Jami Curl of Quin Candy in Portland, Oregon, uses sheets of silver leaf gelatin to help give these delicately minty marshmallows their smooth, pillowy texture. While granulated gelatin is more accessible, it does not melt as evenly as sheet gelatin and can make for gritty marshmallows.
Slideshow:More Marshmallow Recipes
98 grams (1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) light corn syrup
12 grams (1 tablespoon) pure peppermint extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
57 grams (20 sheets) silver leaf gelatin (see Note)
108 grams (1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons) ice water
600 grams (3 cups) granulated sugar
255 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) water
15 drops natural red food coloring
114 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) confectioners’ sugar
114 grams (1 cup) cornstarch
How to Make It
Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with canola oil. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the corn syrup with the peppermint extract and vanilla seeds at low speed until combined. Reserve the vanilla bean pod for another use.
In a heatproof medium bowl, cover the gelatin sheets with the ice water and let stand, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin is evenly moistened and all of the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer. Set the bowl with the gelatin over the simmering water and cook, stirring once or twice, until melted, about 5 minutes. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Carefully remove the saucepan from the heat.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the granulated sugar and water to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar syrup registers 225° on a candy thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a wet pastry brush to wash down the side of the pan.
With the stand mixer at low speed, slowly stream the hot sugar syrup into the corn syrup. Add the warm gelatin and continue beating until slightly thickened and opaque, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to moderately high and beat until the marshmallow is thick and glossy and registers 105°, about 12 minutes.
Lightly grease a rubber spatula. Scatter the food coloring over the marshmallow, then, using the spatula, quickly scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan, swirling the food coloring as you go. Let stand at room temperature until set, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch into a shallow bowl. Invert the marshmallows onto a work surface and cut into 2-inch squares. Toss in the sugar mixture, shaking off any excess, then serve.
The vanilla-mint marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
Silver leaf gelatin is available at most baking supply shops and on amazon.com.
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Review Body: I just made these today, and I was disappointed. I'd never made marshmallows before, but I did some research on gelatin and felt fairly confident in what I was doing. I followed the recipe to a T, except that I substituted powdered gelatin for gelatin sheets (i.e., I wasn't willing to spend $15 to get gelatin sheets from Amazon). But, like I said, I did lots of research and math on how to substitute powdered gelatin, and I felt confident. When I finished making them and found them to be too heavy and jelly-like and not light enough, I did some research on marshmallow making, and found some differences between this recipe and ones from more reputed marshmallow makers.
If I were to make this again, I would:
1) Boil the sugar syrup to a higher temp. Other recipes I saw said to boil it to more like 240 degrees, and said that not boiling it enough could lead to dense mallows.
2) Whip the mixture longer at the very end, before dropping it into the pan. I stopped whipping when I realized my mix had dropped to about 90 degrees, based on this recommendation from the recipe. I don't know where Food & Wine got the 105 degrees idea from, I didn't find that in any other recipe when I did research after. I would just beat it the 12 minutes, no matter the temp. As long as the mix is still spreadable, you're good.
3) Put less than a tablespoon of mint extract in. It was a little too much. It overpowered the vanilla, and when you're paying $4.50 for a vanilla bean, you want to get your money's worth.
Try again, Food & Wine!!