Happy Halloween!! To celebrate here is a super scary recipe! Ghost marshmallows!! So marshmallows are one of those recipes that seem scary because there are some important tools and procedures that you need to follow. Ghost cookie cutters are optional but they look so fun!
To make marshmallows it is best if you have a stand mixer and a candy thermometer. It is okay to have a hand mixer, but I couldn’t imagine doing it by hand with a whisk. A stand mixer will make the mixing much easier though. If you don’t have a candy thermometer be sure to know what firm-ball stage is and how to test when you’ve reached that state.
Another interesting thing is the oil that you use to coat the pan really affects the taste of the marshmallows. I used coconut oil and I could taste coconut in the resulting marshmallows. So this can either be a good or bad thing, just something to keep in mind, using a plain oil like vegetable oil won’t impart any extra flavors. This is an egg-less recipe for two reasons. One my family doesn’t really eat marshmallows all that often, so not using eggs means they stay good longer. And two I haven’t tested if I can cut some of the other ingredients enough that it balances out the cost, but i would assume that eggs add to the cost of the recipe.
To talk about costs, the total recipe costs $2.99, which makes about 6 ghosts, or around 64 1 inch marshmallows. That brings the cost per marshmallow at around $.05 per marshmallow. The recipe will create around 20 oz of marshmallows which means that the recipe costs $.15 per oz. This is slightly higher than the commercial price that you can get at $.10 per oz if you buy in bulk. I think that a fresh marshmallow is better than the ones you can buy in the store, but obviously that is a personal decision.
Homemade Marshmallow Base
- 2 cup sugar (410g)
- ⅓ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup water for the gelatin
- 7 tsp gelatin about 3 packets of Knox gelatin (21. 6 g)
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar sifted
- 1/8 cup cornstarch
Prepare the gelatin. Place ½ cup of water in the mixer bowl. Add the gelatin to the water and mix to moisten the gelatin. Set aside to allow the gelatin to bloom while the sugar syrup is cooking (at least 10 minutes). Place the bowl in your mixer, with the whisk attachment.
Place the sugar, agave syrup (or corn syrup), and water in a pot. Stir until the sugar is moistened and mixed with the water.
Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar syrup comes to a boil. Gently swirl the pan to evenly distribute the heat.
Cover the saucepan with a lid and lower the heat to medium. Let the syrup cook for 3 minutes. Do not lift the lid at this point.
After 3 minutes, remove the lid and check to make sure there are no sugar crystals on the side of the saucepan. If there are crystals, then cover the saucepan for a further minute to allow the condensation to wash down the sugar crystals into the syrup.
Clip the sugar thermometer to the side of the saucepan, and set the temperature at 245°F. Let the sugar syrup cook until it reaches this temperature. If you don't have a sugar thermometer, check the sugar stage every 5 minutes until it reaches the firm-ball stage.
When the sugar syrup reaches the right stage, while the mixer is running on medium - low speed, pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin, along the wall of the bowl (this is to prevent the gelatin from being scorched by the hot sugar syrup). Add the salt and increase the speed to high. Whisk on high for 3 - 5 minutes until the marshmallow base has tripled in size and is white, fluffy and smooth. Do not mix for longer than 5 minutes, as the marshmallows may dry out.
While the marshmallow base is whisking, prepare the pan and utensils you will be using. Rub an 8 x 8 inch pan with shortening or butter (you can line this pan with parchment paper and brush that with vegetable oil to make it even easier). Brush all the utensils - spoon, spatulas with the same fat/oil as well.
Add the vanilla to the marshmallow base and whisk for a further minute to combine the vanilla.
Scrape the marshmallow base into the prepared pan using an oiled cake spatula or flexible scraper. Spread the marshmallow evenly in the pan using the oiled spatula.
Turn the set marshmallow out onto a work surface dusted with dusting powder. Cut the marshmallows with an oiled knife or a pair of scissors. Toss the marshmallow in the dusting powder and store in an air-tight container.