I've seen posts about homemade marshmallows on blogs everywhere and in every flavor imaginable. They always made it look so easy and the results were stunning. But, the idea of trying it myself kind of intimated me. After all, it requires the use of a candy thermometer and having to get the mixture to just the right temperature. What if I made a mistake and my mixture was too hot or not hot enough? And, what if the mixture didn't whip or set like it should? So many reasons not to make them.
But, when the day ends, I love a good challenge and I decided it was high time I pushed my fears aside and tried it once and for all. And boy am I glad that I did. In the first place, I realized that making marshmallows is not hard at all. As long as you pay attention to what you're doing, the process is as easy as 1-2-3. Okay, fine, it's easy as 1-2-3 if you also watch Alton Brown's video on marshmallow-making so you can see how he does it (I always said, he's the man). Secondly, the entire process is super fast - less than an hour. Finally, once you taste your marshmallow you will realize that you have never really eaten a marshmallow before. Those store-bought spongy things cannot compare.
As I found out, a "real" marshmallow is so fluffy that it feels like you're eating a cloud and so delicate that it practically melts in your mouth. Plus, I love that I no longer have to settle for plain flavored marshmallows. The sky's the limit when it comes to flavors and this chocolate one is absolutely sensational. It would be a dream to have a cup of cocoa with these floating on top or to make a triple chocolate s'more. I am just in heaven eating these and can't wait to make some more.
Chocolate Marshmallows (adapted from Bakeaway With Me)
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. water, divided
3 envelopes gelatin
2 c. sugar (I reduced this to 1 3/4 cup)
3/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the powdered sugar, cornstarch, and 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder and sift some of the mixture into the pan. Tap it around until the inside of the pan is coated.
Place 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. water in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 30 sec. - 1 min. until it is steaming hot. Add the cocoa powder to the water and mix to combine.
Place 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin mixture over it and stir to combine. Let sit for at least 5 min.
Add the warm cocoa mixture to the gelatin and stir to combine.
Combine the remaining 1/2 c. water, corn syrup, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and insert a candy thermometer. Cook, without stirring, on medium high heat until it reaches 240F. Once it reaches 240F, remove it from the heat immediately. Turn the mixture on low and slowly pour the hot syrup into the mixer bowl. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until it is running on high. Whip the marshmallow mixture for 15-20 min., or until it is stiff and shiny. You can tell it is done when you stop the mixer and lift up the beater, the marshmallow will slowly drip back down into the bowl in a thick, shiny stream.
Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a greased spatula. Sift more of the sugar-cornstarch mixture on top evenly and let sit for at least 8-10 hours to firm up at room temperature.
After cutting the marshmallows, coat the sides with the remaining sugar-cornstarch mixture as needed to prevent them from sticking.