Champagne Marshmallows · GF (about 100)
These marshmallows have become a New Year’s tradition for me. Every December I find some new way to incorporate them into the New Year’s Eve menu, but they’re a special treat anytime. They have a celebratory air and their sweet, slightly tart flavor makes a great match for both fruity and chocolatey desserts (or, even better, fruity chocolate desserts).
Chop some up to mix into raspberry ice cream, dip them in chocolate, or simply roast ‘em on a stick over an open flame for a “champagne toast,” if you’ll forgive the pun.
What kind of champagne should you use? What kind of champagne do you like to drink? It’s as simple as that. Go with what you like, but don’t break the bank; with all the sugar in this recipe, the subtle nuances of pricey champagne gets lost. But in the broadest terms, dry champagnes give the ‘mallows a bit of a toasty flavor, whereas sweeter champagnes tend toward tartness in the final candy.
When you’re not feeling especially celebratory, make these with any sparkling wine or even beer (for a whole different animal!). If you’d rather just make a plain ol’ marshmallow, check out that recipe here. Leave the vanilla out to let the champagne flavor shine through, or use it to soften the champagne’s tartness. If you like the idea of “champagne and roses,” whip in a little rose flower water at the end of mixing, with or without the vanilla.
1 1/2 ounces gelatin
11 ounces champagne
11 ounces corn syrup
16 ounces champagne
28 ounces sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
optional: 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved for another use
optional: 1/4 tsp rose flower water
ample powdered sugar for dusting
Have a lightly greased 9”x13” pan at the ready.
Combine the gelatin and 11 ounces of champagne together in the bottom of a stand mixer bowl. Set aside.
Pour sixteen ounces of champagne into a large pot and place over medium-low heat. Simmer until the mixture is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. The actual time it takes depends on the width of your pot and specific heat, so keep an eye on it as it may go faster than expected. Weigh the champagne after reducing to make sure you’ve taken it down to eight ounces. If you accidentally reduce it too far, add a little more champagne to bring it back to eight ounces.
In the same pot, combine the eight ounces of champagne reduction with corn syrup, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean scrapings. Set over medium heat and stir gently, taking care to not splash liquid up the sides of the pot.
Keep cooking, undisturbed, until the mixture registers 240° on a candy thermometer. Once it does, shut off the heat and let it stand until it cools to 210°. This is important; too hot a mixture will prevent the gelatin from setting properly, leaving you with unworkable, gooey ‘mallows in the end.
Once the mixture has cooled to 210°, pour all of it into the mixing bowl with the awaiting gelatin. Fit the bowl with the whisk attachment and whip on medium speed for about a minute, until the gelatin has fully melted. Now, crank it to medium-high and whip until the mixture has nearly tripled in volume.
When it has, shut off the mixer and set the whisk attachement aside (don’t even bother to try and scrape it clean, the mess to reward ratio favors mess by far). Pour the marshmallow goo into the prepared pan and bang the pan against the counter a few times to level the mixture.
Dust the top of the giant marshmallow with some powdered sugar, cover in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
To cut the marshmallows, dust a cutting board with powdered sugar and have a large chef’s knife ready. Take the pan of chilled marshmallows and literally reach your fingers between the ‘mallow and the pan, and pull that guy right outta there.
Dust the exposed bottom of the ‘mallow with more powdered sugar. You can use a metal cookie cutter to cut the marshmallows into shapes, or use a knife to cut out the pieces instead. For the latter, cut the big marshmallow pillow into 13, 1” strips. Stop periodically and clean the knife as gunky marshmallow buildup on the blade will give subsequent cuts a ragged edge. Once the strips are cut, roll them about in powdered sugar so none of the sides are sticky.
Now cut the strips in 1” increments (you can gather up 3 or 4 strips to chop up in one go).
Toss the cut pieces in powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
Store in an airtight container or zippy bag. They’re essentially nothing but sugar, so they have a terrific shelf life. About two weeks at room temperature, a month in the fridge, or eternity in the freezer.
Dec 31, 2011 · 6:02 PM
Wow! Haven’t come across these before, have hit the buzz and save button but how do you not drink the champagne or are there leftovers anyway?
