Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest Post: Nelly Takes Over Cooke'd With Luv!

Greetings from somewhere in the Caribbean.  Smokin Hot Wife and I are on a nice little cruise in the Bahama's, but I hated to let the blog sit idle for a whole week, so I asked Marnely Rodriguez to share her humour, talents, and creativity with you.  Marnely was a major encouragment to start Cooke'd With Luv,  and she has been a wealth of information (as she is to so many others). We clicked on twitter right off the bat as our sense's of humour and wit sort of blended perfectly. Yes, that's scary! ;) The beautiful thing is, her style should go great with my blog; sort of like butter goes with bread, spankings go with chil'ren, and spit goes with chewin tobacco.  So, without futher delay, please welcome Nelly.....

Hello Cooke'd With Luv readers! I am so happy to be taking over Alan's blog today! Can you believe I have total control of his dashboard, template and settings?! What should I do: add some rainbows, unicorns and leprechauns? Do you think Alan likes deep pinks or lighter, rose pinks? He does seem like a lavender type of guy...mhmm...Ha! Ok, in all seriousness, I am completely happy to be here and I promised Alan I'd behave (he actually sent me a PDF contract to sign where I promised to not mention that he sleeps with a stuffed polar bear). Oops....Back to business! Today I'd like to share with you my new obsession (no, not bananas) but marshmallows!

What's a Marshmallow? To me, a simple-minded baker, a mallow is an edible cloud. But no one better to explain the science behind what a marshmallow really is than Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot, authors of Ideas in Food, to tell you about "The Anatomy of a Marshmallow".

Stay with me now. Have you ever bit into a cloud? I bet you haven't but you will once you make these. Marshmallows from a bag cannot compare to homemade marshmallows. It's like comparing bacon to okra. NOT possible.

This recipe is adapted from food52, the original recipe being a Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Marshmallow. I wanted a basic marshmallow recipe with no other flavorings than a Madagascar Vanilla bean.

Extra powdered sugar! I love the extra sweetness the excessive amounts of powdered sugar give them. Yes, I know. It seems like a lot. But hey, I'm only living once so I do what I want! By the way, I didn't have powdered sugar at home so I just pulsed white cane sugar in the blender, shaking it from time to time and had fine powdered sugar without having to head to the store!

You can check out the recipe over at Food52, here is the vanilla version I made:

1 cup water (divided into 1/2 increments)
3 packets unflavored gelatin (or flavored!)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 vanilla pod, scraped (don't throw it out!)
hefty pinch of salt (remember this is all sugar, so be generous!)


  1.  Grease 9x9 pan, as well as the spatula you will use to remove the fluff from the bowl. Set aside.
  2. In your mixer bowl (this fluff needs to mix a good 15 minutes, so hand mixing is not recommended), place the gelatin and hydrate with 1/2 cup water.
  3. In small saucepan, place the rest of the water, corn syrup, sugar and salt. Boil over high heat until it reaches soft ball stage or 240F.
  4. Turn your mixer on low and drizzle in the hot syrup. Up your mixer to medium for about 5 minutes and then hot high for the rest. You're looking for a shiny, thick fluff. You know what fluff looks like. Add vanilla scrapings the last minute.
  5. Use greased spatula, transfer fluff to pan and flatten. You can wet your hands to help flattened a bit, but this will somehow turn into a mess if a tiny bit of mallow hits a dry spot on your hand.
  6. Let sit for 2-4 hours (depending on the humidity). Flip over on powdered sugar cutting board and cut with greased knife. Cut into perfect squares, flowers, circles, stars. Whatever your heart desires. 
  7. Throw into a bowl with sifted powdered sugar and coat all the sticky sides.
  8. Enjoy in hot cocoa, rice krispies or by themselves!
Note: You can also transfer fluff into a piping bag fitted with a round tip (or a star tip if you'd like) and pipe strips onto a greased silpat. Let sit for a few hours, coat in powdered sugar and cut into mini-mallows. More work, cuter; I like my mallows big and chunky though!

