Help: Sugar and Caramel Stages
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- ¾ cup cold water, divided
- 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- About 1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar for dusting pan and coating the marshmallows.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, put ½ cup cold water. Sprinkle gelatin over the water; set aside about 10 minutes for gelatin to soften.
- In a medium-size heavy-bottomed pan, combine ¼ cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir gently to avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan. When the mixture begins to simmer, cover the pan tightly with a lid for 3 to 4 minutes to allow condensation to form and run down the inside of the pan to help wash away stray sugar crystals.
- Remove the lid and clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan, increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F, a soft ball stage. While the syrup is cooking, wash away any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan by wiping upwards with a damp pastry brush so the sugar crystals don’t fall back into the syrup. Tip: Lower the heat when the temperature reaches 235 degrees to slow the cooking because at this point it will quickly reach 240 degrees. In addition, remove the pan from the heat just before the syrup reaches 240 degrees to prevent it from going over 240 degrees.
- With the electric mixer on low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture. Be careful, the sugar is extremely hot and will burn your skin if you touch it. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is thick and shiny and nearly tripled in volume, about 10 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the vanilla. Increase the speed to high and continue beating about 1 minute or until the vanilla is well combined.
- Scrape marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan, spread with a rubber spatula to make as smooth as possible. The mixture will be sticky.
- Coating: Generously dust the top of the marshmallow with about 3 tablespoons powdered sugar.
- Let marshmallow sit uncovered, at room temperature, until set and dry, about 12 hours.
- Dust a large pastry board with about ¼ cup powdered sugar. Run a sharp kitchen knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the marshmallow. Invert the pan onto the pastry board. Remove the plastic wrap and dust the top of the marshmallow with about 3 tablespoons powdered sugar.
- Using a sharp kitchen knife or pizza cutter, cut the marshmallow into 1-inch squares. Dip the cut sides of the marshmallows into powdered sugar to help prevent them from sticking together, shake off any excess sugar.
- Store marshmallows covered, in an airtight container, at room temperature.