Remember awhile back when I made marshmallows from scratch? And then I pleaded to Co Co. Sala for help? Well, they answered my plea. And they even let me come in and learn how to make marshmallows from scratch. Their way. The right way.
I was in awe. I asked so many questions. I squealed in delight. I fell just short putting my face in the pan of marshmallow fluff and licking it all up.
The good news: it’s not rocket science and their recipe is incredibly similar to the one I was using. The bad news: they’re a restaurant…with ingredients and equipment my budget and tiny kitchen can’t accommodate. It’s okay though! They’re not going to stop making marshmallows anytime soon, so whenever I need a fix I can pop over to Co Co. Sala and indulge myself. It’s probably better that way. Their marshmallows are so addictive they should be a controlled substance.
Nisha at Co Co. Sala (shout out!) invited me over and hooked me up with Katie, their chocolatier, for a marshmallow lesson. Here’s the step by step in photos and ingredients/measurements! I seriously can’t say thank you enough – and that Nisha and Katie were just so damn nice made it even better. Say hello to them if you’re ever there!
Ready?! Ok! First the mise en place…
You’ll notice that Katie uses sheet gelatin. I’d never heard of or seen the stuff before! Katie did a little research and found a box on Amazon for more than I would pay for it, but it turns out King Arthur sells 20 sheets for $8! You soak it in ice water for a few minutes, strain and squeeeeeeze excess water out, then heat it in the microwave to melt it. I’ll just say, this gelatin looked nothing like the stuff I used :(
Recipe and the whole process after the jump…
Once the gelatin was melted, she added the vanilla extract and the insides of a vanilla bean! Yum!
I think I forgot to mention that you have to be a pro at prepping and multitasking to make these things properly. The ability to keep your cool is helpful too. Why, you ask? Because Katie practically did all these steps at once. So while she was getting the gelatin prepared she was also whipping egg whites with sugar to make a meringue…well…*she* wasn’t…her KitchenAid was. Hmph :( I don’t have one of these, and for marshmallows it definitely made things easier.
So while your gelatin is gelatinizing and your meringue is whip!whip!whipping!, you’ll want to combine the sugar, water and corn syrup until it all boils. We waited for it reach 119°C (medium-ball stage if you’re a pro like Katie, or you can use a candy thermometer). Don’t stir it!
Katie used a pastry brush and some water to gently push lingering sugar crystals down the sides of the pot. This avoids crystallization on the side of the pot, which you don’t want, because that will mess up the whole mixture.
Katie let the mixture whip until the metal bowl we were using had cooled…does that make sense? Pouring in the sugar/water/corn syrup heats up the bowl significantly…touch the side (the outside, people) and you’ll see. From there she went by feel. When the side of the bowl had cooled to luke-warm she was done whipping. The mixture looked like this…
After we made marshmallows (really hard, arduous work there folks) Nisha treated me to some cool snacks (it was a hot day!) and I went back to work a happy, happy gal.
18g sheet gelatin
288g sugar (for the simple syrup)
63g sugar (for the meringue)
150g dextrose (corn syrup)
125g water (for the simple syrup)
175g egg whites (for the meringue)
1 vanilla bean
1tsp vanilla extract
I realize these measurements are in grams…I’ll be honest I’m too lazy to convert them for you…but to justify said laziness, I’ll just say: when conducting chemistry experiments baking or making candy, it’s really best to go with weighted, precise measurements. You get a far better result.