Archive for November 11th, 2011

November 11, 2011

Adventures with Alice: Mallows

A couple weeks ago, Lauren and I got to talking about how we’d both let our mixer posts fade … whoops!  It was decided marshmallows should be on the list. Maybe that weekend, maybe the next, definitely soon.

Well, then that Saturday looked like this:


Clearly, snow calls for hot chocolate. And just as clearly, hot chocolate needs marshmallows.

The lovely Jen had linked us back to the Smitten Kitchen recipe, so armed with that I headed to the store … to buy gelatin. Only. The thing I’m loving most about baking/cooking more is having staples on hand so I literally can wake up, think I want to make something, and not have to do a grocery run before starting.

Armed with a box of unflavored gelatin, I was off.

Step 1: Decide to make mallows 2 nights before husband’s big race. Make sure you wait until he’s trying to sleep, he’ll complain loudly enough to keep you entertained.


Step 2: Freak out about just how much sugar (in many forms) were going into it. That mixture above? 2 cups sugar + 1/2 cup corn syrup. Ewwwwww. Promise yourself you will NOT to tell husband how much sugar, so he’ll eat them.

Step 3: Realize your candy thermometer only goes to 220, when the recipe calls for 240. Decide to wing it.


Step 4: Hover awkwardly over your stove, trying to get photos of the process. Fail miserably at lining up the thermometer in multiple shots. Also fail at getting the light balance to stay constant for longer than one shot.

Step 5: Realize your thermometer has crapped out at about 215. Decide to go on look (it needs to be clear!) and hope for the best.


Step 6: Back away at lightening speed when you turn on Alice. Pro tip: boiling sugar and unflavored gelatin smell like burning. Terrible terrible burning.

Step 7: Worry that you effed it up while Alice does all the work for you. Add extra vanilla to try and mask the burning you’re sure will come through in the taste.


Step 8: Do another round of awkward hovering for photos. This time, do it will one handedly pouring the mallow fluff into your pan. Again totally fail at lining up and light/color balancing. Don’t forget to make sure your booze is clearly visible in at least one photo.

Step 9: Ignore Deb’s advise, and try to scrape down the bowl. Be successful! Decide your success was a fluke and to never do it again.

Step 9: Misread the directions and top the fluff with ONE CUP of confectioner’s sugar instead of the prescribed 1/4 cup. Realize your mistake too late and decide to roll with it.

Step 10: Put in fridge to set. Pout when you realize you won’t be able to eat them until tomorrow. Flounce out of the kitchen in your angst and totally forget to soak the wisk. This will haunt you when cleaning up, tomorrow.


Step 11: Forget to oil your pizza cutter when cutting the mallows the next day. End up with slightly curved, different size mallows.

Step 12: Beat down the worry and try one. Realize that while you cannot taste the burning smell, you also used WAY too much vanilla. Decide they are still delicious.

Step 13: Give one to husband. Have him reply “that tastes like a real marshmallow” excitedly. Bang head against table at the realization he still doesn’t consider homemade goodies to be “real”.


Step 14: Bust out your favorite winter mug and make some hot chocolate. Add too many mallows. Decide all the steps were totally worth it.