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OhhMay Guest Post

Hey all, this is Mae from OhhMay! First, I want to thank Jen so much for having me on her blog! I’m so honored. 🙂

I’m currently a senior in high school and plan on studying Food Science at college: either at Clemson, Cornell, Penn State, Cal Poly, or NC State. I began blogging when I was a junior because I wanted an archives of my crazy recipes and experiments. I fell in love with the blog community, and the rest is history! Eating Bender was one of the first blogs I started reading, and I’m so happy to be a guest poster today.

Some of my most popular recipes are Cacao Euphoria, vegan Humnut Cheese Pizzas, and Cheesecake Ice Cream.

My favorite things to cook and bake are foods that others would never thinking of making from scratch. I’ve made homemade bagels, smoked salmon, and of course: nut butter!

Have I mentioned I work for Saratoga Peanut Butter Company, a local gourmet peanut butter producer? I love my job, it’s the perfect outlet for my creativity.

Today’s step by step recipe is for homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. These are so much fun to make with a friend or with kids, because they transform from a syrup into a big pillow of fluff in minutes! They’re actually quite simple, too.

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It really helps to use a stand mixer because the marshmallows need to whip for 10-15 minutes. It can be done with a hand mixer, but it’s quite exhausting (these get really thick- I’m speaking from experience!).

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They start with three packets of gelatin, which provide structure and fluffiness.

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To that add 3 oz water and 1 large ice cube, and let the gelatin bloom.

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In a small sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup water (4 oz), 1 cup corn syrup, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar.

Using a mix of corn syrup and sugar prevents crystallization. 

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Lid the mixture and cook on high heat for 4 minutes.

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Cook, stirring occasionally (with a wooden spoon! Plastic melts.) over medium-high heat for 8-15 minutes, until a candy thermometer reaches 240* F.

You may want to use a larger pan than I did. The sugar syrup has a tendency to super-heat and boil over onto the stove. This isn’t safe with little ones around, but can be prevented if you use a 2-3 qt sauce pan.

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Meanwhile, mix a 4:1 ratio of powdered sugar to corn starch in a medium bowl. (I usually make about 1 1/4 cups and use leftovers to make icing for cookies.)IMG_1137

Lightly spray a 13x9x2 pan with baking spray and then add the some sugar+starch.

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Put plastic wrap on top of the baking dish and shake the sugar up. Knock out the excess in the sink and set aside.

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Once your sugar syrup reaches 240*, slowly drizzle it into the mixer and beat on low with the whisk attachment.

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Once the syrup is fully incorporated, turn the mixer to high and place some sort of guard on the mixer so it doesn’t splatter. (mine never has, but this is an extra precaution!)

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Meanwhile, split one vanilla bean and scrape the seeds.

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Hold it with the flat side down and place the tip of your knife in the end. Pull the knife away from you, splitting the pod. Open with your fingers and using the back of your knife, scrape out the inside. Get as much of the seeds as possible, these things aren’t cheap!

Tip: buy you vanilla beans in bulk from a health-food store or co-op. They’re typically 1/2-1/3 the price. If you don’t see any, just ask!

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Add the vanilla in the last minute of beating.

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This is the fun part! Getting the marshmallow into the baking pan. It’s a messy but tasty job.

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Your corn starch sugar mixture will be your best friend! Powder your hands with it while you’re trying to move it form the bowl to the dish.

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Sprinkle the surface with the powder and flatten out with your hands. This is another fun part for kids, but if you’re an adult it will surely bring out your inner child!!

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Let the marshmallows set for at least 3 hours. Turn out and then with a well powdered sharp knife, cut them into cubes.

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In a ramekin , melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips with 1 tsp coconut oil for 20 seconds at a time until it’s a dip-able consistency.

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Dip each marshmallow “booty” (the ugly side) into the chocolate and place on waxed paper.

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Proceed to drizzle any extra chocolate and sprinkle toppings of choice.

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I used chopped almonds, chopped cashews, poppy seeds, flaked coconut, sea salt,

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Butter cookies, potato chips, espresso and even cayenne pepper! Be creative!

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Depending on how large you make them, the recipe makes at least 3 dozen. They’re perfect for gifts! Mine were for my best friend, Jenna who has college auditions to become a music teacher tomorrow. Wish her luck!

Gourmet Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

with a Dark Chocolate Dip

  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 3 oz cold water
  • 1 ice cube

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded (OR 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch

In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment, combine the gelatin, ice and cold water. Set aside.

In a 2 qt saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugar, and water. Cover and place over high heat for 4 minutes. Remove the cover and clamp on a candy thermometer. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-15 minutes, until the syrup reaches 240* F.

Meanwhile, lightly spray and powder a 13x9x2 baking dish with the powdered sugar corn starch mixture.

Split and seed the vanilla bean.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly drizzle in the hot syrup. Place either a splash guard or plastic wrap around the mixer and raise the speed to high for 10-15 minutes. (Longer will produce a chewier marshmallow. You may want to beat longer if you plan on toasting them.)

Add the vanilla to the mixer in the last minute of beating. Turn the fluff out into the powdered baking dish and scrape the rest out with powdered hands. With your hands, even the surface and then let set for 3 or more hours.

  • 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring every time. Continue until it has a loose, liquid consistency.

Dip the base of the marshmallows in the chocolate and place onto waxed paper. Drizzle excess chocolate over the top and sprinkle toppings of your choice.

My favorite?

  • Chopped almonds
  • Chopped cashews
  • Coconut chips or flakes
  • Potato chips
  • Sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground espresso
  • Poppy seeds
  • Butter cookies
  • or Plain.

Let cool and enjoy!

Here’s a little label you can use if you give them as a gift (click to enlarge):

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I hope you guys enjoy them, they’re really fun to make!!

 

 

 

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