Jan 10, 2011

Bubble Gum Marshmallows

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With the New Year upon us, lately I’ve been asking myself lots of deep, Oprah-esque life questions. For instance, should I give in to the urge to get a practical haircut? How can I watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills without my husband knowing? How many toddler-hidden raisins will I find in my sofa cushions this week? And most importantly, do Bubble Gum Marshmallows actually count as food if one is over the age of twelve?

I may never truly discover the answers to any of the above questions, and as far as the last one goes about the Bubble Gum Marshmallows, I may not really want to know. I suppose that with their delightful candy-pink coloring and less-than-natural flavoring, these happy little confections might be considered more of an edible craft than actual food. But they’re so divine in their whimsical deliciousness, who the heck cares if I might be judged for whipping up such insanity? Add to their decidedly “pink” flavor the high that comes from doing some serious mad scientist work in the kitchen, and you’ve got yourself some good times in my book.

Speaking of playing mad scientist, have you ever picked up any candy oils? They’re like super-powered extracts that come in teeny tiny little bottles. There’s some pretty insane flavors out there–definitely the kind of thing that gets your wacky culinary wheels turning. I don’t do a whole lot with flavorings like these, but I have a handful of them in my bag of baking tricks that are fun to play with every once in a while when I feel like upping the crazy around here. Like say, creating a confection that gives you the sense that you’ve just put a fresh piece of bubble gum in your mouth, but instead of merely chewing it for a while until the flavor disappears, you get the awesome experience of actually eating the flavor at its height without it petering out on you.

And if that last sentence makes any sense to you at all, let me know, because we could probably be best friends. And like all good BFFs, I would totally share my stash of bubble gum marshmallows with you, and maybe even my Hello Kitty pencils and Justin Bieber poster collection.

Bubble Gum Marshmallows

The color and flavor of these marshmallows will be completely dependent upon your personal taste and the brands of food coloring and flavoring you use. I tested this recipe using Americolor Soft Pink gel food coloring and LorAnn Bubble Gum flavored candy oil.

Normally, I make this amount of marshmallow in an 8×8-inch pan for nice chunky blocks suitable for hot cocoa. But since these are more of a confection to be eaten straight up, I made them thinner by using a rimmed quarter sheet pan that measured 8×12 inches.

Makes about 2 dozen marshmallows (depending on how you cut them)

2 tablespoons unflavored powdered gelatin (a little over 2 packets)
1/3 cup cold water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Pinch of kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6-7 drops bubble gum flavoring
2-3 drops soft pink gel food coloring
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting

Grease a quarter-sheet pan (or similar baking pan that measures about 8×12 inches) with a small amount of shortening, using a paper towel to rub it lightly and evenly onto the bottom, sides and edges of the pan. Set aside.

Combine the gelatin and 1/3 cup cold water in a small bowl and let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes.

Place the sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup water and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan and stir gently. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pan, and place it over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, checking it occasionally–you are looking for it to eventually hit a temperature of 235-240 degrees (soft ball stage).

Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Microwave the gelatin on high until it is completely melted, about 30 seconds. Turn the mixer on low, and very slowly pour the melted gelatin into the corn syrup. Keep the mixer running while you check the sugar syrup.

Once the syrup reaches 235-240 degrees, pull it from the heat. Carefully transfer the syrup to a large, heatproof measuring cup or a similar vessel with a spout for easy pouring. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. When all the syrup has been added, crank the speed up to medium-high and let it go for about 6 to 7 minutes–the candy will turn white and fluffy during this time. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the bubble gum flavoring, just a couple drops at a time, stopping the mixer to taste the marshmallow, adding more drops until you reach the desired intensity of bubble gum flavor. Beat in the food coloring, drop by drop, until you get the color you’re looking for.

Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula spritzed with a bit of cooking spray to nudge it into the corners and smooth the top. Sift confectioners’ sugar evenly and generously over the top. Let sit for about 6 hours.

Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan and invert it onto a confectioners’ sugar-dusted work surface. Dust the marshmallow slab with more confectioners’ sugar and cut into whatever size pieces you wish (a pizza cutter works great here for squares). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more confectioners’ sugar, patting off the excess. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

  • you are bringing out the junior high in me that I have kept buried in a "memory bin" in my basement for 20 years. the same memory bin where i keep my liz claiborne purse and my retainer case.
    bubble gum marshmallows would have pretty much ruled my world!
    And I think i must get some of that cotton candy flavored oil. pretty sure there is no way around that!

  • How cute! And you just gave me the perfect idea for what I'll use my cotton candy flavoring on–cotton candy marshmallows!

  • OMG – this is like something straight out of a dreamworld! i'd never even HEARD of bubblegum marshmallows till i read your post (don't ask where i've been living these past few decades).
    i LOVE the colour and the way you've cut them.
    i've said it before & i'll say it again, you ROCK, girlfriend 🙂

  • 1. practical haircuts are totally overrated.

    2. RHOBV–don't try to hide it, the husband will also fall victim and totally watch with you. trust me on this.

    3. the raisins….they multiply. just leave them be. won't hurt anything, i mean, they are already dried out anyways.

    LOVE these marshmallows. As in, one of the awesomest treats I've ever seen. Seriously.

  • These sound yummy and fun! I can't wait to try them – been thinking of trying homemade marshmallows for a while. Of course now I have to order a ton of candy flavorings… and some new Hello Kitty pencils to share!

  • Oo,o, I have some Lorann oils and haven't decided what to do with them yet. This sounds like a fantastic use! Thanks for sharing!

  • I just made marshmallows last night and I'm in love with the ease and deliciousness of them! Yours look way cuter than mine though 🙂

    Where do you get those candy flavorings?? I've never seen them before!?

  • These are so pretty!

  • my 3 year old saw the picture and said "what are those bushes" i want some. super cute! i think i'll have to try it out this weekend

  • what a great idea for a marshmallow flavor. I too have some oils I never got around to experimenting with. Thanks for the inspiration. Truly dreamy adorable marshmallows!

  • I love them! I believe this same company makes princess flavoring. I made princess marshmallows a while back, but Bubble Gum is even better!

  • These are so cute! I love the shape! I would totally eat cotton candy marshmallows too…

  • These are so pretty and pink! I'm wanting to make marshmallows- thanks for the inspiration!

  • i speak from experience…whatever you do, do not get a practical haircut!

  • These are cute! Bubblegum is one flavor I have not tried for marshmallows but it makes perfect sense. Love the flowery shape too.

  • I can't wait to try these!!

  • These are sooo cute! 🙂 Gotta try them soon. By the way, I'm hosting my very first giveaway on my blog. Stop by to submit an entry when you have time. http://utry.it/2011/01/happy-birthday-to-meand-very-first.html

  • How beautiful!! Would love to try them someday. Kristan from Cookbook Queen recommended visiting you… and I am so glad she did! Just a wonderful site!

  • My mom brought me some flavored oils from the US but I haven't used them yet–I see peppermint marshmallows for hot chocolate in my near future!

  • I am not a big fan of marshmallows, but those are GORGEOUS! I can't show these to my kids because I will have to find those oils and make those marshmallows

  • OMG, I've never even seen candy oils. How wonderful that someone invented these things. I bet they would be great for so many sweet treats in addition to your oh-so-girly marshmallows. 😉

  • You're so bringing out the little girl in me, though I don't really bother to hide her 🙂

    These look amazing, I've heard a lot about LorAnn oils, but unfotunately, can't get them here 🙁

  • Wow! Those bubble gum marshmallows looks so pretty!

    Alaska Fishing Lodge | Real Estate

  • I had stored your post in my evernote when i came across it on foodgawker a little while back, and dug it out yesterday for some pre valentine's day goodies. They came out awesome! Thanks for the inspiration and recipe!

  • I’ve never eaten a homemade marshmallow, let alone made one, but I am so inspired! I just ordered a bunch of LorAnn oils for other treats, but I can see I’ll be placing another order very quickly now that I’ll be adding marshmallows to my recipe collection! Thanks for the great instructions!

  • These are so amazing!!! Do you know have to make the twisted Marshmallows?

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