If you follow my wife Robyn on twitter or instagram, you’re probably already pretty familiar with her new-found obsession: homemade marshmallows. Our house is filling up with the damn things, as she makes batch after batch after batch.
I’m starting to wonder if she doesn’t actually think I’m “sweet enough already”.
Much to the delight of sugar junkies everywhere, she’s agreed to write a guest post here and share how the magic happens.
Go ahead and over-indulge, but don’t blame me when you’re lying on the kitchen floor in a sugar coma…
If you are, even, a casual visitor to this blog, you probably know that Phil is the chef in the family.
I am more than happy to hang pictures, set up wireless routers, paint walls, assemble furniture, program PVRs, and just about anything else to get me out of the kitchen.
And then I got my first taste of a homemade marshmallow. That’s when it all changed.
Since that first taste, I have spent a good majority of my 2 week Christmas holiday staring into the depths of our Kitchenaid mixer watching melted sugar turn into ooey-gooey marshmallowey goodness.
And it was glorious.
I LOVE making marshmallows! Don’t get me wrong, I love eating them too, but I actually really enjoy making them (which is an indication as to how ridiculously easy they are to make)!
I think its the transformative nature of the ingredients that keeps my coming back, batch after batch. Watching the sugar melt and start to boil, mixing it with the gelatin and seeing its metamorphasis into pillowy clouds of fluff, letting it cool and then coating it all with even more sugar.
The process, for me, is just so tactile and visually pleasing that I seem to crave that more than the actual eating of the marshmallow.
But then again, they do taste really good.
Anyway, I guess since this is a food blog, I should probably mention just how I make these bites of magic…
First combine some water, gelatin and the flavour extract of your choosing into a stand mixer and set it aside.
Then mix some more water, sugar (I’ve tried with both white and brown sugar and, while very different, both worked and were delicious), light corn syrup and kosher salt into a pot and set it on medium high heat to boil.
Make sure you have a candy thermometer handy, because as soon as that sucker hits 250, take it off the heat.
Once the sugar mix reaches temperature, drizzle it into the gelatin with your mixer on low, gradually increasing the mixing speed.
Then you’re going to whip the shit out of it until the mixture is thick and the bowl is cool to the touch.
(and when the mixing is done, make sure you set aside the whisk for a proper cleaning)
Coax all the mallow you can out of the bowl and into a greased 9×13 baking pan and let it cool for at least 3-4 hours (as much as it pains me, that is non-negotiable).
After what feels like forever, tip the pan over and slide the marshmallow brick onto a powdered board – at this point, the mallow will be solid, but its still plenty sticky, so you might need to coax it out of the pan with a knife.
Now you get to cut your mallow.
You can get creative, use a cookie cutter for pretty shapes, or go free-hand if you’re into crazy shit like that. For me? I like symmetry, so I slice the sheet into columns, and the columns into bite-size squares.
Then coat it all in an icing sugar/cornstarch mixture and store in an air tight container for up to a week…
…or, you know, a day. There’s no judgement here.
Feel free to get creative – the recipe below is for plain (read: boring) vanilla marshmallows, but I have tried out sour cherry/almond, beet, brown sugar/maple and coconut/ginger. The flavours are only limited by your imagination.
And don’t be afraid to fail. I mean, what’s the worst case scenario? You end up with a marginally tasty, goopy pan of fluff – which still seems pretty alright to me.
And feel free to leave a note in the comments – I would love to hear what flavour combinations you come up with!
4 pkg gelatin
3/4 cup cold water
1 tblsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
– In stand mixer: sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup cold water and extract
– In a pot: heat sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water. Boil on med high, covered for 2 minutes. Remove cover and boil until mixture reaches 250 degrees
– With mixer on low, slowly drizzle sugar mixture over gelatin. Gradually increase speed to high.
– Whip until thick and bowl is cool to touch
– Lightly coat a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly to all sides/corners
– Let cool 4 hours
– Turn marshmallow out, cut into squares and coat with icing sugar/cornstarch mixture. Shake off excess and store in an airtight container for up to a week.