We all have something we are afraid off even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense. For me it’s a ridiculous fear of Alligators, which seems a bit of a stretch considering I live in Bozeman MT. However it must be ingrained deep into my subconscious because anytime I see water, I mean absolutely anytime. I somehow imagine there are alligators creeping about, whether it’s a chlorinated pool, a river, or even a deep puddle I have to drive through. It doesn’t really matter, I can almost feel them looking at me waiting to strike. Even now in the dead of winter, the thought crosses my mind every time i pass by the frozen pond when i take my dog, Koda out on a walk. In my defense I did grow up in Florida so I do have some good stories that could help explain why i’m so crazy. Nonetheless it helps to know I must not be the only one, because “Althaiophobia” is the fear of marshmallows!
Not entirely sure what triggers someone to be afraid of a fluffy marshmallow, but I am almost positive that it stems from a failed attempt at trying to bake some from-scratch. Nothing strikes more fear into the hearts of novice bakers than a troublesome meringue. Which is all a marshmallow really is, a glorified meringue. However this recipe doesn’t call for any egg, it instead uses gelatin as a stabilizer which makes it wonderfully easy, so don’t get discouraged or scared, it’s really quite simple. And once you get the hang of it you will feel brave, adventurous, dare I even say, fearless!
The recipe below is from Alton brown.
Serving size: One 9 x 13 pan
3 packets unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
½ tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup Cornstarch
¼ cup Confectioners’ sugar
Lightly spray a 9x13 sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl, and use it to dust the pan, making sure to completely coat the bottom and sides. Set aside and save the remaining mixture for future dusting.
Pour ½ cup of the cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and evenly sprinkle the gelatin over it.
Put ½ cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt into a small saucepan over medium high heat. Cover and let cook for 3-4 minutes, once the sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to bubble put in a thermometer. Continue to cook for 7-8 minutes until the sugar mixture has reached 240 degrees F. Remove from heat.
Turn the mixer on low and carefully pour in the hot sugar syrup in a slow steady stream directly onto the whites between the mixer bowl edge and the outer reach of the whisk. Once you have added all the syrup, whip the meringue on high speed for about 12-15 minutes, adding the vanilla at the last minute of whisking. When done the mixture should be thick, fluffy and luke warm.
With a large spatula, gently spread the marshmallow evenly into prepared pan, and dust with the sugar cornstarch mixture. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
When ready, cut the marshmallows into squares or snowflake shapes, and lightly dust the cut edges with confectioners’ sugar. They can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.