Next week, I'll be making Stella's (BraveTart) Honey Marshmallows. (By the way, do you know Stella? If you don't, you should. Go click on over to her blog and show her some love. Or add her on Twitter @thebravetart and tell her I sent you. Oh, why should you? Because she's a macaron-diva-outstanding-pastry-chef-guru-of-ice-cream friend!)

Enough about Stella -- What would be YOUR ultimate marshmallow flavor? (Oh, and thanks Alan for hosting me! It was fun, we should do this more often! How about next time I go on a cruise and you take over? Great! Can you buy me cruise tickets? Thanks!)


  1. Hope your having a wonderful cruise, and so fun to have the fabulous Nelly on your blog! I have never in my life made marshmallows before, but somehow I now feel compelled to make these. They would go beautifully with the smores we always end up making after an evening with the kids around the fire pit. Thanks Alan and Nelly for a fun post!

  2. Never tried Marshmallows before, these look lovely. Nice to see you here Nella. Hope you are enjoying your holidays with your smokin hot wife, Alan :)

  3. These look amazing! So very much better then store bought!

  4. Extra powdered sugar?? Brilliant. And delicious.

  5. Ah... Lovely. I love the part where candy cane was being pulsed. lol.

    Must give these cloudy treats a try.

  6. Nelly they look great! I love making these, except I have to add food color to make them, pink, yellow and blue marshmallow for my little ones. Alan, have a great time in the Bahamas. It has been a pleasure visiting your blog.


  7. Is the stuffed polar bear deep pink? Because I definitely suspect Alan's a deep pink kinda guy.

    Fun guest post, Nelly! They look scrumptious and fun to make. Now here's a pertinent question: How well do homemade mallows toast over fire?!

  8. I've never made mallows, but I've heard how fabulous they are! Biting into a cloud dusted with sugar sounds heavenly :) I'd like to know how they toast over fire, too. Fun post!

  9. You make me giggle! I actually think unicorns and a pink background sound perfect!!!
    You marshmallows look perfect, and DELISH!!! Love the idea of pulsing the pure cane sugar, love learning new tips.
    Hugs, Terra

  10. lol. You definitely should have tweaked the blog design a bit. I'm sure Alan would be thrilled with all pinks and purples!
    I have to admit that I'm not a huge marshmallow fan, but something tells me these might change my mind.

  11. homemade marshmellows look so easy when nella explains it! i love marshmellows with chocolate and graham crackers by the campfire :D

  12. oh wow what fun love marshmellows shame he isn't stopping on the cruise near you :-)

  13. Alan! I didnt know you liked PINK!! me too! LOL
    Everybody listen up! Nelly makes the best marshmellows! I once ate a whole bag she made for me in one sitting!! they are delish!

  14. I'm not really a marshmellow fan unless their in my hot chocolate or yams. I've never had a homemade one either maybe that would change my mind about marshmellows!

  15. Nelly -- Looks delish! I'm not even a marshmellow person--but this looks fabulous!

    Alan -- hope you're enjoying your trip!

  16. Great guest post! I haven't made homemade marshmallow in a few years...and now the urge has returned :)

  17. what a fun and creative thing to make!

  18. While this looks absolutely delicious. I have to ask what summer is complete without a smore? A quick and easy summer desert to cook over the grill or open fire, one that gives joy to children of all ages. Ok it won't taste as good as what is mentioned above but sometimes just a quick memory of a summer event is what you have time for. Enjoy and remember.... Life is to short to drink bad coffee......

  19. I love making homemade marshmallows! People are really intrigued by the whole concept. I've made vanilla, chocolate and most recently lemon. They go great in a nice warm cup of homemade hot chocolate. Yum!!

  20. I love these kind of marshmallows--the kind that also contain egg whites are so...fussy! These are lovely little clouds of vanilla joy:)

    And you behaved Very Well over here (although Alan's blog could Definitely benefit from a couple of unicorns)! ;)

  21. These look delish. I LOVE the extra powder sugar!


Thanks for visiting. I appreciate your comments and suggestions. :-)