Phew. It has been awhile. I'm not even going to try to explain. (OK, I am going to try to explain, but not right this second.) For now I am just going to post this recipe because I NEVER thought it was going to work and it did. And I think this is something I need to share with the world.
It started with a camping trip. We were invited to join some friends to camp and I knew I had to come up with something for roasting over the fire. We've done hot dogs before, but we all know that marshmellows (marshmallows?) are THE thing to have when you are camping. And S'mores. So I started looking for something that would work for my crew. I was looking for GF/CF plus no soy and no corn - and I was kind of hoping to avoid refined sugar. Go ahead, start laughing now.
I found this recipe at the begining of my search and it ended up being my starting point with some tweaks along the way. Here's a picture of the finished product to start you off, recipe after the photo.
Here's what you need to start with:
2 packets unflavored gelatine
1/2 cup cool water
2 cups Sucanat (a less refined sugar)
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
(I used Trader Joe's brand as it does not have corn starch)
In a small bowl, stir together tapioca starch and powdered sugar. Prepare a pan - Oil a large casserole or rimmed cookie sheet and spoon in some powdered sugar mixture to coat pan evenly.
In a mixing bowl (if you have a stand mixer, perfect), combine 1/2 cup cool water and gelatine. Set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, combine water, sucanat, honey and salt. Bring to a rolling boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer registers 238-240, firm ball stage. (I will admit that I didn't have a thermometer and I just let it hit boiling and waited 15 minutes, but shhhh, don't tell.)
Turn on mixer (where you have the gelatine waiting) at low speed. Slowly pour hot syrup into the bowl with the gelatine - carefully, it is HOT! Mix until thoroughly combined, and then turn the mixer to high. Beat until very thick, fluffy and lukewarm, about 12-15 minutes with a stand mixer. Add vanilla extract near the end of mixing. Here's how it looked:
Spread evenly into prepared pan and let cool at least 3-4 hours before slicing. (I used one of my square stoneware bakers from Pampered Chef, and let them sit overnight) - as noted in the original recipe, the tops are VERY sticky so if you have pets or dust or anything floating around, you might want to cover them up.
To slice, remove the entire sheet of marshmellows onto a cutting board. It will be tacky to the touch but not melted & sticky. Mine did not pop out of the pan, I had to kind of pull the entire square out - it stretched but didn't break and the kids loved seeing it happen. Grease a very sharp knife and cut into desired size.
I made ours fairly big because I knew we would be roasting them on the fire. And yes, they are kind of a tan color because of the sucanat - if that really bothers you and you don't care about refined sugar, you can use regular white sugar instead.
Toss with remaining powdered sugar mixture until all sides are evenly coated and no longer sticky. These will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2-3 weeks.
They came out very much like "real" marshmellows, but with a slightly maple kind of flavor. If you tell everyone they are special gourmet marshmellows, they will never know the difference. I tested these out on a lot of people and I was surprised that everyone liked them. I got comments about the color, but not one "this tastes kinda weird" or "...interesting ..." and as you can see, my kids liked them too. They even worked in S'mores.
Oh, and p.s. I hurt my back last spring and it has taken me this long to catch up and feel normal again. So hopefully that means more blogging. Maybe I'll post about that whole mess another day.