Yes, marshmallows can be made at home and one advantage is that you can make them any shape that you like. We used a 2½-inch round cookie cutter so that the homemade marshmallows maximize the surface area in your mug of hot chocolate, but you can cut them into stars, squares, cylinders (like the classic commercial ones) or whatever shape you desire.
Image: Peter Muka
- ½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup water, divided
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch and sift about half of the mixture evenly over the lined pan. Reserve the rest.
- Place ¼ cup water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin evenly over water; allow to sit for 5 minutes to soften.
- Meanwhile, place remaining ¼ cup water, ¾ cup sugar and corn syrup in a medium-sized saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. At the same time, place egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl and beat until frothy with an electric mixer. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Add the 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- When syrup reaches 240°F, remove from heat and whisk in gelatin mixer until it dissolves. Slowly pour the sugar syrup in a thin stream over the meringue and beat on high speed until thick, glossy and cool. (This could take longer than 5 minutes; keep beating till cool.) Beat in vanilla.
- Scrape mixture onto prepared pan, quickly spreading to a ½-inch thickness (or thickness of choice) with an offset spatula. Sift remaining sugar/cornstarch evenly on top. Dry at room temperature overnight. Dip a 2½-inch round cookie cutter in confectioners’ sugar and cut out rounds as closely together as possible. Marshmallows may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container in single layers separated by waxed or parchment paper for up to 1 month.
- The trick for this recipe is in the timing – you must have the sugar syrup ready at the same time as the egg whites. This is best accomplished by beginning to beat egg whites about halfway through the sugar syrup’s cooking time. A stand mixer is of great help, as you must manage a few steps at one time. Note that you must begin these a day ahead.
- After making the marshmallows with your cutter, keep the scraps – they make s’mores!