If things have slowed down for your business, take advantage of any downtime by refining your craft of candy making. If you don’t make your own marshmallow, this is a great product to work towards perfecting.
There’s nothing quite like homemade marshmallow. If you don’t make your own marshmallow, now is the time to experiment with recipes and techniques. This week, we’re offering expert tips for cutting, dusting, enrobing and packaging marshmallows. Plus, a bonus marketing idea!
Boiling Corn Syrup
This tip will help prevent chocolate-covered marshmallows from cracking. Here’s why: most 42 DE (dextrose equivalent) corn syrup contains a small amount of yeast bacteria. This is a common problem with marshmallows, because the corn syrup is added to the sugar slurry (or bob) after it has been removed from heat, so it doesn’t get warm enough to eliminate any yeast found in the corn syrup.
The solution, bring corn syrup to a very low boil. Just as it begins to boil, remove it from heat. Do this step early in the day, allowing it to cool to room temperature before adding it to the cooked portion of the marshmallow. A fellow candy maker did this and never had a cracked Easter egg again.
When cutting small batches of marshmallow, RCI members have recommended the following ways to be most efficient:
- A guitar cutter works, but it really depends on how soft your marshmallow recipe is. As an alternative, a sharp pizza cutter works well too. – J. Sofia, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate
- We use a lightly buttered, sharp, thin-bladed knife. [We re-apply the butter] every 2 or 3 rows. It's a bit slow, but eliminates the need for corn starch, which I found made the marshmallows difficult to coat. –W. Spence, Spence Candies
Dusting marshmallows is an important step to preserve that soft and pillowy texture that we desire. Traditionally candy makers use powdered sugar or corn starch to keep marshmallows from drying out and becoming hard. Aside from the cloud of dust they leave everywhere, a coating of powdered sugar can make your already sweet marshmallows too sweet and corn starch can make it difficult for chocolate to stick to the marshmallow.
As an alternative to the traditional corn starch and powdered sugar, try replacing them with dextrose or fondant sugar (such as Amerfond® Fondant Sugar). Both products will help you achieve the desired affect and with less the mess. For marshmallows bound for the enrober, adding a little dextrose to the top and bottom will also help the chocolate stick.
If air bubbles are a problem when enrobing square confections, like marshmallows, send them through your enrober corner first. Your products will receive better chocolate coverage from the fountains on the enrober and you will decrease the chance for bubbles to appear on the tops.
Have you ever noticed condensation (or worse, mold) on the inside of your marshmallow packaging? If so, you may be cutting and packaging your marshmallows too soon. Of course, you want your marshmallows to be as fresh as possible, but marshmallow needs to breathe for a while or else the warmth may create moisture and you may experience mold on your product. A general rule of thumb is to let marshmallow sit overnight before cutting, dusting and storing it.
Marketing Your Mallows
While people are spending more time at home, share ideas for gourmet s’more recipes that your social followers can make at home with your products. Click here for 5 creative s’more ideas. Package your fresh, homemade marshmallows, along with your chocolates and graham crackers, and sell as a fun, family activity to make together at home.
If you’ve ever questioned whether making your own marshmallow is worth the hassle, these expert tips will not only make your job easier, they will leave your customers wanting more of these fluffy confectionery wonders!
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