Vanilla and Smoked Sea Salt Marshmallows
Photography by Rick Gayle
½ cup cornstarch
2 cups powdered sugar
12 sheets of bronze or silver gelatin sheets (or four ¼-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin)
½ cup water
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon flaky smoked sea salt (such as Maldon), divided
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)
Create mallow dust by sifting together cornstarch and powdered sugar. Set aside.
Generously coat a 9″ by 9″ glass pan with nonstick cooking spray. If using cookie cutters, spray a rimmed cookie sheet pan large enough to spread marshmallow mixture slightly thinner than the height of the cutter.
Fill a shallow dish with ice water. Submerge gelatin sheets one at a time and when softened, squeeze out excess water and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup of ice water in mixing bowl.
Place water, sugar, corn syrup and ½ teaspoon smoked sea salt in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until sugar is moistened. Cook without stirring until candy thermometer reads 240 degrees. Remove from heat.
With mixer on low speed, slowly pour syrup mixture into mixing bowl with gelatin. Gradually increase speed to high and beat until pale, fluffy and shiny, approximately 10-15 minutes. Mix in vanilla. Do not whip for too long, as once mixture cools it will be more difficult to work with. Using wet fingers, remove marshmallow from beaters, add to bowl and pour mixture into prepared pan. Coat one side of parchment paper with nonstick spray and place greased-side down on top of mixture. Gently press with hands to spread evenly. Peel off parchment and discard.
Allow to cool uncovered at room temperature for at least 6 hours. Once cooled, coat a sharp knife with nonstick spray. Run knife along edges of pan and release set marshmallow onto a cutting board coated in mallow dust. Sprinkle top of marshmallow with additional dust and cut into squares with a knife or cookie cutter coated in nonstick spray. Toss generously with more dust to prevent sticking, sprinkle with remaining smoked salt and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.