Ever since I was little, I have loved making candy. My dad is to
blame thank for this…Christmas would not be complete without his homemade toffee. I am pretty certain in heaven the roads are paved with the stuff. It’s insanely good.
As much as I love standing over a pot of molten sugar and butter waiting for it to reach an exact temperature (which takes quite a while!), it is surprising that I had never really tried my hands at other, non-toffee candies until this year. I was sitting in my parent’s house over Christmas on my first day back for break, itching to put the heavenly fully-stocked kitchen to use to whip up some Christmas treats. To my disappointment, no butter was to be found. So I took to the internet, where I quickly landed on this recipe for gingerbread marshmallows. (I don’t care that it is almost June…I recommend making a batch immediately…just sub the dark corn syrup for molasses like I did ;)!). The recipe was a tremendous success, and I had found a new calling in life. I was meant to
eat make homemade marshmallows.
If you are intimidated by the idea, don’t be. Its much easier than toffee or caramel, and there is something so deeply satisfying about watching hot sugary syrup whip into spectacularly sticky clouds in a matter of minutes. The only difficult thing about marshmallows is dealing with the stickiness of the mixture when getting it into the pan (although, its surprisingly not hard to clean up) and waiting for them to dry so you can cut them up and dig in.
Although you can use homemade marshmallows for all the usual things…s’mores, eating, cocoa…I am very partial to plopping one in my morning coffee. It’s the perfect little treat and the flavor is incredible!
Unlike cooking, and even more so than baking, candy making is science. You are going to need a recipe to follow, because any small adjustment can derail everything. So, I can’t say that that I made this recipe up on my own. My friend Katherine asked me a few months ago if I would bake up some goodies for her engagement party last weekend. Flattered and excited, I obviously said yes! And I immediately thought that Marshmallows would need to be on the menu. Hello, it is my calling after all. I found this recipe on epicurious and was sold! I followed it to a T, except I only made a half batch (still, a huge amount!), and I kept the full measure of vanilla.
My friend Katie told me that I needed to make these for her for “every future occassion ever” and demanded a blog post on the recipe. Who am I to deny her?
I hope you enjoy it as much as her!
Salted Caramel Marshmallows Dipped in Dark Chocolate
Makes about 40, depending on how you cut them
2 1/4 ounce envelopes of gelatin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon sea salt (kosher salt would also work here)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces dark chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons unsseperatealted butter
extra butter for greasing the pan and about 3/4 cup of powdered sugar for dusting
- thoroughly butter a 9×9 inch baking pan (or spray with canola oil cooking spray) and dust thoroughly with powdered sugar. This is most easily done by putting several tablespoons in the pan and tilting the pan in each direction until the bottom and sides are covered and then throwing away the excess. You could also use a sifter to do this. Set pan aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place gelatin and 1/3 cup of water. stir to ensure that all gelatin is covered with water, and let sit while you work on the other steps.
- In the microwave or a small sauce pan, bring 1/4 cup of water to a simmer and keep very hot.
- In a separate saucepan, combine sugar and 1/4 cup of water of medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, then stop stirring. Allow the syrup to come to a boil and caramelize. Continue to cook, swirling in the pan occasionally, until the syrup has turned a deep golden color. Do not walk away from the stove during this process. The progression of the sugar will look like this:
- Once the sugar has reached the deep caramel stage, remove from heat and whisk in the reserve 1/4 cup of hot water. The mixture will bubble, so be careful and stand back. Once smooth, add the corn syrup and salt and return the stove over medium heat
- Attach a candy thermometer to the pot and continue to cook the liquid until it reaches 240 degrees, the soft ball stage. For me, this happened very quickly since the mixture was already so hot!
- Remove from heat immediately and allow to cool for a minute or two.
- Turn the stand mixture on slow (using the whisk attachment and slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin and water. Once all of the syrup has been added, slowly increase the speed to high, being careful not to splash the liquid out of the bowl.
- Once on high, allow the mixture to whip for about 8 minutes, until it forms thick, sticky, pale clouds that can create a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted.
- Add the vanilla, and whip to combine.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet the spatula with water and use to smooth the mixture into all edges of the pan and flatten the top.
- Using a sifter, thoroughly cover the top of the marshmallows with powdered sugar.
- Place in a safe place to dry. They will need to dry for at least 4 hours, but I have always just allowed them to sit over night.
Directions for cutting and dipping the marshmallows
- Loosen the marshmallows from the pan by running a sharp knife around the outside of the pan. Invert onto a cutting board. If they stick, just grab an edge and peel them out. They won’t break apart.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into squares of your desired size. Alternatively, these can be cut with a small cookie cutter into any shape you’d like! I made mine hearts since they were for an engagement party!
- Roll the sticky edges of each marshmallow in powdered sugar and pat off the excess.
- Using a double boiler (which I describe how to make here), melt your chocolate and butter together and stir until completely smooth.
- Skewer one marshmallow at a time with a tooth pick, and dip one side into the melted chocolate. Shake off the excess chocolate, and then place, non-chocolate dipped side down, onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment. Repeat until all are covered, and then place in the fridge to set, about 5 minutes.
- Marshmallows will keep for quite a while in an airtight container, although I find they taste best in the first week they are made.