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Coconut Marshmallows Tested Recipe

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Coconut Marshmallows Recipe

Coconut Marshmallows are delicious vanilla scented cubes of spongy airiness that are coated with crisp shreds of toasted coconut. They make a wonderful sweet snack but they also make an inexpensive yet impressive Christmas gift that requires only a couple of ingredients and a short time in the kitchen.

The coconut that is used to cover these marshmallows is dried sweetened coconut, packaged in plastic bags or cans, that comes either shredded or flaked (use either in this recipe). You want the coconut to be fresh so taste to see that it has a rich coconut flavor and a soft texture. Stale coconut tastes dull and dusty-like and should not be used. I like to toast the coconut as toasting brings out its rich buttery taste and turns it a beautiful caramel color. It also gives it a crunchy texture which contrasts so well to the soft spongy texture of the marshmallows.

Once the coconut has been toasted we are ready to make the marshmallows. Every time I make marshmallows, I am surprised that only a few ingredients are needed to make this candy. Just gelatin, water, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Marshmallow making begins with gelatin as this is what gives the marshmallow its thick dense spongy texture. In order for the gelatin to do its job properly, we need to first soften it in cold water. Then, while the gelatin is absorbing the water and becoming nice and spongy, we need to start making a cooked sugar syrup. This involves cooking sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt until it reaches the soft ball stage (240 degrees F) (115 degrees C). Once this is done the two mixtures (gelatin and sugar syrup) are combined and whipped until thick and fluffy. It is amazing how this opaque mixture gradually transforms itself into a shiny and thick white fluff that looks like a meringue. Yet, unlike a meringue, the marshmallow is very sticky so you will need a damp offset spatula or rubber spatula to spread it into the pan. The pan does need to be first lined with parchment paper and sprinkled with half of the toasted coconut. Once the marshmallow has been spread into the pan the rest of the toasted coconut is sprinkled on top. Then the marshmallow is left to set; about 12 hours at room temperature. I find it best to use a pizza cutter (wheel) to cut the marshmallow into squares and be sure to dip the cut sides of each marshmallow into confectioners' sugar so that all the sides are no longer sticky. The marshmallows will keep in a cool dry airtight container for about two weeks.

 
Coconut Marshmallows: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, 7 - 10 minutes or until the coconut is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

Lightly butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch (33x23x5-cm) baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Evenly spread half of the toasted coconut onto the bottom of the pan.

Place 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water into the bowl of your electric mixer that is fitted with a whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy two quart saucepan, place the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let boil for about three minutes to allow any sugar crystals to dissolve from the sides of the saucepan. Remove the lid and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F (115 degrees C), about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until mixture has tripled in volume and is very thick and stiff, about 10 minutes (looks like thick marshmallow cream). Add vanilla extract and beat to combine, about 30 seconds longer.

Scrape marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a damp offset spatula or rubber spatula. The mixture is very sticky so just smooth it out as best as you can. Dust the top of the marshmallow with the remaining cup of toasted coconut, gently pressing the coconut into the marshmallow. Let the marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until set, about 12 hours.

Remove the marshmallow from the pan by first running a small sharp knife around the edge of the marshmallow to loosen it from the pan. Invert the pan onto a large cutting board. You might have to use your fingers to help loosen the marshmallow from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper and cut the marshmallow into squares using a pizza roller or sharp knife. Carefully dip the cut sides of the marshmallows in confectioners' sugar. Shake off excess sugar and store the marshmallows in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to two weeks.

Makes about 24 - 2 1/2 inch marshmallows.

Coconut Marshmallows:

2 cups (200 grams) shredded or flaked sweetened coconut

1 cup (240 ml) cold water, divided

3 - 1/4 ounce envelopes (21 grams) unflavored gelatin

2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (240 ml) light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

 

References:

Daley, Regan. In the Sweet Kitchen. Random House Canada. 2000.

Jones, David. 'Candy Making for Dummies'. Wiley Publishing, Inc. Hoboken: 2005.

Weinstein, Bruce. 'The Ultimate Candy Book'. William Morrow. New York: 2000.

 
 
     
 

 

 

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