· MrsMulford · http://mrsmulfordscakes.blogspot.com/
Dec 31, 2011 · 8:34 PM
Those look wonderful! Just to confirm, there’s only 11oz of champagne, right? The ingredient was listed it twice.
· Patty · pattyanddavidsaid.blogspot.com
Dec 31, 2011 · 10:20 PM
Talk about bringing a smile to a man’s face! This could only come from you Happy New Year XOGREG
· sippitysup · www.sippitysup.com
Jan 01, 2012 · 11:56 AM
@MrsMulford, this recipe uses up pretty much a whole bottle. You might steal a sip, I suppose.
@Mallowsota, what are you doing on BraveTart on your anniversary? Get outta here!!
@Patty, nope, there are 27 ounces of champagne; essentially a whole bottle. If you read through the recipe, you’ll see the an 11 ounce portion is used to bloom the gelatin and a 16 ounce portion is reduced and used to cook the sugar syrup.
@sippitysup, thanks Greg! Yeah, boozy marshmallows are kinda my thing. I wonder about folding them into orange ice cream for a mimosa sort of thing? Hmmm…..
Jan 01, 2012 · 1:53 PM
Stella, you da best! Happy new year! p.s. your tips on macaron making is awesome! Thanks for sharing!
· Patty · pattyanddavidsaid.blogspot.com
Jan 01, 2012 · 9:57 PM
@Patty, Happy New Year to you too!
@amanda, haha, that’s awesome to hear, thank you!
@redheadartgirl, thanks so much, I’m lucky to have Rosco’s photography talents at my service.
Jan 02, 2012 · 1:41 PM
· Tiffany · www.comowater.com
Jan 02, 2012 · 1:52 PM
This is the first time I’ve ever attempted weighing ingredients instead of measuring them-do you use the kitchen scale to measure your liquids too?
· Michal · thehumidity.blogspot.com/
Jan 02, 2012 · 2:27 PM
@Tiffany, thanks so much!
@Bacon, omg the bacon?!? Actually, most tragically, not only am I already bound in wedlock, I’m literally allergic to pork. How cruel is that? A relatively recent diagnosis, so I know what I’m missing. My true love, my true enemy. Adieu!
@Michal, congrats on jumping in with a scale! You’ve got it, all liquid measurements are done on the scale rather than by volume. Good luck!
Jan 03, 2012 · 8:28 PM
I have to admit, that sounds bizarre to me, haha. I don’t like marshmallows one bit, though I certainly have never tried a champagne version. I hope you had a wonderful celebration!
· Kiri W. · www.healthyfoodietravels.net
Jan 03, 2012 · 10:19 PM
@Kiri, if you’ve never had a homemade marshmallow, you owe it to yourself to make a batch (even just the plain ones). Homemade marshmallows are to store bought marshmallows what butterflies are to moths. They’re amazing. But, if you mean you don’t like homemade marshmallows, then I can’t help ya there. Thanks for stopping by, happy new year!
Jan 03, 2012 · 11:13 PM
I’ve never had luck with making marshmallows, but I LOVE EATTING THEM!
thanks for sharing,
· tikaa · www.greenacresbrenham.blogspot.com
Jan 04, 2012 · 6:49 PM
@tikaa, I think the number one problem people have with marshmallow making is they either don’t cook all the way to 240 or they don’t cool all the way to 210. As long as you hit both of those numbers, you’re totally set!
That being said, eating them is by far more fun.
Jan 04, 2012 · 9:14 PM
I want to attempt these tomorrow morning, but I’m confused on just one part: “In the same pot, combine the eight ounces of champagne reduction with corn syrup, water, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean scrapings” — water? What water? How much?
Thanks for getting back to me on this!
· Christine · angrycherry.com
Jan 04, 2012 · 11:49 PM
@Christine, omg! A typo! I copied the method from my own recipe for plain marshmallows, which includes water instead of champagne. I’ve edited the recipe to reflect that now, thanks for pointing it out! So, to be clear, no water. Just champagne reduction, corn syrup, sugar, salt, etc…. Apologies, my dear.
Jan 05, 2012 · 7:24 PM
Happy New Year Stella! These are genius and oh so pretty to look at. We have leftover champagne from New Year’s eve, so it may have a job.
