I love marshmallows — who doesn’t? Soft, luscious, melt-in-your-mouth morsels of sugar…
Until a few months ago (read: before pastry school) I didn’t even know they could be one of those things you made at home. Mind, blown!
Of course, like many other kinds of candy and confections, there’s a reason why people tend to not make their own marshmallows — they’re equipment and precision-heavy, and, while not beyond the reach of any home cook, they require a staunch commitment to measure, time, watch, and multi-task with very little margin of error.
It’s no wonder that most people think it’s just easier to buy ’em at the store!
But, here’s the greatest thing about making your own candy — especially your own marshmallows — they’re like a blank canvas for flavour!
Unfortunately, though, I’m not going to post cup/volume measurements for this recipe. Using anything but weights wouldn’t be good enough, and no one wants to bother attempting a marshmallow recipe just to end up with a gummy mess on their hands.
Good news: if you have a stand mixer, a candy thermometer, and a kitchen scale, you’re good to go!
Raspberry-Basil Lemonade Marshmallows
for the raspberry-basil liquid…
- 200g fresh raspberries
- 25g fresh basil
- 12g lemon peel
- 160ml water
for the raspberry-basil marshmallows…
- 165ml raspberry-basil liquid, chilled
- 24g gelatin, sheet or powder
- 400g white sugar
- 150g glucose or light corn syrup
- 125ml fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2g kosher salt
- 10g freeze-dried raspberries, crumbed
- a 50-50 mix of icing sugar and corn starch = marshmallow coating powder
Start by making the raspberry-basil liquid base by combining the fresh raspberries, fresh basil, lemon peel strips, and water in a small sauce pan.
Mash everything together and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Let the liquid cool until it’s safe to handle, then use a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth to strain out all the solids. You should be left with about 165ml of raspberry-basil liquid — if not, top it off with fresh lemon juice, then put it in the fridge to become well-chilled.
When you’re ready to make the raspberry-basil lemonade marshmallows, prepare an 8 x 8 square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with a thin layer of non-stick spray.
Combine the white sugar, glucose/light corn syrup, lemon juice, and salt in a pot with high sides — at least 3 times the height of your sugar + liquid. Fit the pot with a candy thermometer.
The sugar needs to be cooked to soft ball stage, which is about 238°F ~ 240°F (115°C), so bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Once the sugar cooks to 238°F ~ 240°F (115°C), immediately remove it from the heat.
Allow the cooked sugar to cool to 210°F ~ 212°F (100°C) — this is important to wait because high heat can destroy the gelatin proteins that bind your marshmallows together.
As the sugar cools, place the cold raspberry-basil liquid in the bowl of your mixer.
Add the gelatin to the liquid — it will start to bloom immediately, so give it a few gentle pokes to make sure the gelatin absorbs the liquid evenly — no pale gelatin lumpies!
When the cooked sugar has dropped to 210°F ~ 212°F (100°C), the magic can happen!
Start the mixer on medium-low speed and carefully stream in the cooked sugar down the side of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium as you add more syrup.
Once all the syrup has been added, crank the mixer up to max and whip that marshmallow!
Allow it to whip until almost tripled in volume, then add the freeze-dried raspberry bits.
Continue whipping another 30 seconds, then stop the mixer and pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan.
Smooth the top, dust with a bit of the marshmallow coating powder, and then let set on the counter for about 8 hours.
After 8 hours, turn the big slab of marshmallow out onto a cutting board dusted with coating powder, and use a chef knife to trim marshmallows to any size and shape you’d like, stopping to clean your knife often for sharp, even cuts.
Sprinkle your working area with more coating powder as required, and make sure to toss all the cut marshmallows in coating powder, too.
You might have to re-coat the marshmallows more than once, depending on the humidity in your area, how you store them, etc., so keep a little handy, even if you think you’re finished with it.
This recipe makes a pile of marshmallows that stay good for weeks.
Not that they’ll actually last that long!
If you’re not a fan of basil in raspberry juice, you can skip the raspberry-basil liquid making and just use straight up unsweetened raspberry juice.
I recommend the basil, though — it adds a little je ne sais quoi to the final product that makes these marshmallows taste very mature (even if they are just candy)! Yum!