Marshmallows may be the easiest candy I’ve ever made.
They don’t require precise temperature control, hours of stirring, or split-second timing. All you need is a stand mixer and some patience.
I’ve done regular marshmallows quite a few times, but never tried flavoring them. Then I saw a link to various flavored marshmallow recipes, and I had to try this one.
It’s from Garrett’s Table, and it’s not really much different from a standard marshmallow recipe. Some of the sugar and corn syrup are replaced with root beer syrup.
The recipe said to simmer down 2 liters of root beer until it was reduced to 1.5 cups. That’s a lot of simmering. Before and after:
I started with it on medium heat, but it was taking forever. Even on high, it took nearly an hour to reduce all the way down. Next time, I’m going to skip this step entirely, and just buy the flavored soda syrup you get for a home soda machine.
Once you have it reduced, bloom 3 packages of unflavored gelatin in some cold water in your mixer bowl. Add sugar and corn syrup to the reduced soda, and bring it back to a boil.
Then comes the patience: set the mixer on low, and very slowly pour the hot syrup into the mixer. You want to pour it as slowly as you can – it should take several minutes at least. I used a pan with a pour spout on the side, but you could also use a glass measuring cup, or even some sort of heat-resistant squeeze bottle.
When you’re done, turn the mixer to high, and don’t mess with it for 10 minutes. It will slowly start whipping up like whipped cream or egg whites – don’t stop it, don’t scrape down the bowl, just leave it alone.
While it’s whipping, prepare the pan. I greased a 13×9, then lined it with parchment paper, then greased the inside of that.
At the end of 10 minutes, you should have something that looks like egg whites around the "soft peak" stage. Add the extract – he called for root beer extract, but I didn’t have any, so I used a tablespoon of vanilla and a few drops of root beer oil (a very concentrated candy flavoring).
Pour it into the pan, then spray a piece of plastic wrap with pam, and press it on top. Put the pan in the refrigerator for a few hours.
When it’s time to cut them, peel off the plastic wrap, and lift the parchment paper out of the pan. You can use a buttered knife to cut them, but a pizza cutter also works well. I didn’t think they needed powdered sugar, but if you do, sprinkle some on top.
They come out tasting just like a root beer float – the root beer flavor really works with the creaminess of the marshmallow. And when you share them, people will say, "Wow! You can make marshmallows at home?".