These aren't the marshmallows you remember as a kid. Our Vanilla Bean Marshmallows are pillowy-soft and make the perfect indulgence on their own, when mixed with brownie batter, or when topping a s'more.
You will need a 5-quart heavy-duty mixer to beat the thick mixture. If you can resist the temptation to eat them right away, the marshmallows will be firmer and easier to cut if left overnight at room temperature.
Yields: About 40 Marshmallows Time: About 2 hour
Flavorless vegetable oil for the pan
3 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (1 1/2 envelope)
3 tablespoons water
2 cups (14 ounces) granulated cane sugar, divided into halves
1 1/2 cups (16 ounces) light corn syrup
4 (5 ounces) extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split horizontally
About 3 cups powdered can sugar for finishing
5-quart heavy-duty mixer
Line the bottom of an 8x12 inch sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly coat the paper and the pan sides with flavorless vegetable oil.
Put the gelatin in a small bowl. Add the water and stir. Set aside to soften.
Combine 1 cup (7 ounces) of the granulated sugar with the corn syrup in a large, heavy-bottom pot. Use an unlined copper pot if you have one. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts. Then continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240F on a candy thermometer.
If any crystals form on the sides of the pan as the mixture heats, wash them down with a wet pastry brush.
Meanwhile, put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the bowl.
When the sugar syrup reaches 240F, start to beat the egg whites on medium speed. When the whites form very soft peaks, add the remaining 1 cup (7 ounces) of granulated sugar and continue beating.
When the sugar syrup reaches 250F, remove it from the heat and stir in the softened gelatin. The syrup will foam up and triple in volume.
Switch the mixer to high speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the beaten egg whites, aiming for the side of the bowl. The whites will almost double in volume. Reduce the speed to medium-high and beat until the whites (not the outside of the bowl) are lukewarm to the touch, about 114F, about 15 minutes.
Scrape the marshmallow mixture into the prepared sheet pan and, using a small offsets spatula, spread it evenly to the sides. Let cool completely at room temperature.
To cut the marshmallows, sift about 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar onto a work surface in a rectangle the size of the sheet pan. Sift about 2 cups powdered sugar into a large bowl. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the sheet pan to loosen the marshmallow. Invert the pan onto the sugared surface to unmold, then lift off the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Sift about 1/2 cup powdered sugar evenly over the top of the marshmallow. Using a ruler to guide you and a lightly oiled knife, cut the marshmallow into 1 1/2-inch squares. It is easier if you use a pressing motion, rather than pull the knife.
After cutting, toss the marshmallow, a few at a time, in the bowl of powdered sugar, coating them lightly.
Store the marshmallows in an airtight container at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 1 month.