Explore the science behind marshmallows and why they are so soft, fluffy and tasty. Then enjoy the tasty result of your science experiment in the kitchen!
The first step is to mix ¼ cup icing sugar and ¼ cup corn flour in a small bowl for dusting the pan and marshmallows as they can get sticky. Work it through the sieve to create light dusting as needed.
MAKE THE SYRUP:
Put the sugar, water and corn syrup into the clean saucepan. There is no need to stir, but if you must stir, don’t stir once bubbles start forming. Over medium heat cook until the syrup starts to boil. Turn the heat down to create a medium/slow bubble.
Leave it alone – no stirring. Add the candy thermometer to the pot and let the mixture heat until it reaches a 121 C or 250 F. This is the firm ball stage in ‘candy speak’. While it is heating, butter and liberally dust the pan with the icing sugar/corn flour mix.
MAKE THE GELATIN MIXTURE:
Put the gelatin into a small bowl and add ½ cup water, mix. Let it stand while you prepare the meringue in the next step.
MAKE THE EGG MERINGUE:
Put the egg whites and cream of tartar into an electric mixer and beat on high until the egg whites form peaks. Turn down the speed and gradually add the sugar. Resume high speed and keep beating until you get firm peaks in the meringue.
COMBINE ALL THE ELEMENTS AND MAKE HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS!
When the syrup has reached 121 C, remove from the heat and carefully pour the gelatin mixture into the syrup. Be warned it will bubble so be careful. Stir until the gelatin is incorporated into the syrup.
Now turn down the electric mixer to slow speed and slowly add the syrup to the egg whites. When they are combined, turn up the speed and allow mixture to cool down while it continues to beat. Don’t beat until the mix is cold just until it starts to thicken and form ribbon patterns as it beats the mixture. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add flavoring and color at this time. We used red food colouring to get a pink colour for our hearts. Add food colouring early on during the last 5 minutes in the mixer to get a uniform colour, or wait until almost the end of the 5 minute mixer time to get striations in your colours.
When your mixture reaches the ribbon stage pour into the prepared pan and leave to set for 2 hours.
After 2 hours of setting, cut with a large knife or with a cookie cutter. Liberally dusting the knife and the cutter as you work to prevent sticking.
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