Making marshmallows is like performing a magic trick - simple ingredients suddenly turn into a confection that no one, no matter how old or jaded, can resist! Here, the heat of the sugar and glucose mixture cooks and solidifies the egg whites just enough to make them tender and tempting!
You can flavor these with just about anything, from a concentrated fruit juice to an extract, to a blend of ground nuts and spices.
Note: frozen egg whites work well for this recipe. Corn syrup (Karo brand is the best known) can be used as a substitute for glucose, however the flavor and texture will be slightly different. Glucose is available at any specialty pastry supply store.
2-1/2cups plus 2 tablespoons (500g)granulated vanilla sugar
1/3cup (80g)glucose or inverted sugar such as Karo syrup
12sheets - one scant ounce; 24ggelatin leaves
6 large 9 oz; 240gegg whites
Pinchtfine sea sal
3teaspoonsof vanilla, orange flower water, raspberry puree, mint extract, rose water,
Mix the confectioner=s sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl until combined. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper, and sprinkle it with half the cornstarch mixture. Alternatively, sprinkle half the cornstarch mixture directly onto a marble, granite, or other even, flat work surface in a 17 x 9-inch (42.5x22.5cm) rectangle.
Place the 2-1/2 cups sugar, glucose or inverted sugar, and water in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir, using a stainless steel spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cook the sugar until it reaches a temperature of 2651F (1301C), which will take about 15 minutes.
While the sugar is cooking, place the gelatin leaves, one by one, into a bowl of cold water. Reserve.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. When the sugar has reached 2651F (1301C), remove it from the heat immediately. Add the pinch of salt to the whites, and begin whisking on medium high speed. When the whites turn frothy, after about 30 seconds, add the 2 tablespoons sugar, and continue to whisk until the whites are smooth and very creamy, and form stiff peaks.
Using a sturdy kitchen towel or a hot pad to hold the saucepan handle, pour the cooked sugar mixture very slowly into the whites while the whisk attachment is still running, being very careful to avoid pouring onto the whisk itself, as the extremely hot sugar could splatter. Once all of the sugar and syrup are incorporated, keep the mixer whisking the egg whites and squeeze the water from the gelatin leaves one by one, adding them once you’ve removed as much of the water as possible. Once all of the gelatin is added to the egg white mixture, continue whisking it until the egg white mixture is elastic and has cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
With the whisk still running, add any chosen flavoring or extract, if using, to the marshmallow mixture. Pour out the mixture onto the prepared pan or surface, then using a long spatula or offset spatula, evenly spread it over the prepared surface. The marshmallow mixture should be about 2-inches thick. Sift the remaining sugar-cornstarch mixture over the top and sides to completely cover the surface. Let the marshmallow mixture sit at room temperature for 4 to 5 hours so it has a chance to set
Using a pastry brush, dust the cornstarch mixture off the marshmallow. Reserve the cornstarch mixture. Cut the marshmallow into long strips, and roll the strips into the reserved cornstarch mixture, then roll the strips into a spiral, to serve or store. Alternatively, cut the marshmallow into the shape of your choice. Dust the shapes in the cornstarch mixture to keep the pieces from sticking together, dusting off any excess. The marshmallows keep well for one two weeks in an airtight container, stored in a cool, dry place. Reserve the cornstarch mixture. Store any excess cornstarch mixture in an air-tight container for a future use.