Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rustic Homemade Marshmallows W/Honey (Corn/Egg free)



Homemade marshmallows can be an intimidating feet! If you've ever tried them and failed as I have, you can bet it is probably not the recipe that is presenting the problem. In a perfect world marshmallows should be light, airy and fluffy! But all too often, after all our efforts we are left with either a sticky mess that never sets up or a dense spongy, chewy block that sets too quickly. 

Don't let these issues put you off homemade marshmallows for life!

With a little preparation and practice they can be very rewarding and even…."maybe" a little healthier than the corn syrup laden ones you can buy at the store. This recipe has half the sugar of the average marshmallow and can be made with honey or maple syrup. The honey brings a lovely and unique flavor while the maple syrup makes a more neutral tasting and lovely marshmallow. Some marshmallows contain egg whites whir others do not. This egg free version is perfect for those with egg allergies or for those who just want a simpler recipe. Both are delightful though.

So in order to help you along your marshmallow journey….here is a compiled list of things that I have had to troubleshoot over the years. Preparing yourself is the best way to set yourself up for success! Once you get the process down, get cozy with your thermometer and a feel for your mixer, you will enjoy these lovely treats for years and years to come!


First things first:

Don't attempt making candy on a humid or rainy day! Trust me, don't….just don't. Humidty levels can change significantly thought the day. Here in Texas, mornings can be quite humid, but by 12 pm-4pm things look pretty good if it's not raining, snowing, icing, for fogging. But is can start to get humid again at night. This also depends on the season. CHeck you local weather sites for humidity levels. Some even have humidity forecasts.

Next order of businessthermometers:

Accuracy is everything with candy making. You must be vigilant about your measurements and about the temp of the sugar syrup. Be sure you are using liquid measuring cups for the liquid and carefully measure the gelatin. The rest most often depends on your thermoter!
     
     a. Be sure to test your thermometer for accuracy. Thermometers can easily get off by getting bumped  dropped or just with regular use. Some can be calibrated, some can not. This is the case with both regular and digital thermometers. This can all be done easily in your home. (Learn more about testing and calibration HERE)
    
 b. Most thermometers have an optimal "fill" line for how much liquid you need for them to read most optimally. If your pot is too large and the liquid too spread out, you may not get an actuate reading. Most often this reading is off in the direction of displaying a cooler temperature than there actually is. Conversely letting the actual bulb part of thermometer touch the bottom or sides of the pan will also result in inaccurate readings, usually showing the syrup as hotter than it actually is. If needed you can careful tilt the pan for a moment so the thermometer tip is fully submerged, to get a good reading.
Trouble Shooting: 

1. Soft or Soggy, lacks volume.

If the marshmallows are too soft, soggy, wet or lack volume after setting for 4 hours or so,  your sugar syrup may not have gotten hot enough OR you did not whip them long enough. Whipping times will vary quite a bit depending on your beaters. However you can not whip an undercooked sugar syrup enough to make it fluffy. Check to be sure your thermometer is reading correctly (instructions HERE). Humidity can cause you trouble as well. Don;t make them on a humid day. CHeck your local weather site to see humidity levels.

2. Clumpy, Seized, Stiff, Un-spreadable, Lacks Volume….
If they set too fast or you can't spread the mallow-cream without it clumping up, or if they are dense and lack volume….your sugar syrup may have been too hot or it is possible you added the sugar syrup too quickly or maybe even just over beat it. First check to be sure that your thermometer is reading correctly (instructions HERE). But even if your thermometer is correct the syrup could still get too hot as thermometers can give inconsistent readings if the ingredients don't go up to the fill line. Sometimes you have to gently tilt the pan to get the proper reading changes. However, the temperature can take a bit to fully register on the thermometer. This is why I like digital thermometers with a 3 sec read time (expensive as they are). Also remember, 
Humidity can cause you trouble as well. Don't make them on a humid day. Check your local weather site to see humidity levels.

3. Wet and Sticky Once Cooled
If the marshmallows are wet at the bottoms or the on the tops after setting the full four hours, then then marshmallow cream was probably too warm when transferred to the pan or you were off whine measuring liquid ingredients. Be sure you are using liquid measuring cups. Starch should help reduce the stickiness. Again, HUMIDITY. Try to make these at humid time.

4. Gelatin Clumps in The Marshmallows

If there were gelatin clumps and bits in the marshmallows, the gelatin was not fully melted by and incorporated with the sugar syrup. Be sure to let the syrup melt the gelatin in the mixing process. If needed you can stop and stir the sugar syrup and gelatin once added.

