Monday, January 10, 2011


I always thought a stand mixer was a waste of money. It's expensive, takes up up a ton of space, and it does everything that I can do. I prefer kneading and mixing ingredients by hand. If I needed to cream ingredients or whisk egg whites or cream, my handy dandy portable hand mixer can do the job perfectly. After considering these points, why would I need to buy the famed KitchenAid Stand Mixer?

Big and Mini Marshmallows
Then JSB and I encountered marshmallows and I finally understand why a stand mixer is a necessity. First of all, marshmallows require a lot of power especially near the end when it it thickens up and requires more strength to whip it. Our handy dandy hand mixer was doing a great job in the first 8 minutes of whipping, but as the 15 minute mark approached, the mixer was wheezing and coughing. The speed slowed down tremendously. In fact, only the mixture that surrounded the whisk was getting whipped -- the mixture touching the bowl wasn't even being agitated. In the last few minutes, I swear I saw bits of gray/blackish particles flying out of the mixer, but I can't be sure since when I tried to dig it out of the mixture I couldn't find it.

Lesson learned: A Stand mixer is necessary for this recipe.

JSB saw how the marshmallow was overpowering our hand mixer and told me to quickly pour the mixture out onto the the midst of her panic, she forgot to add the vanilla. The final result was a fluffy sweet mess that tasted of sugar and cornstarch.

Things I would change:

1) Use only powdered sugar instead of cornstarch, because the cornstarch left a weird taste on the marshmallows.

2) Remember to add flavoring. >.>

Recipe from Alton Brown

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray

  1. Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
  3. Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:
  1. Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
  2. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  3. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For miniature marshmallows:
  1. Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.
  2. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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