Making homemade marshmallows had never occurred to me, and when I saw you could… it didn’t appeal to me. Why on Earth would I want to make marshmallows at home when I can grab a bag at the store? Silly me.
Homemade marshmallows have a delicate flavor, they are puffy, and you can cut them into any shape you want. They also make a nice gift precisely because they are homemade.
First I tried a recipe that contained egg whites in it. Everything seemed to be going well, I got a mixture that resembled marshmallow creme which I spread on a cookie sheet that had been previously dusted with confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch. Then… it wasn’t Ok. First of all, spreading them on a cookie sheet rendered flat marshmallows, which I had tried to swirl using red food coloring, and ended up with cotton candy pink marshmallows… bleh. Then, for some reason, they started to get wet. The sugar and cornstarch mixture got soggy, so I ended up tossing them.
I tried again, this time using a recipe that didn’t have egg whites in it. FAIL! again.
The water – gelatin ratio seemed a little off, but I tried it anyway. It was a complete failure, I got sugar water and hard candy stuck to my beaters. I got obsessed and that same night, I would try again. If I failed for a third time, that was it. So I searched for another recipe.
Third time’s the charm. I ended up using a recipe from a video I found on YouTube. I got perfect, square, pillowy, puffy marshmallows. And the best part is, the recipe is very easy to follow. I did change a few things, such as instead of using parchment paper I just sprayed with a little oil and used the marshmallow mix to evenly coat the pan, and I omitted the peppermint oil. We are including the video so you can see the procedure for yourself, and to give credit to my marshmallow savers.
The only change I would make to this recipe is: Next time, I’ll try adding the salt to the syrup mixture, instead of adding it when I am beating the mixture. I got little salty spots on some of them.
Now for a little trivia. I found out that marshmallows date back to ancient Egypt! The recipe called for extracting sap from the marshmallow plant (Althaea officinalis) and mixing it with nuts and honey. Another pre-modern recipe uses the pith of the marshmallow plant, rather than the sap. The stem was peeled back to reveal the soft and spongy pith, which was boiled in sugar syrup and dried to produce a soft, chewy confection.
I’ll be making these again soon… maybe I’ll try other flavorings and variations.
This is not a recipe to try with kids! You have to prepare a very hot syrup to make these.
2 packs unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons water
1 ⅓ cups sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ cup of cornstarch
- Line an 8×8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle with marshmallow mix until it is evenly coated (use a small strainer to sift it on). Set aside
- In the bowl of your mixer add the 6 tablespoons of room-temperature water and sprinkle the 2 packs of unflavored gelatin. Let it dissolve and set.
- In a medium pot mix sugar, salt, water and corn syrup. Place the candy thermometer in place.
- Cook over medium high heat until it reaches 240°F. It should take around 8-10 minutes.
- Once it reaches this temperature, get your mixer going at slow speed and pour the hot syrup ( be careful!!!) into the gelatin mixture, aiming for the sides of the bowl, not the mixer’s blade(s).
- Once the syrup has been safely incorporated, crank the mixer to high speed and watch your marshmallows start to form. Beat at high speed for about 8 minutes, until it gets very thick.
- Meanwhile, use cooking spray to cover a spatula that you will use to help spread the mixture on the pan. It is very sticky.
- Pour marshmallow into your prepared pan, and spread it as evenly as possible with your spatula.
- Sprinkle with more marshmallow mix (the confectioner’s sugar – cornstarch blend) and let it sit overnight.
- Once they are set, you will easily be able to pull this out of the pan. Use clean kitchen scissors to cut them into squares, and coat each one with more marshmallow mix to keep them from sticking. They will keep in an airtight container for a few weeks.
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