5. How to Check Your Thermometer For Accuracy

Here's one way… You can test your thermometer for accuracy by placing the tip in a pot of boiling water. If you are at sea level it should read 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C. I usually let it stand in the boiling for 5-10 minutes to give the thermometer time to catch up. Some are slower than others.
HERE is a great link to other ways of checking your thermometers accuracy and calibrating it.

MOST IMPORTANTLY.great candy making skills take time and practice. After some experience you get to know if the air is right, the color of the syrup is right and so on. This is definitely an acquired skill. So be patient with it and don't expect perfection every-time. There is no such thing as a FAIL-PROOF candy recipe.

ROASTING: For best results we use a torch for roasting and allow marshmallows intended for roasting to dry extra long if they are on the softer side. Once cut I leave mine out, covered with a cheese cloth for a few hours and sometimes longer. After that they can be stored in a jar, sealed bag or air tight container. I don't keep mine longer than 3-5 days. Stability of the marshmallow under roasting conditions will vary quite a bit depending on the "actual" temp reached when heating the sugar syrup.




Rustic Homemade Marshmallows W/Honey

(Gluten/Corn/Egg/Diary Free)

Check out the instructional video at the bottom of the post

1 cup filtered water (split into half cups)
2 1/2 U.S. tablespoons powdered gelatin. 225 bloom strength, same as Knox gelatin. ( I use Great Lakes brand (grass beef gelatin)
1 cup organic light colored honey, maple syrup or half of each
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
optional: Arrowroot starch or tapioca starch (in place of the traditional powdered sugar) to coat the outsides of the marshmallows. You can also use other coatings such as cocoa, coconut, cinnamon....

1. Grease an 8×8(or larger) pan and line with parchment paper in both directions.  Leave some length to use as handles when removing your finished marshmallows. Grease the parchment paper again and sprinkle with a layer of arrowroot starch or other coating of choice.
2. In your mixer bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 1/2 cup of water. Allow to  bloom for about 10 minutes.
3. While the gelatin is blooming, pour the other 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pan along with the honey/maple syrup and the salt. Turn the burner on at a medium to medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil (watch it though as it likes to really foam up). Place a candy thermometer in the sauce pan and continue to boil the mixture until it reaches 240-242 degrees (the soft ball stage) or a drop of the syrup dropped into ice water forms a pliable ball. This could take anywhere from 10-40 minutes (give or take) depending on how hot the burner is size of your pot and even the humidity in the air. 

4. If using a standing mixer set it to medium. Pour the honey/syrup mixture into the bowl a steady stream, combining it with the softened gelatin. Avoid pouring it directly on to the beaters or the syrup will splatter and hit you or the sides of the bowl. Pouring somewhat slowly is also very important, otherwise the sugar syrup will be too hot when it hits the gelatin causing the marshmallow mixture to break later when you try to spread it. 

TIP: If the syrup is hardening on the sides of the bowl as you pour, the sugar syrup is too hot. Don't despair yet, you might be able to keep going. But you will probably have to reduce the whipping time till it is just fluffy and light in color. You will have to transfer it quickly to your pan, as they will set very fast (within minutes). In this case your marshmallows won't have as much volume as they could, they will be a little more dense or "gelatinish" and if using honey, they can taste more strongly of honey. Sometimes this doesn't work at all and your marshmallow cream will just clump up as you try to spread. Either way, try lowering your sugar syrup temp next time. These actually can be great to melt down for fudge and other marshmallow recipes.

5. Turn the mixer to high and continue beating until it triples in volume, becomes light in color and the bowl is more or less cool to the touch (this can be anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on your beaters). Times WILL vary! Add the vanilla and continue to beat a minute or two more, giving it enough time to mix in completely. If adding spices, now is the times to add those as well. When the marshmallow cream is sufficiently whipped it has good volume and holds its shape for a moment before falling back on itself when scooped up with the beaters. (This is IF the sugar syrup was the right temperature). 
6. Turn off the mixer and transfer the marshmallow creme to the prepared pan. Smooth out the top with a pallet knife or back of a spoon, again, working quickly before it begins to set. Remember, if using a coating (such as arrowroot/shredded coconut/cocoa....), add a light sprinkling to the bottom of the pan first before transferring the marshmallow creme. Sprinkle starch evenly over the top and pat down if needed.

