“I have a real soft spot for marshmallows,” said Amazing Grace as we drank sea breezes and experimented with drops of food coloring in my kitchen.
It was my first foray into marshmallow making, so I had called for moral support from my Chubby Bunny record-holding friend.
“When I was a teenager I’d go to sleepovers at my friends’ houses, and we’d give each other mani pedies, and we’d always use marshmallows as toe separators.”
It’s amazing what you can learn about a person by cooking with them.
Red White and Blue Marshmallows
The basic marshmallow recipe is from the genius of Alton Brown, though the addition of food coloring is my own particular brand of kiztch. Seriously, red and blue food? Come on! (even if the red is more charitably pink …)
This recipe makes about 90 1 inch cubed marshmallows3 packets of gelatine 1 cup of cold water 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 cup light corn syrup pinch of salt 1 tsp good vanilla extract Dab of red and blue food coloring paste (not liquid – it dilutes the mixture too much)
1/2 cup confectioners (icing) sugar 1/2 cup cornstarch (cornflour) Nonstick spray Three trays (I used a loafÂ tin and 2 brownie trays and it worked out fine)
Candy Thermometer (the kind you clip to the side of the pan)
Mixer (this is a pain to make without one, it really is)
- Tip the gelatine into the mixer bowl and add half of the water
- Heat the other half cup of the water with the sugar, syrup and salt in a small pan. Cover and cook gently for 4 mins. Now test the temperature. You need this sugar mixture to reach 240f. It will probably take 7 – 8 mins.
- Start the mixer and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin / water. Once it’s all been added, turn the mixer up to high and whip until the mixture is thick and warm rather than hot to the touch (beware, it’s super sticky). This takes about 15 mins.
- Mix in the vanilla
- Now prepare the pans: Combine the confectioners sugar and cornstarch in a bowl
- Spray three small trays with nonstick spray then tip in the cornstarch / confectioners sugar. Tip around to coat all the sides then shake into the next tin.
- Dollup 1/3 of the marshmallow into one tray. Dust with confectioners sugar / cornstarch then leave overnight to set.
- Take out another 1/3 of the mixture and put into a different bowl. Add blue food coloring drop by drop until you have the desired color, scrape into the tin, dust with the cornstarch / confectioners sugar and leave overnight to set
- Whisk the last 1/3 of the mixture with a drop or two of red coloring, transfer to the tin, dust, and leave to set.
- The next day, turn out and slice into cubes using a sharp knife or (as Alton suggests) a pizza cutter) dipped in confectioners sugar to stop it sticking too much
- Dust the sides of the marshmallows with more confectioners sugar, then store for up to three weeks in an airtight container