I've never been a big lover of marshmallows. When I was a kid we toasted them on sticks at CYO camp, as a girl scout we learned to make S'mores, and of course all those Thanksgiving and Easter dinners when someone would serve me a casserole of sweet potatoes dotted with baked marshmallows. So marshmallows haven't been on my mind in a long long time.
For a year or so, I've been working on the gluten free menu for the new CocoaPlanet Chocolate Factory and Tasting Room here in Sonoma. This is a totally gluten-free establishment as the owners, the McKibbens are themselves gluten-free. They got me involved because even though I am not gluten intolerant a lot of my friends are, and I have a long history of cooking and baking gluten-free food using my own flour blends . So in between my regular work as a screenwriter, I've been turning out and testing recipes for cakes and cookies, scones and pies, and donuts. all to be used in CocoaPlanet's certified gluten free menu.
One of the best things about CocoaPlanet is their great hot chocolate, and the other day Anne McKibben, the owner, asked me if I could come up with some marshmallows that could be made without corn syrup and to serve on top. So after a few failed experiments I came back with these. They're easy, this recipe makes a ton of them, and you can make them in any shape you desire. Also, they're vegan and ready for your cocoa or sweet potato casserole in less than an hour. A few simple easy to find ingredients and you're golden.
These marshmallows use Aquafaba, (aka bean water) which I have been working with over the past year. I first heard about it from my friend Sanjana who runs a killer vegetarian website over in the UK. When At first my reaction was ...Uh NO! Bean water? You gotta be kidding me. No way. But as I was curious I decided to give it a whirl and boy howdy! What a great idea! This stuff doubles for egg whites in nearly everything, requires far less sugar to prepare, tastes delicious and you can use the beans for hummus. So after a year plus working with this Aquafaba stuff I have developed a whole bunch of dessert recipes and am thinking of writing a book. So without further ado, just in time for cold weather...marshmallows!
Here's What You Need:
The liquid from one 16 oz can of no added salt garbanzo beans
1/2 cup plus !/8 cup of caster (bakers) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp xanthan gum (available at most markets )
a pinch of salt
1 cup of cornstarch
1 cup of powdered sugar
Here's What To Do:
Drain the liquid from the can of garbanzos.
You should have about 3/4 of a cup. Save the beans for another use.
Pour the liquid into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk.
Beat on medium speed for four minutes.
It will start to get nice and foamy.
Kick the speed up to the highest setting and add in the other ingredients gently, and one at a time
Beat everything for about 10 minutes. It will turn glossy and stiffen up.
After 10 minutes turn the mixer off. This is what you'll have.
Now there are many ways to take this from here...different shapes, sizes etc..but since these are destined to go floating on top of hot chocolate I thought I'd pipe them into shapes that look like whipped cream.
Set your oven to 200 degrees and cover a cookie sheet(s) with a silpat or parchment paper.
Place the marshmallow fluff (yes if you want you can make Fluffernutter sandwiches with this right now. Since I'm not late stage Elvis and my mission was marshmallows I got out my piping device. I don't do well with bags ( I've used them and it's not pretty) so a few years back I purchased this device which can be run thought the dishwasher and has many piping heads.
Fill whatever device you like to use with the marshmallow fluff...
...and start piping away.
You will get a lot of marshmallows...A LOT!
When the oven is up to speed, pop them in.
Bake them for 20 minutes and then remove them.
Whoops one fell over!
Sift the cup of cornstarch together with the cup of powdered sugar.
When the marshmallows are cool enough to handle, (they cool down really fast) dust them with the sugar cornstarch mixture.
Let them a dry for a minute or two, and then store them in an airtight container. Hey Presto! Marshmallows!
I must warn you that if you make small ones like these, you will get a lot of marshmallows, but you can make them bigger and fatter and then toast them on a stick. So, next on the colors of Indian cooking, I give a new zester a test run, and something sweet for Thanksgiving. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori