Most of my kids want me to make cheesecake or a layer cake for their birthday, but my youngest doesn't necessarily follow the lead of her siblings. One year she asked for cookies, another year she wanted pumpkin pie, and this year she requested homemade marshmallows. I don't know anyone who likes marshmallows more than she does so I wasn't surprised at all.
Marshmallows are easy to make as long as you follow these simple rules:
- don't try to whip egg whites in high humidity conditions.
- use egg whites from whole eggs, not from a carton.
- cold eggs are easiest to separate, but egg whites whip better when they're allowed to come to room temperature first.
- don't allow any fat to come in contact with the egg whites, bowl, or beaters.
- be sure to use an accurate candy thermometer.
- don't be tempted to remove the sugar syrup from the heat before it reaches the right temperature.
- have all your ingredients and equipment prepped and ready to go before you start.
Okay, let's make some marshmallows.
- 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (three 1/4-ounce packages)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- vegetable or canola oil
- confectioners' sugar for dusting
- Prepare a quarter sheet pan (9x13-inches) by coating with neutral flavored oil; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine gelatin with 1/2 cup water.
- Place the bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; let gelatin mixture rest while you make the sugar syrup.
- In a nonstick sauce pan over medium high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water; stir until sugar dissolves, then boil until temperature reaches 240F.
- Turn the stand mixer on low and slowly add the hot sugar syrup.
- Add the vanilla and increase the mixer speed to high for 10-15 minutes until the mixture cools and thickens.
- Pour marshmallow mixture into prepared sheet pan; allow to set up for several hours or overnight (if needed, use well oiled hands to spread mixture evenly in pan).
- When marshmallows are completely set, dust very well with confectioners' sugar, cut, and toss with more confectioners' sugar.
- Store in an airtight container.
recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten