While toasting a marshmallow over a fire, waiting for it to reach the perfect level of golden brown and gooey, or while assembling the perfect s'more, one doesn't usually think about where marshmallows come from. But marshmallows are the next thing on our list, which means we need to make them!
"They sat by the hour eating anything they could spear on a toasting fork-- bread, English muffins, marshmallows-- and plotting ways of getting Malfoy expelled, which were fun to talk about even if they wouldn't work" (Sorcerer's Stone).
The recipe for marshmallows in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook is very easy, but really really messy. So heads up on that. Here we go.
You Will Need:
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (plus more as needed)
1 cup water
3 Tbs (3 packets) unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs vanilla extract
Note: I halved the recipe, so my process pictures will be different from yours!
1. Spray a 9 x 13" pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper (or wax paper) to come up the two ends for easy removal later. Thickly coat the parchment paper with 1/4 cup of the confectioner's sugar, using a sifter or sieve to dust the sugar over the paper.
2. Place 1/2 cup of the water and the gelatin in a large mixing bowl to soften.
3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly (use a pastry brush dipped in hot water to brush down any sugar crystals that form). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often (constantly is also good), until a candy thermometer reads 238 degrees.
4. With an electric mixer on low speed, slowly pour half the sugar syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase the speed to medium and slowly pour in the rest of the syrup. You'll want to do this relatively quickly, as the longer the syrup is off the heat, the stiffer it will get.
5. Increase the speed to high and continue beating. The recipe says beat for 10-15 minutes... but that's almost impossible. Beat until the mixture is thick and creamy, probably not more than 8 minutes.
|that's not a drip. that's solid marshmallow stickiness.|
6. Beat in the vanilla. Mixing it in with a spatula might be easier.
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it to the edges. Smooth the top as well as you can. Thickly coat the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of confectioner's sugar.
8. Leave the pan set out uncovered overnight to dry out.
9. To cut the marshmallows, pull out the marshmallow sheet with the overhanging parchment and place it on a cutting board. Using a chef's knife or a large, non-serrated knife, press down with one motion to make a single cut through the center. Continue doing this, making even cuts along the length and width. Dip the sides of the newly cut marshmallows into the confectioner's sugar to prevent sticking, and brush off the excess sugar.
Yay homemade marshmallows! Yes, you have to think a day ahead in order to make them, but how great to have delicious sticky sugary squares with no preservatives? Take that, Jet Puffs!