Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

mallows

I’m sure by now you know where this is headed, what with the previous post being graham crackers and all… Anyhow, if Jet-Puffs aren’t doing it for you anymore this recipe is for you! The biggest thing that I must emphasize is that you don’t sub vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste for the vanilla bean — the alcohol in both is far too overpowering (prevalent?) in my experience. Have fun with this foray into candy making, and don’t worry about the mess that you’ll surely be left with. (Soak everything in hot water and it will all melt away, no scrubbing necessary.) Perhaps even partake in a [cautious] game of chubby bunny (for a high tech version, brought to you by Google, click here).

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

(adapted from Gourmet, December 1998 via Smitten Kitchen)

Active Preparation Time: 1 hour

Inactive Preparation Time: 3 hours+

Makes: 1 1/4 pounds (about 9 dozen 1″ cubes)

Ingredients

  • 90 grams (3/4 cup) Powdered Sugar
  • 32 grams (1/4 cup) Corn Starch
  • 14 grams (1 tablespoon) Canola Oil, for greasing pan
  • 25 grams (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons or 3 1/2 envelopes) Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1 cup (227 grams) Cold Water, divided
  • 392 grams (2 cups) White Sugar
  • 168 grams (1/2 cup) Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt (finely crush) or Kosher Salt
  • 2 large Egg Whites (reserve yolks for another use)¹
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, split pod and scrape out seeds (reserve pod for another use)

Instructions

Whisk together powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Oil bottom and sides of a 13″x9″ metal baking pan, and dust with a scant 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar mixture.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer (or in a large bowl, at least 4 quarts, if using a hand mixer) sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of the cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3 quart or larger saucepan (I used a 4 quart), combine sugar, corn syrup, remaining cold water, and salt over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved.

Increase heat to medium and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F (this took 6 minutes for me, recipe says 12). Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved (it will probably foam up a lot, so be sure to use at least a 4 quart bowl and stand back!).

With a stand (or a hand-held) mixer, beat on high speed until white, thick, and about tripled in volume (about 6 minutes, 10 for hand-held — I’ve found that it really has a bit of a max-volume potential, so don’t worry too much about over-beating).

In a separate, small bowl (2 quart) beat egg whites and the vanilla bean seeds with a balloon whisk (or cleaned beaters) just until stiff, shiny peaks form.

Add egg white mixture to sugar mixture; beat on low to start, then increase speed and beat just until combined. Transfer/scrape mixture into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle a generous 2 tablespoons powdered sugar mixture over the top; shake it around to coat evenly, carefully tap out excess. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until it reaches room temperature; transfer to the fridge for about 3 hours, or until firm.

Run a thin spatula (offset or straight) around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board (mine really stuck to the bottom this time, so I carefully peeled it up, inch by inch, sprinkling the bottom with additional powdered sugar mixture as I progressed). Place remaining powdered sugar mixture in the now-empty pan.

With a large knife (I used my very sharp Global G-2), cut a 1″ strip of marshmallow (it will be 9″ long). Cut strip into cubes (about 1″); transfer to powdered sugar mixture. Shake to coat all sides; place in a fine mesh sieve and shake over pan to remove excess coating. Place completed marshmallow cubes in a large bowl or storage bags. Repeat.

Store marshmallows in a tightly covered bowl or storage bag(s) in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes

¹ Please note that consuming raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.

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