If you are not using a coating then lightly grease your hands with oil and pat smooth.This will help keep the marshmallow cream from sticking to your fingers. Allow anywhere from 4-6 hours, this could take less time depending on the temp of the syrup. If you want them to look nice and clean after cutting I recommend waiting at least 4 hours, even if they seem set, as they will be wet inside.
Other coating options: Try all kinds of crushed nuts, coconut, almond flour mixed with spices, cocoa or other starches.
7. When set, remove the marshmallows by lifting from the parchment paper flaps. Cut to desired size and shapes. Add more coating while cutting if needed and toss them again in some starch once cut for a super nice finish.

Enjoy! (Ingredients and coking times may vary slightly in this video but the process is essentially same)

63 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post! Really, REALLY excited to try these.

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  2. I've made these and I urge everyone out there to try this amazing recipe. The marshmallows are superb and taste like the "real thing."

    Thanks Jeni for a great recipe. Happy turkey day.

    I'm wondering...have you tried your marshmallow recipe on top of butternut squash (I don't think you would do the sweet potatoes)...but I'm sure you know about that popular sugar laden unhealthy version of sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. I was going to try it this year for Thanksgiving, but will wait until the next Holiday coming up here next month. :-)

    Be Well and happy cooking!

    -Amber

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  3. Do you think that maple syrup would work? That's all I have on hand

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  4. So much fun!!! cant wait for this!!

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    1. Absolutely! Maple syrup is great in these.

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  5. Just made these and they are phenom! Next time i'm going to make them with vanilla bean honey or maybe cocoa powder hmmmm...either way they are bound to be yummm. You are a culinary goddess!

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  6. I was just talking about wanting to make marshmallows! Can't wait to try these!

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  7. I literally just came over from your marshmallow guest post at Mommypotamus from a year ago, how funny. I'm about to try this recipe out, I am very excited!

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  8. Awesome, girl! Move over, Barefoot Contessa and Paula Deen--we need the UrbanPoser show!

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  9. I made these once...they were excellent. I am wondering if you think they would hold up to being dipped in chocolate 1/2 way up the marshmallow?

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  10. I made these for Thanksgiving and they were SO amazing!!

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  11. wow something my son can eat! Thank you so much. He is on the swank diet to control his MS. no corn white products dairy ect. He can eat honey wild rice whole grains fruits and veggies. He misses candy hope he likes these.

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  12. Wow! I totally want to try these! And you make it look so easy...

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  13. Jenni, When do you coat the marshmallows? Once they're done setting or before?

    I want to make these as part of a homemade holiday gift basket for family so am wondering if coating them would be the best option so I could wrap them up?

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  14. The instructions say to coat the bottom of the pan before adding the marshmallow and again on top once spread. However I add more starch once cut so all the sides are coated. Give the a good long while to set if you want Them to look nice a d even rub some starch on the knife and sticky parts while cutting.

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  15. I made these today, and they are amazing. My two-year-old had his first marshmallow thanks to you, so thank you!!

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  16. These look so good! But how do you store them, in an airtight container or something? And for how long? Thanks. :)

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    1. I'd store them in a sealed bag or air tight container, but not for a very long time. I don't know how long they would store for sure as I have never really tested that under different environments and times. Mine have never stayed around longer than 3-5 days.

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  17. These look wonderful! Can they set in the fridge/freezer for faster setting? IE need the marshmallows for hot chocolate tonight! LOL

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    1. They do seem to fie up faster if chilled. Still can be a bit sticky when cutting but YES they get there faster.

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  18. oh oh oh oh!!
    Marshmallows are my big addiction and since I've gone largely paleo, it's been no marshmallows for me. Now I can!! Can't wait to hit up the health food store tomorrow! :)
    Thank you SO much for this!

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  19. Hi, Did you grease the parchment in the video? I'm wondering if I could skip using oil if I do a topping
    thanks! we'll be making some for santa

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  20. A little oil helps the topping stay in place. You could probably get by without it though.

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  21. HEY! I was wondering... have you ever tried using coconut nectar (http://www.amazon.com/Leslies-Organics-Coconut-Nectar-liquid/dp/B003XB9EFK) in place of the honey. I made a batch exactly as your recipe just switching for 1 cup coconut nectar and the consistency was less "fluffy". Could it be that I need to reduce the amount of gelatine?

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    1. It is hard to say. Marshmallow is sensitive and there are a number if things that can contribute to it not fluffing well including the temp not be just right. Coconut nectar has very little acidity as compared to honey or even sugar. This can also affect the volume. You might try adding a little lemon juice and see if the helps.

