Thursday's are special since Christmas because now that Jane is 3 she is old enough to go to the preschool ballet class on Thursday afternoons. Theo stays with me because at (just) 1 he still needs a nap. Most weeks, Hannah and kids come over late in the morning to play for a bit before it is time for the serious business of lunch, doing "ballet" hair, getting Theo to bed and Jane off to class. Sometimes just to make the day even more special Eden and her girls come too. But not today.
Today Jane and I had just enough time to make pink marshmallows. She was the sweetest little helper and after helping was even sweeter - if a little sticky.
3 envelopes of Knox unflavoured gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp sea salt
powdered sugar and cornstarch for dredging
Line a 9x13" pan with foil and spray foil generously with cooking spray.
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water in a large bowl. Soak for at least 15 minutes.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin* and mix at high speed. Add the salt, vanilla, and almond extract and continue beating for about 10-12 minutes or until white, glossy and stiff peaks form. Scrape into prepared pan and shake to spread evenly. If you want to smooth it more than this you can use a wet spatula or even wet hands.
Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (or more). Mix together equal measures of cornstarch and powdered sugar - I use about 3 Tbsp of each. Turn marshmallow out onto a cutting board that has been dusted quite liberally with the cornstarch and sugar. Peel the foil off and sprinkle the exposed candy with more powder. Cut with a sharp knife that has been dusted with the powder as well. (You will need to keep dusting the knife after pretty much every cut - or things get very sticky and get ugly fast.) Roll the cut marshmallows in the sugar mixture.... or coconut, or cocoa and powdered sugar, or cinnamon and sugar, or toasted coconut, or...you get the idea.
Store in an airtight container - if there are any left!
*Most recipes I have read say to pour the syrup in a thin stream over the gelatin but once (because I was in a hurry and didn't read carefully enough) I just dumped the whole thing over the gelatin and started to mix. Happily, it worked just fine and so that is what I do now. You can choose your method but for me, easy always wins (as long as it also works).
Jane and I wanted pink marshmallows today so we added a tiny dab of pink food colouring paste just we started the beating process.
The sky - or your imagination - is the limit when it comes to flavouring marshmallows. Chocolate (cocoa), cinnamon, licorice, mint. Whatever I have tried so far has been yummy.
And that is a pretty cute pile of pink!