Marshmallows remind me of month end grocery shopping when we occasionally got sweet treats. My sisters and I loved to toast them sometimes with a candle or from the fire in our (ancient) water heating system (the boiler). This is my first attempt at making marshmallows so I have a few key learning lessons to share. Marshmallows are soft chewy sweet treats commonly made from gelatine combined with hot sugary syrup. Some marshmallow recipes use egg whites or cornflour combined with gelatine. Although the recipe is very simple it is important to have the right ingredients and tools. The recipe I looked at (cooks.com) used corn syrup and eggs - I did not use any eggs and substituted corn syrup with my own homemade version using a cup of sugar and mixed with a quarter cup water. This recipe uses just three basic ingredients gelatine, water and sugar for the marshmallows. Most commercial gelatine are made from animal fat but you can find suitable vegan/vegetarian substitutes like Agar or agar-agar (made from seaweed) available in specialty food or health food stores.
- 125g sugar
- 50ml water
Recipe by Georgia adapted from cooks.com
Quantity: 30 marshmallows (3 x 2 x 1.5cm)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup cold water
- 187g white sugar
- 3 tablespoons gelatine [I used 3 (7g) packets]
- Half teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup corn syrup or similar substitute (see recipe above)
- Half cup icing sugar or cornflour (Maizena) for dusting
- 60g desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons warm water
1. If you don’t have any corn syrup prepare your substitute syrup as per instructions above.
2. Prepare the toasted coconut by heating a pan on medium heat. Place the coconut on the pan then keep stirring as the coconut toasts. (similar toasting Soji) When the desired color is achieved remove from the stove then pace aside while you prepare the marshmallows.
3. Place the gelatine in a bowl. Add 1 cup of cold water. Mix then leave aside.
4. Place a heavy based pan on medium heat. Add the sugar and water . Mix until combined. Add the syrup mixture. Boil until the mixture reaches 118 degrees Celsius or 240 degrees Fahrenheit. I boiled the mixture on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes. Any longer and the sugar will begin to caramelize. This is not want you want so be sure to time this process.
5. By this time the gelatine will have formed firm clumps. Don’t worry this will melt away once you add the hot syrup mixture. Pour the syrup over the gelatine mixture.
6. Add salt, the lemon juice and vanilla essence then combine the mixture until a thick mixture forms( similar to whipped egg whites). Whisk the mixture for 10-12 minutes. I recommend using an electric mixer or egg beater. The lemon juice will help prevent the sugar form crystallizing.
7. Dust a deep square or rectangular dish with icing sugar or cornflour this will prevent the marshmallows from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle some toasted coconut over the cornflour then pour the marshmallow mixture. I recommend using a deep dish this results in a more chunky sized marshmallow rather than flat ones.
9. Remove from the pan. Cut into squares. Place some 2 tablespoon warm water in a saucer. Dip the side of the marshmallows in the water then dip in roasted coconut.
11. Store in an airtight container.
How To Make Plain Marshmallows
If you are not a fan of coconut then simply omit the steps involving coconut from the recipe. I decided to make a few plain marshmallows at the last minute but ended up with crumby coconut ones instead-still they served as a nice addition to a cup of hot cocoa. If you want to make plain marshmallows then you can also dust the top layer with corn flour or icing sugar.