It seems like we’re experiencing one of the hottest summers ever, worldwide. I made marshmallows hardly a week ago, so it would seem, to me, to put another marshmallow recipe on here so soon a bit crazy. I had no desire to try making marshmallows with honey again, because of my experience with past, failed endeavours of trying to make SCD marshmallows and also that I’d become convinced, in such a short time, that agave nectar had something over honey. As the mercury slowly climbed up, I hoped that these marshmallows would work. (A side note: I hope to use a digital candy thermometer someday, rather than one with mercury, which is dangerous.)
I changed my mind about making marshmallows with honey after a reader’s comment. Rather than respond immediately, it took me four days (!) to reply, because I wanted to speak from experience and know for sure that honey would indeed work as well as agave nectar. In my response, I also acknowledged that maple syrup could work, though I’ve yet to try. When I do, I imagine that I’ll surely be doing another marshmallow post. Egads! Is there any other food blog out here that has more than one marshmallow recipe? If you didn’t know me better, you might think I had an obsession with marshmallows.
After experiencing success with one thing, it feels odd to go back to the same thing and starting over or making slight changes to it – this goes for anything, not just marshmallows. And with going back to something one has had previous success with, one can only hope that whatever is being done differently will work again – those were the thoughts swimming through my head as I watched the mercury rising.
Homemade Honey-Sweetened Marshmallows
This recipe is almost exactly the same as the last marshmallow recipe, except the honey replaces the agave syrup, and I threw in a few new instructions and tips that I learned and incorporated since last time. Like the marshmallows sweetened with agave nectar, these marshmallows are also refined sugar-free and corn syrup free. This recipe makes a smaller amount than usual, but I kind of quail when I see a full cup of honey in a recipe. Most times, I think it’s too much – the only times I’ll use one cup of honey is if I’m doubling a recipe and that’s even roughly so: I may not exactly use a full cup.
The marshmallow takes a bit longer to thicken and set, so that means you’ll be mixing it longer (instructions are written for doing it by hand, although by all means use your stand mixer if you have one) but it will thicken. These marshmallows seem to spatter a bit, even as they thicken – in this case I recommend wearing an apron or pinafore to keep your clothes clean. Keep calm and whisk on.
For these marshmallows, if you’re following SCD, coat the cut marshmallows with toasted coconut if you want or have as is.
Note: these marshmallows don’t seem as durable over the heat of a flame or fire. I’ve not yet personally tested it, although a comment from Debbie says that turning the marshmallows while roasting them helps.
Makes 18 (1-inch) cubes
1 1/2 tbsp. gelatin
1/2 cup ice cold water
1/2 cup honey
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Chill a large mixing bowl and a balloon whisk in the freezer for a few minutes, or longer. Cook the half the water (1/4 cup), honey, and salt over medium heat, covered, for 3 minutes. Increase heat slightly to bring it to a gentle boil and cook until it registers 200ºF on a candy thermometer.
While the syrup is cooking, soften the gelatin over the remaining 1/4 cup of water in the chilled bowl.
Pour the syrup slowly into the softened gelatin, whisking gently. When all the syrup is poured in, increase your speed and mix vigourously. It will start frothing and soon become white, although it will still be thin. Keep whisking and it will gradually thicken. At some point during mixing, as the marshmallow gets thicker, you may wish to switch to a smaller balloon whisk for better dexterity and ease of control. When the marshmallow has reached a stage similar to smooth, soft peak meringue, add the vanilla extract and whisk for about a minute or two longer. It won’t be as thick, initially, as the agave nectar-sweetened marshmallows.
Scrape the marshmallow with a rubber spatula, preferably flexible, into a small square 6″ by 6″ pan or dish lined with wax or parchment paper. Spread evenly. Cover pan with plastic wrap and wait until fully set (if it’s a hot day, storing it in the fridge may help). To test if it’s set, touch the surface with your fingertip: it shouldn’t stick to your finger at all, without marshmallow left on your finger. When the marshmallow is set, turn out on to a plate and use a length of dental floss to cut into squares. You may also use a knife for this, but the dental floss will ensure more smoothly cut marshmallows. Enjoy!