To ensure success, it’s best not to attempt marshmallows if it is especially hot or humid. If you’ve never made marshmallows, check out this photo tutorial showing how to make marshmallows.
Yield: about 60 marshmallows
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 tbsp dried lavender
- 2 vanilla pods
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
- Purple food coloring, optional
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup corn starch
1. Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with foil and spraying the foil very well with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Split the vanilla pods lengthwise with a sharp paring knife, and scrape the seeds from the pods. Set the seeds aside, and put the scraped-out pods in a small saucepan with the water, and add the lavender. Bring the water to a full boil, then take the pan off the heat and cover it to infuse the water with the vanilla and lavender flavors. Let the pan sit for 30 minutes.
3. After the water has infused for 30 minutes, strain the lavender and vanilla pods out, and measure out 1/2 cup of water into a medium saucepan. Measure another 1/2 cup of water into a small bowl. If you have any water remaining, you can discard it. Put the small bowl of water into the freezer to cool it down briefly.
4. To the water in the saucepan, add the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt, and place it over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, then stop stirring and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches 260 degrees Fahrenheit (hard-ball stage). While you’re waiting for the syrup to reach the proper temperature, get the rest of the recipe ready.
5. Once the bowl of infused water is cool, sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir briefly, then let it sit for 5 minutes, until it absorbs the water. Once it is gelatinous, microwave it for 20-30 seconds until it liquefies. Stir in the vanilla seeds you scraped from the pods earlier.
6. When the candy thermometer reads 245 F, place the egg whites in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and start to beat the egg whites. The goal is to have them reach firm peaks around the same time the sugar syrup reaches 260 degrees F. If they are at firm peaks before the syrup is ready, stop the mixer so that they don’t become dry and crumbly.
7. Once the sugar syrup is at 260 F, take it off the heat. Whisk the gelatin mixture into the sugar syrup, and then pour it into a large measuring cup with a spout. Turn the mixer to medium speed, and slowly, carefully pour the hot sugar syrup down the sides of the bowl while the mixer runs. Once all of the sugar syrup is incorporated, turn the mixer to high speed. Continue to whisk until the marshmallow mixture is thick enough to hold its shape and is completely opaque. When you lift the whisk attachment from the marshmallow the excess should slowly drip back down into the bowl in a thick ribbon. If you want to add a few drops of purple food coloring to make your lavender vanilla bean marshmallows a beautiful light purple color, add it now and stir it in.
8. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top flat with an offset spatula. Let the marshmallow set overnight, or at least 5 hours, before cutting it.
9. Combine the powdered sugar and corn starch in a small bowl, and dust your work surface with this mixture. Turn the marshmallow out onto the surface and gently peel the foil back from the sides and off the bottom. Sprinkle the top of the marshmallow with the sugar/starch mixture.
10. Cut the marshmallow into squares using a large sharp knife. As necessary, dust the sides of the knife with the sugar mixture, or clean it off under hot running water. Dredge the sides of the marshmallows with the sugar/starch mixture until they’re no longer sticky.
11. Lavender-Vanilla Bean Marshmallows are best soon after they’re made. They can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. If they grow sticky roll them in sugar again before serving.