· Terris @ Free Eats · www.freeeatsfood.com
Jan 06, 2012 · 9:13 PM
@Terris, thanks so much, dear! Hope your champagne finds a happy home.
Jan 09, 2012 · 11:51 PM
@Stella — I read the recipe a few more times and just ran on the assumption that you MEANT champagne and went ahead with it! They turned out fabulous — I used a rose wine with a touch of rose water… om nom nom! Thanks so much for the recipe.
· Christine · angrycherry.com
Jan 10, 2012 · 3:04 PM
@Christine, thanks for catching my drift! I’ve updated the recipe to prevent others from having the same confusion. I can’t imagine how lovely your rose rose marshmallows must be, they sound fantastic! Thanks for letting me know. Cheers!
Feb 13, 2012 · 10:58 AM
@Christina, wow, that sounds so good! Snap a pic for me.
Feb 15, 2012 · 2:10 PM
Has anyone else had problems with this recipe I’ve made marshmallows before with no problem but this champagne is frustrating! The first time I tried, I ended up burning the sugar mixture waiting for it to reach 240 degrees and had to throw it all out. Then I made it again and as I was waiting for it to get to 240 it looked and smelled like it was going to burn again, so I took it off the stove and mixed it with the gelatin early. It took a while but it ended up whipping up (it’s like a double recipe!) and set up alright anyway. The texture was good but I hate the taste. My husband thinks they taste alright, but they have a weird after taste and just don’t taste good to me.
Feb 15, 2012 · 4:17 PM
@PBnuffsaid, I’m sorry to hear you’re having troubles! It sounds to me like either your pot is too thin and conducting heat too fast, or it’s too big. At 240°, the mixture shouldn’t be hot enough to take on any color, much less burn. If you’re using a pot that’s too big, it may be that the mixture isn’t deep enough to fully submerge the thermometer bulb and so you’re not getting an accurate reading.
Let me know if any of that jives with your experience, I’d love to help you get to the bottom of it!
Feb 28, 2012 · 9:21 PM
I made these for a fancy-dress Oscars viewing party — my first time making marshmallows. The texture turned out perfect, and it was fascinating to see the sugar syrup/gelatin mixture turn light and airy in the mixer.
I’m sad to say I wasn’t as excited about the taste. I used a dry, decent champagne, and they tasted very grapey. I left out the vanilla, though, and I think I might have preferred them if I’d included it. (That way perhaps they’d taste more like traditional marshmallows with a hint of champagne.) I’m planning to coat the rest in dark chocolate and hoping I’ll like them better that way.
That said, I’m excited to try this recipe again with another flavoring — beer marshmallows especially sound fascinating!
· Caro · sciencefare.org
Feb 29, 2012 · 5:29 PM
@Caro, I hate to hear they didn’t quite suit, but glad to know a whole world of marshmallow making has opened up to you now. I think these marshmallows rely a lot on pairing; they’re terrific in orange ice cream (for a mimosa effect) and good with chocolate too, for a champagne truffle sort of profile. You might try toasting them too, I serve them toasted at the restaurant and really enjoy the character it gives them. In any event, your Oscar party sounded like a spiffy event! Thanks for stopping by.
Mar 08, 2012 · 12:35 PM
Thanks for the pairing suggestions! Just wanted to add an update: I found that the flavor mellowed a lot after a few days, and I liked them much better that way. Some of them I dipped in chocolate, and they were a HUGE hit. Toasting them sounds great, but my batch didn’t last that long. Cheers!
· Caro · sciencefare.org
Mar 09, 2012 · 10:15 AM
@Caro, I’m so glad to hear you warmed up to them, I mean, dipping things in chocolate never hurts. Definitely light a few on fire next time, that’s my favorite part!
May 19, 2012 · 1:41 AM
Just thought I’d let you know that I absolutely love your work!! I have already tried your marshmallows (substituting blue moon beer and some orange zest) and Macarons and everything has been delicious! You are by far one of my favorite pastry chefs Keep up all the great work!
May 20, 2012 · 12:43 AM
@Aimee, Blue Moon and Orange marshmallows? Oh, you’re my kinda girl for sure. That sounds really fun. I’m glad you played around with it!
