Oh, the simple pleasure of a marshmallow. That taste takes you right back to being a kid. No wonder they’re so in vogue in food catalogues and in pastry departments these days. Making them is quite simple, though it’s a bit of a kitchen ballet. Ideally, you’ll have all your ingredients at-the-ready so you can execute the steps in prompt succession. Begin by lining a small pan with parchment paper (the size doesn’t really matter) and giving it a light spritz of cooking spray.
Now put your syrup on the boil over high heat.
When the syrup starts to bubble, get the egg whites whipping in your stand mixer. Whip to the stiff peak stage:
…and turn off the mixer. Once the syrup reaches 235-238 (which should take about 5 minutes) …
…take it off the heat. Pour the two tablespoons of water you have standing by into the powdered gelatin…
Then add the mixture to the hot syrup and, once again, stir.
Turn the mixer back on to medium-high and add the syrup to the whipped egg whites. Don’t worry if some spatters onto the sides, since you can easily scrape it down, back into the main mass.
And whip…and whip…and add your vanilla (or other flavor or color)…and whip…
…for five full minutes or more until you have…well, you can probably guess what you need to have:
Scrape the fluff into the pan, not worrying too much about even distribution. This pan is bigger than I need, however because marshmallow sets up so fast, I can form it up into a fairly even slab without it spreading much.
Now then, having succeeded in executing your marshmallow dance, it’s time to kick back and enjoy a little bit. Remember what I said about the advantages of making marshmallows at home? Little Joan is here to testify:
At this point I usually refrigerate my marshmallows, uncovered, since that helps them set up faster. When ready, simply flip the slab out onto a cutting board which you’ve dusted generously with powdered sugar:
And cut’em up! Does size or uniformity matter? Why, not at all.