It’s been a serious summer goal of mine to make a perfect batch of Homemade Marshmallows. Last summer I tried it twice. The first batch I made was by Alton Brown. It had NO egg whites and was a basic sugar-corn syrup-gelatin mixture, which I find is the most common. I was NOT a fan of this recipe. It wasn’t fluffy. Not exactly what I had in mind for a homemade marshmallow. I wanted something light and airy, and these just weren’t it for me. Not to mention how terribly sticky the mixture was to scrape out of the bowl into the pan- HOW frustrating! The second was Dorie Greenspan’s recipe which uses 3 egg whites along with the basic sugar-corn syrup-gelatin mixture. I thought this one was better. Much fluffier, but yet a little too springy. And it was far easier too scrape out of the bowl!
I was still not pleased with my experiments with Homemade Marshmallows so I decided this summer I would try a new recipe. A compromise if you will. I went with the recipe from Smitten Kitchen since she seemed to have a lot of the same problems I had with the marshmallow-making process. AND it used just two eggs instead of three so maybe it would provide a better texture.
SUCESS! These marshmallows were perfect. Exactly what I was looking for out of a homemade marshmallow. Not too springy or eggy, but definitely nice and fluffy. SO good.
If you’ve never made homemade marshmallows before, please don’t be afraid of the process. They are really quite simple, especially if you’ve had other experiences making candy. You boil the sugar-water-corn syrup mixture to 240°F using a candy thermometer, while the gelatin softens in cold water. Once the sugar mixture comes to temperature you pour it into the softened gelatin and begin to whip the whole thing until tripled in volume. THEN you have to whip the egg whites separately along with flavoring extracts and mix it into the gelatin fluff. Finally, you allow the mixture to set for multiple hours in a 13 x 9- inch pan. That’s it! Not too bad right? I thought mixing the already beaten egg whites into the mixture was a little odd. With Dorie’s recipe, you beat the egg whites first and then pour the hot sugar syrup down the bowl directly into the whites and continue whipping from there. But they both seem to work equally well. For some really great pictures on the marshmallow-making process, go on over to Smitten Kitchen’s site : )
- About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3½ envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2½ teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: ½ of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract or maybe even some food coloring for tinting)
- Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.
- In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.
- In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second ½ cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
- With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. (Some reviewers felt this took even longer with a hand mixer, but still eventually whipped up nicely.)
- In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out (learning from my mess of a first round). Sift ¼ cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
- Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.
- Do ahead: Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen