Jet-puffed. Peep. Mini. Marshmallows are just plain fun.
These confections date back to 2000 B.C. where Egyptians combined marshmallow plant sap with honey to make sweet candy. Modern versions forego sap for gelatin making soft, pillowy marshmallow-magic within reach of any home cook.
The most basic recipe calls for whipping sugar syrup with gelatin until you’ve got something that resembles marshmallow fluff. A quick rest to set-up and you’ve got marshmallows. The addition of corn syrup helps ensure a smooth texture and prevents crystals.
Once you’ve mastered this basic recipe adding flavors, colors and textures are simple. Dust with matcha powder, dip in chocolate or stir in extracts. Go nuts.
My favorite is in a big mug of bourbon spiked hot chocolate.
Check the images below to see how the mixture should look step-by-step.
What worked: Light and pillowy and perfect in a cup of a coffee.
What didn’t: The coffee flavor was a little muted and overwhelmed by the cardamom. Next time I could consider brewing my espresso extra strong.
Know this: Be sure to work quickly when spreading the marshmallow in the pan. It will be nearly impossibly to spread once the marshmallow starts cool and the gelatin sets up.
Espresso and Cardamom Marshmallows
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 3/4 oz 20 g unflavored gelatin, 3 envelopes
- 1 cup 30 ml strong espresso, cold
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 cups 300 g granulated sugar
- 1 cup 11 oz light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Line a quarter sheet pan (9"x13") with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray.
- Pour 1/2 cup [4 oz] cold espresso into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin and cardamom over the espresso. Let the gelatin soften, about 15 minutes.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side of a 3 to 4 quart saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and an additional 1/2 cup [4 oz] cold espresso to a boil in the saucepan. Continue to boil without stirring until the syrup reaches 240°F, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Turn the mixer on low speed. Once the syrup reaches 240°F, quickly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl with the motor running. Increase the speed to high and whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and lukewarm, approximately 10 minutes.
- Working quickly, scrape the marshmallow mixture into the greased pan. Smooth the top with a wet spatula and let stand uncovered until firm, about 4 hours.
- Prepare a small bowl filled with powdered sugar. Turn the firmed-up marshmallow slab onto a work surface dusted with powdered sugar and remove the parchment paper. Using kitchen shears or a large sharp knife sprayed with nonstick spray, cut the marshmallows into eight 1-inch strips. Cut each strip into 12 1-inch squares. Coat each square in powdered sugar shaking off the excess.
- Store in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.