Marshmallows are a popular treat in Australia and New Zealand and regularly feature in commercial confectionery.
Homemade Marshmallows, however, are a world apart from the commercial kind. The little clouds of sweetness are wonderful on their own, dipped in chocolate or as in this recipe, rolled in toasted coconut.
To make marshmallows, you need a candy thermometer to be able to ensure that you reach the right temperature when cooking the liquid mixture. They can be purchased inexpensively at cooking ware shops.
- 2 cups of unsweetened, desiccated coconut
- 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin (3 Tbsp)
- 1 1/8 cup of water
- 1 1/2 cups of castor sugar
- 1 cup of light corn syrup
- 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
- 9-inch square baking tin
- Candy themometer
- Hand-held electric mixer
- Parchment paper for storing
- Place rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat oven to 300F (150C).
- Lightly oil the baking tin by pouring about 1 tablespoon of oil on a paper towel and wiping the surface and sides of the tin. Scatter the coconut in the tin and spread evenly. Toast in the oven until golden, for about 5 minutes. Make sure you watch the coconut very closely so it doesn't burn. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Pour 1/2 and 1/8 cup of water into a heat-proof mixing bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the water. Do not stir. Set aside to soften.
- Heat the castor sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/2 cup of water in a small, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved completely.
- Turn heat up to medium-high and bring liquid to a boil, without stirring. Carefully test the temperature of the liquid with the candy thermometer and keep boiling without stirring until the temperature reaches 240F.
- This process will take between 10-15 minutes. It will seem like a long time when you're holding the thermometer in the liquid but don't worry. You can turn the heat up slightly but you must keep an eye on the thermometer and ensure that you take the saucepan off the heat as soon as the liquid reaches 240F.
- Remove from heat and let the saucepan stand until the liquid stops bubbling, about 30 seconds.
- With the mixer on a low speed, pour the hot liquid into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream down the side of the bowl.
- Increase the speed to high and beat the mixture until it's very thick. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat for another minute or so, until combined.
- You have to work quickly now as the marshmallow starts to set. Spoon marshmallow over toasted coconut in the square baking tin. Dampen your fingers and smooth marshmallow so it's even and not lumpy. Sprinkle on about 1/2 cup of toasted coconut over the marshmallow, ensuring that the surface is completely coated.
- Let the marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Run a sharp knife around the marshmallow edges and invert onto a cutting board. Cut marshmallows into thick strips and then into squares of desired size. Dredge marshmallows in remaining toasted coconut.
- To store marshmallows, keep them layered on sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container, in a cool dry area.