An Idiot’s Guide to Making Vegan Marshmallows
(It’s a marshmallow world in the winter.)
I am the smartest idiot I know. In fact, a lot of my smart parts efficiently glean wisdom from my idiocy. It’s like a regenerating pool of experience and folly, raw material for unlimited life lessons. In the embrace of the idiot side of me, I have created this post, which translates and ever so slightly adapts Mihl’s Homemade Vegan Marshmallow recipe into fluent idiot:
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons agar powder (not agar flakes)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup (only cheap stuff works; I used Karo light corn syrup)
1/2 cup aquafaba (from one can of chickpeas)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1-½ teaspoon vanilla extract (I have increased vanilla as I still tasted the beaniness from the aquafaba in my batch.)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup corn starch
1.) Plug the stand-up mixer in and put on the whisk attachment. Make sure there is no debris in the heat-save bowl. You want smooth marshies.
2.) Put two small saucepans on the stovetop. Affix one of the saucepans with a candy thermometer. There will only be a small amount of liquid in this saucepan, so a pan with too large a base will have you fiddling with the candy thermometer to ensure the red glob that detects the temperature is fully immersed in candy liquid. So let that help you determine the size of the saucepan.
3.) Drain a can of chickpeas so that brine collects in a liquid measuring cup. Use the chickpeas for something. I made chili in the morning and kept the brine in the fridge to use for marshmallow-making. One can gave me about 3/4 cup of liquid. If you are feeling ambitious, make 1-½ recipe… or dump 1/4 cup of the brine down the drain like the good old days.
4.) Put all ingredients out on the counter. Group them like this:
- Agar powder
- Corn syrup and sugar
- Aquafaba, xanthan gum, lemon juice, vanilla
5.) Prep your pan. I used an 8 x 8. Sift together dusting sugar and corn starch into a large bowl. Use some of the mixture to line the marshmallow pan.
6.) Now you want to get the three bowls you’ll be handling at once all set. Add the agar powder with 1/2 cup of the water in the small saucepan. Mix until dissolved. Leave on the burner but don’t start the flame yet. Then add sugar, corn syrup and the rest of the water (1/4 cup) in the saucepan with the candy thermometer. Let it sit for a few moments while you prep the stand-up mixer bowl. Add aquafaba, lemon juiceand xanthan gum to the bowl.
7.) Now start everything. Turn on both burners to medium heat and the mixer to high speed. You’ll let the mixer whip up the brine mixture for two minutes. Then stop it and add the vanilla. Watch the agar mixture, stirring occasionally until it’s boiling. Then take it off the heat. The candy mixture should boil until it reaches 120 degrees C.
8.) Once sugar syrup mixture is at 120 C, take off heat and add to the chickpea mixture that’s whipping away. I lowered the speed only slightly and drizzled the syrup mixture in slowly, using a small rubber spatula to get all that sweetness in there. Let it whip two minutes and then add the agar mixture. You’ll definitely have to use a spatula to get it all out–it should be set loosely.
9.) Now let it whip for five minutes. I had to scrape down the sides once to ensure all the thickening concoctions were incorporated. After five minutes it should look ribbony and bright white, like this:
10.) Next pour it into prepared dish. Be sure to get powdered sugar all over the place and you.
11.) Let is set for an hour at room temperature, uncovered. Then douse in the powdered sugar-corn starch dust. Then you can take a bunch of pictures. Then put your winter gear on and take a picture of the marshmallows in the snow.
12.) Let them set longer at room temperature before storing in an airtight container.