTF one too :(

    The Ninja - :P Why thank you, I don't care how random it is, I <3 it!

    Sefie - Aww thank you!! It was seriously fun!

    Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - HAHAHA you so funny Ellie :) <3

    mademoiselle délicieuse - Hehe exactly! So much fun to be had

    Jacq - You should totally try them they are so easy to make!

    Sara (Belly Rumbles) - Thanks!

    Essential ingredients - Thank you! :)

    Phuoc'n Delicious - Hehe thank you!! Ohh any excuse to buy a kitchenaid ;)

    Betty @ The Hungry Girl - :D Thanks Betty! Hehe I couldn't resist

    FFichiban - oh you have to try alphabet soup! haha I think that is very very safe to assume :D

    Chele - Thanks so much!

    linda - YAY let's be azn together and shop at $2 shops :D

    Simon @ the heart of food - Hehe exactly! :D thanks!

    Forager - :D thanks!

    Anonymous - Hi! I'm playing around with a canon 500d at the moment :)

    chocolatecup - Thanks so much! It's one of my fav cups :D

    fogg road kitchen - Ooh love the sound of toasting them over a fire! Thanks so much :D

    Natalie... - They were super fun to melt into my hot choc :)

    Crispin - Thank yoU!

    Joyce - Thanks :)

    Gina - Haha that would be awesome! I should!

    Chic Cookies - Yay thanks so much for linking to me! :)Yes you should try it, it's so easy and totally worth the effort!

    Mad William Flint - Yes it seems to be a very reliable recipe, probably why it was chosen for Daring Baker's! The cutting wasn't too hard, thanks to the cookie cutters

    heatknivesandchemicals - Thanks! And thanks for the tip!

    Trissa - Haha yes I should totally teach my kids their ABCs this way :D THanks!

    smartygirl - Haha luckily it's not a bother at all getting the marshmallows out since they are quite springy, so you can pull the whole thing out once you get a hold of one corner. I used a chopstick to pry mine out!

    Emma @CakeMistress - Hehehe I like the way you think :D

    Trisha - Aren't they the best cutters? Do it!!

    Ladybird - Heehee thanks! Totally agree!

    Mark @ Cafe Campana - Yes I am definitely hoping to get my moneys worth out of the cutters haha

    Brenda - Aww shucks! Thanks!

    Conor @ Hold the Beef - Hehehe thank you! It was a quite an awesome cup of awesome :D

  40. so adorably cute! i am going to do these for my kids!

  41. The Urban Baker - Thanks so much! Hope your kids like them ;)

  42. Butter Hearts Sugar - Aww yay! Mission accomplished :)

  43. frosting on your cupcakeNovember 15, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    this is so creative and fun i am soo looking forward to making this

  44. This is amazing! Hope you don't mind, I featured it on my blog!

    Happy holidays!

    xo Sara

  45. is it okay if i will put food coloring?

    1. Sure, add it to the gelatine/cold water mixture I guess.


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