By Elke Probkevitz
You might have had your share of powdery, store-bought marshmallows throughout your childhood, but you’ve never really had a marshmallow unless you’ve eaten a homemade marshmallow. A fresh, gooey, sticky confection unlike any other you’ve ever had. You can make them plain and pure or add different flavors, but either way it’s all in the timing and temperature. Once you master that, you will find they don’t take much effort and are worth the wait. Your kids will love to eat them or make them with you, so why not give it a try?
Be prepared. It is important to get the timing right and the sugar extremely hot, so be prepared with all your ingredients measured and utensils and tools ready. You will need a candy thermometer or deep-fry thermometer to get the temperature of the sugar just right; a stand-mixer with a 4½-quart bowl and a whisk attachment; a 9”×9” pan; and a small, fine-mesh sieve.
- For basic marshmallows, dissolve the kosher gelatin in water, which hydrates it so it can easily be incorporated into the sugar mixture. This process is called blooming the gelatin. Whisk well to prevent clumping and to achieve a thick consistency. Vanilla can be added, as well as cocoa for chocolate-flavored marshmallows. To make other types, use extracts or flavors like lemon, caramel, or mint; mix-ins like chips or nuts; or chocolate or shredded coconut to dip them in.
Cutting and storing. Dust a cutting board with confectioners’ sugar and pull the marshmallow away from the pan with a greased rubber spatula, inverting it onto the cutting board. Dust with more confectioners’ sugar or combine with some cornstarch to help prevent sticking. Use a long, thin knife greased with oil and dusted with confectioners’ sugar as needed while you cut. Cut into strips and then cut those strips into squares. Use sharp shaped cookie cutters to make fun shapes for an even more customized, fun marshmallow. Coat in more sugar, shake off excess, and store in an airtight container with wax paper or parchment in between layers. Homemade marshmallows can last for up to a month. v
Chocolate–Cinnamon Swirl Marshmallows
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting pan and knife
2.5 oz. dark chocolate
1 cup water, divided in half
3 packets (.25 oz.) unflavored kosher gelatin
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
large pinch kosher salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Prepare a 9”×9” baking pan with parchment paper greased and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Break chocolate into small pieces, chop in a food processor until ground into small pieces, and set aside. Place ½ cup of water in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and sprinkle gelatin over the top, letting it bloom while you make the syrup.
In a medium saucepan, combine remaining ½ cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium; bring to a boil without stirring. Place candy thermometer in pan and cook without stirring, brushing sides down with pastry brush dipped in cold water, until sugar reaches 240°F.
Turn stand mixer on low and carefully add hot sugar mixture in a slow, steady stream into gelatin until incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat for 12–14 minutes until thick and opaque-looking. Turn mixture off and add vanilla, then beat 30 seconds more. Add chopped chocolate and beat for 20 seconds, until melted and swirled but not completely mixed in.
Immediately transfer to prepared pan with a greased spatula and spread top to even out. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 2 hours. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. After set, cut marshmallows into squares with long knife dusted with confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking. Store in airtight container until ready to serve.
Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.