Marshmallow icing project update: After a few screw ups — overcooked sugar, deflated egg whites, and for a while the lack of a standing mixer — I have finally made something that turned out! I have found dozens of variations of seven minute frosting recipes and this time I tried one Conny (thanks Conny!) suggested because it tends to hold it’s shape. It’s the recipe for Marshmallow Icing seen halfway down the page for Chiffon Cake. Note to vegetarians, this recipe includes gelatin.
I used real egg whites instead of powdered or meringue powder. I did not include the butter because I really wanted a marshmallow-y frosting, and Conny wrote to warn me that the frosting is really tempremental after you add the butter. I didn’t cover the sugar mixture, instead I boiled it until the “thread” point on a candy thermometer, around 230 degrees.
I don’t think this recipe is really doable if you don’t have a standing mixer. I found you have to get the sugar mixture to the right temperature and use it right away so it doesn’t start to cool and harden, and you have to have the eggs whites whipped to the right point at the same moment. I needed to stall the eggs for a minute so I set the mixer to a low speed to avoid it deflating. (Note: I have never really dealt with whipped egg whites before on this serious a basis, perhaps I could have left them and they would have been fine – ?) Also, pouring boiling sugar syrup while whipping the egg whites is difficult and really dangerous using a hand mixer. I got a standing mixer because I had been wanting one for a while and Amazon is running a wicked good deal on really basic KitchenAid mixers if you include the $25 off code. I didn’t buy a standing mixer just because I wouldn’t let this recipe kick my butt, nope, not the reason at all.
Always keep a large bowl of ice water right there with you whenever you boil sugar. If you drip boiled sugar syrup on yourself you’ll wanna be able to plunge the affected skin area with as little trouble as possible. I learned this from Martha Stewart. (Also, I found manipulating the parts of my mixer suspciously easy because I’d watched her smoothly tip it back and disengage the whisk so many times on tv.)
How high can the fluffy frosting go before falling over?
Easy to spread, I’ll let you know how it sets.
p.s. The Dark Chocolate Cupcakes recipe from Cook’s Illustrated that everybody was loving is kindly posted by Sarah (of McGoose) here on Flickr, along with the recipe for Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream. Mmm. Also, if you’re like me and just sort of refuse to buy Hershey’s Dutch cocoa but cannot seem to find any other Dutch cocoa even in your fancy grocery stores, be aware that the cheery red box of Droste is in fact Dutch process, you just have to be smart enough to check the ingredients to find that out. I suspect it was at every grocery store I visited, but you can find it for sure at the U Village QFC in Seattle.