Really, what could be better then a nice big mug of hot cocoa on Christmas Morning? How about a nice big mug of cocoa topped with a homemade marshmallow?
As willing as I am (once a year) to purchase the dollar a piece marshmallows that they sell at some fine retailers, I thought that it might be a bit more practical to make my own. Not to menion more fun.
I am a big fan of marshmallows and don’t need much of an excuse to eat one or two whenever I get the opportunity. They’re sweet, delicious and fat free, all of which are things that you can’t get from just any dessert! When I first set out to look for a recipe, I didn’t know where to start. You see, for the longest time I had assumed that you really needed a machine to “jet puff” the marshmallows and make them fluffy. It turns out that you do need a machine: an electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer). I found this recipe from the French Laundry, made it once and never looked back. Countless batches later, they’re still one of my favorite treats.
The marshamallows can be stored in the freezer if you can’t eat the whole batch at once. Just toss them into a large plastic bag and pull out what you need later. They will compress slightly in the freezer, but will defrost in about 1 minute.
.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate.
Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.
My batch pictured here made 36 big marshmallows. I often cut them down into smaller sizes. Enjoy!
(if you want to see another shot of my marshmallows, check out my post of this recipe at Slashfood!)