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I have wanted to make homemade marshmallows for years, but never had the courage to try it.

But in a year inspired by my favorite British baking show, I knew I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. The show features chocolate marshmallow tea cakes, which require precisely baking chocolate cakes, tempering chocolate, whipping marshmallows and combining all in silicone molds.

I have two small children. This was not feasible. But you know what was? Making my own marshmallows.

I’d classify this as easy but messy (especially because I had a 3-year-old helper). It definitely requires some advanced planning. The marshmallows need to cure for at least six hours or overnight before dipping.

I found these challenging without being overwhelming. And the results were delicious.

A few notes: My marshmallow recipe came from theflavor

bender.com. The author covers every question you might have, including a basic strategy and substitutes for corn syrup.

I took the most basic approach possible, then figured out my own dipping and topping strategy. I appreciated the whipping process — I’m used to making meringue, with its ominous warnings about not overwhipping.

Now that I’m over my mental block, I can’t wait to try these again with some more daring flavors. I’m thinking about maple-syrup marshmallows for fall, peppermint-flavored ones for the holidays, and possibly even adding egg whites and piping homemade Peeps in the spring. The possibilities seem endless.

Homemade marshmallows

Makes about 16.

14.5 ounces (about 2 cups)

granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 cup cold water, divided in half

3 packets unflavored gelatin or

7 teaspoons gelatin granules

1/8 teaspoon salt

11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon powdered sugar plus some for sprinkling

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Grease a 9-inch-sqaure glass baking dish with butter. Grease two spatulas at same time.

Combine 1/2 cup water, sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. When it boils, cover with lid and let boil for 2 minutes. When lid comes off, all crystals should have dissolved. If not, put lid back on and cook another minute.

As it cooks, pour 1/2 cup cold water into bowl of stand mixer and get whisking beater ready. Pour in gelatin and let it bloom, which will make it look grainy.

Uncover and continue cooking syrup until it reaches 242 to 245 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and let cool so it’s not bubbling anymore.

Turn mixer on low to stir bloomed gelatin. Pour syrup down side of bowl so it cools as it’s added. Add salt. Raise speed to medium as base doubles in size. Raise speed to high and beat about 5 minutes or until it has tripled in size. Add vanilla and beat another minute.

Using greased spatula, pour mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar. Once it’s cool, cover with plastic wrap. Let cure at least six hours.

When ready to cut, sift together remaining powdered sugar and cornstarch. Dust cutting surface, then turn out marshmallows. Cut with an oiled knife or kitchen shears.

Dust each with sugar/cornstarch to prevent sticking. If not dipping, store in airtight container at room temperature.

Chocolate/ graham-cracker topping

Makes about 8 marshmallows.

1 cup mini semi-sweet

chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

4 graham crackers

Cover baking sheet with wax paper. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor, then pour into a bowl with shallow walls.

In another microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and shortening and melt in microwave for about 1 minute, being careful not to overcook. If chips remain, stir well to incorporate.

Dip one end of each marshmallow in chocolate (you may need to use a spoon to get even coverage). Gently shake off excess, then dip and roll chocolate end in graham-cracker crumbs.

Let cool on baking sheet until chocolate hardens.

Chocolate-peanut-butter dip and topping

Makes about 8 large marshmallows.

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup dry roasted, salted peanuts

Prepare a baking sheet with waxed paper.

Pulse peanuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour into a bowl with shallow walls.

In another microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate, shortening and peanut butter. Melt in microwave for about 1 minute, being careful not to overcook. If some chips remain, stir well to incorporate.

Dip one end of each marshmallow in chocolate/peanut-butter mixture. Gently shake off excess chocolate, then dip and roll chocolate end in chopped peanuts. Place on baking sheet and let cool until chocolate hardens.

Meg Dickinson is a communications professional who spends many waking hours daydreaming about food. To submit a recipe, email megmakes1@gmail.com.

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