A candy thermometer, a well-constructed saucepan that heats the sugar syrup evenly, and patience are key to marshmallow-making success. The pay-off is big, fluffy, flavorful marshmallows.
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Canola oil
- 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin such as Knox
- 2/3 cup + 1/3 cup cold water divided
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup cherry preserves
- 3/4 cup dried tart cherries chopped
- 3 ounces dark chocolate chopped
- Yield: 4 dozen
- Lightly brush a 9 by 13-inch nonstick baking pan with oil.
- Combine the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and transfer to a wire mesh sieve. Shake the sieve over the pan to evenly coat it with the mixture. Reserve any leftover cornstarch mixture. (see step #8)
- Sprinkle the gelatin over 2/3 cup of the cold water in a bowl and let it stand to soften. Mix the sugar, corn syrup and remaining 1/3 cup water in an 2-quart saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, combine the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on medium until frothy. When the sugar mixture on the stove reaches 220°F, increase the mixer speed to high and beat until eggs hold stiff peaks.
- When the syrup reaches 240°F-245°F, slowly pour it into the egg whites with the mixer still on high speed. Transfer the gelatin mixture to the now-empty warm saucepan, and stir until it dissolves. Slowly pour the liquefied gelatin into the egg whites. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and continue to beat until the outside of the mixing bowl feels cool to the touch, about 23-25 minutes.
- Beat in the preserves until well combined. Add the dried cherries and half the chocolate and beat 30 seconds longer.
- Spread the marshmallow mixture evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and let stand at room temperature uncovered at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Sprinkle the top of the marshmallows with some of the remaining cornstarch mixture. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil and dust with some of the cornstarch mixture. Transfer marshmallows to a cutting board and cut into 48 squares. Toss with remaining cornstarch mixture; shake off excess. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. Makes about 48 marshmallows.