Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Smarshmallows 101

Here we go...

The Cast of Characters

Corn Syrup, Sugar, Egg White, Vanilla, Unflavored Gelatin, Water, Powdered Sugar, Brown Paper (like a grocery sack), Candy Thermometer.

Cut the large sides off your grocery sack. Keep both large sides and give the rest to the kids with some markers and stamps to keep them entertained for the next five minutes...if you're lucky. Put one inside up on cookie sheet. Set the other aside for tomorrow.

Dissolve two packages unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water.

In a heavy duty sauce pan stir together over high heat, 1/3 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup corn syrup. Stirring just until sugar is dissolved. Then put your thermometer in and watch the magic happen...and I do mean WATCH because if you walk away you might see the magic of 9-1-1 when your kitchen catches fire.

Continue to let your sugar syrup goodness boil until it reaches softball stage (or 240 degrees) on your candy thermometer. Then take it off the heat and stir in the dissolved gelatin. Now walk away and let this sit for 10 minutes.

While we are waiting our ten minutes separate one egg. Put the white in your mixer and whip it like crazy until stiff peaks form. Find something creative to do with your yolk. Stir 2 teaspoons vanilla into your syrup and then drizzle the syrup into the egg whites slowly while whipping on high speed.

Now whip it, whip it good. Sorry I couldn't help myself. Whip it up on high until your marshmallows look like this. They should form a little peak like this and then tip over. YUM! Resist the urge to stick your fingers in now...trust me you will make a sticky mess.

Instead, spread out your gooey, smarshmallowy, yumminess on your paper like this. Now comes the hard part. Walk away. Yep, walk away for at least eight hours or over night. Now would be a great time to make some graham crackers. Don't worry, we will cover that soon.

After the eight hours, sift powdered sugar all over the top. Then cover it with the other part of your sack, inside toward the mallows. Then Flip it all over quickly onto another cookie sheet.

Now with a clean wet cloth mop the back of the paper that the marshmallow is stuck to.

Next, peel back the paper, wetting it as necessary to unstick it. Then sift more powdered sugar over the new top.

Now cut them into pieces and toss them around in more sugar so they don't stick together.

There ya go. Homemade "smarshmallows"! Go grab your graham crackers and chocolate quick! Enjoy.

Homemade Smarshmallows

1 C granulated sugar
1 C corn syrup
1/3 C water
2 packets (2 Tbl) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg white
1-2 C powdered sugar

Saturday, July 3, 2010

One done, Two Going, One left.

Ugh! Vomit. Enough said.

Crock Pot Cake

With out realizing it my good friend Karrie over at Mules N Honey gave me a challenge. For those of you who don't know, Karrie has been living in a 320 square foot RV with her husband and FOUR kids for like 5 years now while they are building their house. Karrie asked me the other day if I had ever baked a cake in my crock pot. She had tried and didn't have the best results so she wanted to know if I had any hints. Now I am sure you are asking yourself, "Why on earth would you want to bake a cake in a crock pot and not just use your oven?" Well for starters, Karrie has no oven. Second, using an oven makes your house like, HOT!! Three, why not? I had heard of it being done, but had never tried it myself, which is surprising since I am a huge crock pot fanatic. I have been tossing this unspoken "challenge" around in my head for a few days now. Well today I did it. I baked a lemon cake in my crock pot and it is ....GOOOOD! Incredibly moist and yummy. Mine didn't turn out super pretty because when I was inverting it onto my plate, we had an emergency, so I had to kinda drop it all and it all fell to pieces. Also I have a hot spot in my crock that always burns everything, so I had a three inch span of the very outer part of the cake that got too done on one side. Even with all that, the cake was a hit. I just served up the pieces drizzled with a little glaze and a squirt of whipped cream. Here is what I did:

Lemon Crock Pot Cake

1 Box of lemon cake mix (or flavor of you choice)
1 Box of instant pudding (which I failed to use because I was interrupted)
8 Ounces Sour Cream
4 Eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 Cup water

Mix all ingredients in mixer on low for thirty seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down and mix on med/high speed for two minutes. Pour batter into a greased crock. (I just used PAM) Turn crock pot on high. Cover with lid, vented very slightly to help let out condensation but keep in the heat. Cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 on low until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean, carefully rotating crock half way through for more even cooking. (My crock is oval so I rotated once, if you have a round crock rotate a quarter turn every 45 minutes or so). When done remove crock from base, take off lid and let sit for fifteen minutes before trying to invert it onto your serving platter. (Or skip that all together and serve from the crock)


1 Cup powdered sugar
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Two drops almond extract (because I like it, use vanilla if you like)

Stir all ingredients together until smooth, you may need to add a couple drops of water if it is too thick, or more sugar if it is too thin. Drizzle over warm (NOT HOT) cake.

The cake will be a little darker on the edges and very moist on top and the top will not brown like it will in the oven. Also, my crock is a 7 quart Rival. It is missing one and a half of its three legs, and it is OLD, and scribbled on with sharpy and the handle is missing... so if my 'ol pot can do it so can yours! If you are using a smaller diameter crock, you might want to only use part of your batter so the cake cooks all the way through without burning on the outside. Next time I will try my smaller one and let you know how it goes, it is currently holding the baked beans I made yesterday for tomorrow's Happy Birthday Michael and America party that will not be happening now that we are having tummy troubles.