Feeling so inspired, I decided to finally try my hand at making homemade marshmallows!
CORN-FREE MARSHMALLOW RECIPE
courtesy of Maria, mother of one of my childhood friends
- 2 Tbl Knox Gelatin (2+ packets - next time I'll try two packets instead of by measurement)
- 3/4 C cold water
- 2 C sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3/4+ C boiling water
- 1 Tbl Vanilla
- powdered sugar, granulated sugar, or coconut for dusting
- 8x8 Pyrex dish, or any other similarly sized dish or container
- Pam or other vegetable oil spray
- 2 Quart heavy saucepan
- 1 medium heat-safe bowl (glass or metal)
- Pastry brush and wooden spoon
- Candy thermometer or small bowl/cup and metal spoon
Before we start, just a brief safety warning that you will be working with melted sugar. Be VERY careful not to splash any on your skin as it will not only burn, but the sugar will stick to the skin making the burn worse.
- Bring the other 3/4 cup water in the saucepan. Put the bowl on top (to create a double-boiler effect) to warm up and dissolve the gelatin in the bowl as you bring the water in the pan to a boil. Since some of the water will boil off, I put in a little over 3/4 cup of water into the saucepan so that I would be left with 3/4 cup by the time the gelatin was dissolved. Place the bowl of dissolved gelatin to the side.
- If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can do the water check method. You want to have a small bowl or cup with cold water (not ice) and a metal spoon. When you drip some of the sugar mixture into the water, you should be able to gather up the blog with your fingers. Soft crack stage will be when the sugar is pliable and you can pull it into kind of taffy strands. Or if you're like me, you try this step in addition to the thermometer because it's fun and cool to do! Want more information? This site has fun video of the various cooked sugar stages.
- I kept stirring the sugar occasionally after it dissolved, which I guess is kind of a no-no, but it didn't cause any problems for me.
- If any sugar crystals form on the edge of the saucepan, you want to brush them off with the pasty brush frequently. I forgot about this so I just ignored them and was careful not to knock them into the bubbling sugar. Why? The small crystals can cause your mixture to become grainy.
- It will take quite a while for the sugar to reach the final temperature. For a while, it will seem like it's not getting any hotter, but be patient. Once you reach the soft ball stage, stay near the stove as it will make the remaining heat climb quite quickly.
Pour the melted sugar and gelatin mixture into a mixing bowl and beat on low speed for 3 minutes. I'm not sure why, but my guess is so that it all cools down without splashing.