Foodification of Oink-Oink = Marshmallow Pop
Animalification is the art of identifying the animal version of a human being. The process involves much more than finding an animal that bears a strong physical resemblance to the person. For example, an amateur might incorrectly identify Sarah Jessica Parker as an Equus ferus caballus (horse) based on the structure of her face. But in reality, her nimble movements, dainty style, and overall coyishness are not at all characteristic of the odd-toed ungulates (the mammalian order encompassing horses and rhinoceroses) who maintain slow grazing lifestyles.
The key to successful animalification is to first understand the essence of the person, and to then seek the animal that somehow captures that essence. Since most of us are not exposed to the thousands of animal species in the world beyond Wikipedia.com and Discovery Channel, it is rare for us to be able to precisely animalify a person beyond the animal family, or even animal order.
*Hiearchy of Biological Classification * remember: Katy Perry Came Over For Great Sausage
The concept of animalification is analogous to the concept of “foodification”. Foodification is the art of creating the food representation of a human being or personified object. Although translating a human being into food form is more abstract than translating a human being into another member of the animal kingdom, foodification is overall, a far less daunting craft. First of all, food is much more accessible than animals, therefore making it possible for us to develop a strong knowledge of the flavors, textures, smells, sounds, and appearances of a significant portion of the food kingdom. Secondly, we are not limited to identifying a pre-existing food. In foodification, we have the freedom to create an original food that possesses the precise essence, or “food-onality”, that we seek!
If you like to surround yourself with fascinating people and/or constantly personify interesting/cute objects like I do, you will have an endless supply of inspiration to bake/cook using my avant-garde approach. The most challenging part of creating an original dish is to make all of the flavors, textures, etc. cohesive. But foodification alleviates this difficulty because the inspiration is an already cohesive being!
** Urbandictionary.com claims that foodification is, “the act of providing food to stop hunger in one-self”. This is wrong. “The act of providing food to stop hunger in one-self” is eating. The suffix “-fication” indicates the making of, or transformation into, the noun or state of the word ending in “-fication”.
Foodification of Oink-Oink
Oink-Oink is a stuffed toy pig who has been an important part of my family for over 20 years. Over this time, I have witnessed his cotton fur turn from pink to grey, his tail turn from coiled to straight, and his spherical black eyes lose their glossy sheen. People are often distressed upon first meeting Oink-Oink, mostly because he is violently cute, but also because of the ambiguous nature of his animal species. He has been mistaken for a baby pink bear, a baby pink elephant, a baby possum, a baby rat, a baby grey bear, and even a distant relative of Hello Kitty (which is certainly not out of the question). But despite his equivocal, evolving appearance, he has maintained the same cute, quietly playful, tough yet tender, essence that he had the day he became a part of our family.
During my long 10 hour flight back from Ghana earlier this year, drugged with hallucinogenic anti-malarial pills, fresh with inspiration after days of deep self-reflection on the world’s most beautiful beach, the foodification of Oink-Oink came to me. Oink-Oink would be a fluffy marshmallow pop, encapsulated in a light-pink chocolate shell. The marshmallow would have a good bite to it (in order to relieve some of the rage felt upon looking at it), and the thin hard chocolate shell would provide protection to the tender, squishy insides, while helping to maintain the round shape. Finally, the marshmallow would be placed on a stick to make the overall experience subtly playful and safe (marshmallow warning below).
No mallow in the marshmallow
Marshmallow as a candy dates all the way back to ancient Egypt (~2000 BC). The Egyptians used the “mucilage” sap from the root of the “marsh mallow” plant (Althaea officinalis) to thicken a honey based confection reserved for the pharaohs and gods.
In the mid 19th century, French candy makers produced the first modern fluffy marshmallow candy, known as “pate de Guimauve”. A mixture of corn syrup, water, and egg whites were heated, and then whipped into the mallow root sap, which served as the binding agent. The mixture was then poured into molds dusted with corn starch.
