Bright pink, cherry flavoured marshmallows are a perfect Valentine sweet, don't you think?
When I lived in France, many storefront windows were adorned with pretty pink marshmallows in February. Large signs would read "guimauve a la cerise", and little kids were often spotted walking the streets with sticky, pink fingers.
This Valentine's we're packaging these ones up for Jackson's grade 3 class. The jury is still out on whether it's okay to give the boys the pink ones, so we may have to make red cherry marshmallows for them. I'll be sure to let you know what we decide.
Marshmallow making has been a popular activity in our home since last winter. We make them for just about any occasion, in an assortment of flavours. Cinnamon has been a popular one this past year, and if you're the sort of person who loves the taste of those little red cinnamon hearts, you could spike the this confection with a touch of Saigon cinnamon, which is what's used to give those little candy hearts their spicy flavour kick. Well, maybe not the spice itself, but an artificial flavour replica for sure.
I think the cherry variety is nice though, and in this case the taste was imparted via some chunky cherry jam. I'm sure you could also use cherry puree, or extract, but I made do with what was on hand. It added a slightly pink hue to sugary mess, but I opted to add a touch of pink colouring as well to make them brighter.
I may not be walking the streets of southern France these days (sigh), but I do have the sweets. And the sticky fingered kids, too.
Cherry Marshmallows, adapted from the French Laundry
Yield: 70 mini marshmallows
- 3 pkgs. knox gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup cherry jam
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pink gel colouring
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup ice cold water. Soak for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, cherry jam and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil hard for 1-2 minutes. Strain the syrup to remove cherry chunks, and pour the boiling syrup into the gelatin mixture.
Add the salt and beat at high speed for 8 - 10 minutes if using an electric mixture, or 10-14 minutes if using a hand mixture. The fluff should be thick and white, and tripled in size.
Add the vanilla and pink colouring, and incorporate them into the mixture. Lightly oil your hand or spatula and scrape the mixture into a well oiled or sprayed 9x9 pan. After placing the mixture in the pan, press it down using your oiled hands.
Let the marshmallow mixture set up for minimum 2 hours (I left overnight). Combine the confectioners sugar and cornstarch and mix well. Remove the marshmallow from the pan and sift sugar mixture over the entire piece of marshmallow. Cut into squares (I used an oiled pizza cutter for this) and dredge each piece into confectioners sugar/cornstarch to keep from sticking to the other pieces. Store in a covered container for up to three weeks.