Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn
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As I’ve been working to pick this lovely site back up again, it seems like the next logical step to have my dear friend and cooking partner, P, join me as a Breukelen Life contributor. Together we’ve made plenty of magic in the kitchen as you have read in the past. My delicious interests have aligned with no one better since I’ve teamed up with P and I am very excited to welcome him to this blog.
His first post (with pictures!) is below. There will be more to come in the future.
Sometimes Halloween isn’t about seeing how slutty of a cat you can dress up as, or watching scary movies and eating candy corn until you throw up. Sometimes Halloween is about making gourmet fattening treats with your family, and that is exactly what I intended to do.
When deciding what I was going to do for Halloween it quickly became apparent that rather than dress up and party hard, I’d prefer a quiet night of pumpkin carving and pastry making. Might as well stock up on all the essentials before Sandy hit, right?
This is where both my sister and Ina Garten came into the mix; my sister for her amazing kitchen, and Ina Garten for her Toasted Coconut Marshmallow recipe.
Marshmallows are something I have always held sacred and homemade marshmallows are the things dreams are made of. Light, fluffy, flavorful, and truly not that much work make marshmallows the perfect indulgence for fall. Plus, having gelatin as a major ingredient, things can get a little spooky when you picture the horse hoofs being ground down to make this delicious treat! I kid, sort of…..
With a total of 7 ingredients this recipe is extremely straightforward and is more about the process than anything else. The hardest part of the recipe is the waiting. After forming the marshmallow loaf Ina intends for us to wait 8 HOURS before dropping them into some fresh hot chocolate. Her cruelty knows no bounds.
We waited about 3 hours, after which we could no longer restrain ourselves, and came up against some sticking issues. Despite this we persevered and learned some lessons along the way.
You can see the original recipe here: Toasted Coconut Marshmallows from Ina Garten
3 packets unflavored gelatin (about 2 ½ tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
7 oz. sweetened coconut flakes
In a large stand mixer bowl add ½ cup cold water and sprinkle in the gelatin. Gently mix until combined. After a few minutes it will begin to set up and become a solid beige mass. This is a good sign.
While the gelatin sets, in a medium sauce pan add the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and ½ cup of water. Attach a candy thermometer to the edge of the pot with the tip hovering just over the bottom.
Place over a medium fire and gently bring to a boil. The color of the mixture will turn from pure white to a very light caramel and the bubbles will begin to crowd and pop faster as the temperature rises. As soon as the thermometer reads 240°F or soft ball stage, the syrup is ready to remove from heat. It’s time to begin the stand mixer. Now that your gelatin is a solid clump of repurposed horse foot, secure the whisk attachment and turn the mixer on low. The gelatin will begin to break up into pieces.
At this point gently pour in the sugar syrup while being EXTREMELY CAREFUL not to drip any on your bare skin. Once all of the syrup has been added turn the mixer to high; after just a minute the mixture should begin to thicken up and turn into something resembling marshmallow fluff. Do not be fooled. Continue mixing on high for 15 minutes. This can and will strain your stand mixer no matter what brand. Just cross your fingers and hope your motor is stronger than this sticky marshmallow goodness.
While the marshmallows are fluffing up add the coconut to a dry pan and toast over medium heat until nice and brown. Also, take this time to prepare an 8 x 12 shallow Pyrex dish. Spray the dish with cooking spray and gently coat with powdered sugar. Take half of the toasted coconut and cover every inch of the dish. This preparation will ensure that once you try to flip out your beautiful marshmallows after of course waiting the 8 hours you are told (cough) they turn out easily.
Your marshmallow mix is just about ready! After 15 minutes it should have doubled in size and taken on a thick marshmallowy consistency. At this point very gently trickle in the vanilla extra. The mix will be so thick it will respond violently to this addition, and you don’t want to waste marshmallow mix now do you?
Remove the whisk and set aside so you can extract every possible bit from it to help tide you over for the 8 hours (cough) you should wait. Using a rubber spatula scoop every bit of marshmallow into the Pyrex dish, attempting to distribute it as evenly as possible. Wet your hands slightly and gently press the mix into every nook and cranny. For the final step, spread the rest of the toasted coconut evenly over the sticky fresh mix.
After 8 hours (or 3 if you’re feeling very brave) place your dish over a large cutting board and quickly flip. If the mix sticks in any places, grease a spatula and pry it away as gently as possible. Once the loaf is out of the pan, using a sharp knife cut into nice squares. The yield should be about 32 marshmallows.
Take each freshly cut marshmallow and firmly press each side into powdered sugar. Serve with hot chocolate, as a treat with tea, or just eat them plain until your stomach hurts. Note, these do get better with age, so try and keep a couple around if possible. Though what’s Halloween without a stomach ache?