It’s that time of year again and baking and making treats tops many of our to do lists. The challenge, if you have kids, is to come up with recipes that they can help with and don’t take too long. I think marshmallows checks both these boxes.
If you’ve never made candy before (or used a candy thermometre) don’t stress. It’s not hard. Trust me.
What you need:
Standing Mixer (or hand mixer that is STRONG)
Baking sheet lined with parchment paper (topped with butter) or a Silicone baking mat
9 x 13 pan
3 packages unflavored gelatin (one package is about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup white corn syrup (It is important you use white, darker corn syrup has cooked longer and may overcook)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of corn starch
1/4 cup of icing sugar
First, callibrate your thermometre. Put a small pan of water to boil. Immerse the thermometre. It should read 212 degrees F. If it’s off, just adjust your temperature accordingly.
Put the gelatin in the bowl of the standing mixer and add 1/2 cup of ice cold water. You could add flavouring at this stage (just make sure the total volume of liquid is still 1/2 cup). I have made super strong instant coffee and used orange and caramel flavour). Attach the whisk attachment. The gelatin mix will smell really bad — kind of like wet dog. This is normal. Your marshmallows will not taste like a wet dog.
In a small saucepan, add the remaining 1/2 cup of ice cold water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium high heat. Clip on the candy thermometre and cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F. Stir occassionally with your silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Once it reaches 240 F, take it off the heat.
Start the standing mixture on low speed and slowly pour the marshmallow mixture down the side of the bowl. You want it to slowly drip in. Once all the sugar mixture is in the bowl, gradually increase the speed to the highest setting. It will whip on this setting for about 12 minutes.
While the marshmalow is whipping you can get your pans ready. Sift the corn starch and icing sugar together. Sprinkle half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
After about 10 minutes of mixing, check on your marshmallows. Stop the machine and check the temperature. It shold be lukewarm and be really sticky and stretchy and fluffy. It should not be super stiff. Add the vanilla extract. Whip for another minute.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and cover with the rest of the corn starch and icing sugar. They should sit uncovered for 4 hours.
Run a sharp knife or pizza cutter on the top of the marshmallows to cover with icing sugar to make it eeasier to cut. Cut them into squares (1 inch or bigger). You can dip them in chocolate and decorate them with sprinkles, make hot chocolate with them or even toast them lightly if you have a torch.
Scared to try this at home? Well I can walk you through the steps at my Candy and Chocolate Workshop this Saturday. Click here for all the details.
Happy cooking. Happy holidays!