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Makes: about 32 marshmallows
Preparation Time: 60 minutes active (up to 12 hours total time)
I am a sucker for handmade marshmallows. Whether made by a gourmet vendor or simply by me at home, a handmade marshmallow is the tops. It’s the finial on a candy crown. It’s the one confection that most home cooks avoid, until now, naturally. My Jam-Swirled Marshmallows will exceed your expectations. You’ll produce a beautiful vanilla puff that’s swirled with fruity syrup. The puffs are sweet, tender and barely swooshed with bright strawberry red, breaking up the powdery cloud with blazing zing.
The swirl is the magic and completely customizable. Instead of strawberry jam, choose another: peach, apricot, and blackberry are equally transcendent. Just be mindful that every jam has a different viscosity and you may need to add a little extra water to loosen it up. If you like, swirl in some dense maple syrup or even some chocolate chips (they’ll melt with the heat). Instead of vanilla extract, try Coffee Extract, Cinnamon Extract or even peppermint. Don’t skimp on the confectioners’ sugar, you’re going to need it to powder every inch of the marshmallows. Also, keep it handy for powdering your scissors or your hands as you work through trimming the puffs into shape. The making process can be a little messy but the messy will make it worth it.
For the swirl:
4 tablespoons strawberry jam
2 tablespoons cold water
For the marshmallow base:
Light non-stick cooking spray, for the dish
[1/2] cup and 2 tablespoons cold water, separated
2 packets ([1/4]-ounce each) unflavored gelatin
1 [1/2] cups granulated sugar
[1/2] cup light corn syrup
[1/8] teaspoon fine sea salt
1 [1/2] teaspoons vanilla extract, preferably high quality
[1/2] cup confectioners’ sugar
8-inch x 8-inch glass dish
First, prepare the swirl. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add the jam and cold water. Heat until loose and syrupy, stirring consistently, for no more than 5 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer, pressing the syrup from the fruit pieces. Discard the fruit. Set the syrup aside to cool and thicken.
Now, let’s make the marshmallows. Spray your glass dish very well with cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the dish. Spray the parchment paper well and lay it in the bottom of the dish.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add 1/2 cup of water and the gelatin. Let sit for 15 minutes.
In a separate medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the 2 tablespoons water, sugar, corn syrup, and sea salt. Heat until dissolved, swirling the pan as needed to ensure it all dissolves. This is going to be very hot so be very careful. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot. Boil the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 240° F. Remove from the heat and let sit for 2 minutes.
Turn the mixer up to a low speed. Slowly and very carefully pour the very hot sugar liquid into the stand mixer in a steady stream. Once all the liquid is incorporated, slowly raise the mixer to a high speed. Whisk until thick and opaque, about 12 minutes. The desired texture will be like marshmallow fluff. Add the extract and whisk for another minute. Turn the mixer off.
Pour 3 tablespoons of the strawberry syrup into the mixer. (Save any remaining syrup for a cocktail.) Mix on low for a count of 5 seconds. Turn the mixer off. Using a rubber spatula, pour all the marshmallow into your greased glass dish. Level the marshmallow with your spatula. Let the baking dish sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.
Dust a large baking sheet with half of the confectioners’ sugar. Turn the marshmallows out onto the sugar. Dust your clean hands with confectioners’ sugar and remove the parchment paper from the marshmallows. Dust the top of the marshmallows with the remaining confectioners’ sugar. Dust kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter with confectioners’ sugar and cut the marshmallows into 1-inch x 2-inch pieces. Use any extra sugar to dust every surface of each marshmallow. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Gift Wrap Supplies:
Fill each bag with marshmallows. Fold over the top flap. Punch a hole through both sides. Cut a long length of ribbon and thread it through the hole. Tie in a knot and trim excess ribbon.
Excerpt from FOOD GIFT LOVE by Maggie Battista. Copyright © 2015 by Maggie Battista. Photography © 2015 by Heidi Murphy. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.