Oct 23, 2012 · 10:12 PM
I just wanna thank you for the recipe, I tried it! Worked really, really well Little changes here and there (scale down)
I think the next flavour will be Irish Stout with chocolate \o/
· Vitor Hugo · pratofundo.com
Oct 24, 2012 · 10:15 AM
Hi Vitor! I’m so happy you enjoyed them. Let me know how the Irish Stout version goes, that sounds incredible! (PS, I thought your name was “Victor Hugo” at first and I thought perhaps my blog was being visited by the ghost of Les Misérables! haha)
Nov 25, 2012 · 10:09 PM
I want to try these out as a post on our blog, one quick question. Can these be made with Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider?
· Made From Pinterest · http://www.madefrompinterest.net
Nov 25, 2012 · 10:16 PM
Hi Tracy! I can’t say for certain, as I haven’t tried it myself, but I imagine that you could achieve something similar with a sparkling cider. Sometimes fruit flavors take a strange turn as they cook to high temperatures, but if grapes can survive, I’m hopeful apples can too. Good luck!
Dec 26, 2012 · 11:00 PM
Hi Erizzle, thanks so much!! I like using chocolates with a 70% minimum cocoa solids, that way there’s plenty of bitter to balance the sweet. White chocolates and milk chocolates just don’t stand up to all that sugary, sugary marshmallow flavor. My favorite grocery brands of chocolate are Chocolove, Divine and Endangered Species. At work, I like to use El Rey and Callebaut.
Mar 29, 2013 · 9:39 AM
Is there any way using a vegan gelatin substitute would work? I hear some kosher gelatin is vegan, but will it work as well? (I might be getting too ambitious here! I’m not strictly vegan anymore anyway, I just try to watch the number of animal products I consume.) Also, your site is fantastic! It’s really nice of you to take the time to share your beautiful recipes with everyone!
Mar 30, 2013 · 6:05 PM
Hi Archaea! Unfortunately, I haven’t come up with any substitutes that work as beautifully as gelatin. Agar just doesn’t allow the marshmallows to achieve the same sort of wonderful volume. I’ve been working on a solution, and I will certainly email you if I have any breakthroughs! Until then, I’m afraid gelatin is all I’ve got.
Jun 10, 2013 · 10:20 AM
Hi martha! No need for concern, the alcohol content is dramatically reduced (destroyed) by the simmering process. You could eat the whole batch and not feel a thing.
Jun 26, 2013 · 12:18 AM
Hi Shwinzu! I’ve never tried it with soda, but it sounds like it would be worth a shot. I think you could use it as-is, without having to reduce it. Let me know if you try it out!
Feb 12, 2014 · 7:15 PM
I would like to add that a large saucepan could be a great choice especially if replacing the champagne.I used a ruby port that boiled over in a blink of an eye!I had a similar experience with honey in marshmallow making.The behaviors of these different goodies can be a surprise. My end result with the port is really flavorful but the texture I find to be a hybrid. Like a cross between a marshmallow and whipped jello.I will have to see how they like to swim in some hot cocoa.
Feb 12, 2014 · 11:02 PM
Hi Penny! Oh, absolutely! Thanks for bringing that up. Anything like honey or molasses will definitely cause the syrup to foam significantly, and I’m probably too conservative with my concept of a “medium pot“for home use (a side effect of living in a world where the small pot is 5 gallons, lol). I will update the recipe to reflect a larger pot size to be safe.
Did you reduce the port as well? Is your thermometer up to snuff? Just double checking, because when I hear about uber soft marshmallows my first instinct is to worry that the hot syrup may have damaged the gelatin.
Feb 13, 2014 · 6:53 AM
I did reduce the port and I REALLY liked that.In reading your response to me (thank you)I am realizing that I did not wait for the 210 temperature.Your recipe is a first for me to have to wait and I went on auto pilot of
previous marshmallow making as I was thrown by the port volcano. We are eating these and I will do this again I
know with improved results.
Feb 14, 2014 · 9:39 AM
Hi Penny, I know that suspicious texture all too well. It drives me BATTY that recipes don’t mention this risk of damaging the gelatin! There is a book of all marshmallow recipes that never mentions that a single time, which just seems like an egregious omission considering the risks. The syrup doesn’t take very long to cool (maybe why recipes leave out that step?) so there’s a 50/50 shot of everything turning out okay, but I like to play it safe.