Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Real Strawberry Marshmallows

Okay, everyone should try dipping candies with a four year old.  It's quite the experience...  I like these strawberry marshmallows because they are such a delicate shade of pink; made with real strawberries and not just fake flavoring, they are of course corn syrup free.  They are perfectly wonderful dipped in chocolate.  Almost like chocolate covered strawberries but with a slightly longer shelf life.  Of course it is perfectly acceptable to leave them au naturale as well.  And I may have to dip some in white chocolate for the hubby.

These are adapted from Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats, my favorite unique treat cookbook.  It's a gorgeous book, worth having for the appealing coffee table quality alone.  Today, in honor of Valentine pinkness, it is strawberry mallow time.  Well, I made them last night and cut and dipped today.  Gotta account for the curing time...  These can be enjoyed as a plain candy, a chocolate dipped candy, or used to make a gourmet cup of hot cocoa.  Yum.  Today I used the last of my invert syrup from October, now finally starting to crystallize on me, but you could also use golden syrup to make these.  One thing Eileen recommends is not to use fresh berries in the off season and I agree.  They do not have enough flavor:  use thawed frozen berries.  This is a half batch and makes plenty for us.  For thick square marshmallows, use a 9" square pan.  For easier shape cutting, spread into a 9x13" pan so they aren't too tall.  Remember, homemade marshmallows freeze wonderfully.  (One 10 oz package of frozen strawberries will give enough puree for this recipe.  Strain the puree if you don't want any seeds - they're tiny so it's not a huge deal.)

Strawberry Marshmallows

The bloom:
 2 tbsp unflavored gelatin
½ cup + 2 tbsp pureed strawberries at cool room temperature

The base:
¼ cup water
1/3 cup pureed strawberries
1 tsp lemon juice
½ cup + 2 tbsp invert syrup or golden syrup
1 cup granulated cane sugar (I use evaporated cane sugar)
tiny pinch salt

Coating mixture**

Prepare the pan for the marshmallows by spraying or coating with oil and wiping down with a napkin to leave only a thin film.

Measure out the puree for the bloom and stir in the gelatin so that no lumps remain.  Set aside.

Set a cup with warm water and a pastry brush near the stove.  This base foams up high and will not be boiled covered.  It may be necessary to wash down sugar crystals with the pastry brush while cooking.  Place the base ingredients in a minimum 2 Qt heavy bottom saucepan.  Heat over medium and watch closely.  Bring to boil, washing down any errant sugar crystals with the brush.  Once it boils, stop stirring and insert a candy thermometer.  Boil until the mixture reaches 245ºF.

Update: I have found that having the syrup too hot can result in a somewhat gooey or stringy texture in the finished marshmallows because the high temperature degrades the gelatin.  Best to let the syrup cool to around 212º before adding to the gelatin.

Turn off the heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin mixture.  Pour the batter into a stand mixer bowl and gradually increase speed to high, using the whip attachment.  Beat for 10 minutes until light and thick (increased in volume two to threefold).  Spread into the prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula or wet fingers.  Let it cure, uncovered for at least 4 hours or over night at room temperature.

**For the coating:  Sift together ¾ cups powdered sugar (Whole Foods carries powdered sugar made with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch if corn is an issue) and ¼ cup arrowroot or tapioca starch.  Lightly sprinkle a work surface with the mixture.  Ease the marshmallows away from the sides of the pan and flip the pan over, releasing the marshmallows onto the cutting surface.  (Flip again - it is easier to get clean lines while cutting if cutting down through the outer cured side first.)  Cut the marshmallows into squares, or use cookie cutters to cut fancy shapes.  Toss the cut marshmallows in the powdered sugar mixture, shaking off any excess.

Place the coated marshmallows in an airtight container, with waxed paper between the layers, and leave a corner of the lid slightly ajar.  They will keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.  They will also freeze for months.

If desired, dip the marshmallows into chocolate after cutting into squares or whatever shapes you choose.  I used a couple handfuls of chocolate chips and a half teaspoon of coconut oil for my coating.

Check out Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love for more corn and allergy free ideas!


  1. I made strawberry marshmallows before I saw this post...I used your Lyle's Golden Syrup marshmallow recipe, and added two bags of Trader Joe's dehydrated strawberries (smashed into dust!) to the bloom. They were absolutely wonderful. Can't wait for an excuse to try this recipe!

  2. @prometheamoth - That was a TOTALLY fabulous idea, wow! I bet you got lovely strawberry flavor from that. I might try it that way next time too :D


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