I wanted to make the perfect Valentines Day treat, but what?? There are a few (that’s an understatement!) cake recipes I want to try but it all seemed to much for today. MMmmmm… how about fluffy marshmallow? Better yet, how about fluffy, cool, peppermint marshmallows? How about dipping those fluffy, cool, peppermint marshmallows in some bittersweet chocolate? Now we are talking!! It’s been a while since I made marshmallows and I forgot just how darn easy they are to make. Really. The only trouble is that they can be very messy to make as well. Here are a few pointers:
When beating the marshmallow mixture, resist all temptation to scrape down the sides of the bowl, or the beater for that matter. You will just end of with strings of sticky marshmallow EVERYWHERE.
After it is set, tightly cover the entire top with plastic wrap and then flip it over. This prevents clouds of confectioners sugar from flying all over your kitchen. (this is when you can dust the bottom of it).
These are so delicious and are outrageous in a mug of hot cocoa. Your family and friend will love you for these.
You will need to 9×13 inch pan
about 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115°F.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites*
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (0r 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- *if egg safety is a problem in your area, substitute powdered egg whites reconstituted according to manufacturer’s instructions
Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and line bottom and sides with plastic wrap. Dust with about 1/4 cup confectioners sugar.
Ina small bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand to soften.
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F., about 8-12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and in gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, using very clean beaters beat whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. You can use a standing or hand-held mixer. Transfer the egg whites to another bowl while the sugar is coming up to temperature. Try to time these two as close together as possible so your egg whites don’t sit too long while waiting for the sugar. Don’t bother washing the bowl or whisk, just add the hot sugar mixture.
Pour the sugar/gelatin mixture into a standing or a hand-held electric mixer and beat mixture on high-speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer (At this point your beaten egg whites are waiting for you in a separate bowl).
Beat whites, peppermint and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift 1/4 cup confectioners― sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day.
Cover the entire top of pan with plastic wrap and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Grabbing one corner, lift up plastic wrap and peel away the wrap. Dust with about 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar.Trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift another 1/4 C confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat.
Melt some bittersweet chocolate (about 4 ounces) and dip each marshmallow. Allow to cool on a sheet of parchment paper for a few minutes.
Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, December 1998