Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
Delightfully soft and never too sweet, marshmallows are a creative way to fill macarons or sandwich cookies and they look great between cake layers. Just ask Edmonton’s Duchess Bake Shop—the popular bakery recently revealed the secrets behind their bestsellers and this surprisingly manageable recipe for perfectly light and airy marshmallows is one that we can definitely get behind.
⅓ cup ice water
2 tbsp powdered gelatin
¾ cup white corn syrup, divided
1½ cups sugar
⅓ cup water
1 tsp vanilla paste, or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Icing sugar, for covering and coating marshmallows
Vegetable oil or cooking spray
Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper, creating “handles” that hang over the long edges. (This will help you lift the marshmallow out after it is set.) Lightly spray pan and paper with vegetable oil.
Put ice-cold water in a small microwavable bowl. Sprinkle over the gelatin, and stir to dissolve. Set aside at room temperature until firmly set.
Place half the corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. In a small saucepan, stir together sugar, remaining water and remaining corn syrup. Heat mixture until it reaches between 235–240˚F on an instant thermometer. As mixture cools, heat gelatin in a microwave until melted (about 30 seconds). Pour the gelatin over the corn syrup in the mixer bowl. Begin mixing on low speed.
When the sugar mixture cools to approximately 228°F, gradually pour it down the side of the mixing bowl with the mixer still running. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, turn speed up to medium-high and mix for 7 minutes, or until marshmallow looks stiff, light and fluffy and is pulling away from the sides. If you under-whip the marshmallow it will turn out dense rather than airy and soft.
Add vanilla paste and mix on high for 1 minute. Pour marshmallow into the prepared pan and, using a spatula coated in cooking spray, spread evenly. Remember to spray anything you are using to touch the marshmallow, as it will stick to everything!
Sift icing sugar over the marshmallow, covering it well. Let set at room temperature for at least 6 hours before cutting.
To cut the marshmallow, run a knife along the sides of the pan and, using the parchment handles, gently lift it out onto a cutting board. Sift more icing sugar into a small bowl. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife coated in cooking spray, cut marshmallow into 35 rectangular pieces. Dip each piece individually in the icing sugar to coat completely.
Marshmallows will keep in an airtight container or plastic wrap for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. Be sure to wrap them well so they don’t dry out.
Substitute 1 tsp extract or 1 tbsp compound of your choice at the vanilla stage to change the flavour of your marshmallows. Be careful not to add too much extra liquid to this recipe as this could affect the texture of your marshmallows. Here are some of the popular flavours we make at Duchess Bake Shop.
Coconut: Toast 2 cups shredded coconut in an oven at 350°F until golden brown. Add 1 tbsp coconut compound or 1 tsp coconut extract to the marshmallow. Once spread in the pan, instead of sifting icing sugar on top of the marshmallow, lightly cover it with half of the toasted coconut. Once the marshmallow is set and cut, roll pieces in the remaining toasted coconut instead of in icing sugar.
Fuzzy Peach: Add 1 tbsp peach compound. Instead of using icing sugar to coat the marshmallows, use a mixture of citric acid (1 tsp) and sugar (1 cup).
Some of the other flavours we make—simply by adding compounds or extracts—are root beer, peppermint, wild strawberry, blood orange and maple. Let your imagination run wild!