It’s time to break out the fire pit, friends. You can thank my friend and running partner for this gift idea, who not only came up with it but convinced me that homemade marshmallows are simple and worth it. And hallelujah, she was right.
I was able to make two batches of homemade marshmallows in under an hour and a half: one batch of vanilla and one batch of chocolate. The results were delicious. To flavor the chocolate marshmallows I used bittersweet chocolate with dutch process cocoa. I’m happy with the way the chocolate flavor came through, but I’m anxious to experiment with unsweetened chocolate. The chocolate mallows also make the most incredible oven-toasted s’mores, with the melted chocolate oozing over the edges of the cracker, but these babies would not hold up on a stick over a flame like the vanilla marshmallows do.
Vanilla and Chocolate Homemade Marshmallows
adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Standing mixer with wire whisk attachment (this recipe will be tricky to near impossible without one)
Candy thermometer (you can guess, but your results may be inconsistent)
Vegetable oil, for brushing
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar (21 oz)
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup (14 oz)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (7 oz)
For chocolate marshmallows:
7 oz bittersweet chocolate*
4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
*If you’re going to be toasting these over a campfire, omit the chocolate and double the cocoa. You won’t get the oozie chocolatieness, but you also won’t have them oozing off your skewer.
NOTE: Every time before making candy, I like to check my candy thermometer for accuracy. To do this, boil a pan of water and clip on the thermometer. Boiling water should read 212°. Make note of any difference in your reading with the water, and adjust your reading with the candy accordingly (for example, if thermometer reads 210° instead of 212° in boiling water, then take the candy off at 236° instead of 238°).
1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil; set aside.
2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Make certain your saucepan has enough room for the mixture to really bubble without boiling over. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar (this will take up to 30 min.) Clip on candy thermometer, taking care not to let it touch the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (softball stage), this will take anywhere from 8 to 30 minutes or so. Watch the thermometer carefully when making candy, as the temperature does not rise at a steady pace.
3. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff and luke warm, about 12 minutes.
5. If making chocolate marshmallows: Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute on medium power. Stir. Continue cooking in 30 minute intervals, stirring in between, until the majority of chocolate is melted with a few unmelted pieces left. Remove from microwave and stir in cocoa powder. Continue stirring until combined and all chocolate is melted.
6. Pour in chocolate if using and add vanilla during the last minute of beating. Mixture should be thick but should drizzle slowly off of beater without having to push it out. Pour into prepared dish and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
7. Sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
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