Those sweet little puffs of heaven float gracefully in our steaming cups of cocoa. Hot chocolate would be lost without them. Rice Krispie Treats would be nonexistent if they didn’t exist. S’mores and campfires would lose their magic if these white puffs never came to be. Marshmallows are wonderful complements for almost any dessert.
Cookies, salads, and campfire treats have all been inspired by these airy delights. If you usually pick up a bag of marshmallows from the grocery store, why not try your hand at making your own homemade marshmallows this year. Here are a few recipes to help inspire you.
Although there doesn’t seem to be much to make marshmallows, you must be aware upfront that cooking these treats is more of an art than anything. Making your own marshmallows is not exactly the easiest feat, but the end result will be well worth it.
Put half an ounce of powdered gelatin in a small bowl of cold water. In a medium-sized saucepan, cook one-eighth of a pint of cold water, the gelatin mixture, and four teaspoons of orange flower water over low heat. Once the gelatin has completely dissolved, remove the mixture from the heating element. In a separate medium-sized saucepan, put ten ounces of caster sugar with three-eighths of a pint of cold water.
Allow the sugar to completely dissolve, while bringing the mixture to a boil. Once this sugar mixture has reached 260 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the mixture from heat. Whisk the gelatin mixture from earlier into this sugar mixture. Meanwhile, whisk one egg white until stiff peaks form. Whisk a dash of some caster sugar with the egg white and fold it into the main mixture. Continue to whisk until the entire mixture maintains a white coloring and stays stiff.
Be prepared to bring out the manpower because this could take anywhere up to fifteen minutes. On a large cutting board, sift some icing sugar. Put the mixture onto the cutting board, completely rolling it into the sugar. Your marshmallow block is now ready to be cut into squares using kitchen scissors. Allow the marshmallows to dry for a day.
Marshmallows for Vegans
Have a friend or family member who maintains a vegan diet? Why not surprise them over the holidays with a tray of vegan marshmallows.
In a mixing bowl, put three tablespoons of gelatin that is both kosher and vegan and half a cup of water. Let this mixture stand for an hour. Meanwhile, you will start preparations on the accompanying syrup mixture. In a large saucepan stir two cups of sugar, three quarters of a cup of light corn syrup, half a cup of water and a quarter teaspoon of salt over low heat until everything is dissolved.
As soon as this syrup begins boiling, cover the pan for three minutes, never allowing the syrup to boil over. After the three minutes have passed, uncover the saucepan and let the syrup keep cooking untouched (raise the heat to high) until the mixture reaches 244 degrees Fahrenheit. Immediately remove the syrup from its heating element and pour it over the dissolved gelatin. Beat the mixture continuously for at least fifteen minutes.
Add two tablespoons of vanilla while beating the mixture. Put a small amount of cornstarch in an 8 x 12 baking pan to dust it. This is where you will place the mixture once it has been beaten. Sprinkle a little bit of cornstarch over this mixture. Let the marshmallows dry for at least twelve hours. Once they have dried, cut them into squares with kitchen scissors.