HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Homemade marshmallows

Ok, I just watched Alton Brown on Good Eats make homemade marshmallows.

Intriguing, no doubt. But it got me wondering. Is it really worth the effort to make one's own marshmallows?

How much better are homemade to store bought?

So to those who have made homemade marshmallows, can you share whether it was the effort?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Yes, they are worth the effort (and it's really not that much effort). They taste so much better than store bought. Try it. You really won't regret it.

    1. Here's Martha Stewart's recipe for comparison to AB's.

      http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/h...

      My parents, especially my mother, love marshmallow things. Mom will even eat those nasty orange circus peanuts! They swooned over fresh marshmallows. They have a very different texture -- very soft and oozy. Or maybe that was my poor rendition that time. My mother said, I don't care if they're too soft to pick up, give me a spoon. And she proceeded to eat several very large portions with a spoon! Other times, they've come out a bit sturdier. I've not made AB's nor Martha's recipe, but like Bogart says, it's not that hard, and it's one of those things that, if it caught your eye, you owe it to yourself to try it once.

      1. You bet that it's worth the effort !!! Last time I tasted store-bought, they had a terrible bitter flavor.

        1. I thought Eileen Talanian's Marshmallow cookbook was really good.

          http://www.amazon.com/Marshmallows-Ei...

          1. Oh yeah, definitely worth it if you like marshmallows, which I do!! Below is a useful thread including my report and photos. The Gourmet mag recipe is a good one, and the coconut marshmallows went into holiday goody bags last year.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/433298

            Greenspan's book Baking from My Home to Yours also has a number of marshmallow recipes (eg, coffee, pumpkin spice). Has anyone tried those recipes?

            1. I'm with everyone else here - YES! They ARE worth it!

              Last holiday season, I made homemade marshmallows. They were a lot easier than you might expect, they lasted a couple weeks (just recoat them with powdered sugar if they get sticky), and they melt perfectly in hot cocoa. I can't wait to make them again this winter.

              1. DH and I have been wanting to make marshmallows for ages now. He's home on vacation this week so maybe this is the time to finally do it.

                What's everyone favorite recipe method? I have Dorie's book, Martha's recipe, we've watched Alton do it....just wondering where to start.

                1. Definitely, definitely worth it.

                  I made them last Christmas and couldn't believe how good they are. They are much softer, fluffier, and pillowier. I can't wait to make them this year with some flavors added.

                  The only thing is they were a bit messy, but thankfully they clean up fairly easily.

                  I used this recipe - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                  I recently bought Dorie's book and have been impressed with everything in it so far, so I may try hers this year.

                  1. At this point, I've made enough marshmallows that I'm bored with them, but people complain when I show up at a party with cupcakes!

                    I like the Barefoot Contessa recipe (on foodtv.com). I tried Martha's, but I think she uses eggs whites, which wasn't a favorite of mine.

                    Happy Marshmallowing! (they're addictive!)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cyberroo

                      I like the Barefoot Contessa recipe too. They really are easy to do, and then you really start to wonder about the stores that charge $10-15 per package of "homemade" marshmallows, when you know what goes into them. I like marshmallows, but don't really use them that often, but they're kinda fun to make.

                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                        I like BC recipie as well and they are absolutely worth the effort, the taste, yum, and the look on people's faces when you come to a fondue party with homemade marshmallows to dip in the chocolate...

                    2. You can have so much fun making your own flavors, too! (Previous threads cover this topic.) You can't buy cinnamon marshmallows, nor cardamom marshamallows, nor chocolate black pepper marshmallows, etc. You haven't lived until you've melted cardamom marshmallows in a cup of hot chai, or black pepper marshmallows in cup of hot cocoa.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Claudette

                        where oh where can one find these two recipes?

                        1. re: lollya

                          LOL - no recipes, I just add the cardamom or black pepper, or whatever suits my fancy, to any one of a dozen plain recipes. Choose whichever one you like. My personal fave is Ina's. My next batch will be flavored with rose petal jam (simmer equal parts water, sugar, and organic rose petals).

                      2. They are definitely worth it! I use the Thomas Keller recipe, which has gelatin, not egg whites. I've only made them with a KA as I am not sure that a hand-held mixer would cut it. RosemaryHoney is right! Not only do homemade melt beautifully, but they also roast really well! They literally caramelize rather than go straight from zero to burnt.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: AnneBird

                          I've made them with a hand mixer - a $20 Black and Decker that has good power. You just need a big bowl, since the mixture expands so much as you beat it.

