fluffy vanilla marshmallows

Don’t be intimidated. I repeat: Do not be intimidated.

Let me start by saying that should you not have a candy thermometer, you’re really really really going to want to get one before under taking this project.

How do I know this you ask? Well, because these marshmallows are my second attempt.

That’s right, you heard me. This has happened twice.

The first time I made them, I didn’t have a thermometer. I tried to guess when they reached the right temperature. It didn’t turn out in my favor. Actually, it turned into a syrup of sorts. At the time, they were also baileys flavored and I didn’t want to waste all of that baileys…. so, I recycled once again & used it as a filling for cupcakes. Oh yea, you can totally do that.

I digress though. What you’re looking at is going to be sticky. Be prepared for that. I don’t particularly like being sticky, but I was overcome with sheer joy when I looked inside my mixer and saw a cloud like formation of frothed sugar. Oh yea, you’re also going to really want a stand mixer for this. I’m not saying a hand mixer wont cut it, but your arms are going to hurt.

A lot.

So I advise against it.

Fair warning.

On wards & upwards though, the recipe!

Ingredients, marshmallow syrup:
– 500ml (2 cups) water
– 1.225kg (5.33 cups) sugar
– 1 tsp cream of tartar
– 0.25 tsp salt

Directions, syrup:
*** this syrup is going to be the base of your marshmallows. This will make more than what you need for the next step, but it can be stored in an airtight container for up to two months at room temperature. ***
1. put all the ingredients in a large, heavy based saucepan & give them a little stir just to moisten the sugar.
2. bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, and once boiling, cover the pan for two minutes.
3. uncover the pan, and allow the mixture to continue boiling until it reaches 115°C (240°F). At no point should you ever stir the mixture. I repeat, do NOT stir the mixture, ever.
4. remove from the heat & allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to a container.
*** when the mixture is completely cool, it will harden up quite a bit. If you pop it in the microwave for a minute or two when you’re ready to use it though, it will become workable again. *** 

Ingredients, the bloom:
– 155ml (0.25 cup + 1 tbs) cold water
– 1 tbs vanilla extract
– 30g (3 tbs) gelatin (either powder or sheets)

Directions, the bloom:
*** the ‘bloom’ is the aspect of the marshmallow that’s going to give it that will help it retain its fluffy texture & solidify the marshmallow into something you can pick up. ***
1. combine all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer, give it a little stir, and set aside whilst you start preparing the rest.

Ingredients, the marshmallow:
– 185g (0.75 cups) water
– 437g (1.25 cups) marshmallow syrup (from earlier)
– 0.25 tsp salt
– 345g (1.50 cups) sugar

Directions, the marshmallows:
1. combine all ingredients in the same large, heavy bottomed saucepan you used before. Place the ingredients in the pan in the order they are listed: water, syrup, salt, sugar. Once again, you will not be stirring this mixture under any circumstance. Do NOT stir.
2. bring the pan to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil, cover the saucepan with a lid for two minutes. Then, remove the lid & continue to allow the mixture to boil until it reaches 121ºC (250ºF).
3. once the mixture has reached the right temperature, remove it from the heat & pour it into the bowl of your stand mixer along with the ‘bloom’ from earlier. Turn your mixer onto high speed (I would progress through the speeds slowly to avoid being splashed by boiling sugar. I know first hand how awful sugar burns can be). You’re going to leave the mixer on high speed for 12 minutes. I suggest you set a timer.
4. whilst the mixer is going, prepare a large baking dish by pouring a tsp of oil into it. Wipe the oil around with your hand, and then go over it again with a tissue to absorb the excess. You just want a fine film. When the timer is done, you’re going to scrape the contents of your mixer bowl into the prepared dish & smooth the top of it with your spatula.
5. allow the mix to set at room temperature for at least 5 hours. Over night is preferable.
*** You can always feel free to lick the bowl if you’re feeling extra impatient. It is extremely delicious, but very, very sticky. ***

Ingredients, coating:
– 290g (1.5 cups) icing sugar
– 60g (0.5 cups) corn starch

Directions, coating:
*** the coating is what you will use in order to keep the marshmallows from sticking to each other once cut. Or from sticking to you. Or your work surface. Actually, it will keep them from sticking to just about anything they might come in contact with. ***
1. once the marshmallows have set, dust your work surface with some of your coating, and after loosening the edges of the marshmallows from the pan with a greased pallet knife, tip the pan onto the work surface.
2. dust the other side of your marshmallows now that they have been released from their ‘mold’.
3. in order to keep the marshmallows from sticking to absolutely everything, you will want to lightly grease your cutting utensils. Be prepared to wash them several times throughout the process.
4. your marshmallows can be cut into any shape or size your heart desires, you can even used shaped cookie cutters to do the job if you like!
5. HAVE FUN WITH THEM!

Tips:
*** the reason you don’t stir the boiling sugar is, it knocks together the sugar crystals, so when the syrup cools, it crystalizes rather than remains smooth. ***

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