Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Great December Update

Well hello friends.  My apologies for being missing in action... I know the three people that read this blog were just LOST without it for the past few months :)  (yes people, one of those three people is my mom...another my husband...)  lolol.  So Happiest of Happy New Years to ALL of  my loyal readers! :)  Lots of updates for you.  First off, I sadly stepped down from the MS cupcake baking club in October.  I just felt like with the holidays coming up and the busy schedule I wasn't going to be able to post and bake appropriately.  With a long list of people waiting to join, I didn't want to take up the spot.  I'm hoping to continue baking along with them in the New Year and am continuously inspired by reading all of there blogs.  And yes, I will one way or another make my way through the book :)
That said, I have some old cupcakes to update here as well as a plethora of Christmas baking photos...including, my high volume, first go at ...homemade marshmallows! :)  Me and Mr. Byte gave Homemade Marshmallows and homemade spicy hot cocoa as gifts for the holidays.  Marshmallows went over like hotcakes!  Spicy Hot Cocoa...people either loved it or didn't.  Next year we'll need to figure out a way to balance the flavor out and more evenly distribute the spices in the mix.  Christmas day Momma Byte and I had a cup of cocoa and neither of us really tasted the nor there.  I guess this as good a place to start as any. 
Ladies and Gentlemen.. For the very first time in public, I present to you, Baking Bytes Holiday Marshmallows (Cue  cheesy bride and groom entrance music :) )

The ingredients.  I was surprised at the simplicity of the recipe I found...basically, sugar, sugar and sugar :)  Ok, reality is its not that "Buddy the Elf" simple.  But really, Gelatin, Light Corn Syrup, Granulated Sugar, pinch o salt, lil vanilla and Voila!  The confectioners sugar was used to coat the marshmallows along with a wee bit of corn starch.

First you "proof" the Gelatin in your stand mixer with a little cold water


 Then combine the Sugar, water and corn syrup and bring to a boil.  Pull out that good old candy thermometer.  Bring it up to 240 or softball stage

 With Big Red running I added in the hot candy syrup VERY slowly and carefully to the gelatin

Then gradually increased the speed to HIGH. and whippy whippy whippy for 15 min until you get this wonderful gooey marshmallow cream!  Much better and different than the jar.  oh, at this point add a tablespoon (yes a full TBSP) of GOOD vanilla!   Now I'm a fan of using the good stuff in all baking recipes, but here you really don't want to use the cheap stuff.  The flavor is too strong and you don't want an alcohol-y aftertaste to your marshies.  Unless we were making Marshmallow Martini's (ohhhhh thaaaaaaaats an idea!)

Then, I poured the goo into a 9x13 Pyrex.  Side NOT touch the marshmallow...i not touch the marshmallow.  You will get it in your hair and there will be a knot the size of china.  Guaranteed!


cover the top of the mallows with powdered sugar.  oops...also sift some PS generously over the bottom of the Pyrex before pouring in the marshmallow cream.  And let them sit overnight.  In the AM.  turn them out onto the cutting board and chop 'em up.  I used our handy pizza cutter for this.   Mr. Byte was a big proponent of the pizza cutter...for pizza.  I thought it was unnecessary but now see how wise he is :)  


Then, I used a zip-lock bag and about 1/4 of PS with a TBSP of corn starch.  Through the marshmallows in after cutting and go 'shake and bake" on them!!  This is important, without this you'll store the marshmallows and they'll all stick together.  ick!

Here is a fuzzy close up of the yummy finished product!  These really did go over like gang busters!  and they melt BEAUTIFULLY in a cup of hot cocoa!  I've been told that I need to sell them at the flea markets next year for the holiday.  Mr. Byte already has a spread sheet cost analysis done so - we shall see.  I really enjoyed making them and I'm eagarly awaiting spring where I'll attempt to pipe some marshmallow chicks and bunnies.  :)  stay tuned.

OH HUUUUUGE UPDATE!!! Momma Byte gave me a full set of pastry tips and bags for my birthday in November!  I'm completely excited to further explore decorating.  Coming soon a post of making the MS Christmas Wreath cupcake for Christmas using one of these tips for the first time.  Also, A post showing my use of the bags for the first time when making my very first gingerbread house!

Again, Happy "oh ten" to everyone.  Wishing you a year of happiness, good health, peace in the world and your hearts and lots of yummy baking
UPDATE:  Here is a small pic of my lil' packages of homemade marshies with Hot cocoa....posted specifically for my Uncle Jim! :)