                          1. re: AnneBird

                            I've made them with a hand mixer too, but only because I had to. It ended up being too messy and it took forever. It can be done, though.

                          2. step by step proceedure:

                            http://www.cookingforengineers.com/re...

                            If you want round marshmallows you'll need to use a large plastic, or plastic lined decorating bag without a tip on it. Spray a little pam or sprinkle a bit of vegetable oil into the bag and smush the bag around a little to make sure its got a little bit of oil on all the inside surfaces to ensure that the marshmallows will glide smoothly through the bag. Before you pour the mixture into the bag, fold the small end, where you would normally put the coupler, over and clip it closed with a strong clip.

                            If you're using this method, you'll also need to prepare a landing pad for your marshmallows.
                            Use a jelly roll pan with a thick layer of powdered sugar and cornstarch pressed down flat. You can do this by putting a jellyroll pan of the same size on top of it and pushing it down.
                            When you're making the marshmallows with this method, you'll pour the marshmallow mixture into the bag and remove the clip thats over the opening. Now you'll pipe the marshmallows out onto the cornstarch and powdered sugar about an inch and a half away from each other and use a greased knife to cut them away from the bag when you've gotten them the right size. after you let them sit for about 5 minutes, use a spoon to flip the marshmallow up and then roll it around in the powder. This method sounds a lot more difficult than it is, but I'd recommend making a couple batches before attempting it anyways, unless you're familiar with filling and using decorating bags.

                            1. After a marshmallow-making hiatus of almost 2 decades, this thread got me going again! I dusted off my old "Better Than Store Bought" by Helen Witter Colchie and made a batch this afternoon. I had forgotten that these marshmallows are quite soft--very good if you like a melt-in-your mouth texture. They are also rather sticky and a bit of a chore to cut up. But the main reason I stopped making them is that I prefer a marshmallow with more bounce and resistance--like the marshmallows in See's Rocky Road.

                              The "Better Than Store Bought" version has one envelope of gelatin, 1/4 cup water, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup corn syrup. The procedure calls for the gelatin to soften in the water, then to be cooked with the sugar until both dissolve. Should I increase the amount of gelatin or boil the gelatin-sugar syrup longer--maybe to the soft-crack stage?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: pilinut

                                The recipe I used calls for 3 packages of gelatin (with 1/2 c water), 1.5 c sugar, 1 c light corn syrup, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 Tbs vanilla, and another 1/2 c water. These are pretty bouncy marshmallows.

                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                  Thanks, Chocolatechipkt! That looks like 50% more gelatin. I'll try that next time.

                                2. re: pilinut

                                  Oooops! The authors of "Better Than Srore Bought" are Helen Witty and Elizabeth Colchie. Sorry.

                                3. Since most gelatin is made from pork...is there any substitution for the gelatin in the marshmallows? I know I can get Kosher Marshmallows...but I don't have the arm OR the leg anymore to give for them. Thanks

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: ChefBoyofDees

                                    I'm thinking agar. But there may be other choices. Call your local health food store and ask.

                                    1. re: ChefBoyofDees

                                      From what I've read, no one has managed a successful homemade vegetarian marshmallow, so I think you'll have a hard time.

                                      But I think that you can make marshmallow fluff without gelatin. it's not exactly the same, but could be a delicious alternative.

                                    2. In my opinion, homemade marshmallows shouldn't even have the same NAME as store-bought.

                                      I got hooked on homemade after watching Alton make them on Good Eats last year. I make them for my kids' school parties, gifts, and soon, for our holiday party's chocolate fondue station.

                                      I love to make colors, but I have not expiramented with flavors (I've made the Gourmet coconut flavor, and they're divine--especially toasted, on a graham cracker, with a square of dark chocolate).

                                      I'm planning to try making coffee-flavored using instant espresso, but I can't decide when to add it or how much. Anyone have suggestions?

                                      Also bouncing around black pepper-cardamom and amaretto. Must attempt amaretto for my mom's upcoming birthday.

                                      1. I just made Alton's recipe as we were snowed in and I needed something for the kids to do. This was incredibly easy and perfect in hot cocoa

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: GeeBeeEmm

                                          thanks for bringing this thread back up -- seeing it reminded me i wanted to try this and am now waiting for my first batch to set up. the hubby was strangely quiet about the mess oncei offered him the whisk-ers to lick, so i have high hopes they'll be delish