Homemade Marshmallows with Crème Fraîche Ganache

Photo by Michael Piazza

Making marshmallows at home is fairly straightforward, but it does require you to pay close attention with a candy thermometer: The sugar mixture needs to get hot enough to firm up correctly when mixed with the gelatin, otherwise, an incorrigibly sticky mess will ensue. And a note about gelatin: It has a strong odor when it blooms, but it doesn’t affect flavor. You can use powdered gelatin or gelatin sheets—1 tablespoon of powder is equivalent to 4 sheets. Make these a few days ahead to give them a chance to cure a little before serving. Adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

Makes about 64 

¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup water, divided
4 packets (3 tablespoons) powdered gelatin
2 cups granulated white sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup or Lyle’s Golden Syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla

Combine the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 9- by 11-inch baking dish with oil. Dust the pan with half of the cornstarch mixture and set the rest aside.

Bring ½ cup of warm water to a low simmer, then place in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Stir the gelatin into the water.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and salt with the remaining ½ cup of water in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Fit the pot with a candy thermometer and increase the heat to high.

Without stirring, bring the sugar to 245°F (“the soft-ball stage” on the thermometer). Remove from heat and turn the mixer to medium speed. Slowly pour in the hot sugar in a thin stream and beat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the marshmallow is billowy and thick. Beat in the vanilla.

Oil a silicone spatula and use it to transfer the marshmallow to the prepared pan. Let cool completely, then cover loosely with foil or parchment and let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove the marshmallow from the pan and use kitchen scissors or a pizza wheel dusted with cornstarch to cut into desired size. Dust marshmallows with remaining cornstarch-confectioners’ sugar mixture and store in a lidded container between layers of wax paper or parchment.

Makes about 1¼ cups

4 ounces crème fraîche
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Heat the crème fraîche in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. When the cream has melted and is simmering, pour it over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

This recipe appeared in the Winter 2019 issue as part of a larger story on winter outdoor cooking.