My friend Carla Johnson, who hails from the greater Toronto region, is a fabulous writer and public speaker. When she was growing up her mother would add wine to the food that was being cooked and her Mennonite Granny, suitably horrified, called it ‘cooking with sin’. hee hee.
Fast forward a generation and Carla pens a book that weaves recipes and stories together in a wonderful tale. Cooking with Sin is born.
Occasionally Carla links to one of my recipes if it includes alcohol. Recently on her facebook page she had a link to a recipe for Icewine Marshmallows. This intrigued me. I had never thought about making homemade marshmallows…. why would I? We don’t consume that many of them but as I am always on the hunt to expand my cooking repertoire… I decided to give it a go. I have to admit I am not that much of a fan of icewine… I know, here in BC we make fabulous icewine… we have the perfect climate in our grape growing regions. Well I did have some icewine on hand, so it seemed like a very good idea to use it to try this out.
I had never made candy of any sort but had the most important tool….the candy thermometer. When I started the process, I was a bit nervous….but really… how hard could it be? So I dove right in. Marshmallows are basically sugar… and more sugar…. oh yah and corn syrup…. Guess this is why they are not that popular around here.
First off you soak the gelatin. This is to be done in a stand mixer… I didn’t think I had one of these… I know… why wouldn’t I have a stand mixer? Well I don’t do much baking and so it never has been a priority. What I did find out is that my food processor has an attachment to turn it into a small stand mixer… and when I say small… I mean almost too small for marshmallows that is. It was quite funny. Marshmallow goop that expanded and took over the machine.
But I am getting ahead of myself, first you have to cook the sugar, more sugar and the corn syrup and get it to what is called a ‘soft ball’ ?? and what do you know… these exact words are on my candy thermometer! Goat yogurt never gets this hot so I always have ignored the wording on it. Now I know.
It was definitely an interesting test. When the recipe says, use oil to coat the pan….they are not joking. When the recipe says coat the square marshmallows by dusting with icing sugar…. they are also not joking. Marshmallows are best described as ‘self sealing.’ When they are cut, they become un-cut if you don’t remove them from the pan. And the end result? They texture and taste was EXACTLY like a marshmallow…. well actually a marshMELLOW with icewine added to it…. Enjoy!
Jason Parsons, executive chef at Peller Estates, says it can be challenging to cook with icewine, but if chefs are mindful of the alcohol content, they should be OK. Makes 12 squares.
- 3/4 cup Icewine
- 3 envelopes Unflavoured Gelatin
- 3/4 cup Water
- 2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 2/3 cup Corn Syrup
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Vanilla
- Icing Sugar (to taste)
- Place Icewine in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Simmer until reduced to 4 tsp, watching closely to prevent scorching; cool.
- Pour half a cup of water into mixer bowl, sprinkle with gelatin and let stand 10 minutes to soften.
- Combine remaining water, sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan, bring to a boil then boil vigorously for one minute.
- Stir into gelatin mixture with the salt.
- Beat with whisk on high speed for eight minutes.
- Add vanilla and reduced Icewine and continue beating two more minutes.
- Transfer mixture into 9-inch square pan lined with oiled plastic wrap, using an oiled spatula to spread evenly.
- Allow to set several hours in a cool but non-refrigerated area.
- When firm, remove from pan, cut into squares with a lightly oiled knife and coat each square in icing sugar.