I’ve noticed that at a lot of the fancier grocery stores in our area having been selling “gourmet marshmallows” next to all the other candies. Since I learned to make marshmallows a couple years ago, I’m always checking them out – looking at color, texture, size, packaging…and price. I admit I recently spent $8 just to try four large coconut marshmallows. It’s 20% enjoyment, 80% research.
And on my recent visit to Paris, I saw tons of parisienne “chamallows” (pronounced shaw-mel-o) in the patisseries. Unlike the marshmallows here in the USA, they were multi-colored and crudely square (a lot like mine turn out!). However, once I tasted them, I instantly felt like mine are far better. They had multiple flavors (like lemon, strawberry, and blackberry) but the fruity flavor was super artificial. They were also drier than I prefer. (To be clear, I purchased these at a fancier confectioner – not a cheap market).
Anyway, even though I’m not planning on submitting my marshmallows to the state fair for judging this year (I can’t handle the rejection), making them has become a summertime tradition for me. My batch today blew those frenchy marshmallows away.
If you want to make your own, I always follow the recipe from A Beautiful Mess, but I’ve learned a thing or two on my own.
Today I took a shot at Toasted Coconut Marshmallows. Instead of dusting the inside of the pan with a powdered sugar/cornstarch mix, I also added toasted coconut (just bake regular coconut at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes). Instead of light corn syrup, I used coconut nectar (found in the baking section of your local fancy grocery store) which has far less sugar than regular corn syrup, and is far more expensive. During the last minute of mixing, I added a good amount of coconut extract. The toasted coconut also got sprinkled onto the top of the marshmallow when it was poured into the dish.
THEN I made Cocoa Hazelnut marshmallows. For this one, I dusted the pan with the powdered sugar/cornstarch blend plus some cocoa powder mixed in. During the last minute of mixing, I added 1/3 cup cocoa powder and a good pour of hazelnut extract. So easy!
The trick with marshmallows is to not dilly dally. Get it mixed and get it poured – otherwise it will set before you even make it to the pan. Once you do that, you can lick the beaters all you want.
Sadly, my coconut marshmallows look a little hideous – but since I’m not sending them to the fair, all I care about is taste. Thor preferred the coconut whereas I much prefered the hazelnut – I guess we will need a taste tester to break the tie.
You can also check out my Top 5 Tips to Making Homemade Marshmallows.