I’ve always wanted to try making my own marshmallows, but was deterred because it seems like a messy and complicated process. I never work with gelatin and didn’t know where to even get it. Then I saw a box of it at Superstore of all places and decided to go for it.
While making homemade marshmallows is kind of a sticky, if not messy, process–it’s not that difficult. Also I discovered you can pretty much make them any flavour you want.
When I saw some leftover whipping cream in the back of the fridge I decided then to make caramel sauce and see what happened when you add such a thing to marshmallows.
Salted Caramel Marshmallows
For my first attempt I used a recipe posted by Bakerella, which she borrowed from Shauna Sever’s Marshmallow Madness. I totally want to own this book, because then I could just make tons of marshmallows and hide them in cupcakes or whatever.
First up was the caramel sauce, which is always kind of exasperating and stressful. I’ve set the fire alarm off and ruined a few pots from setting things on fire. One time, a bit of sugar melted onto the counter and I sliced my finger open trying to chip it off. I don’t love making caramel sauce, but it gets less dangerous every time I make it.
For the marshmallows I made caramel sauce with chocolate sea salt.
First, sprinkle your gelatin over cold water and let sit for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together sugar, water, half the corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. It’s essential that you have a candy thermometre for this. They’re not that expensive and it just makes baking easier. Boil the mixture untouched until it reaches 240 F.
Microwave your gelatin for 30 seconds, then add to the rest of the corn syrup in a stand mixer. Mix on low, slowing pouring your sugar mixture. Gradually increase your speed, mixing until everything triples its volume and turns a thick, pillowy white.
At this point you can add any flavour you want. I just drizzled in about 1/2 cup cooled caramel sauce. Mix until incorporated, then spread the whole goopy mess into a greased pan.
The recipe just said to grease the pan. I would definitely grease and coat with confectioner’s sugar. The oil just made the marshmallows a bit slippery and greasy.
After spreading the mixture as best I could, I drizzled the rest of the caramel sauce over top.
The recipe calls for a “classic coating” of 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar sifted together with 1/2 cup corn starch. Sprinkle this on once your marshmallows have had a few hours to chill in the refrigerator. Cut them into squares or circles or hearts or moons or David Bowie’s head and coat the sides as well.
Then put them on a pretty serving dish long enough to take a picture and then EAT THEM ALL BECAUSE THEY ARE SALTY AND DELICIOUS.
Cotton Candy Marshmallows
Some marshmallow recipes include egg whites. Since my first attempt didn’t call for them, I decided to follow a recipe that did just to see the difference.
Whether it’s because this was my second attempt or it’s a bit cooler weather today or I powdered the pan this time, or because of the egg white, I just found these ones turned out better. They’re fluffy and don’t droop sadly in your fingers.
I borrowed from Smitten Kitchen and I’d do it again I tells ya.
This recipe uses the same ingredients, except it includes egg white and I used cotton candy flavouring with some pink food colour.
Before starting, grease the pan and coat in confectioner’s sugar.
Pour gelatin powder over the cold water and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, stir corn syrup, sugar, water, and salt together with a wooden spoon. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn heat to medium-high and allow to boil untouched. You want it to reach a temperature of 240 F on your candy thermometre.
When the mixture reaches 240 F, pour your gelatin into the stand mixer, then slowly pour the hot sugar over top of it. Stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
This recipe differs from the other one because you don’t divide the corn syrup. I found it easier tbh.
With the stand mixer on high, beat until the mix turns thick, white, and triples in volume. While that’s going, you can beat your egg whites with the hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add them to the sugar mix, including any flavour and/or colour of your choosing. Beat until incorporated.
Spread the marshmallow into your pan, pressing it into the corners. This recipe just calls for confectioner’s sugar without the corn starch, so I just sifted some over top.
Keep it in the fridge for a few hours, cut, plate, and enjoy. I totally recommend putting some of these pillowy clouds in your hot chocolate.
This is a cake stand I made that I thought suited the wee marshmallows perfectly.
So homemade marshmallows are easy as pie (they’re easier to make than pie tbh).
What flavours can YOU come up with?