Friday, November 15, 2013

Paleo Chocolate Cinnamon Marshmallows

Active Prep Time: 45min
Inactive Prep Time: 4-6 hours of letting the marshmallows dry before cutting them

These marshmallows have half the amount of sugar than average homemade marshmallow recipe. Sweetener amounts can't really be reduced more without affecting the stability of the marshmallow.

--->>>>Instructional Video from Author - Jenni Hulet (this helps so much!) 

1 cup filtered water (split into half cups)
2 1/2- 3 tablespoons Great Lakes brand (grass beef gelatin)
1 cup organic light colored honey, maple syrup or half of each
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
optional: Cocoa Powder, Toasted Coconut, Cinnamon (in place of the traditional powdered sugar) to coat the outsides of the marshmallows. ***Coconut flour does not work....

Note: Using a starch works best for coating marshmallows that will be used for roasting or topping sweet potatoes. It helps them to dry out faster and the extra starch helps with the browning process.

1. Grease an 8×8(or larger) pan and line with parchment paper in both directions.  Leave some length to use as handles when removing your finished marshmallows. Grease the parchment paper again and sprinkle with a layer of arrowroot starch or other coating of choice.
2. In your mixer bowl, add the gelatin with 1/2 cup of water. I like to give mine a good stir to be sure there are no lumps.  
3. While the gelatin is blooming, pour the other 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pan along with the honey and the salt. Turn the burner on at a medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place a candy thermometer in the sauce pan and continue to boil the mixture until it reaches 242-245 degrees (or the soft/firm ball stage) Don' not go over 245 degrees. This could take about 10-15 minutes depending on how hot the burner is and the size of your pot. 

Note: If your pot is too big the sugar syrup will be more likely to burn as the temp will rise too quickly and the thermometer will have trouble reading correctly. If the honey mixture foams up, watch it closely so that it doesn't over flow. You can use a spoon to break up the foam but try not to stir the actual syrup. When it reaches 242-245 degrees, immediately remove the sauce pan from the heat. 
4. If using a standing mixer set it to low/med. Pour the honey mixture into the bowl in a slow steady stream down the side of the bowl, combining it with the softened gelatin. Pouring down the side of the bowl here is very important, otherwise the sugar syrup will be too hot when it hits the gelatin causing the marshmallow mixture to break later when you try to spread it. Also, be sure that the syrup and the gelatin are well combined before moving to the next step. If you need to you can even stop and stir the gelatin when half of the sugar syrup is poured, making sure it is getting mixed in and resume pouring.

If using a hand mixer you may want to let the sugar syrup cool down to 225-230 degrees before adding to the gelatin. This is because it is much harder to pour at a slow steady stream while holding a hand mixer. This is unless you have an extra hand to help you out.

Turn the mixer to high and continue beating until it becomes thick like marshmallow creme and completely cool to the touch (about 7-10 min). These times will vary depending on the mixer and even the size of bowl used. Add the vanilla a few minutes before it's done mixing giving it enough time to mix in completely.
Turn off the mixer and transfer the marshmallow creme to the prepared pan. Remember, if using a coating (such as arrowroot/shredded coconut/cocoa....), add a light sprinkling to the bottom of the pan first before transferring the marshmallow creme. Smooth the top (add more coating to the top if using one). Pat to smooth again if needed.
If you are not using a coating then lightly grease your hands with oil and pat smooth.This will help keep the marshmallow cream from sticking to your fingers. Alternatively you can press it down with parchment paper, leaving it there till the marshmallows are completely set. This can take anywhere from an hour to 4-6 hours depending on your gelatin, temp of the syrup and how set you want them. If you want them to look nice and clean after cutting I recommend waiting at least 4 hours, even if they seem set.

Other coating options: Try all kinds of crushed nuts, coconut, almond flour mixed with spices, cocoa or other starches.
When set, remove the marshmallows by lifting from the parchment paper flaps. Cut to desired size and add more coating while cutting if needed and toss them again in some starch once cut for a super nice finish.

Trouble Shooting:

1. If the marshmallows are too soft, your sugar syrup probably did not get hot enough. If they set too fast your sugar syrup was probably too hot. Most often this is due to the thermometer being "off'. You can test your thermometers accuracy by placing the tip in a pot of boiling water. If you are at sea level it should read 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C.

2. If the marshmallows are wet at the bottom after setting and drying, then you probably did not whip them until they were completely cool before spreading in the pan or piping.

3. If the marshmallows seize after or during whipping, you probably added the sugar syrup to fast causing the marshmallow to "break". Be sure to allow the syrup to slide down the side of the bowl. This will give it time to cool down before hitting the gelatin mixture.

4. If the gelatin was still lumpy when marshmallows set, be sure to let the syrup melt the gelatin. If needed you can stop and stir the sugar syrup and gelatin once added.

ROASTING: For best results we use a torch for roasting and allow marshmallows intended for roasting to dry extra long if they are on the softer side. Once cut I leave mine out, covered with a cheese cloth for a few hours. After that they can be stored a jar, sealed bag or air tight container. I don't keep mine longer than 3-5 days. Stability of the marshmallow under roasting conditions will vary quite a bit depending on the "actual" temp reached when heating the sugar syrup. 

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