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    2. Jenni! Thank you so much for your recommendation. It worked like a charm! I made 2 batches of marshmallows today ( 1 original honey and 1 coconut nectar + juice of 1 lemon ) and when I tested them the consistency was very simular light, fluffy, and billowy. My mom actually enjoyed the coconut nectar version more because had a softer, less in your face raw honey, taste.

      You should really try adding teas into the marshmallows for flavor. Once for a dinner party I made the honey marshmallows with a couple pinches of chai rooibos tea, cut them bite sized, served it over mango sorbet, and topped it with a few chocolate mint leaves......one word DELICIOUS. Everyone enjoyed the texture and depth of flavor that the marshmallows brought to the dessert!

      I was also pondering on the idea of using beet powder (http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/product/4oz-beet-root-powder-organic.html?utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=feed&gclid=CIjl0cDQnrYCFYx_QgodXTcAtA to coat the outside of the marshmallow. It seems like a fun idea for valentines day being that the color is pinkish red... very festive!

      Well, Thank You so much for posting this recipe. I will make sure to tune into your blog weekly!
      MC

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    3. Wow, all those ideas sound delish! They really are super versatile. My kids love making crazy flavors. We use a very light honey so you can't taste it much. Orange and clover honey are nice. Maple syrup is wonderful too and very mellow.

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  22. I just made these expecting them to fail completely and I was very pleasantly suprised! They turned out beautifully, although a little denser than normal marshmallows ( I don't have a candy thermometer so probably didn't heat the syrup enough) I coated in raw cacao powder and they are soooo yummy! My friend is a ceoliac and has really missed marshmallows so was very appreciative!
    Thanks for the recipe :)
    Emily

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  23. Total failure. Not sure if it's because 1. I used vegan gelatin, 2. When I went to heat the honey I discovered the glass on my thermometer was cracked. It must have happened when we moved. 3. I put the heat on medium and left it there. After 10 minutes the thermometer still showed 210. I increased the heat to high. Maybe it went too high too fast. 4. Some combination of the above.

    I can get a new candy thermometer. Has anyone tried these with vegan gelatin before?

    (I put them in the pan and in the fridge. I wonder if they will turn into caramels. They don't taste burned. Problem is, if they do become caramels I haven't the foggiest idea how to recreate them.)

    Pam

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    1. Try converting this recipe http://mobile.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/12/vegan-marshmallows-recipe.html

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  24. I am assuming you used agar agar. For this you would really need a different recipe especially since "blooming" agar agar is very different than blooming gelatin. It also has a different kind of stability. It is very important to have a good working thermometer as it is vital to the success of candy making. Even if the calibration is off it can ruin the process. If I have consistent trouble with marshmallow, first thing I do is get a new thermometer.

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  25. Anyone try tapioca in place of gelatin? I can't have gelatin so I was just curious.

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  26. hahahahahahahahahaahahaHAHAHAHAHASHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH ORGANIC WATER

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    1. Huh, organic water? There is no "organic water" listed in this recipe.

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  27. I could not believe how easy these little pillows of deliciousness were! I took them on a trip with me as my little treat to have and I couldn't keep everyone else's hands off of them! I made as written and they turned out wonderful. I think I only had to whip them for a few minutes...but I guess it could all depend on temperature though right? Anyhow...I think I will try the whip on some cupcakes next. Thank you...thank you!

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  28. Can these be roasted? I've heard some homemade recipes don't really roast but just melt.

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    1. We don't toast ours over a fire. We toast them using a torch. If roasting over a fire other people say that have had some success by letting them dry out a bit first.

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  29. Wanted them, made them, ate them, loved them! :D Are there any ways to flavour them, or to add something to it? It was amazing just like this but I am curious

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    Replies
    1. Yes we play with then all the time. Gingerbread, lemon, peppermint the possibilities are endless.

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  30. I had an allergy free recipe that I was using and loved, but really prefer to avoid processed sugars...so I LOVE this recipe. Thank you so much...mine taste very honey-strong, so I plan to find a lighter honey next time, but they are still DELISH!

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  31. Try maple syrup or clover honey next time both are delicous. Also the more volume you get the less you will taste the specifics if the sweetener. I find when it has a strong honey flavor there wasn't enough volume. This cane be due to, too got a syrup which makes it set to fast or to cool a syrup even.

