Marshmallows (Dorie Greenspan’s Recipe)

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TWDThe minute I began making these I had a feeling it was going to be a disaster. As I reviewed the ingredients I was a little surprised by the egg whites the recipe called for. I’ve made marshmallows twice, both times sans eggs (recipes here and here) and they were super easy and delicious. This time however, no such luck.

The Great Marshmallow Disaster of 2008Here’s a quick rundown of my problems. First, I measured out all of my ingredients ahead of time as I always do yet I somehow ended up with an extra tablespoon of sugar and read the recipe about 10 times trying to figure out when and to what I should have added it. I eventually just threw it in with the egg whites. Next, because of the Hot Sugar Blister Incident of 2008, there was no way in hell I going to pour 265 degree boiling sugar into a mixer on medium speed. Adventurous when it comes to recipes, maybe; crazy, I am not.

The Great Marshmallow Disaster of 2008So instead, I put the mixer on low and poured the boiling sugar into the egg white and then–I smelled scrambled eggs. I kid you not. By now, I was 99% sure this was going to be a failure but I continued on, committed as always, and followed the rest of the steps. I let the mixture (which somehow looked correct) sit out on the counter overnight but the next morning, it was bad. Gooey and globby and slimey and not what marshmallows should look like. I suppose I should also note that I live in southern California and being as we had record high temps this past weekend (95 degrees in Hollywood, insane!), I didn’t really have a “cool, dry place” to let the marshmallows set. Perhaps that contributed to the disaster?

And so, it is safe to say that the next time I feel the need to use the whisk attachment of my KitchenAid, you better believe I will be using an eggless marshmallow recipe.

Ingredients
About 1 cup potato starch (found in the kosher foods section of supermarkets) or cornstarch
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar*

Preparation
GETTING READY: Line a rimmed baking sheet — choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high — with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup — without stirring — until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites. In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)

Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy — don’t overbeat them and have them go dull.

As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won’t fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).

Dust the top of the marshmallows with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They’ll need about 3 hours, but they can rest for 12 hours or more.

Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you’ll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you’d like — into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they’re cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. When you’ve got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl, reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer them to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.

*Where does this extra tablespoon go?!

SERVING: Put the marshmallows out and let everyone nibble as they wish. Sometimes I fill a tall glass vase with the marshmallows and put it in the center of the table — it never fails to make friends smile. You can also top hot chocolate or cold sundaes with the marshmallows.

STORING: Keep the marshmallows in a cool, dry place; don’t cover them closely. Stored in this way, they will keep for about 1 week — they might develop a little crust on the outside or they might get a little firmer on the inside, but they’ll still be very good.

Playing Around
RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOWS: Fruit purees are excellent for flavoring these candies. For raspberry marshmallows, you’ll need a generous 1/3 cup of puree; reduce the vanilla extract to 1/4 teaspoon. After the batter is mixed, gently fold in the puree with a rubber spatula. You can use the same measurements and technique for other purees, such as strawberry, mango and passion fruit.

CAPPUCCINO MARSHMALLOWS: Sift 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon together into a small bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup boiling water and mix until smooth. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon, and add it to the espresso mix. After you add the sugar syrup and gelatin to the meringue, beat in the espresso mixture and continue.

LIGHT CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOWS: Melt 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/4 teaspoon, and after the marshmallow batter is mixed, fold in the chocolate mixture with a large rubber spatula.

PUMPKIN SPICE MARSHMALLOWS: Whisk together 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and a pinch of ground allspice. After the marshmallow batter is mixed, fold in the spiced pumpkin with a large rubber spatula.

Makes about 1 pound marshmallows.

Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Comments

30 Responses to “Marshmallows (Dorie Greenspan’s Recipe)”

    Marie on 1 April 15th, 2008 6:57 am

    sorry your marshmallows were a disaster! Better luck next time! (((hugs)))

    Best recipes from around the web » Marshmallows (Dorie Greenspan’s Recipe) on 2 April 15th, 2008 7:05 am

    [...] H wrote a fantastic post today on “Marshmallows (Dorie Greenspanâ??s Recipe)”Here’s ONLY a quick extractAs I reviewed the ingredients I was a little surprised by the egg whites the recipe called for. Iâ??ve made marshmallows twice, both times sans eggs (recipes here and here) and they were super easy and delicious. This […] [...]

    Chelle on 3 April 15th, 2008 8:41 am

    I’m so sorry that these didn’t turn out well for you, but at least you have some previously tested recipes to fall back on!

    Shirlie on 4 April 15th, 2008 8:48 am

    My marshmallows were doomed, too. Maybe it wasn’t us, it was the recipe?!! Thanks for posting the eggless marshmallow recipe; I’m curious to try those next time!

