If you have ever eaten a homemade marshmallow, it is hard to eat one that comes in a plastic bag from the grocery store ever again. They are so soft and chewy, and full of vanilla flavor. You can make these in any flavor you want, but vanilla bean is my most favorite. There is something almost sexy about seeing teeny, black flecks of vanilla bean in all of that pure white goodness. They are incredible, and hand to heart, use these for a s’mores, and you will think that you have died and gone to heaven. I might have indulged in one of those delicacies this evening. I was too lazy to go outside and turn on the grill, so like a good Girl Scout, I came up with a alternate plan for toasting my marshmallow. I used my kitchen torch on it, and it was so perfect, that I might never make a s’mores outside ever again.
The other day, I was late to teach my class (what else is new?), and I apologized saying that I was late because I was finishing making these marshmallows. My co-teacher looked at me as if I had 3 heads.
“Did you say that you were making marshmallows?”
“Yup. That is what I was doing.” Perhaps the powdered sugar all over me should have been a dead giveaway.
“Why on Earth would you do such a thing? I didn’t even know that you could make a marshmallow”, she replied.
I thought about this for a moment. Why would I make a marshmallow from scratch? Because I can. Sometimes I make things just to see if I can do it. The more challenging the better. Then I got to thinking, I highly doubt that most treats that we eat were created in a factory. Don’t you think that there was a homemade version of most everything at one time or another?
3 packets unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 vanilla bean (seeded)
Pour 1/2 cup of water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the packages of gelatin over the water. Give it a whisk. Let the mixture sit while you make the sugar syrup.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, do not stir this mixture.
Once the sugar dissolves, raise the heat to medium-high and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees.
Put the gelatin mixture and the scraped vanilla seeds into the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment.
Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the mixer while on low speed.
Whip on high speed for 10 to 15 minutes. It will have gained volume and turned bright white. Add the vanilla.
This is the most important thing to remember, dust the bottom of a 9×13 pan with powdered sugar. Be very generous with the sugar, or you will never get the marshmallow out of the pan. Trust me on this one. Pour the marshmallow out and smooth.
Let the pan sit out, uncovered, overnight.
The next day, cut out using a sharp knife, or cookie cutters. Dip the cookie cutters into powdered sugar so that you can get them out. Also, dust the marshmallows again (especially the sides) so they do not stick together.
These are amazing in a cup of hot chocolate.
Or just plain. Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.