Flavor update

May 19, 2011

We’ve been experimenting lately with some of the candy recipes we featured on the blog earlier, particularly the homemade pop rocks and marshmallows. One of the things that we wanted to try was to get some new and different flavors beyond the typical extracts found in the grocery and without the hassle of going to specialty food store.

For the pop rocks we came up with the idea of adding Kool-aid or a similar pre-mixed drink to the recipe at the point where you would add your coloring and extract (when you’re stirring everything together at the end). The nice part about kool-aid is that it already has the coloring included so you don’t have to worry about separate flavoring and coloring. Our favorite so far is the watermelon-cherry flavor which tastes a little like cotton candy when its incorporated into the candy.

The process of flavoring marshmallows is a little bit different. You do flavor them at the end, like the pop rocks, but by that time they’re not really a liquid anymore, so something like kool-aid wouldn’t dissolve. However, one of the base ingredients of marshmallow is gelatin. And you can buy pre-flavored and colored gelatin at the store very easily. It’s called Jello. For this first experiment I didn’t actually look at how much gelatin I needed before I went to the store, so I just bought a small box of jello. Turns out that a small box is only .3 oz, and you actually need an ounce of gelatin for marshmallows, so I had one part jello to three parts unflavored gelatin.

I made the marshmallows, exactly the same way, starting with the softened jello/gelatin mixture, combining it with the simple syrup, and whipping until I had marshmallow. They came out a nice soft pink color, not the vivid red that you associate with jello. The flavor is definitely there, although not as strong as it could be. I”ll have to make them again with a large box of jello and let you know how it goes.

Also, you may notice in the last picture, I was out of parchment paper, so I’m trying the marshmallows straight into a well-oiled baking dish. I’ll let you know if that was a time-saving step or a disaster a little later ;).

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