    April on 5 April 15th, 2008 8:50 am

    Sorry this recipe didn’t turn out for you!

    Caitlin on 6 April 15th, 2008 10:23 am

    Boo! Sorry it didn’t go so hot for you – but at least you have a good go-to marshmallow recipe!

    Rebecca on 7 April 15th, 2008 10:25 am

    Oh, blech. I’m going to try one of your eggless marshmallow recipes. On to the carrot cake!

    rachel on 8 April 15th, 2008 10:42 am

    I agree that the eggs are totally unneeded! And when you add hot liquid directly to eggs how can you not cook and scramble them? ick.

    Dianne on 9 April 15th, 2008 1:33 pm

    My normal marshmallow recipe doesn’t have eggs in it either. I ended up with a few bits of scrambled egg white here and there as well.

    Mari on 10 April 15th, 2008 2:41 pm

    Bummer that the recipe didn’t work out for you, but good on you for trying!

    Annemarie on 11 April 15th, 2008 5:28 pm

    I had never made them before, but I had seen other recipes that all looked much easier than this one…I’ll have to try one of the recipes you suggested!

    Tammy on 12 April 15th, 2008 6:04 pm

    Mine weren’t great either – probably beacuse the last marshmallow I made was fabulous and this stuff was average!!! I think there were too many egg whites for the amount of sugar

    Shauna on 13 April 15th, 2008 6:11 pm

    I am totally an anti-egg white marshmallow maker myself. I mean, I get the concept of using egg whites, all soft and fluffy and what not, but meh, too much hassle in my opinion. Plus, egg white marshmallows never stand up as well as non-egg ones when it comes to dipping in chocolate or floating in hot chocolate. And if those aren’t pretty much the major reasons for marshmallows existing, then I don’t know what they are. I go between the Thomas Keller/French Laundry Cookbook recipe and the Martha one.

    Definitely a big ‘A’ for effort, though!

    Beth G on 14 April 15th, 2008 7:01 pm

    I totally biffed this one too- mine were not so tasty and not so fluffy- I am totally going to scope your other recipes because I am totally into homemade marshmallow concept, but want to try some other methods :O)

    jami on 15 April 15th, 2008 9:13 pm

    marshmallows are something i’ve always wanted to try making, but they feel like the end result is going to be more work than it’s worth. and i bought some ‘mallows at surfas last week, and for my $5, i didn’t even love them that much!

    Donna on 16 April 15th, 2008 9:34 pm

    So sorry they didn’t work for you. It’s a shame when you go through all that trouble with such high expectations and you’re disappointed.
    I’d be interested in making the egg-less version someday!

    Natalie on 17 April 15th, 2008 11:24 pm

    Sorry they didn’t work out for you! I think I’m going to try the egg free recipe one of these days too.

    LyB on 18 April 16th, 2008 8:19 am

    I totally agree, egg-less is the way to go! Next week’s recipe sounds good though!

    Cecilia on 19 April 16th, 2008 2:44 pm

    Sorry that the recipe didn’t turn out for you. At least you tried it out and kept on trucking to the end.

    95 degrees in Southern California? My aunt has been complaining about the weather over there, but I didn’t know how bad it was.

    justJENN on 20 April 17th, 2008 4:47 pm

    Is it just me or do these Dorie recipes sound horrible?

    Marni on 21 April 18th, 2008 3:36 pm

    Oooooh, good to know since I’ve never attempted a marshmallow before. The good thing is, your kitchen disaster is going to save so many people so much time! Thanks for the sacrifice, Hilary!! heehee :-)

    nighat on 22 July 20th, 2008 11:27 pm

    i have tried without eggs recipes ,all sound good but every time they don’t set at all outside our temp in Lahore,pakistan r going 40 42 ‘ C .and high humidity.
    so i tried to set in fridge.still a disaster !!were so goey they can’t be cut even a pinch.dont know what else wrong as recipes r so easy sounding.i dont have a candy thermemeter so use drop in water sugar syrup to check hard stage of caramel.here corn syrup is very expensive as imported and i have wastede thrice .any alternative to corn syrup.helllllppppppp.i want to perfect my recipe before my daughter’s 6th Bday in oct.as i intent to make marshmallow cut shapes for her cake decor.i have never had so much trouble with a recipe.have ing being baking almost 25+ yrs.though am a surgeon but this is my passion.

    Amy on 23 December 22nd, 2008 6:56 am

    Egg whites are unnecessary, but can work. The sugar should NOT be cooked to such a high temp. You’re going for soft-ball stage, not hard. Try for between 235 and 240, but definitely don’t go over 240! I try to pull mine off at 238.

    Nighat, the temp is probably your biggest problem, although with the geletine, they should still set; it’s just that they’ll have a grainy texture after a day or so. You don’t say how long you’re giving them. The shortest I’ve seen is 4 hours, but a lot of recipes call for 12-24 hours of resting, so maybe you should give them more time.

