Marshmallows, also spelled as marsh mallow or marshmallow, is a traditional confection form conceived from the marshmallow herb, Althaea officinalis. It is typically a candy prepared from whipped white portion of the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and marshmallow root. However, the modern day world marshmallows recipes are prepared from gelatin instead of the marshmallow root, due difficulty in the availability of the latter ingredient.
The candy comes in varied shapes, most popularly cylindrical shape and cut in the size of 2.54 cm. Once the candy is cut in the desired dimensions, the marshmallows are rolled over cornstarch or powdered sugar to render a dry texture. The use of this confection is mostly observed in American cuisines in treats like Toasted marshmallows, marshmallow crème, chocolate coated marshmallow, lemon marshmallow, pies, cakes and more.
Marshmallow is a combination of sugar syrup, gelatin and water and is softened in hot water and dextrose. This mixture is whipped till is attains a spongy consistency. A number of marshmallow recipes are used to prepare a number of dishes. The initial marshmallow recipes used mucilaginous roots of this plant in place of gelatin. It was in the 19th century that the first commercial marshmallow was produced and instantly became popular in the market. The modern marshmallow is prepared as soft cylinders that are cut in sections and coated with powdered cornstarch. Sometimes these are coated with powdered sugar as well. These can be eaten raw or can be toasted or roasted as per the individualâ€™s preference. These are popular the world over due to their unique taste and texture. In fact, over the years, their consumption as a confectionery has increased by a great deal, especially among children of all age groups.
History of Marshmallow Recipes
The earliest uses of marshmallows have been recorded in the ancient Egyptian cuisines. The cuisine made an elaborate use of the marshmallow roots as a form of sweet honey for soothing the sore throat. Further, marshmallows were also used as the sole ingredient for making candy by the ancient Egyptians. One of their earliest candy recipes was prepared by the extracted sap from the marshmallow plant, honey and nuts.
Later, the variations of this traditional confection in the French cuisine came forth. Recording of Pâte de guimauve, one of the most popular marshmallow recipes of the French cuisine, has been given stress in the historical facts. The fully automated production of this confection started in 1948 under the guidance of the American expert, Alex Doumak.
Culinary Uses of Marshmallows
Marshmallows are popularly used in making candies, especially during occasions like Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween. Extensive use of the marshmallows is observed in making puffed candies, creams, cakes, ice cream, pudding, peanut butter, truffles and cookies.
Cuisines Using Marshmallows and Preferable Methods of Cooking Marshmallow Recipes
The most extensive use of the marshmallow recipes is observed in North American cuisine and British cuisine. Roasting marshmallows over a form of campfire is one of the most preferable methods of savoring this candy. The candy is held on the skewer or at the end of the stick over the flame of fire. This renders liquid layer of marshmallows with a solid exterior. To further add flavor, the toasted candies may be rolled over slices of chocolate or graham crackers.
Whisking is another convenient method of preparing varied marshmallow recipes. In this method, all the requisite ingredients, like white portion of the egg, gelatin mixture is whisked with the gradual addition of the sugar syrup. This can be done in a blender or mixer. However, one needs to gradually increase the speed of the whisking from medium to high. The marshmallow mixture attained should be left overnight before adding other additives.
Once the additional flavors are added, the marshmallows can be cut into desired shapes and sizes.
Popular Marshmallow Recipes
The modern day uses of marshmallows serve the dietary needs of both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Below are some of the most popular marshmallows recipes preferred by marshmallows lovers.
- Cinnamon-almond marshmallows- a fluffy marshmallow preparation spiced with cinnamon and generously sprinkled with almonds.
- Lemon marshmallows- a light recipe with a mild and delectable sweet and tangy flavour of lemon.
- Marshmallow pops- a chocolate coated marshmallow dish, with vanilla extracts and cut in different shapes
- Toasted marshmallows- a roasted marshmallow dish with liquid interior and a solid sugar coated exterior.
Marshmallow crème fruit dip- a fine blend of condensed milk, marshmallow crème, cream cheese and sour cream.
Nutritive value of Marshmallow
Although Marshmallows do not score high on nutrients, with exception of carbohydrates, they are unbelievably rich in anti-oxidants. It is interesting to know that marshmallow roots have been recognized for their medicinal, especially anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties, by many herbalists. Due these properties, many marshmallows recipes are prepared to wade off common cold, cough and other respiratory tract ailments.
Marshmallows Recipes -Consumption Criteria
Marshmallows are strongly recommended as medicinal supplements for people suffering from inflammatory distresses like respiratory illnesses, urinary and digestive ailments and skin diseases. Therefore, the major consumers of marshmallows recipes prepared from marshmallows roots are those reeling under cough, sore throat, bronchitis, ulcers, kidney stone, eczema, muscular pain and more.
Food and Drug Administration Approval for Marshmallows
Although the herb, marshmallows, has an extensive commercial availability, wrong usage of the herb may lead to lowering of the blood sugar level. Certain marshmallows recipes may trigger unwanted allergic reactions, especially, among the diabetics. Therefore, as per the rule of Food and Drug Administration of USA, it is important to consult an experienced health-care practitioner before using the herb for culinary or medicinal purposes.
Important Facts on Marshmallows Recipes
The large size of marshmallows has resulted in incidents of choking, especially among young kids. Therefore, it is ideal to buy mini or small sized marshmallows to kids for their easy consumption.