File this one away in both the “these taste SO much better than store bought!” and the “you can make that from scratch??” categories. Eating a homemade marshmallow is a revelatory experience. You’d never believe how ethereally light, even pillowy, they can be until you try one. This marshmallow is made to slowly melt into hot chocolate or to use in cookies/cereal bars, but it can still be used over a campfire if you’d like (though there are other types out there that you can make specifically geared for that). Don’t let the presence of a candy thermometer in the instructions scare you off- it’s there to keep things easy for you.
1 cup cold water, divided
3 packs gelatin
1/2 cup water
1 cup syrup
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup corn starch
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour 1/2 cup cold water. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and allow to sit while you make the sugar syrup.
2. In a medium saucepan, add the other half cup of water, corn syrup, and sugar. Give the mixture a very brief and gentle stir, then clip a candy thermometer onto the pot (making sure that the thermometer tip is in the liquid but isn’t touching the bottom of the pot) and heat the syrup to between 240 and 245 degrees Fahrenheit. Take it a bit slowly with the heat if you’ve never done this before- you don’t want to end up overshooting on the temperature.
3. Once the syrup has come to temperature, remove it from the heat immediately. Turn the stand mixer on low, then pour the syrup into the bowl, pouring in a slow stream down the inside of the bowl. Mix for a minute, then turn the speed up a couple of notches.
4. At first, the mixture will look like thin, clear syrup, but as you gradually increase the mixer speed, it will thicken and turn opaque. Within the first few minutes of whipping, you should have the mixer speed at its maximum. Once the mixture is totally opaque, add the vanilla bean scrapings and the vanilla extract, then continue mixing until the mixture looks like fluffy marshmallow cream.
5. Use a spatula to scoop the marshmallow cream into the prepared pan (this will be a sticky venture), then sprinkle with a thin layer of the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture. Cover the pan and let it sit for a few hours to allow the marshmallows to set.
6. Use a sharp knife to cut the marshmallows into squares (again, a sticky job that will require a bit of pulling) and toss them with the rest of the powdered sugar mixture.
7. Store the marshmallows in an airtight bag or container, at room temperature, for a couple of weeks.