Making Marshmallows

Are you thinking of making your own marshmallows – maybe just for fun, or maybe as a business?

Miss Marshmellow - Strawberry Marshmallows

Miss Marshmellow – Strawberry Marshmallows

If so, then you probably have some questions, such as:

  • Should I use powder or leaf gelatine?
  • What strength of gelatine should I use?
  • Does it matter if I use Beef or Pork gelatine?
  • How do I use the gelatine?

Should I use powder or leaf gelatine?

I would always use powdered gelatine instead of leaf gelatine as powdered gelatine is easier to use than leaf gelatine.

What strength of gelatine should I use?

  • The gel strength of the gelatine will control the setting and the texture of the product. High strength gelatines set more quickly and are more elastic in texture. These higher strength gelatines are used extensively in the manufacture of marshmallows. (We can supply both Pork and Beef Gelatine powder in 240 bloom strength, as well as a 150 bloom Fish gelatine)

 Does it matter if I use Beef or Pork gelatine?

  •  Pork gelatines have a much higher foam capacity compared to Beef gelatines, and are able to produce more stable mallows, and much easier.
  • Care must be taken with Pork gelatine not to over whisk the mixture, as the volume of foam produced means that the texture of the marshmallow might be too light and fluffy.
  • If you are using Beef gelatine the amount of Glucose syrup will affect the foaming performance of the gelatine, and too much Glucose syrup may even lead to the total collapse of the foam. A formulation based on invert sugar is safer.

How do I use the gelatine?

One of my other posts  will answer this question

Useful Information:

There are many factors that control the commercial production of marshmallows:

eg Foaming behaviour – Gelatine is a water soluble protein which is also soluble in a high sugar solution. As such it is able to emulsify air and liquid together (i.e. create foam). This property if affected by whether pork or beef gelatine is used, and the quantity of glucose syrup used (see above). When adding ingredients  to the foam should take care as  every ingredient that you add will affect the mallow foam.

Miss Marshmellow - Very Berry Marshmallows

Miss Marshmellow – Very Berry Marshmallows

If you’d prefer to just BUY your Marshmallows,

Miss Marshmellow - Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Miss Marshmellow – Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

then try these – you can buy them from Miss Marshmellow.

How to use gelatine

 Gelatine is  easy to use!!!

Many people think that there is an art to using gelatine – but really it is more like a science and as long as you follow a few simple rules you should get good results every time.

One word that can be confusing is  “bloom“. This is because it has two different meanings when it is referring to using gelatine.

  • The first use of the word Bloom is in reference to the setting strength of gelatine.  The gelling strength of gelatine is indicated by the figure given as its “Bloom” –  starting at approx 90 Bloom (the weakest) to 300 Bloom (the strongest). This rather odd sounding unit was named after the man who developed the  test  for gelatine in 1925, a Mr Oscar T Bloom.

The powder sold in supermarkets in the UK is usually a 120 Bloom.

Professional sweet makers etc use strengths between 220 – 250 bloom.

If you are thinking about the 240 bloom you will use between a half to a third less than supermarket powder. You will need to experiment with the quantity of gelatine to use but I would start with about half the amount that you normally use, and see if that is enough. There is no difference in taste.

For special effects makeup, prosthetics and ballistics testing  the 300 bloom (which I also sell) is generally used.

  • The second use of the word Bloom is what you need to do to prepare the gelatine powder for use.

You will need to “bloom” the gelatine before you use it:

How to use gelatine - blooming

How to use gelatine – blooming

  1. Soak the gelatine for 30 min’s or more in 3 to 4 times its own weight of cold water or other liquid
  2. Heat this mixture up gently over some form of double boiler, or in the microwave, until it forms a clear liquid.

NB     Never allow gelatine to boil, or use boiling water, as this affects the strength of the gelatine.

You also need to be careful about what you are trying to gel, for example Lemon juice will require more gelatine to set than water will.

Some fruits  contain enyzmes called proteases which stops the gelatine from setting. These fruits need to be heated to inactivate the enyzmes. (eg pineapple, kiwi, figs, papaya, mango, guava and ginger root)