    Also, I’ve seen agave nector substituted for corn syrup. Don’t go without some kind of syrup, though, or there’s a high risk the sugar crystallizing.

    Inspiration - Homemade Marshmallows « Food for the flowers to grow on 24 January 25th, 2009 4:22 pm

    [...] From Nosh with me – Many different flavors [...]

    Jeanette on 25 May 3rd, 2009 2:14 pm

    Sorry about your disaster. So I thought let you know about my latest EggFree Baking recipe which I’m quite excited about.

    I have managed to successfully make egg free marshmallows. I’t all in the fluffy mixture that the hot jell mixture is beaten into. The fluffy mixture base is soy protein isolate which the commercial makers cleverly hide in their list of ingredients as contains soy.

    Follow the link below and then you, too, can enjoy making homemade marshmallows.

    http://www.eggfreebaking.com/structure/sample-recipes-from-eggfree-baking.html

    Clara on 26 January 15th, 2010 7:28 am

    I made these last night in hopes of getting yummy marshmallows (because I’m on a marshmallow kick right now) I made a few eggless recipes that, to my delight, worked soooooo well. I looked at these and was in love with the idea of cappuccino-flavored marshmallows.

    I guess its the thought that counts. I got the exact same result. I cut them after four hours of resting and thought that I cut them too soon because they were so…slimy! Ick! I left them out overnight uncovered and they were the exact same the next morning!

    I’ll stick with eggless, but I’ll find out a way to get that cappuccino flavor in there, because I tasted them and, though… texturally displeasing… they had good flavor.

    sergio on 27 August 4th, 2010 10:09 pm

    WHAT THE RECIPE FORGOT TO TELL YOU IS THAT IF YOUR USING EGGWHITES-YOU MUST USE CREAM OF TARTER. ITS A POWDER THAT HELPS THE EGGWHITES.

    ALL RECIPES FOR MARSHMALLOWS THAT HAVE EGG WHITES MUST HAVE CREAM OF TARTER.

    ANOTHER THING IS THIS-IF YOUR USING EGG WHITE METHOD YOU MUST USE A WIRE WISK FOR THE EGGWHITES TO GET FLUFFY.

    IF YOU DONT YOU WILL HAVE MOISTURE AND ALL ID DOOMED.

    THE WIRE WISK PUMPS AIR IN THE EGGWHITES. AND TRY USING PASTERISED EGGWHITES.

    THE HOT SYRUP KIND OF COOKS THE EGGWHITES WITHOUT SCRAMBLING THEM .

    IF YOUR REALLY INTERESTED IN GREAT MARSHMALLOW-TRY MAKING THE EXTRACT FROM SCRATCH

    ITS ALTHIA ROOT FROM THE HERBAL SHOP-NO MORE THAN 2$ FOR A SMALL BAG.

    ADD THE ROOT TO ALCOHOL 50/50 -THEN LET AGE FOR 2 OR 3 WEEKS.

    MAKE SIMPLE SYRUP -ADD THE EXTRACT BY 40%.

    60% SIMPLE SYRUP-40 % EXTRACT.

    DONT NEED A PRESERVATIVE BECAUSE THE ALCOHOL IS THE PRESERVATIVE.

    YOU COULD ADD COLORING TO IT IF YOU WANT.

    MY SIMPLE SYRUP IS BROWN SUGAR AND WATER.

    SO DELICIOUS. I HAVE ADDED BLUE FOOD COLORING BECAUSE BLUE MAKES THE MARSHMALLOW SUPER WHITE-WHEN USING EGGWHITES.

    GOOD LUCK

    Kaitlin on 28 August 20th, 2010 12:45 pm

    I wish I’d read your commentary before making these! I found this recipe through chowhound and was SO excited to try it that I got right to work.

    Mine set, but they are sooooo slimy and just… Ew. The texture is fantastic, but I think I prefer eggless marshmallows, too.

    karen on 29 July 6th, 2011 3:15 pm

    I have only made marshmallows using a recipe like this one and they come out amazing! I think you have to be brave when slowly adding the hot sugar and gelatin mixute to the eggwhites, while beating at the same time and the eggwhites should already be whipped to a merigue when you do. Then you’ve got to whip it to a thick merigue again. I have not tried eggless yet, but they appear to be firmer and stickier.

    Dorie recipes | Remolvan on 30 July 28th, 2011 2:42 pm

    [...] Marshmallows (Dorie Greenspan’s Recipe) : Nosh With MeApr 15, 2008 … karen on Marshmallows (Dorie Greenspan’s Recipe): I have only made marshmallows using a recipe like this one and they come out amazing! … [...]

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