I’ve always been curious about marshmallows. What makes them so springy? And to be honest, I’ve always found grocery store marshmallows to have a really stale taste. Unless they are melting in a warm mug of hot chocolate, store bought marshmallows rarely taste anything more than dry to me.
Could I make a marshmallow that was both springy and fresh? Even though we are not big marshmallow eaters in this house, and I knew this recipe would make a whole lot, I decided to make them anyway, hoping that I could pass them off on my marshmallow eating friends.
These turned out so well, that my ayi and I have been snacking on them all week. I’m usually not one to turn to a vanilla based treat for the afternoon, but both of us keep turning to them. I didn’t have any skewers, so instead, I used some disposable chopsticks that we keep handy. To help alleviate my marshmallow infestation, I sent some home with Ayi to take to her children for Chinese New Year.
Walker continues to eye them. My marshmallow experiment has not swayed him any from his dislike of marshmallows, but that’s alright. You can’t win them all.
Adapted from Epicurious
Makes too many marshmallows, about 60 1 inch cubed marshmallows
About 1 cup confectioners sugar
2 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, or flavoring of your choice
1. Cover rectangular baking pan with aluminum foil. Using a paper towel, oil bottom and sides with a neutral flavored oil (I used sunflower seed because we can get it commonly here) and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners sugar.
2. In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and set aside while you work with the sugar.
3. In a heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar and second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and increase heat to moderate until a candy thermometer reads 240°F, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture. Stir until gelatin is dissolved into the hot syrup.
4. 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. It will have a very glossy finish.
5. In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Or if you’re too lazy to clean the beater like I am, hand beat whites. I just hate doing dishes. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan, using a scraper to get all that marshmallowy gunk out of the bowl. Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
6. Lift the aluminum foil out of the pan and run a thin knife around edges of marshmallow. Invert foil onto a large cutting board, and peel back slowly. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (It will be sticky, so have a cup of hot water handy to dunk your knife in. The hot water will clean the knife off but dry it before going back to cut or you run the risk of a runny marshmallow.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back onto the aluminum foil, and roll the marshmallows through it, dusting all six sides. Shake off the excess sugar and packing them away in airtight containers. Marshmallows will keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.