Last Friday we had a marshmallow party. It was fluffy and delicious, thanks for asking. And after the festivities I shared my favorite flavor with my coworkers, some of whom asked for the recipe, so here it is!
I call these “Spanish Vanilla” because it makes sense; there’s honey, vanilla, and almond–just like in Spanish nougat. The name is kind of a contrast with French vanilla, which is vanilla and hazelnut.
Hardware you’ll need:
Stand mixer (or hand mixer and tall bowl if you’re not afraid of boiling hot sugar)
9 X 13 cake pan–glass or metal
two quart pan (or taller)
1/2 cup water
3 sachets gelatin (aka 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup honey
2 cups sugar
~1 tbs vanilla extract
~1 tbs almond extract
Making marshmallows involves a lot of anticipation; there’s not much to do but wait for things to happen, and when the moment’s right, there’s a flurry of activity then you wait again.
To start, butter the pan to make sure the fluff doesn’t stick, then generously sift on powdered sugar. Now set the pan aside.
Next, prep the gelatin. That involves pouring the first 1/2 cup of water and the gelatin into the bowl you plan to mix in. If you have the option, use a taller bowl. Not only will that help protect you from fast-moving molten sugar, it will also make fluffier marshmallows. My awesome Kitchenaid works really well for this.
While the gelatin is blooming (absorbing the water), combine the sugar, water, and honey in the pan and heat on the stove just under medium. A problem you’ll face when making candy with honey is that it will puff up. When using corn syrup, I can set it to full-blast medium and walk away, but that’s not something you can do with honey. If it starts to puff up on you, lower the heat and start stirring. If it’s happening very fast, pick it up and move it away from the heat–that should deflate it pretty quickly. This needs to heat until it has reached 250 degrees. Once that’s happened…
Turn the mixer on low, then pour in the sugar-lava slowly, in order to avoid a fiery and painful demise. It will be hot and sloshy for a while, but increase the speed to high as quickly as you safely can. A tall bowl helps with this, but either way you should be there after a minute or two. Oh and be warned, it smells kind of horrible. Gelatin is made of ground up bones, and heating that up isn’t pleasant. But don’t worry–you don’t taste it at all in the final product and the smell goes away after a minute of mixing.
It will start to lighten and fluff up. That’s a good thing. Keep mixing for five minutes or so, and when it seems like it’s not going to get any bigger, add the extracts, then mix a little more and turn it off.
Now quickly pour the liquid marshmallow into the prepared pan. The faster the better, because it starts to set and get really thick and unmanageable. Then sift on some more powdered sugar and let sit for 24 hours. You will then have a slab of marshmallow. Cut it if you want, but the temptation to just bite in will be strong.