A Vegan Sweet Treat

Fluffy, gooey, sweet and definitely not part of a strict diet, marshmallows are the realm of carefree kids sitting around a campfire. Tired of not being part of the fun, we have found a delicious vegan—yes, vegans can eat more than just vegetables—recipe for the fluffy concoctions.

Vegan Vanilla Marshmallows is just one of the many marshmallow recipes in Shauna Server’s cookbook Marshmallow Madness. Until discovering this book, I was under the impression that marshmallows only came in one flavor—marshmallow. But little did I know that what I call “marshmallow flavor” is actually just plain old vanilla and that you can actually make marshmallows in any flavor imaginable. Some of the more interesting flavors include maple-bacon, ginger ale, red velvet, and sea salt caramel swirl. Who knew?

What makes Vegan marshmallows even better is that they are extremely simple to make; just grab a mixer and a saucepan and you are ready to go. Check out the recipe below and be sure to share with us any yummy flavors you experiment with!

Vegan Vanilla Marshmallows
Makes: About 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch mallows

1/3 cup unflavored soy protein isolate 90%*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
2/3 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon Genutine**
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup Classic Coating, plus more for dusting

*Readily available at natural foods stores; make sure the label reads 90%.
**Genutine is a vegetable gelatin that is available online (visit www.le-sanctuaire.com).

Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

MAKE THE FLUFF: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Put the bowl on the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment. Beat the fluff on high speed until it triples in volume and forms firm peaks, about 7 to 8 minutes (it will resemble softly whipped cream). Stop the mixer.

PLACE THE SUGAR, Genutine, corn syrup, water, and salt in a food processor and process for 1 minute. Pour the syrup into a large saucepan and stir gently over high heat. Boil for 8 minutes, stirring often. The syrup will thicken, forming bubbles almost 1 inch in diameter; you should see flashes of the bottom of the pan as you stir. Stir in the vanilla.

RESTART THE MIXER on medium speed. Quickly scrape the syrup into the mixer bowl all at once and immediately increase the speed to high. Beat for 7 to 9 minutes on high speed; the candy will turn opaque white and fluffy, and nearly fill the bowl. Scrape it into the prepared pan. Place a large sheet of parchment paper spritzed with cooking spray on top and use both hands to smooth the marshmallow evenly into the corners. Let set at room temperature for another 4 to 6 hours.

Remove parchment and use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan. Invert the slab onto a coating-dusted work surface and dust it with more coating. Cut into pieces and dip the sticky edges in more coating, patting off the excess.

• Along with the Genutine, this mallow’s structure and lightness comes from a sort of soy “fluff” that mimics an egg-white meringue. Even if you’re not vegan, it’s good fun seeking out a few exotic ingredients and taking an adventure into molecular gastronomy to whip up these little pillows of heaven. This marshmallow-making process is different—and it doesn’t require the use of a candy thermometer!
• Extracts and candy oils are your best bet for flavoring these mallows.

Classic Coating

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup cornstarch or potato starch

Sift the ingredients together in a large bowl or combine them in a food processor. I tend to make several cups’ worth at a time and store it in an airtight container; it keeps forever.

Notes: You can also use plain cornstarch or potato starch. Coatings are a great way to add flavor and texture and to personalize your mallows. When the basic coating is made, scoop out what you need for a recipe and add a myriad of flavors using a whisk (or food processor for ingredients that need to be finely ground).

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