I’ve been making a lot of marshmallows recently. I don’t love buying my kids store bought sweets with all their unreadable numbers and the frequency of high fructose corn syrup turning up in the ingredients list. Marshmallows are really easy to make and capture the imaginations of adults and children alike.
This recipe has them ready to cut and eat or package within 2 hours. Replace the strawberry puree with any other juice or fruit you have on hand; just remember to strain out the seeds.
2 cups of caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup strawberry puree (hull whole strawberries, puree in blender or food processor and strain through a sieve)
2 tablespoons powdered gelatine
1/2 cup icing sugar
- In a small saucepan, combine the strawberry puree and the caster sugar and place on medium-low heat. Prepare a 30 x 20cm lamington pan by lining it with baking paper.
- Meanwhile in a cup bloom the gelatine in the half cup of water. Stir to combine and allow to soak for at least 5 minutes.
- Bring the strawberry and sugar mixture to a boil and then add the bloomed gelatine and stir to combine. Allow to boil together for one minute before removing from heat.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl. Whisk on high speed using the stand mixer or electric hand mixer.
- Once all the steam has been released, the mixture will triple in size over 3-4 minutes.
- When the mixture resembles meringue at the soft peak stage, using a spatula scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Allow to set at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Do not cover and do not place in the fridge. At this stage the marshmallow is both setting and drying and any moisture trapped inside by refrigeration or covering will mean that the marshmallows start to weep.
- When set, dust the top of the marshmallow with a tablespoon of icing sugar before upturning onto a chopping board.
- Slowly peel the paper from the marshmallow. If it is set it will peel easily and the marshmallow will pull away from the paper and bounce back into shape.
- Dust the rest of the marshmallow with sugar and cut into desired shapes before dusting with remaining sugar.
- These retain their creamy and smooth texture for up to 2 weeks before they dry out more and the texture becomes more like commercially made marshmallows. They will keep for up to 3 months.
Another version of this recipe flavoured with cocoa and cinnamon can be found here.
To make other fruit flavours, puree fruit such as berries and strain them to remove the seeds. You can also replace the 1/2 cup of puree with all natural juices such as orange, apple, cranberry etc.
The basic recipe
2 cups of sugar,
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of gelatine
…so the juice and puree are a variation of this basic recipe. In terms of flavour and texture, natural fruit and juice flavouring means that these marshmallows don’t have that artificial candy sweet fragrance while still packing a flavour punch. Also using the heavier puree rather than juice or water means that these marshmallows are slightly firmer. If you prefer this kind of candy flavour, use a 1/2 teaspoon of flavour oil or essence and use all water for the liquid component.
If you want to add colour to your marshmallows, gel colours gets the brightest and most accurate colour results. If using fruit puree or juice, the marshmallows will take on some of the fruit colour, though it will be pastel in tone.
Earl Grey and Vanilla Marshmallows
I have brewed earl grey in the in one cup of water before diving into 2 cups and also added a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract for earl grey and vanilla marshmallows.