Friday, October 26, 2012

Oval Beach Blonde Marshmallows

If you haven't ever tried making homemade marshmallows, it is a food DIY project that you simply must attempt.  Nothing compares to the sweet, vanilla scented airiness of homemade marshmallows. You will find that once you start making your own, there is no going back.

In this recipe, adapted from How Sweet It Is, I used beer instead of water to add just a hint of yeast and hops.  I then dipped every square-shaped little marshmallow into dark chocolate and rolled them in crushed pretzels for a perfectly sweet and salty little snack.  Heaven?  I think so, too.

For this recipe, you will need:

3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (I used Knox)
1 cup cold, flat Saugatuck Oval Beach Blonde, divided in two
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-4 cups dark chocolate morsels (melted, for dipping)
Hard sourdough pretzels, crushed

To flatten the beer, take the cap off the bottle and leave open overnight, or pour beer into a bowl and whisk vigorously to remove some carbonation. I did the second option and it worked perfectly! Just make sure it is cold.

Oil a 9 x 13 baking pan and sprinkle on powdered sugar to cover and coat. Set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer (a whisk attachment is best), pour 1/2 cup cold beer and 3 1/2 packs of gelatin. I gently mixed with a spoon once, then let sit while you make the sugar mixture.

In a medium pot combine sugar, remaining beer, syrup and salt. Heat over low heat and whisk until sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Turn heat up to medium and let sugar come to a boil. It will bubbly up so keep yours eye on it so it does not overflow. Let it boil for 8-12 minutes, until it reaches 240 degrees F (measure with a candy thermometer). The mixture will appear to be a lightish brown color depending on the beer you use – don’t worry, the marshmallows will still be white.

Once mixture is at 240 degrees F, turn off heat and gently pour it in the mixer over the gelatin with the mixer on low speed. Once all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to high and beat for for 6-8 minutes. It should grow in size and be white and fluffy. About 3-4 minutes in, add the egg whites to a separate bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. I used a hand mixer to do this. If you don’t have a hand mixer, I assume you have to remove the whisk attachment, clean it (it will be a sticky mess), add a new bowl to the mixer, beat egg whites. Once stiff peaks are formed, add egg whites and vanilla extract to the sugar/gelatin mixture and beat until just combined.

Pour marshmallow mix into the 9 x 13 pan. It will impossibly sticky so be careful, and you will not be able to get it all out of the bowl. Get as much as you can, then spray a spatula with non-stick spray and smooth. Dust powdered sugar on top and let sit to firm up for 3-5 hours.

Once firm, turn the pan upside down on a cutting board to release marshmallow rectangle. Cut them into pieces of whatever size you like.

Melt dark chocolate chips (I melt in 30 second increments in the microwave and stir) in a bowl. Crush hard sourdough pretzels. Using a fork, toothpick or fondue pick, coat marshmallows in chocolate then sprinkle with or roll in pretzel crumbs. You can also drizzle with salted caramel. Let sit at room temperature until chocolate hardens. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks!

Makes one 9 x 13 pan of marshmallows, cut however you desire.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

4th Annual Detroit Beer Week to Span 11 Days

Showcasing the Craft Beer Scene in Metro-Detroit
Thursday, October 18 – Sunday, October 28, 2012

In the Motor City, the fall season has become synonymous with Detroit Beer Week. In its fourth year, this multi-day beer event has grown beyond its original concept, spanning 11 days and featuring a full spectrum of craft beer-centric happenings throughout the City of Detroit and the immediate surrounding suburbs.
The 2012 edition of Detroit Beer Week will feature individual events to showcase breweries from all over Michigan, plus out-of-state brewers from around the US that the organizers from Liquid Table cheekily refer to as “Friends of Michigan Beer.” This adds depth to the effort, as a whole, and creates a point of difference from the Michigan Brewers Guild Festivals that Liquid Table’s Michigan Beer Weeks build to and complement.
“While our primary focus will always remain on Michigan-brewed beer, it’s also important to recognize our brothers in other states who have fought so hard for the same ideals we are fighting for,” stated Barry Johnson, Regional Liaison for Liquid Table, and a highly-respected pioneer in the Michigan beer industry. “Many Michigan brewers got their start in other states, and many brewers in other states got their start here. Through our efforts we hope to promote Michigan beer, but with an understanding of the thought that ‘A rising tide lifts all ships.’”
Detroit-based Liquid Table Beverage Solutions is producing and marketing Detroit Beer Week. Liquid Table began Detroit Beer Week in 2009 in cooperation with the Michigan Brewers Guild, piggybacking the Detroit Fall Beer Festival. This concept continues in the fourth year of the effort, as the Fall Beer Festival also expands to 2 days.
“We’ve been witness to impressive growth over the last few years, and Liquid Table continues to offer innovative and creative event management and promotional concepts in the craft beer arena,” stated Eric Briggeman, President of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “We are proud to continue this partnership that helps to further The Guild’s mission of promoting a healthy beer culture in the State of Michigan.”
Detroit Beer Week events and information will be constantly updated on Facebook. Liquid Table is producing a minimum of one Signature Event each night during the week, in addition to the multitude of events hosted by participating Beer Destinations throughout the metro-Detroit area. All events will be marketed under the banner of Detroit Beer Week, with Real Detroit Weekly acting as the media partner, producing a Guide to Detroit Beer Week prior to the launch date.
Detroit Beer Week launches with a ceremonial tapping of 313ale, a collaboration of the Detroit Beer Barons, a group of local professional brewers, featuring primarily locally sourced ingredients. The beer will be available at select locations throughout DBW. The week continues with multiple events each night, including tap takeovers, beer dinners, contests, pubcrawls and educational events, culminating in the 4th Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Fall Beer Festival and subsequent Brewers’ Brunch at Tashmoo Biergarten.
About Liquid Table
Liquid Table Beverage Solutions is a privately-owned Detroit-based company. Formed in 2009 by Jon Piepenbrok, Liquid Table focuses on producing and marketing beverage events, including Detroit Beer Week, with a focus on local craft beer, mead, and artisan spirits, as well as providing private beverage services on contract for in-home and private events. The company also offers trade services, such as on- and off-premise consulting, education, marketing, and brand management. For more information, contact
About the Michigan Brewers Guild
The Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the Michigan brewing community; to increase sales of Michigan-brewed beer through promotions, marketing, public awareness and consumer education; and to monitor and assure a healthy beer industry within the state.
The Guild fully endorses and supports the efforts of Liquid Table in the production and marketing of Michigan Beer Weeks (Detroit, GR and A2).
Michigan’s thriving brewing industry contributes over $24 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $133 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #5 in the nation, with 118 current licenses – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.” More information can be found at


Jon Piepenbrok -- Founder and El Jefe --

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