Making marshmallow candy was a very time-consuming process because the mallow root sap took a very long time to thicken. Therefore, by the late 1800s, the mallow root was replaced by a congealing agent derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones (aka “gelatin”). Since then, there has been no mallow in the marshmallow :(. By the mid 20th century, Alex Doumak, of Doumak, Inc. (makers of Campfire marshmallows), began experimenting with ways to speed up production. He discovered the “extrusion” process, which pumps marshmallow mixture through long tubes, and cuts them into the chubby, cylindrical pieces that we are familiar with. All American marshmallow manufacturers still use this extrusion method.
Although we don’t have time to venture down to the salt marshes of northern Africa to acquire fresh mallow root sap, we can whip up homemade marshmallows using an old-school method very similar to the method of the French Candy Makers!
The marshmallow is potentially hazardous. Please note the below before we whip up a homemade batch:
Chubby bunny, a recreational game that is played by stuffing the maximum number of marshmallows into one’s mouth while still being able to state the phrase “chubby bunny”, has been the reported cause of numerous deaths from asphyxiation due to the throat being blocked with marshmallow. Please play and eat with precaution so that marshmallows do not get banned by the government. The world would be a very sad place without Rice Krispies Treats, s’mores, Lucky Charms, whoopie pies, rocky road ice-cream, and you :(.
2. The Marshmallow Experiment
The Marshmallow Experiment is a classic psychological experiment in which subjects are given a marshmallow and promised another after waiting 20 minutes. The goal of the experiment is to draw correlations between poor/strong impulse control and other biological factors in the brain. Just be wary that you could be a subject of the marshmallow experiment in the presence of a marshmallow, in which case, if given the ones we make today, your chances of scoring highly on the SAT and enjoying success in life will be significantly lowered.
3. Stay Puft Marshmallow Man: Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a paranormal marshmallow possessed by the evil Sumerian ghost Gozer, was destroyed into molten marshmallow cream by crossing streams of protons shot by the Ghostbusters in New York City, circa 1984 (documentation below). Allegedly, Gozer has since been seeking a new, cute marshmallow body to occupy. Don’t let the Oink-Oink pop(s) we make today fall victim!
Speaking of whip… and ghosts…
I was recently introduced to the practice of “Ghost Riding the Whip”, which is when a person puts a vehicle’s transmission in neutral, then exits the vehicle to dance beside it and/or on the hood and/or roof as it rolls. “Ghost Riding the Whip” originated in the San Francisco Bay Area, and gained nationwide exposure in 2006, due in part to the song “Tell me when to go” by E-40”:
FYI, a doughnut is a stunt in which the “whip” accelerates in a circular, doughnut-like shape (as shown in this video). Turns out marshmallows aren’t the only dangerous sweet treat…
**marshmallow definition #2: a pushover who is easily persuaded to do things that they do not want to do
Now let’s put on our stunna shades/heels/aprons and get to work!
HHC’s Homemade Marshmallows
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- ~1 cup of confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Spray/brush a 6 count half-sphere mini cake pan, and a shallow pie pan (or 8 x 8 brownie pan) with vegetable oil. ** The half-spheres will be used to make the Oink-Oink heads, and the shallow pan will be used to make the ears and snouts.
2. Combine the gelatin and ½ cup of cold water in a large bowl. Allow it to sit while you make the syrup.
3. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and ½ cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 239° F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.
I didn’t have a candy thermometer, but I did have a meat one for my Thanksgiving turkeys! The thermometer didn’t read past 220° F, but I figured 0° F calibration mark would also equal 240° F. And I was right because the texture came out perfectly!
4. Add the sugar mixture to the bowl with the gelatin and water. Whip with an electric hand mixer until very thick and fluffy (approximately 12 minutes).
5. Immediately transfer the marshmallow batter into the 6 mini half-sphere cake pan. Pour all of the remaining batter into the shallow pan. Allow the marshmallows to cool for at least 3 hours.
6. Thoroughly dust a flat working surface with confectioners’ sugar. Flip over both pans onto the surface until the marshmallows slide out. Dust the tops of the marshmallows with more confectioners’ sugar. Allow the marshmallows sit for 1 hour.
The marshmallow half spheres actually felt a lot like the silicone adhesive bras at Victoria’s secret. So if you ever buy a backless dress but don’t want to spend $50, note the marshmallow recipe + edible adhesive recipe below :)!
