Soft, fluffy, homemade marshmallows are easy to make using only 6 ingredients. They are sweet, flavorful pillows of deliciousness that far exceed store-bought marshmallows.
Homemade marshmallows are quite simple to make. Making the base only requires 6 ingredients and can be made in under 30 minutes. The flavor and texture cannot even begin to compare with store-bought marshmallows. I will always prefer a scratch made dessert or confection in comparison to the commercial kind due to quality and flavor. And when it comes to marshmallows, the difference between the two options is very real. Store bought marshmallows have that strange dry outer layer, and their interior texture is nothing short of being dull.
Now let me introduce to you homemade marshmallows. They are magical! These pillows of goodness are creamy, soft and fluffy. Their texture creates a lasting impression on your palate. Homemade marshmallows take toasted marshmallows for s'mores and marshmallows for hot chocolate to a whole new level.
Understanding the method used to make homemade marshmallows
Always begin with "blooming" your gelatin. This process is simple, but a very necessary step to ensure the marshmallows have a smooth texture. As gelatin absorbs the water, each tiny granule of the gelatin swells up. Once the hot liquid is added to the bloomed gelatin it will completely dissolve.
The most effective way to bloom your gelatin is to evenly sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in your stand mixer bowl. Sprinkling the gelatin helps prevent clumps from forming in your mixture. Additionally, using cold or cool water allows the gelatin to soften properly, whereas warm or hot water will prevent this.
I highly recommend using corn syrup in homemade marshmallows. It's an ingredient that helps ensure the sugar syrup doesn't crystalize and yields smooth and fluffy marshmallows. Simply whisk the corn syrup with the other sugar syrup ingredients and cook over medium high until the mixture reaches 240°F/116°C. It's very important not to stir the mixture once it's over the fire to further prevent any crystallization.
Using a stand mixer for homemade marshmallows
Often a hand mixer is easily interchangeable for a stand mixer in baking. For example, you can easily use a hand mixer when mixing cookie dough and cake batter. However, when it comes to making homemade marshmallows, it is essential to use a stand mixer. First of all, a stand mixer reduces your chances of burning yourself when pouring the hot sugar mixture into the mixing bowl while the motor is running. You have a free hand as opposed to trying to operate two tasks at the same time with a hand mixer. Secondly, the marshmallow mixture needs to be mixed for 12-15 minutes to reach the proper consistency, and this can be very tedious to hold the hand mixture for that amount of time. Finally, a stand mixer has a heavy duty motor that can easily offer the power needed to complete the task.
How to flavor homemade marshmallows
This recipe calls for 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, which is a standard marshmallow flavoring. However, the options for other flavors are endless. You can substitute other extracts such as almond, citrus, peppermint or coconut extracts for the vanilla, but reduce to 1 teaspoon. If using coconut extract, for an added coconut flavor you can toast coconut and layer it on the bottom of your prepared dish, and top the marshmallow before allowing it to sit uncovered at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight.
Another delicious variation would be to make chocolate dipped marshmallows. Heat equal parts chocolate to heavy cream over a double boiler and whisk until smooth and shiny. Dip the cut marshmallows into the chocolate and allow to dry on parchment paper. You can top the chocolate with sprinkles, nuts or toasted coconut. It's really about having fun making the homemade marshmallows and enjoying the delicious fruits of your labor. Happy Baking (or should I say cooking)!