I never used to like marshmallows. They seemed unnatural to me. I didn’t trust the white powdery substance that covers their weird cylindrical shape, and they taste funny. Okay, maybe not ‘funny’, just like sugar.
I get that roasted marshmallows are popular. I get that they are an absolute necessity if you are making s’mores, and I’m not bad-mouthing them without an ingenious solution to what I perceive as the problem.
Marshmallows bought from the store are, in variations, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dextrose, Modified Corn Starch, Water, Gelatin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate (Whipping Aid), Artificial Flavor, Artificial Color (Blue 1), and sometimes other trace ingredients, flavourings etc. But, in order to make them, you really only need 4 ingredients. Two more if you want to make them fancy. Gelatin, sugar, corn syrup & vanilla. That’s the basics, but you can cover them in toasted coconut and flavour them with pure almond extract, or keep the vanilla and dust them with a wonderful dark cocoa, yum! Or flavour them with Sambucca and float them in your hot chocolate! Or peppermint, and roll them in crushed candy canes!! Okay, so now, you guessed it, I love ’em!
Prepare your pan approx. (8 x 8 for a nice thickness of marshmallow) by dusting with icing sugar, or cocoa, or toasted cocoanut, or your desired covering for your marshmallow. It will need to be thick enough that the marshmallow mixture won’t soak through and stick to the pan, or you will have trouble getting it out of the pan once set. Set aside.
4 envelopes unflavoured gelatin dissolved in 3/4 cup cold water in a large bowl, or the bowl of your mixer.
3 cups sugar and 1+1/4 cup light corn syrup placed in a saucepan and brought to a boil for 5 to 10 minutes until it reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer or forms a ball when dripped into cold water.
With hand mixer or table mixer going at low speed, whisk small amounts at a time of the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture gradually turning the speed up higher and whipping once all syrup is added. Mixture will become very thick. Add 2 tsp vanilla (or other flavouring) and keep whipping until mixture cools and becomes difficult to stir. Mixture will be glossy. Scrape all of mixture into your prepared pan with a spatula and quickly dust the top with whatever coating you have on the bottom of your pan. Set aside to dry for at least 3 hours. Remove from pan and cut into squares. Dip cut sides into your coating and set on a plate to dry for another hour or so. Enjoy!
Tip: Martha Stewart doesn’t coat hers in anything – so she brushes the pan with oil, lines it with parchment up the sides, and brushes that with oil, too, to avoid a sticky mess. So, if you want to do as Martha does… do as Martha does! Her recipe is a little different than mine, but I bet it will still work.