Those plush packages of organic vanilla marshmallows sell for $5.99 (or more) for just a handful. Why not make a big batch of Barley Wine Marshmallows for your friends and family? It’s a perfect snow day activity.
Here’s a link to a press release by Brewers Publications new publisher, Kristi Switzer, with info about a broadcast at WUWM.com that covers winter warmers and seasonal ales. Adrienne Pierluissi, of Bayview’s Sugar Maple, joins me with Bonnie North, the Lake Effect arts producer, as we taste and sample seasonals such as Point Brewery’s St. Benedict’s Ale, paired with the following recipe for Barley Wine Marshmallows. I made the batch we sampled at the studio with Sprecher Barley Wine, a tasty example of the style, but you can use a homebrewed strong ale, too.
Barley Wine Marshmallows
Pg. 189, The Best of American Beer & Food
These ale-fluffed confections were originally made by Executive Sous Chef Piet Vanden Hogen at Pelican Pub in Pacific City, Oregon. Using Pelican Pub’s Wee heavy or a local Barley Wine will add a bit of beer flavor to mugs of hot cocoa, or use them as the filling for adult S’mores, made with graham crackers and bittersweet chocolate. Use organic powdered sugar for the best taste and texture. Adjust the amount of water to soften gelatin according to humidity and elevation. The texture of the bloomed gelatin should be thick and smooth, not grainy.
3 envelopes plain powdered gelatin (3 tablespoons)
4 to 5 ounces cold water
Unsalted butter for pan
¼ cup sifted organic powdered sugar for pan
4 ounces decanted (settled, with no foam) Scottish ale or Barley Wine
2 cups pure cane sugar
¼ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
6 ounces corn syrup
½ teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract
2 cups organic powdered sugar sifted with 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Bloom or soften gelatin in 4 to 5 ounces water in the bowl of a stand mixer. While the gelatin softens, prepare a 9-by-13-inch glass baking pan by greasing it with butter inside and sprinkling it with powdered sugar to cover base and sides. Rotate pan so sugar is evenly applied. Set aside.
- Combine ale or barley wine, sugar, salt, and corn syrup in a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat, and bring to soft-ball stage, 238° F on a candy thermometer. Mixture will foam and turn caramel colored.
- Place bowl with bloomed gelatin into a stand electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn mixer to MEDIUM-LOW and slowly pour in hot sugar mixture, whisking into bloomed gelatin until it starts to fluff. Do not whip too fast or the hot syrup will splatter. Stop mixer and scrape sides. Restart mixer on MEDIUM-HIGH and whip until mixture becomes white and fluffy, about 10 minutes, adding vanilla extract during final minute of mixing.
- Scrape mixture into powdered sugar-lined pan and spread evenly to desired thickness (about 1 inch). Sprinkle top with powdered sugar-starch mixture and set aside. When cooled and set (from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on humidity), turn slab out onto a cookie sheet covered with half of the sifted powdered sugar mixture. Slice into cubes with sharp knife or scissors dipped in warm water between each slice. Roll cubes in remaining powdered sugar mixture so all sides are coated. Let air-dry until not sticky (time varies according to humidity), and place in an air-tight covered container. Will keep up to 10 days.
Makes about 50 marshmallows.