Fluffy and tart, these naturally bright pink marshmallows are bursting with raspberry flavor thanks to fresh puree and some freeze dried berries. Neither gets in the way of the bouncy spring of this homemade mallow which is as soft and flavorful as it could be.
Why these raspberry marshmallows are fabulous
Homemade marshmallows are absolutely, always worth the effort. Store-bought marshmallows (even the ‘gourmet’ ones!) use a ton of sugar and preservatives to keep the marshmallows good for a long shelf life. They are rather disappointing as they are overly sweet and quite firm and dry. On the other hand, homemade, with the right ingredients and right ratios, are super soft, springy and nobody in their right mind would choose store-bought after trying these.
These raspberry marshmallows are exploding with raspberry flavor as they use two different types of berries to drive the flavor home. This recipe does it without compromising the sought-after bouncy texture of a good homemade mallow.
Getting that good flavor into a raspberry marshmallow
The ‘safe’ way of making flavored mallows is to use an extract or oil – something that will lend a lot of flavor without compromising the structure of a soft, fluffy mallow. I personally have never liked using oils in baking, they tend to taste artificial and I love a real, authentic and fresh fruit taste.
So to get there, I begin by using raspberry juice like I did in these apple cider mallows. In those I simply replaced all the water I use in my basic marshmallows with cider, it was an easy swap and the result is fabulous. However, “raspberry juice” isn’t as easy of a swap but we can make raspberry puree from the berries. I don’s swap it in both parts of the water for the recipe as if we did it in the sugar mixture it would ‘candy’ and taste like jam rather than a fresh berry.
To really zero in on that berry flavor I also use freeze dried raspberries which are intensely flavorful, but because it’s so fine and light, it won’t affect the texture. The result is a potent raspberry flavor!
Raspberry Puree & Raspberry Dust
Freeze dried raspberries and frozen are what we’ll use here – not fresh! This is important; both freeze dried and frozen are harvested when the fruit is in season and the berry flavor is at it’s best and when incorporated into a large amount of sugar and air, we don’t want the berry taste to get lost. The gelatin taste which is usually detectable in a basic marshmallow is also hidden underneath the punch of berry. The good news is that using these two ingredients makes the mallows do-able year round!
How to make marshmallows at home
You’ll make two mixtures: one with the gelatin and flavorings and the other with the sugars. The first sets while the second cooks until the candy stage (right when it hits ‘hard-ball’). Then you’ll whip them together until the liquid becomes a giant marshmallow fluff. It will need to rest to firm up and then you’ll cut and dust them in powdered sugar. That’s it!
Key points to pay attention to:
- Getting the sugar to hard ball: this is at 250 F and you’ll need a candy thermometer to confirm the temperature. An instant read thermometer can be used too.
- Ensuring the mixture has whipped long enough. This takes at least 7-10 minutes and you want to go long enough to ensure enough air has been incorporated so it doesn’t set thick.
Also, use a DEEP POT for the sugar. The honey in my recipe causes the sugar to boil up quite high and can make a mess if the pan is too shallow.
Questions you might have when making Raspberry Marshmallows
How much gelatin is in 4 packets? What can I substitute it with?
In the US gelatin is usually sold by Knox, it comes in a box with 4 packets for a total of 1 oz or 28g, and it is readily available at most grocery stores. A possible vegan substitute would be agar powder, it does set the mallows firmer than gelatin and you would use half the amount called for in this recipe. I gather that agar also needs to be ‘activated’ over heat before its used but I don’t know enough to tell you how.
Can I substitute with another sugar?
You could use brown sugar, light would be my preference. There is a lot of moisture in these mallows from the puree so we want to avoid weighing them down any more.
Can I reduce the sugar?
No, sorry. The sugar is there for texture and structure not just sweetness.
Can I substitute the honey?
You could use corn syrup.
How do I know when the sugar is done boiling?
Where do I find freeze dried raspberries?
Most grocery stores have them near the nuts or dried fruits. Amazon also has tons of options. If you cannot find them, I’d say don’t make these marshmallows as the flavor with just the puree won’t be enough.
How do I know when the fluff is done whipping?
It will look ‘fluffy’ and be pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
Can I make these with strawberries instead? Strawberry Marshmallows!
Can I add any mix-ins?
Yes! you could swirl in some melted chocolate like I do in these brown sugar marshmallows, you could also add some nuts, cacao nibs or chocolate chips.
How should I store the marshmallows?
In an airtight container at room temperature.
Why use organic powdered sugar for the coating?
Organic powdered sugar is usually made with tapioca starch (not corn starch – check the label!) which melts on the tongue. Corn starch needs to be heated to melt and gives the mallows a weird taste.
- Freeze Dried Raspberries
- Sumac, if desired
Tools you’ll need:
How should I eat these Raspberry Marshmallows?
You can eat them exactly as they are, no other steps needed. But also, these taste wonderful toasted. They don’t hold up well under a broiler or over a grill but if you use a kitchen torch they get all warm and silky. It’ll make your house smell like cotton candy! I also liked them dropped in warm milk or coffee. Or you know, do both (see below).
Recipe for Raspberry Marshmallows
Delicious fluffy marshmallows flavored twice with tart & sweet raspberries.
- For the sugar mixture:
- 16 oz granulated sugar
- 6.6 oz honey
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- For the gelatin mixture:
- ½ cup raspberry puree from about 2 cups thawed, frozen raspberries, seeds removed
- 1.25 oz freeze dried raspberries, processed into a powder and sifted to remove seeds
- 4 packets gelatin, 1 oz
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ tablespoon sumac, if desired
- Organic powdered sugar, for dusting
- Step 1 If you haven’t already, prepare the raspberries. For the freeze dried, process them in a food processor or blender until you have a fine powder. Sift through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds. You can use all of the powder in the marshmallow or you can save some to mix with the powdered sugar used for dusting. For the frozen raspberries, blend until pureed and press through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.
- Step 2 In a bowl, whisk together the raspberry puree, water, vanilla and raspberry powder. Add the gelatin and whisk to combine. Set aside to stiffen.
- Step 3 In a deep pot, clip a candy thermometer and combine the sugar, honey, water and salt. Cook over medium high heat until temperature registers 250 F. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Step 4 Prepare a 13 x 9” pan and a rubber spatula by spraying with a flavorless oil.
- Step 5 When sugar mixture is done, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Warm up the gelatin mix in the microwave for about 10 -20 seconds just until it’s easy to stir it. Pour into the sugar mix and and begin whisking on medium, working up to high speed. Whisk for about 10 minutes. The mallow fluff will be dark and liquid at first and gradually thicken and lighten in color. You’ll know it’s done whipping when it begins to pull away from the sides (at this point you can whip it another minute to be sure it’s done). If you are using the sumac, add it right before the end.
- Step 6 Pour the mallow fluff into the pan and smooth over. Cover with foil and let set at room temperature overnight or in the fridge for a few hours.
- Step 7 Prepare a workspace with powdered sugar and dump the giant marshmallow onto the surface. Dust the top and sides with powdered sugar and cut into cubes with an oiled knife (you can also use cookie cutters for cute shapes). Dust all sides of cut mallows with the powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container. They keep for 3 weeks.