|Chocolate Marshmallows dusted with powdered and whole sucanat.|
A few months ago I decided I wanted to learn how to make naturally sweetened marshmallows. I merely dreamt about it for a while because I thought it was a bit crazy. Surprisingly, it is super simple, quick, and versitile. I made 6 batches within a couple hours of distracted cooking (as in it was not active work and I was doing other stuff at the time) the other night.
My first attempt used three different kinds of sugar, my second attempt used two kinds of sugar, then I tried with just honey. The results were iffy, but then with a bit of tweaking I came up with a super fluffy, springy, and melt in your mouth (seriously!) marshmallows. I am possitive it can be made with other natural sugars sucanat, rapadura, or even maple syrup but I do not have a recipe for those. I hope to develop one with just sucanat for those who prefer it to honey.
Homemade marshmallows taste very very different then store bought ones. They are fluffier, and much tastier. Plus, while I’d never stretch to say it is healthy, it is MUCH healthier then the HFCS version in the store.
Base Marshmallow Recipe
Honestly, I have never used this recipe as is, but this is the base recipe for all the different flavored marshmallows I make (lemon dream, chocolate, gingerbread, ect. recipes below)
1 1/4 c honey
1 cup of water, seperated
2 T + 1 t gelatin (preferably a natural, healthy kind such as this one which is from grass fed beef)
1/4 t salt
Powdered sucanat (instructions follows), cocoa powder, or toasted coconut
In a stand mixer (borrow one if you do not have one, it is important) put the gelatin and 1/2 cup water. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes while you cook the sugar. If you use hot water then measure the honey in the same measuring cup the honey will pour our much easier.
In a large pot (I use a 4 quart to prevent boil overs) whisk together the other half cup of water and honey and salt. Boil the honey and water mixture until it reaches 240 degrees F. Do not stir the sugar while you are doing this. Stiring sugar mixture can result in large crystals.
|With a bit of creativity you can use your probe themometer like a candy themometer.|
Attach the whisking attachment to your mixture and turn it to low. Making sure to not to hit the whisk, pour the honey mixture down the side of the bowl. Slowly increase the spead and beat for about 10 minutes until you have a really fluffy, light colored mixture. It will be similar to marshmallow fluff, but won’t have any scary ingredients or nasty taste and texture.
|Fluffy Chocolate Marshmallows|
While your syrup is whipping into marshmallows prepare your landing spot. You have several options for this, basically you need a place to put the marshmallows where the marshmallows won’t stick. I usually do a pan (appr 9*9″ square) that has been heavily dusted with powdered sucanat or cocoa, but you can also do a pan that has been lined with parchment paper and sprinkled with cocoa powder, powdered sucanat, or toasted coconut (instructions follows) or just a sheet of parchment paper with the afore mentioned de-stickifiers.
Using a spatula that has been buttered or oiled spread the marshmallow fluffiness onto your prepared landing spot. Let set up in the fridge for four hours or in cool place for about eight hours.
The easiest way to cut the marshmallows is a pizza cutter. The first few times I made marshmallows I did not have a pizza cutter so I just used a knife that was dusted with powdered sugar or cocoa powder. I did get a pizza cutter before cutting the last 500 of the 600 marshmallows I made.
Store the marshmallows in an airtight container.
Blend 1/2 cup of sucanant until it is powdered. Let the sugar settle before you open the blender, otherwise you get to inhale sugar. That is not pleasant.
Put small pieces of shredded dried coconut in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toast in a 200 F oven for about 10-12 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, toasted coconut is just a breath away from burnt coconut. If all you have is large shreds of coconut you can put them in the food processor or spice grinder for a few seconds.
If you can dream up a flavor chances are you can make it into a marshmallow. Except perhaps Egg Nog. Still working on that one. Want cumin anchovie marshmallows? Me either, but you could make them.
You can add just about any food grade essential oil, extract, spices, or zests to your marshmallows and you can replace part of the honey with molasses and part of the water with flavorful liquids. You can also top marshmallows with anything finely chopped. Like I said the possibilities are pretty much endless. Add spices to the sugar mixture and flavorings (such as zests, extracts, or oils) once the sugar mixture and water have cooled off a bit. When replacing part of your water with juices use it as the juice you soak the gelatin in. Do not add zest to the gelatin and liquid because it will get tangled around the whisk attachment.
Perhaps that is a little vague though. Here are some yummy variations.
Peppermint- add 1/4t food grade peppermint EO to the marshmallows after they have whipped for a bit. This is good with cocoa powder on the outside. You can also add 1 t vanilla.
Vanilla- add 1-2 t vanilla extract to the marshmallows after they have fluffed for a bit. I personally would add 2 t.
Lemon Dream – This is a favorite! Juice two lemons and add water until you get to 1/2 cup. Use this to soak the gelatin in. You can also add zest depending on how lemony you like it, but the zest of both lemons would be a bit much. After the marshmallows have become fluffy mix in 2 t vanilla.
Gingerbread– This has a lot of components but it is so yummy. Replace 1/3 cup of the honey with molasses and add the following spices to the sugar and water mixture before heating.
1/4 t ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
Add 1 t vanilla when the marshmallows become fluffy.
Chocolate – Add 3-4 T cocoa powder to the sugar and water mix before heating. Use cocoa powder to keep the marshmallows from sticking. This makes a slightly less fluffy marshmallow. So you can add 3 T if you care about the texture more then the taste, but I add 4 T and love them. You can also add some cayenne (1/8 – 1/4 T) if you want to get it some kick.
Cherry Limemade- Use the juice of three limes to replace some of the water you soak the gelatin in and stir in 2 T of cherry juice concentrate to the gelatin water/lime juice.