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.
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 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. “Raspberry juice” isn’t as easy of a swap but we can make raspberry puree from the berries.
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.
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 hidden underneath the punch of berry. The good news is that using these two ingredients makes the mallows do-able year round!
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!
Also, use a DEEP POT for the sugar if using honey, it’ll cause the sugar to boil up quite high and can make a mess if the pan is too shallow.
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.
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.
It will look ‘fluffy’ and be pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
In an airtight container at room temperature.
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.
Tools you’ll need:
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).
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