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  32. Jenni,
    I am SO in love with these little chunks of heaven! My children now too get to indulge in marshmallows...yay! I am linking this recipe up to my post on "Gelatin" and how it needs to be our best friend. Thanks again!
    -Libby

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  33. Do you think I could use agave nectar in place of the honey?

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  34. What could you replace the beef broth with?

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    1. Do you beef gelatin? You could use Knox gelatin which comes from pigs but is wouldn't be from pastured animals. The gelatin I recommended is from pastured animals and actually very very good for you. As to a vegetarian sub, I do not have one for this exact recipe. Sorry.

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  35. Would these work with marshmallow fondant? I make custom cakes, and I hate that I have to use so much refined sugar! My recipe for fondant is marshmallows melted then knead in lots of powdered sugar I usually ad a bit of almond extract as well.

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    1. Yes, I have made fondant out of this. I skip right to it from the marshmallow creme part.

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  36. I made these tonight, I used regular Knox gelatin, because that is what I had on hand. 4 packets measured out to 3 tablespoons, so that is what I used. I substituted green tea for the water, just for a tiny twist. I spread them out on parchment paper, sprinkled with powdered sugar, on a cookie sheet, so I could make them thinner. They were set well enough to cheat and cut a few marshmallows out in just a few minutes. We love them. Thanks for the recipe. I can't wait to try a few more variations soon.

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  37. I just made these tonight, and they're great! (Well, the marshmallow fluff is good, anyway - they haven't dried or been cut, yet.) The only trouble I had was getting the top to smooth out - it's just so fluffy and stiff. I tried oiling my hands and pressing/smoothing, I tried parchment paper on top, and neither technique worked. Any ideas what I should do differently? Did I beat it in the mixer too long?

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    1. Well of it was overt thick it was probably that the sugar syrup was just slightly to hot causing them to set faster. Most thermometers don't read perfectly. So you can either try cooking the syrup a little less longer or pour the marshmallows into their pan and spread them before they start setting up. Just takes observation. This is pretty typical of candy making though, you have to go with how things look and feel.

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    2. Also dusting with starch will make a big difference with smoothing them out.

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  38. In the typed recipe it calls for 2-1/2 tbsp of gelatin, but in the video you said 3 tbsp, which is correct? And why do these take more gelatin than other recipes that make the same amount of marshmallows in an 8x8 pan? Thanks for your reply.

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    1. The recipe here varies from the video as the video was made many, many years ago. That is why it says times and amount will vary in the note above the video. The method is the same though. As to the gelatin, 2 1/2 tablespoons to 3 tablespoons is the general standard for marshmallows. Many recipes say 3 packages of gelatin, which is about 2 1/2 tablespoons. Though you can find recipes with more or less. So it is not actually more than the average recipe.

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  39. This recipe is just great. I made it three times already!

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  40. Thanks for solving my craving for marshmallows (I'm very soy allergic and couldn't find anything commercial without soy). Mmmmmmm...now I can make rice crispy treats!

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  41. Made these for my 3yo's princess tea party she went to and they were delish! She's never had marshmallows so she wasn't sure about the texture...but they were quite tasty in The Detoxinsta's dairy-free hot chocolate. I really stretched it by making a 'Paleo' fluffer nutter sandwich, with paleo sandwich bread, almond butter, and your marshmallows. My hubby loved it! Thanks for the recipe-so glad to find something easy and a bit better for us ;)

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  42. Hi! Will this work with fish gelatin? please let me know... thanks :)

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  43. The issue with any gelatin is that you need to know it's bloom (or strength). The gelatin I listed and the standard Knox gelatin have the same 225 bloom.

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  44. Have you or anyone else ever tried using actual marshmallow root in your recipe? For additional health benefits?

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    1. Yes I know people who have. Although for health benefits I'd probably choose a different method of ingesting it. Marshmallows are so high in sugar and that could make the problem you are taking it for even worse. Plus you'd have to eat a lot of them. It makes a nice flavor addition though and does add an air of authenticity. To add it just simmer about 1 tbls marshmallow root in the 1 cup of water for about 5 minutes. Strain and cool. Proceed with the directions using uour marshmallow root infused water.

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  45. can I use dates as the sweetener, pureed with maybe a little liquid? I made the original recipe. Great, by the way. And can you freeze them?

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  46. I'm overseas and can't get marshmallows here, without a lot of difficulty. BUT, I can get the ingredients you have listed. I'm SOOOO excited to make these up this week for Easter! Thank you so much!

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