From Erin Lawrence
I love to super vanilla-ize these with a bit of vanilla bean paste scraped from a whole vanilla bean, for an extra hit of flavour and all those beautiful, fancy little flecks. If you’re using any food colouring or additional flavourings, add them near the beginning of the mixing process; later and the marshmallows may deflate.
Put all your marshmallowing tools in a sink or bowl of hot water to make clean up a snap.
This recipe is adapted from Shauna Sever’s Marshmallow Madness! It makes about 2 dozen.
4-1/2 t. unflavored powdered gelatin
1/2 c. cold water
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup, divided
1/4 c. water
1/8 t. salt
2 t. vanilla extract
Spray an 8” square baking pan with cooking spray. To make the bloom, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let stand while you prep the syrup.
To make the syrup, stir together the sugar, 1/4 c. corn syrup, water, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240°F. on a candy thermometer. When you’re getting close to temperature, pour the remaining 1/4 c. corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start the mixer running on low.
Microwave the gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds. Pour it into the mixer bowl with the corn syrup, and keep it running.
When the syrup reaches 240°F, slowly drizzle it into the mixer bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 3 minutes. Then, turn it to the highest speed and beat the mixture another 1 to 2 minutes. The finished marshmallow mixture will be opaque white, fluffy and tripled in volume.
Pour it quickly into the prepared pan and smooth it into the corners. Let the marshmallow set for several hours, or until firm, in a cool, dry place and put together the coating:
Classic Marshmallow Coating:
Combine 1-1/2 parts confectioners’ sugar and 1 part cornstarch or potato starch. Whisk or sift them together, or take them for a quick whir in the food processor. Make a couple cups at a time and store in an airtight container for future marshmallow projects.
Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the pan, or dust your hands in icing sugar and pull it out onto a coating-dusted work surface and dust it with more coating. Cut the marshmallow into whatever size pieces you want using a pizza cutter or a large chef’s knife. Dip the sticky marshmallow sides into the coating and shake off the excess. Now you’ve got delicious home-made marshmallows!
Kick your marshmallows up a notch!
Add any kind of booze – 2 T. to the gelatin bloom before you microwave it, and another 2 T. to the syrup when you start, if you’re feeling frisky!
Add fresh fruit flavour. Crush just about any fruit – I love fresh raspberries – but use almost anything you want, like strawberry, banana, peach. Add 1/2 c. of crushed fruit to the mixing bowl when you add your corn syrup. If you want to add food colouring, add it along with the fruit.
Marshmallow topping for squares
To create a delicious topping for squares, make your fave squares – rice krispie treats work well, basic lemon bars (the added marshmallow makes a gorgeous meringue-like topping) or even brownies. Once your marshmallow mixture is whipped up, pour it over the squares base and let it set. Voila! Fresh marshmallow topping. You can even caramelize the top if you have one of those mini kitchen torches. Yum.
Boozy after-dinner mallow brew
Add your favourite liqueur to the marshmallow mixture, then cut it and plop one or two in after-dinner coffee with milk and another shot of your liqueur of choice.
Get creative with your marshmallow shapes – pour your marshmallow mixture into fun ice-cube trays or a madeleine mold, but be sure they’re well sprayed with cooking spray. That’s the key to getting the marshmallows out of the mold.