I tried to "test drive" my new candy thermometer this weekend - marshmallows and toffee.
Marshmallows - Got the marshmallow recipe from cobiming Martha's, cooking for engineers and egullet (they were all VERY similar - gelatin, no egg whites). Each recipe called for a different temp b/t 234 - 250. We cooked to about 250, poured into stand mixer and followed directions to a "t". Marshmallows never really increased in volume. They were sticky like taffy. End result was hard and gross, a hyrbid between candy/taffee/marshmallows. I've heard of them not setting up, but not being too hard...
Toffee - Followed a very basic recipe from Ghiradelli. Butter, sugar, water, add vanilla later. The recipe called for cooking to 305, which I found suspect as other recipes called for 280. I decided in advacne to stop at 290. Between 280 and 290 I started to see a bit of smoke and it smelled it was buring. Immediately removed from heat, stirred in vanilla. While it set up fine there is a slight burnt flavor/aftertaste. My SO will eat it, but I can't give as holiday treats.
Help, what am I doing wrong? Thermometer is brand new from Crate & Barrel. A candy/deep fry model for approx $20.
Any insight? TIA!