Saturday, June 08, 2013

Red Wine Marshmellows

When we 're younger, all our dreams are usually centered around what we're going to be when we get older. "Im going to be an airhostess, or an astronaut or a teacher and whatnot." (or in my brother's case,-a clown!!).
I've been through my own list of what I've wanted to be over the years but it was'nt until I was very much older till I even considered wanting to be a pastry chef. Somewhere along the way,between all the lazy afternoons of baking, late nights of putting together gumpaste figures for an order and endless kitchen disasters with the oven (and my fingers!) it struck me that this was what I could do for the rest of my life.
Crumb coat.
Roll out.
Layer and stack.


Sometimes, your love for something ,it blinds you.
You don't consider the drawbacks, the downside.It's hard to admit that something you love so much could have an ugly side. Baking for work is miles away from baking in the comfort of your own kitchen. 
There are deadlines, you can't sit down while you cake is in the oven, sometimes, things get done by shortcut in order to keep up with the high demand, running from the oven to the deep freezer will confuse the heck outta your body.

See, making 20 croissants at home sounds lovely. Now having to make 200 croissants in the span of some 30 minutes; it drives you a little insane sometimes.

I remember the first day I walked into the pastry department at the hotel I was training at. I didnt know which side to look. And ,the walk-in cooler...Whoa!! Trays and trays upon racks filled with pastry cream and frangipane and gulab jamuns and blueberry filling . 
So even though it means long hours, and working on holidays, and irregular shifts, baking for work gives me a lot of things I'd never have access to at home.
Ingredients .Techniques.People who are so good at what they do.It teaches you patience, and perfection, from making the same thing a billion times over.

Once in a while,when you manage to get your head above all the sugar, and clingwrap and copious amounts of flour, you realise that it isn't so bad after all. :)

 The original recipe for these marshmellows used Champagne but I decided to substitute it with red wine instead.
Be d, Marshmellows can be a little bit tricky, mostly because you need to get the correct consistency of the sugar syrup before whisking it. But these are totally, absolutly worth it. You can use white wine too. But try and stick to drier varieties since the rest of the recipe is essentially only sugar.

Red Wine Marshmellows
Adapted from bravetart
Makes about 30 pieces.

21 gms gelatin
155gm Red Wine
155gms Liquid Glucose/Corn syrup
225gms Red Wine
396gms grain sugar
1/2 tsp  salt
optional: 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved for another use

Sifted icing sugar + cornflour for dusting

  • Lightly grease a 9inchx 9 inch square pan. 
  • Combine the gelatin along with the 115gm Red wine in a bowl and set aside. If you are using a stand mixer, combine these two in the stand mixer bowl. 
  •  Pour the 225gms or red wine in a pan and reduce it to half the quantity over medium heat. Weigh the red wine after redcing it to make sure it is now 113gms. If you reduced it a little too much add a little red wine to bring it back to 113gms.
  • In the same pan,to the red wine reduction add the corn syrup, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean scrapings. Set over medium heat and stir gently until the sugar melts.
  • Once the sugar has melted, allow it to cook, without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degreesF on a candy thermometer. i.e the softball stage.
  • Once it does, take it off the gas and let it cool to about 210 degreesF. If you proceed to the next step while it is too hot, it will prevent the gelatin from setting properly.
  • Next, Pour this mixture into the gelatin/red wine mixture and whisk on medium until the gelatin has melted.
  • Then turn up the speed to high and allow it to whisk until the mixture almost triples in volume.
  • I know this seems a little bit impossible, but don't worry, IT WILL HAPPEN!
  • Shut off the mixer and pour the marshmellow mix into the greased tray quickly. ( Don't be in a such a hurry to  lick the whisk. You can do that later :P )
  • Hit the pan against the table top once or twice to disperse and air bubbles , dust the top with icing sugar, clingwrap and refrigerate overnight.

To demould the marshmellows,run a knife along the side of the pan, reach in with you fingers and gently pull the marshmellow sheet out onto a icingsugar+cornflour dusted cutting board.

  • Dust the top  as well  as the sides.
  • Using a clean knife cut thick strips and immediately roll those in the dusting mixture and set asid.
  • Keep washing and drying the knife between each cutting to make sure you get clean, sharp, even cuts. :)

  •  Finally, cut into suares and dust. Store in the refigerator or eat all at once (Not recomended for your tummy!)


Serving suggestion :
Chocolate cake + toasted marshmellows:)

I cannot resist toasting marshmellows, Burnt on the outside, melty on the favourite!!

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