Happy 2012! I’m excited to kick of the new year by committing to a new bloghop called First on the First. Created by Carrie of Poet In the Pantry and Kate of Food Babbles, this is a year-long challenge of tackling certain culinary feats. Carrie & Kate have a list 12 of culinary challenges to accomplish – on the 1st of each month, the results of that month’s challenge will be posted by all bloggers participating. Consider joining the fun and expanding your kitchen skills this year!
So first challenge of the year? Homemade marshmallows.
I’ve never made marshmallows so this truly was a “first” for me. Despite being fairly comfortable when it comes to baking (I like the exactness of following a recipe – it’s the anal retentive side of me), I’ve always been slightly scared of any recipe that requires the use of a candy thermometer.
So this month’s challenge was the perfect excuse to kick my candy cooking fears to the curb. After leafing through several cookbooks (hmm, no marshmallow recipe in Fanny Farmer) and perusing several recipes online, I watched this Joy Of Cooking video tutorial that clearly laid out each step. Since we are in prime time citrus season, I opted to create a orange/clementine flavored marshmallow- kind of a mash-up of the Joy of Baking recipe and these beautiful Peppermint Swirl Marshmallows from Krissy’s Creations.
I was pleased at how easy it really was. Granted, you need to read the recipe instructions thoroughly and have all ingredients on deck before jumping in. Just be prepared for some very messy, sticky utensils, bowls, pots, pans, afterwards. My best tip is to immediately soak your equipment in hot water to reduce the scrubbing time.
This recipe can easily be adapted to make different flavors by swapping out the extract and zest. Next marshmallow flavors I’d like to tinker with:
Some type of herb – perhaps Rosemary Honey?
In the meantime, these clementine swirled goodies are destined for a mug of Serena’s Moroccan Hot Chocolate.
Have you ever made marshmallows? Any tips to share?