HHC’s Pink-Chocolate Covered Oink-Oink Marshmallow Pops
- Homemade Marshmallows (above)
- 8 oz of white chocolate
- Red food coloring (3-5 drops)
- Black icing/gel icing
- Tylose powder or Edible glue
- Six 6″ lollipop sticks
- Pastry brushes and toothpicks (for gluing/drawing/painting)
1. If you live in NYC or some other big metropolitan city and have access to fancy baking ingredients, make an edible adhesive by mixing ¼ tsp of tylose powder with 2 tbsp of warm water. If you don’t have access to tylose powder, or are feeling extra ambitious, you can make the homemade edible glue. The glue will be used to secure the ears, snout, and stick to the face.
2. Using a small paring knife or kitchen scissors, cut 12 rounded triangles for the ears, and 6 rounded squares for the snouts.
3. Cut a slit (~½ inch deep) parallel to the flat end of the marshmallow, and about ~½ inch from the flat end of the marshmallow. This is the where the first ear will be inserted. Cut a second slit in the position where the second ears will be inserted.
5. Brush the back of the rounded square (snout) with the edible glue, and position it towards the middle of the forming Oink-Oink face. Repeat steps #3-5 for the 5 other half spherical marshmallow faces.
6. Brush one end of a lollipop stick with edible glue (about 2 inches). With the marshmallow head lying on its flat side, gently stick the lollipop stick parallel to and about ½ inch from the working surface. Allow all of the glue to dry for about 1 hour.
7. In the meantime, microwave the white chocolate in 10 second intervals until completely melted. Add 2-3 drops of red food coloring. You should get a very light pink color. With a pastry brush, paint the tops of all 6 Oink-Oink heads. Make sure not to miss the crevices between the snout and ears! Once completely dried (~15 minutes), pair up the Oink-Oink pops and rest them against each other, snout-to-snout. Reheat the light pink chocolate in the microwave in 10 second intervals (if necessary), and paint the flat backs of the Oink-Oink pops.
8. After the backs have completely dried (~15 min), use the black icing/gel to make two medium-sized dot eyes on each Oink-Oink face. Be sure to position the eyes close to the snout. If you would like to also make Oinkina pops (Oinkina is Oink-Oink’s twin sister who resides in Oklahoma….she comes into town coincidentally when Oink-Oink leaves town), use a toothpick to spread out the black icing to make eyelashes.
9. Add 1-2 more drops of red food coloring to the remaining light pink chocolate to make a darker pink chocolate. Re-heat in the microwave if necessary.
10. With a clean pastry brush, paint the inner ears of the Oink-Oink heads with the darker pink chocolate. Dip a toothpick in the darker pink chocolate, and dot the snout twice to make the two nostrils. Make sure to keep the dots small, otherwise Oink-Oink will lose his ambiguous essence. If the dots are too large, he will appear obviously piggish.
11. If you choose to also make Oinkina pops, please use your imagination! Oinkina likes to wear all types of accessories, especially when she goes out to the club (shhhhh don’t tell Oink-Oink!). Headbands, ribbons, flowers, jewelery, etc….it all looks good on her! I dyed a little bit of white fondant purple to make flower petals, and also used pearl candies and heart sprinkles for head “garnishing”.
Allow the Oink-Oink and/or Oinkina pops to dry completely overnight.
12. Finally, if you would like to gift the Oink-Oink pops, cut off a few inches from the tops of small cellophane bags and place them over the Oink-Oink and Oinkina pops. Tie the open ends with ribbon.
I only had enough ribbon to tie 3 Oink-Oink pops. So I split/cut the ribbon horizontally to get twice the length! In order to keep the ribbon from fraying, I used a cool trick my mom taught me. Quickly run a lighter over the frayed side of the ribbon until it melts just slightly. This trick also works to prevent/stop fraying on any loose threads (clothing, bags, curtains, etc.). But stick to clear nail polish for the nylons!
With the left over marshmallow, I made pink-chocolate covered stars using a mini star cookie cutter. I dropped them into my hot chocolate…. it was marvelous!
But you don’t have to be fancy. Just don’t waste the scraps! Make a batch of Rice Krispies Treats!
Aren’t you SO anxious to chomp into these pops? Let’s give ’em a try:
And since the weather has been nice… shall we take the pops out with us for a walk?
Until next time…..