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.
Combine water and granulated gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer so the gelatin can “bloom” (absorb the water).
Place the bowl containing the water and gelatin on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; let it rest until the sugar syrup is ready to go.
Next combine a few ingredients in a nonstick saucepan: salt...
And corn syrup.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Place a candy thermometer into the sugar mixture. Tip: if your thermometer doesn't sit under the level of the liquid, turn it upside down.
Bring the sugar mixture to a boil and continue to boil until it reaches 240F.
Immediately turn the stand mixer on low speed and pour the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture.
Add pure vanilla extract - be sure to use the good stuff!
Increase the mixer speed to high.
Continue mixing for 10-15 minutes until the mixture cools and thickens.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into an oiled sheet pan (use a neutral flavored oil). Oil your fingers and press the mixture into an even layer. Allow to cool completely for several hours or overnight.
When marshmallows are completely set, dust very well with confectioners' sugar, cut, and toss with more confectioners' sugar. Store in an airtight container.
makes 1/2 sheet pan
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