Homemade Marshmallows with Crème Fraîche Ganache


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 story appeared in the Winter 2019 issue.

LEIGH BELANGER is a cookbook author, writer and editor. Her second cookbook, My Kitchen Chalkboard, about seasonal meal planning and family dinners, came out in May 2018. Leigh's personal chef and kitchen coaching service, Salt & Lemons, help families eat better at home. Find more of her work at saltandlemons.net.