Rose Marshmallows

Sweet Recipes, Winter • 19 Feb 2012


Fluffy and soft, the sweet flesh of a homemade marshmallow gently billows under light touch. Wrapped in a blanket of fine, snow-like confectioners’ sugar, each chewy bite sticks to the gums, leaving behind nothing but feathery saccharine fingerprints.

I cannot recall the first time I tasted a homemade marshmallow, perfect pillowy clouds of meringue and sugar, whipped and set until silken and cottony. Though I’ve always had an unbridled love for anything gummy and chewy, I was never a fan of the mass-produced, waxy marshmallow, unless charred beyond recognition and stuffed between brittle graham crackers and oozing with warm dark chocolate. I much prefer their “adult” counterpart, a playfully bouncy confection with a sneeze-inducing, powdery jacket.

I had uncharacteristically decided to make rose marshmallows for my family on Valentine’s Day. Despite a decade with my husband, we have never been romantic Valentine’s Day devotees, in part because we feel V-Day is an overblown excuse for cheap chocolate. The one and only time we capitulated, we found ourselves waiting six hours for a less-than-mediocre meal and ended up at In-N-Out burger for a night cap. As a hard and fast rule we opt out of February 14. This year was no exception though I, somewhat shamefully, found myself craving ubiquitous chocolates and sentimental heart-shaped pastries and above all, sweet but exotic rose-scented marshmallows.

Traditional marshmallows are meringue-based. Many recipes require the use of raw egg whites, which are beaten and added to a hot, whipped mixture of sugar, corn syrup and gelatin. Alternatively, pasteurized egg whites or powered egg whites can be used in place of raw, unpasteurized eggs. Many people prefer eggless recipes, which I find yield less airy marshmallows and a stringier batter. Eggs add a weightless, bouncy quality to the marshmallows.

When making rose marshmallows pick your rose syrup or rose water carefully. I normally prefer rose water, a distillation of rose petals that has a heady perfume. This time I used red-hued rose syrup, which has the added benefit of tinting the marshmallows a subdued blush complexion, reminiscent of fluffy pink icing.

Make sure to taste your syrup or water before finalizing a quantity. Some are richer and more deeply concentrated than others. Too much will overwhelm the delicate nature of the confection. For a more subtle, aromatic quality, use less.

Rose Marshmallows

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup potato starch or corn starch
2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115 degrees)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 teaspoons rose syrup

1. Oil bottom and sides of a 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan, and dust bottom and sides with confectioners’ sugar/ starch mixture.

2. In bowl of a standing electric mixer, or in a large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand to soften.

3. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240 degrees, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

4. With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer.

5. In a large bowl beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites, rose syrup and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift 1/4 cup confectioners’/starch evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day.

6. Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up 1 corner of inverted pan, loosen marshmallow and let drop onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar/starch into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat. Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.

Yield: Makes 35-40 marshmallows.

12 Responses

  1. They look divine and I appreciate your description of their “feathery” sweetness.

    But the question remains: Did Mr. Awesomepants like them?

  2. Erika

    These are precious. I might try to make some with pomegranate molasses for the same pink effect. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Awesome blog, Kate!

    Those marshmallows look delicious.

    And yes, pom molasses sounds like quite the treat!

    Found you via the Food Blogger LI group. If you’re a chocolate lover (and who isn’t?) please visit my blog for a joint drool.

    • Thanks so much for visiting my site, Doreen, and so glad you like what you see. I’ll gladly take a look at your blog. Of course I’m a chocolate lover and would love to support a fellow food blogger!

  4. I adore marshmallows Kate, even those dehydrated little ones in Lucky Charms cereal . Your recipe clearly makes me want to try making them. Could melted dark chocolate be drizzled on them?

  5. Maria

    Which brand of rose syrup do you use? Also, do you just eat these plain or do you recommend pairing it with something else? I’ve never had marshmallows that weren’t roasted over a campfire or floating in hot chocolate.

    • I used Beirut. I probably should have put that in this post! A lot of people prefer French rose syrup but this worked well, gave it a nice color and was very inexpensive. I eat them plain- they make a really indulgent treat. They would be terrific dipped in chocolate, though!

  6. Liz

    This looks amazing! I have some rose water on hand, and wondered how much I woud use in place of the syrup. When would you add it in the recipe? Or would you recommend taking the rose water and making a simple syrup from it, and then use that? That’s what I do for other recipes…pomegranite juice makes a lovely syrup, I think someone else mentioned that. I’m sure it would work with the rose, but I’d have to cut out some of the sugar in the recipe if I used the sugar to make the syrup. Any thoughts?

    • I’d add the rose water at the same point as the vanilla. I don’t think you need to make a simple syrup. There are a lot of marshmallow recipes that use rose water as opposed to syrup. Food and Wine Magazine has a nice looking marshmallow recipe that uses rose water- a good example. Since rose water is more pure than the syrup I’d use less, maybe 1 1/2 tablespoons. It depends on how aromatic a final product you desire.

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