I went all out for Sophie’s first birthday this year, and one of my favorite things that I made were the homemade marshmallows. I know, you’re rolling your eyes. I heard it a few times in the week leading up to the party. “Katrina, no one does homemade marshmallows”, “Katrina, you’re nuts”, “Katrina, you said you were going to go easier this time around”.
Lots of people had lots to say, until they showed up and put one of said homemade marshmallows into their mouth. Then, well, silence. Silence everywhere.
You want to know what started it all though – the chocolate fountain. My Nana and Papa picked up one years ago for me, and nothing makes a party like an unending supply of molten chocolate with every imaginable thing to dip in it. Like chunks of sponge toffee, aka the inside of a crunchie bar. I mean, I digress, but seriously, that was my lightbulb moment of the year. Anyway, back to the chocolate fountain. I was trying to think of something new to have for it, and thought about how much Oliver and Anna love making s’mores in the summer. And, please, I was clearly running for Pinterest Mom of the Year with this party, so I figured homemade marshmallows (and graham crackers, recipe coming up next week), was the way to go (and secure my title).
Still rolling your eyes? What if I promise you that these are easy to make. Like REALLY easy to make. Only about twenty minutes of hands on time, plus a night of waiting for them to set. Which is torture, but still worth it.
You know you’re debating it now. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
- 1 cup water, divided
- 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup corn syrup (I've used light and golden, both are fine)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tbsp vanilla extract
- icing sugar for dusting and coating, around 2 cups
- butter for greasing
- First thing, get a 9" x 9" pan buttered really well. Make sure that you get in all the corners and up the sides.
- Put ½ cup of water in the bowl of a stand mixer set with the whisk attachment, and sprinkle on the gelatin. Let it soak and thicken while you make the syrup.
- Set a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and put in the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining ½ cup water. Bring up to a rolling boil, and let boil for one minute (don't start timing this minute until you reach a good rolling boil!). Remove from the heat.
- Turn the mixer to low and let the gelatin mix briefly. Pour the sugar syrup into the bowl in the thinnest, slowest stream possible.
- Once all the syrup has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high, and let whip for 10 to 12 minutes. The marshmallow will nearly triple in size, and the bowl will become cool to the touch. Scrap the sizes of the bowl a few times as needed.
- Add the vanilla, then whip briefly just to incorporate.
- Use a spatula to pour the marshmallow into your prepared pan. It starts to get really sticky and sets quickly, so do this as fast as you can. Smooth the top as best you can.
- Butter a sheet of plastic wrap, and place it on top of the marshmallows, making sure that it's touching everywhere and airtight. You can use your hand to smooth the top a bit more once the plastic wrap is on.
- Leave it to set overnight. This is the most important thing, because they'll be impossible to cut if you don't.
- The next day, take off the plastic wrap and sprinkle the top generously with sifted icing sugar. Cover your work surface with a generous amount of sifted icing sugar too. If needed, run a knife along the edge of the marshmallow in the pan to loosen.
- Flip the marshmallow out onto the icing sugar. Sift more sugar over the bottom (now top), and use your hands to coat every edge with sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1" x 1" squares. Roll all of the cut squares around in the icing sugar, ensuring that all the edges are covered and there are no sticky spots. Shake off excess sugar before storing.
- Store them in an airtight container is a cool dry place and they'll keep for up to a month (but they won't last that long!).
You don't have to use a stand mixer, it's just easier for letting it whisk away later on.