There’s a fair amount of experimentation in our kitchen, which means occasionally there are things that get pitched into the garbage. The good news is that this is one of the successes.
We’re both great fans bourbon. We have fresh mint growing out back just for mint juleps (well, that and once mint starts growing, there’s not enough napalm in the world to stop it). After experimenting with making marshmallows, first the regular version, and then some flavored, like with rosewater and almond, we hit on the idea of boozing them up.
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water- divided 1/2 & 1/2
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons Bourbon, divided 2 and 1
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
We put the gelatin into the bowl of a mixer with 1/2 cup of the water. We use a stand mixer with the whip attachment, but if you really want to try it by hand, go for it—you’ll end up with Popeye forearms for sure.
In a small saucepan we combined 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup, 2 parts of the bourbon, and salt.
We placed it over medium high heat, covered, and allowed it to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. We uncovered it, and using a candy thermometer cooked until the mixture reached 240F—it took about 5-8 minutes.
We turned the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly poured the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once all of the syrup was added, we increased the speed to high and whipped the mixture until it was quite thick and lukewarm, somewhere around 15-17 minutes.
We added the remaining bourbon during the last minute of whipping.
While the mixture was whipping, we prepared a pan for the final step. We sifted together the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar, then brushed a baking pan (we used a 9×13 pan but you can use an 8×8 if you want taller marshmallows) with vegetable oil and dusted with the sugar and cornstarch mixture
When the mixture was ready, we used a large oiled spatula (the oil keeps the mixture from sticking to the spatula) put it into the prepared pan. We then dusted the top with some of the sugar and cornstarch mixture, and save the rest for later. All this cornstarch really helped keeping the stickiness factor to a minimum.
We normally allow the marshmallows to sit about four hours before turning the pan onto a cutting board and cutting into cubes with a pizza cutter, and then dust each side of the marshmallows with the remaining cornstarch & sugar mixture (again, keeping down the sticky).
The bourbon version needed to sit a whole day before taking on the consistency that we wanted. At the four hour point, they were still a little gelatinous on the inside. The following day, they were perfect. After then, we stored them in Ziploc bags to keep them from getting stale.
I was writing the other day and had a hankering for one, so I headed for the kitchen. On the way, I happened to pass a bar of 70% dark chocolate, and…well, you see where this is going. The creamy texture of the marshmallow contrasted well with crisp bite of the chocolate, and then the sweet bourbon flavor blended nicely with the bitterness of the chocolate. I would hesitate to slap a graham cracker under it all, but your mileage is welcome to vary.
As I’m typing this, it occurs to me that one of the joys of our childhood was peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches (or ‘fluffernutters’). Seems like it’s only reasonable to try out the grownup version.
(Imagine brief sandwich making and eating).
Yeah, that didn’t work. The consistency isn’t right, and the flavors are clashing. I’ll stick to putting the bourbon marshmallows on top of dark chocolate, or having them simply as is.