Homemade marshmallows- light, fluffy, easy to make and delicious!One of the benefits of having a culinary blog is the experience that comes from trying new recipes. I started working on my blog a year ago (but didn’t hit “publish” until February) and before that I never thought I would try making marshmallows at home. I guess I wasn’t very interested in it and it seemed like a very complicated and difficult process. And I don’t even like marshmallows that much. Scratch that! Not any more. I love this homemade version. The marshmallows are light, fluffy, and fully customizable. So far I made vanilla, peppermint and raspberry ones. So delightful! I have been giving them away to teachers, coworkers and friends as they are a perfect gift.
I came across two kinds of recipes when looking for the answer. The majority require a candy thermometer but one that I found, courtesy of famous bakery Butter Baked Goods, does not. Since I purchased the candy thermometer just for this recipe I decided to use it. The second batch was done without it. Both were very similar in texture and the marshmallows cooked without it seemed just a touch softer. But no noticeable difference.
To make marshmallows at home, start by adding 3 envelops of unflavored gelatin to 1/2 cup of water. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. You might notice an interesting smell of the gelatin but no worries, it all goes away.
In meantime, using a medium size pot, over medium-high heat bring to a boil 1/2 cup of water, 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup and pinch of salt. When adding sugar it is really important to do it slowly and in the center of the pot. The sugar shouldn’t touch the sides of the pot or it will stay there and crystallize. Sugar loves to re-crystallize. If you get it on the sides use a wet pastry brush to wash it down since water won’t cause the sugar to re-crystallize. But if you add it slowly into the center of the pot it will be fine. Never, ever stir! Just let it all dissolve on its own. Again, it might crystallize. The sugar mixture should reach between 245 and 250 degrees which takes about 10-12 minutes. This thing is seriously hot, so be careful!
If you don’t want to purchase the candy thermometer (it costs between $10-15 on Amazon, a bit more in a store), you really don’t have to. You can either boil the sugar mixture for 10-12 minutes or, as the Butter Baked Goods cookbook suggests, bring it to a boil and let it boil for 1 minute. I’m honestly not sure why most recipes talk about bringing the mixture to a very specific temperature since it works both ways.When the syrup mixture is ready, turn the mixer on low and loosen up the gelatin a bit. Turn the mixer off and, very slowly and carefully, pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on low, then, after several turns, to high. Let it work for about 10-12 minutes. The mixture will change the color from grayish to glossy white and almost triple the volume.Now it’s time to chose the flavor. For classic vanilla add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. If you really love vanilla flavor go for the bigger amount. For peppermint, add 2 drops of green food coloring and only 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract. To make raspberry marshmallows, heat up 1/4 cup of raspberry jam and pour it through the sieve. Add the smooth and seedless jam into the mixing bowl with 1 drop of pink food coloring at the very end.After adding your flavor, whip everything briefly to combine. Once you turn the mixer off, work fast since the marshmallow mixture hardens and will turn into a super sticky blob. So while everything is still mixing, line a 9 x 13 baking pan using aluminum foil. Do it lengthwise and width wise making sure the foil overhangs a bit. Spray it with oil or butter. Don’t skip that step or you will be slowly peeling off the foil of the marshmallow block.
Pour the marshmallow batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth it out. Next, in a small bowl combine corn starch and powdered sugar. Using a small sieve, distribute 4-5 tablespoons all over the marshmallow batter. Save the remaining corn starch mixture for the next day.
Cover with light plastic wrap and let it sit for 8 hours or overnight at room temperature. When you are ready to cut your giant marshmallow into smaller pieces, sprinkle a good amount of powdered sugar mixture onto the cutting board. Grab the overhanging aluminum foil and flip the marshmallow down on the prepared surface. Peel off the foil and sprinkle more of the sugar mixture to minimize stickiness. Spray some oil onto the knife and cut the marshmallow block into 1 x 1-inch pieces. Using a small cookie cutters is also a good option. Dip each piece in the sugar/starch mixture and place in a large sieve. When full, shake it gently above the sink to remove the excess of the sugar mixture.
Store your marshmallows in an airtight container or pack them into little bags and give them away. Your friends will love you.Makes: 60-80 marshmallows Prep time: 40 min. Ready in: 8 hrs. or overnight
- 3 envelops of unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup water, divided
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- Vanilla flavor: 1-2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Peppermint flavor: 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and 1 -2 drops of green food coloring
- Raspberry flavor: 1/4 cup raspberry jam, warmed, thinned and seeds removed; 1 drop of pink food coloring
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 cup corn starch for coating
- Cooking spray
- Using a stand mixer, add 1/2 cup water into the mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Make the syrup: Pour 1/2 cup water into the 4-quart saucepan. Carefully add the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Do not stir.
- Bring the sugar syrup to a boil. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring it to a full, rapid boil. All of the liquid should be boiling. Boil for 10-12 minutes until the temperature reaches 245 – 250 degrees, if using a candy thermometer. Otherwise, just boil it for 10-12 minutes without it.
- Soften up the gelatin and, with mixer’s speed on low, very slowly and carefully pour in the hot mixture. Increase the speed to high and continue beating for about 10 minutes until glossy white and tripled in volume.
- Add your flavor and whip briefly.
- Immediately pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. It will be very sticky and thick, so don’t try to get every last bit out of the bowl. Smooth the surface as much as you can. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and corn starch and sprinkle 4-5 tablespoons all over the marshmallow block.
- Let the marshmallow block set for 8 to 24 hours, lightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature.
- Cover the cutting board with sugar/starch mixture and gently flip the marshmallow block. Peel off the foil and add more sugar mixture to cover the marshmallow block. Spray some oil onto the sharp knife and cut the block into 1×1- inch pieces. Dip each piece into the sugar/starch mixture.
- Place cut marshmallows into a large sieve and shake off the excess of powdered sugar/ corn starch mixture.
- Store the marshmallows in the airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.