Because I just can’t leave a good recipe well enough alone, I adapted the famed recipe for strawberry marshmallows found on eGullet created by Nightscotman as relayed here by Brownie Points since the link to the original recipe no longer worked.
Strawberry Marshmallow Recipe:
- 1/2 cup strawberry puree [Step 1]
- 1/2 cup water and a dash of orange extract
- 4 envelopes gelatin
- 3/4 cup liquid mixture [Step 2]
- 1 1/3 cup corn syrup [Step 3]
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/3 tsp salt
Prep: Line a 1 inched rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray liberally with your PAM of choice!
Step 1: I didn’t have fresh strawberries so I made it from frozen by microwaving until thawed and then used the hand mixer to ‘puree’ them. Because they were frozen I allowed for the excess water since that’s where a lot of the flavor runs off to. Also, frozen strawberries tend to be more tart than fresh so it would be a good idea to add a little sugar, but in this case since there was so much sugar already involved in the recipe I restrained myself! :)
Add 1/2 cup of water and a dash of orange extract to the puree and “sprinkle the gelatin over this mixture to soften (aka bloom)”
… Alright, so I’m going to admit that I had no idea what that last line was supposed to mean or what to expect “blooming” or “softening” to look like. Also, it quickly became apparent that simply “sprinkling” the gelatin wasn’t going to be enough. It needed to be stirred in a bit until it was all wet at which point it sort of soaked up all of the liquid in the bowl.
Step 2: Because I wanted to add more liquid flavorings to the mixture I added them in place of some of the water. I began with pouring 1/4 cup Sonoma strawberry vanilla syrup into a measuring cup; followed by a good healthy squeeze from my honey bear that probably ended up being about a teaspoon; 1/4 cup grenadine which, while I realize is not strawberry, I added partly to give it a little more pink coloring as well as to add a bit of sweetness; finally, I filled the rest up with water (to the 3/4 cup line) with water and stirred it all together.
Step 3: I added the corn syrup, liquid mixture, sugar, and salt together in a pot and slowly brought it to boil rolling boil. While the original recipe I was working off of says to bring it to the “soft-ball stage (234-240 F)” … I don’t own a candy thermometer and from past experience realize the futility of trying to identify this stage as you don’t really want to waste as much of the syrup would be necessary to see a full soft-ball. It really is inappropriately named. Rather, what you end up with is a drizzle off the end of your spoon (wooden of course). It takes great attention to detail to notice when those little drizzles form soft-balls. Instead what I look for is the speed at which they sink.
Step 4: I DON’T HAVE A STAND MIXER! Uggg! This section became much more difficult because I had to balance my little hand mixer as I poured the hot syrup mixture into the bowl with my puree mixture :/ Needless to say I got splashed on a lot at first and a few sugar burns. While the original recipe says to pour the syrup slowly into the mixer while it is on high speed… this is a very bad idea when using a hand mixer. Instead, I added a bit and mixed it in on low speed before adding a bit more and gradually increasing the speed as I gradually added more liquid. Once all of it was added I tilted my bowl, so as to keep splashing to a minimum, and put the *@#@% on high! It was messy until enough air got worked in.
“Whip until the mixture is very fluffy and stiff, about 8-10 minutes” … I mistakenly thought this was referring to stiff peaks. Regardless, this definitely took longer than 10 minutes. How do you know when you’re done? When it has the consistency of marshmallow fluff! :D
Step 5: Pour the marshmallow fluff into the baking pan. I don’t bother with spatulas to even it out.. a good tilt will do! Also I gave it a few good bangs against the countertop to bring the bubles to the top before it began to harden. Let sit, uncovered, at room temperature for 10-12 hours…
Step 6 – The next morning: To be honest, the waiting was the hardest part! I kept poking and prodding my little squishy mixture all night wondering if it was ready yet until I gave up and went to sleep. Also, while the recipe says to leave them uncovered, I am germophobic and had visions in my head of flies or dust or other nasties getting into my deliciousness, so I concocted a little aluminum foil cabana to protect its integrity witout touching the surface. The next morning it was firm and resilient and hardly tacky at all so I knew I was set… or rather it was. Now came the fun part :D
Mix equal parts corn starch and powdered sugar and sift over your marshmallow slab. You don’t need as much of this as one may think (1/2 cup of each perhaps). I admit to having made waaaay too much of this and putting waaay too much on the marshmallow itself, which just made a mess later on. A fun mess, true, but a mess none-the-less!
Flip the slab over onto the cutting board (if you are fortunate enough to have such a large cutting board… I am not) or hard surface lined with parchment paper or something similar. Peel off the aluminum foil and dust the other side.
Taking your trusty PAM, oil the blade of your cutting implement of choice (knife, cookie, cutter, etc.) and go to town! Dip the sticky cut edges in the sugar/starch mixture and shake off the excess. Try not to eat them all as you place them in air-tight containers for safe keeping :)
I was surprised at the silky texture of these marshmallows. I kind of wanted to just pet them, and when I did eat one it wasn’t like any marshmallow I had ever had before. Rather, it put them all to shame and brought me the realization that this is how marshmallows are supposed to be. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with store-bought marshmallows again. True, I’ll buy them because this was time-intensive … but they weren’t hard to make by any means!
- Making marshmallows with a hand mixer sucks!
- It was a lot easier to clean up after than expected :) a phenomena that is always appreciated.
- Strawberry marshmallow fluff = the most delicious thing EVER!!