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Aug 20, 2007 05:57 PM

The Marshmallow Master Topic

So, I've been completely obsessed with making marshmallows lately. They're cheap to make (Yes, I did the math, and using the Keller recipe it costs about 4.00 to make around 2 dozen large-ish 'mallows), make you look like a kitchen wizard and inspire a kind of "Ooh-aah" from adoring eaters. As there seemed to be no MASTER topic for 'mallows around here, I figured I might as well start one.

I've worked from the Keller recipe in the past with great success, although I find them a little sweet and far too vanilla-y for confection. If you're going to melt them in Hot Chocolate, they're great. As a stand alone, cut the vanilla.

Things to consider on our great adventure:

-Corn Syrup!: Keeps the 'mallows light and fluffy, but do we need so much? Some users have reported cutting the syrup (And, indeed, Keller uses 1/3 of a cup less than Stewart) without damaging the texture or taste.

-Hand Mixer vs. Stand Mixer: Use a stand mixer if you can. There are a few horror stories of hand mixers not standing up to the pressure of beating sticky goo for more than 10 minutes.

-Depending on the depth and width of your mixing bowl, just scattering the gelatin over the water and saying "Amen" may not be enough. Give it a whisk before you add anything else.

-Egg whites?: The Keller and Stewart recipes do not call for egg whites, the Epicurious recipe does. I haven't done it that way in some time, so there's a project to report back to us about.

And we're off! I just moved into a new apartment and have no gas yet, so my marshmallow adventures are on hold for a day or two, but I'm dying to make a batch of ginger and coconut marshmallows the moment the utility guy flips the switch.

Recipes for the 'mallow maker:

-The oft cited "Epicurious" recipe:
-The Thomas Keller recipe:
-The Martha Stewart recipe:
-The "Nightscotman" recipe for Strawberry 'mallows, a great jumping off point for other flavor variations:

Resources for the 'mallow maker:
An Egullet Thread full of good idea, tips and tricks:

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  1. Making a marshmallow cake frosting from the Dorie Greespan cookbook has given me the marshmallow obsession, too. The home made stuff is truly light-years away from those silly plastic things one buys at the supermarket. I am thinking of doing a cake version of S'mores, but I need some guinea pigs to serve it to.

    1. The first thing I made when I got my kitchen aid was marshmallows! I used the recipe from Barefoot Contessa which looks close to the Keller recipe.

      One variation I did was adding a few drops of lemon flavoring and yellow food coloring then dredging them in toasted coconut. The pastel yellow with the gold flecked white was pretty and the flavor combo was great!

      1. Since you started a thread on this topic (and thank you kindly by the way) might I use this opportunity to try and once again find a successful marshmallow recipe that doesn't involve gelatin? I don't eat gelatin but have never had luck with the few recipes I've tried that don't use gelatin. There are recipes out there that don't have gelatin in them (they probably have agar agar as a substitute) and one of them MUST be good...if anyone has guidance on where those recipes are that would be greatly appreciated. If one could be very specific with the type of agar agar (or other gelling product) they use that would be also be much appreciated. P.S. I don't eat gelatin because I'm a vegetarian, but I have no problem with egg whites and think they are probably pretty essential in this type of recipe. Thanks in advance!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Laura D.

          I've tried making marshmallows for my BF's vegetarian sisters using agar agar and I just couldn't get it to work. The best I could do was marshmallow fluff. After a bit of research I found that the only "vegetarian" substitute that was able to properly make marshmallows secretly contained a fish product.

          1. re: Lixer

            Hmm...oh well. Sweet and Sara (a company/bakery out of NYC that makes vegan marshmallows) finally has their equipment back up and running after a 1/2 year hiatus, so I'll just go ahead and order from them. Thanks!

          2. re: Laura D.


            I remember just recently seeing a report on one of those "Inside Edition"-type, late night shows about how many vegan confectioners were duped by a fake Illinois company. They thought they were getting vegan gelatin, but it was just repackaged that way. I think ther interviewed Sweet and Sara among others. It's my understanding that they're back in the biz, but it took some kitchen wizardry.

            So, off hand, no easy cheats around the gelatin problem. I'd welcome suggestions, though!

            1. re: GilloD

              Yes, apparently it is ridiculously challenging to make confections such as marshmallows vegan, and I believe Sweet and Sara has been knocked out of business on two different occasion for months at a time because of other companies claiming to sell vegan confections which were anything but.

              If you haven't tried any of Sweet and Sara's stuff I'd highly recommend it...the product is great and I have nothing but good things to say about the quality of the customer service there. Sara has personally responded to my emails and phone calls!

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. Cookbook treasure, Better Than Store Bought by Witty has a classic recipe for homemade marshmallows. We followed the recipe to the t for years and then began to experiment with oils and fruit purees. Next we tried batches of crumbled add-ins to the outer 'mallow skin' and finally decided that the classic recipe was still our fav.

              You can find the book on Ebay or thru vintage book sellers. Well worth the search.

              Thank you for the add'l information, great research!