05 August 2013

Making vegan marshmallows

Did you know that marshmallows aren't vegan or even vegetarian? They have gelatine in which is made from animal bones. I remember being pretty surpised when I found out about gelatine the first time. You never really think about the fact that many sweets contain animal products. There are vegan marshmallows available, but since I live in South Africa my only option is to make them myself.

I don't like eating marshmallows on their own that much, but I love rice krispie treats. I found a vegan marshmallow recipe and decided to try it. I thought that soy protein isolate is a strange ingredient that I wouldn't be able to find, but I found it at a health food shop and it wasn't even expensive. We don't get corn syrup here, so I used golden syrup which is made from sugar. I think any type of syrup would probably work. One important ingredient I didn't have and didn't want to order was Genutine Vegetarian Gelatin. I decided to try replacing it with agar powder and it worked. It might be different, but it worked well enough for my purposes.

 This is a two part recipe. You make a fluff and a syrup and then you mix them together. I got impatient and didn't heat the syrup to the correct temperature and also didn't beat the final mixture long enough, but it still seemed to work for me. Next time I'll use this mixture to make rice krispie treats directly, but for the first try I let it set out of curiosity. I did roll them in the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture, but they absorbed that. They didn't stick to each other though, so that's fine.

These marshmallows aren't as fluffy as the original ones and you can taste the soy protein isolate a little but, but I think they would taste great if you used some flavouring. There's vanilla in this recipe, but it doesn't cover the soy powder flavour completely. I decided to make peanut butter rice krispie treats to solve this problem.

Since these marshmallows are denser than the regular ones I needed to add more rice krispies, but I only realised that when it was too late. They were good, but too sweet and sticky. I decided to scoop out the mixture and roll it in rice krispies to tone down the sweetness. They were delicious.

I also tried roasting a marshmallow over a candle. It looked exactly like a regular marshmallow.

If you're a vegan or vegetarian who misses marshmallows then try this recipe. It's much easier than it might seem when you first read it. There's also a lot written about using a strong mixer because it gets very sticky. I have a regular hand mixer that comes with a stand and it worked just fine. So even if you don't have a fancy mixer then you can probably make this.


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