|STRAWBERRY MARSHMALLOWS By Michèle Adams • Photos By Barbara CameronWhether you call them marshmallows or guimauves, there’s nothing quite like homemade.
Line a 13×9-inch pan or two 8-inch square pans with aluminum foil, and grease with a flavourless vegetable oil (grapeseed, for example). Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
Measure the strawberry purée, then mix with flavourings (if using) and 1/2 cup (125mL) of the water in the largest bowl of a stand mixer.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the strawberry mixture. Leave it in the bowl on the stand mixer while the gelatin softens and becomes spongy.
Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, remaining 3/4 cup (175mL) water, and salt. Place over high heat and bring to a boil; continue cooking until the sugar/syrup mixture reaches 234°F – 240°F on a candy thermometer (the soft-ball stage).
When the sugar/syrup mixture has reached that temperature, start whisking the strawberry mixture at full speed, then, carefully and slowly, (to avoid splashing) pour the boiling syrup down the side of the bowl into the strawberry mixture.
Continue whisking on high speed until the mixture is very fluffy and stiff, about 8 – 10 minutes.
Pour/manoeuvre marshmallow mixture into the foil-lined pan (it may fight back a bit!). Smooth the top with an oiled spatula, and let the marshmallow mixture sit, uncovered and unmolested, at room temperature for at least 12 hours — longer is fine.
The next day, sift starch (or mix of starch and icing sugar) lavishly over the marshmallow surface. Turn it out onto a cutting surface, gently peel off the foil, and dust newly exposed marshmallow surface with more starch. Slice into squares with an oiled knife, or cut into shapes with oiled cookie cutters. Dip all cut edges in starch or sugar/starch mixture, and shake off excess. Note that marshmallows will keep deliciously for several weeks at room temperature when stored in an airtight container.
Michèle Adams is a BC writer whose work includes journalism, screenwriting, fiction, and memoir — her short story collection Bright Objects of Desire may be (on some level) about marshmallows. Aspiring to what Adam Gopnik calls the “mystical microcosmic,” she lives in East Van near the romantic Italian cafés and glorious produce stands of Commercial Drive.
Read her article, Guimauve by Any Othe Name, here: