If you can make a meringue, you can make marshmallows. Marshmallows are simply meringues that have some gelatin mixed in. This version is wonderfully tasty thanks to the concentrated flavor of powdered freeze-dried raspberries. Plus they’re decorated with heart shapes, making them perfect to share with that someone special! Raspberry pairs wonderfully with chocolate, so pour a mug of hot cocoa and top it with a raspberry marshmallow for an extra-special cozy treat.
Process the freeze-dried raspberries in a coffee grinder or spice grinder until finely ground. Sift the mixture into a small bowl to remove any raspberry seeds. Set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and whisk to combine. Set aside to bloom.
Line an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan with plastic wrap. Sift the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar together into a medium bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Set the pan and remaining cornstarch mixture aside.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Combine 3/4 cup of water, the granulated sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Gently stir until the sugar crystals are all moistened. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan (or use an instant-read thermometer that measures at least up to 240 degrees F) and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F.
As the sugar cooks, begin beating the egg whites on low speed. When the sugar syrup reaches 215 degrees F increase the speed to medium. (The goal is for the egg whites to reach stiff peaks right as the syrup reaches 240 degrees F.)
Pour the hot syrup in a slow, steady stream along the edge of the bowl (not directly onto the whisk) as you continue to beat the egg whites. Place the gelatin in the saucepan over low heat and heat just until melted. Beat the gelatin into the meringue. Continue beating until the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, about 5 more minutes.
Turn off the mixer and add the red food coloring if using; beat just until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the freeze-dried raspberry powder by hand. Reserve the remaining powder.
Coat a rubber spatula with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Pour the warm marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and use the spatula to spread it in an even layer. Sprinkle another 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch mixture on top. Cover and let rest at room temperature until set, about 4 hours.
Once set, remove the marshmallow by lifting the plastic wrap out of the pan. Cut into 16 squares. Cut a heart shape out of paper or thin cardboard that’s small enough to fit in the middle of the marshmallows. Place the remaining raspberry powder in a small sieve. One at a time, place the heart on top of a marshmallow and dust with raspberry powder. Remove the heart. Repeat until all the marshmallows are decorated.
Store for up to 1 week in an airtight container, dusting the marshmallows with more of the cornstarch mixture to keep them from sticking together.
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