Friday, April 11, 2008


Best Blog Tips

I've been waiting to have a little time to try this-- a kit that gives you the ingredients you need to make vegan marshmallows that are firm and fluffy and taste justlike the "real thing"! Alice Leonard from New Zealand has a vegan baking and confectionery business, Angel Food:

Alice sells vegan marshmallows, which has taken no small amount of devising since we found out that Emes Kosher Jel was not really vegan, and other kosher jels wouldn't work. Clever lady that she is, she devised a kit that could be easily mailed out internationally to give those of us who don't live in beautiful New Zealand a chance to try her marshmallows, AND have the satisfaction of making them ourselves.

Here's from the Angel Food website:

"Marshmallows Kit

Fresh marshmallows are the best - and when you make your own, you can eat them as fresh as fresh can be! The world of vegan cuisine is littered with the shattered corpses of those who tried to veganise marshmallows. (Ain't that the truth!--BCG)

Just replace the gelatine (blerrgh!) with agar? Not so simple! Now, Angel Food takes the angst out of the situation with our new make-your-own-vegan-marshmallows kit. It contains all the specialist ingredients for making about 50 good-sized drool-worthy marshies (plus the recipe, of course). You just need to add sugar, water, syrup, vanilla essence and starch or coconut, and you're away!

The kits are only available by mail order and online purchase, and yes, we ship world-wide!"

Alice will send you a bright cardboard envelope containing two packets of ingredients (and the instructions are on the inside of the envelope) that will make these professional-looking fluffy treats-- 36 really big marshmallows, or 50 regular-sized ones, so, for about $8, it's a good price! (You supply your own sugar, vanllla, and a little bit of syrup.)

If you dry the marshmallows in the open air, not touching, for 24 hours, you can then store them in an airtight container for 2 weeks!

Now, I'm not a marshmallow fanatic-- I can live without them, and have done for some years! But, many, many of my readers love them, and I used to love S'Mores as a kid. I thought I would make a vegan version of S'Mores with my homemade "marshies", as Alice calls them, and organic chocolate, etc.. I figured that my grandchildren would enjoy them, too!

Now, I am not a candymaker-- I love experimenting in the kitchen, of course, but not usually with candy thermometers and lots of sugar! However, I assembled everything on my counter and followed Alice's instructions. It takes a little time, but it's easy and the results are fantastic!

This is the contents of the first packet beaten for about 5 minutes with water to a stiff "fluff".

This is the sugar, water and syrup (I used agave nectar) mixture boiling to hard ball stage.

There is another mixture consisting of the contents of the second packet and some water, that you eventually mix with the syrup, and then beat into the white "fluff" with some vanilla.

It certainly looked and felt like real marshmallow batter! Here it is first poured into the pan:

A couple of hours later-- real marshmallows!

NOTE: I used a 9" square pan because I didn't have the 10" square pan Alice called for, so mine are quite think. I cut 36 large marshmallows, but 50 smaller ones, as Alice recommends, would probably be better. You can roll them in coconut or starch.


Instead of graham crackers and Hershey bars, I used PC Organics Chocolate Digestive Biscuits (vegan, organic digestive biscuits, which are similar to Graham crackers, but round, with organic dark chocolate on one side). You heat the marshmallow (more about that below) and then sandwich it between two of the biscuits, with the chocolate sides in. The hot marshmallow melts the chocolate, and-- sweet, gooey bliss!

Instead of the above, you can use your favorite vegan, organic chocolate and vegan graham crackers, or vegan digestive biscuits (you might have to make them yourself-- here's a recipe, but you'll have to sub for the milk and butter).

VEGAN GRAHAM CRACKERS (without palm oil): (Updated Nov. 27, 2016)

Some bulk graham cracker crumbs are vegan-- check the label on the bin (if it's visible) or ask your grocer to let you see the original bag.

The following crackers are "accidentally vegan" and not made with organic or whole foods ingredients (but no palm oil):
Nabisco Original Graham Crackers 
Keebler Original Graham Crackers
Keebler Cinnamon Graham Crackers
NOTE: Sweet & Sara's brand contain palm oil.

Another option I have used is to make crumbs out of "animal" crackers-- here are some vegan ones made with organic and/or healthful ingredients.  they are often easier to find than vegan Graham crackers and usually not expensive:
Barbara's Bakery Snackanimals Animal Cookies 
Trader Joe's Organic Animal Crackers
(Both of the above are organic, whole grain, palm-oil-free, HF-corn syrup-free, but they do contain soy lecithin)
Kirkland Organic Animal Crackers [Costco brand] (ingredient list: )
Annie's brand Bernie's Animal Farm Cookies

Another option: there are numerous vegan (including GF) graham cracker recipes on the 'Net, if you are into making your own.

About heating the marshmallows:

Alice wrote:
"My son Mack and I have actually toasted the marshies, on a beach over a tiny little fire tucked into a rock shelf. They were more delicate than I remember standard marshies being when toasted, but they did crust on the outside and melt in the middle."

The wood fire in our heater had gone out, so I couldn't try toasting them on a skewer. One recipe I saw on the internet said you could microwave them, but DON'T! These ones melted in seconds! I ended up placing them on a cake tin and putting them under the broiler for a short time (watch carefully!). They didn't brown, but got soft and hot.

Do give these a try! Enjoy!


veganmum said...

Oh my goodness, this is so exciting. Thank you so much for this review. I've just placed my order and I cannot WAIT to make smores with my children this summer. I can never justify the cost of ordering vegan marshmallows from the US (I'm in Canada, too).
Also, I feel a nationalistic pride as a NZ/Canadian dual citizen, and I wish vegan goodies like this had been around when I was living there!
So excited! Thanks for sharing this!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Yours look so lovely! I enjoyed making them as well & next time I'd love to try using agave.
Organic digestives?! be still my heart!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Melisser-- I don't know if PC Organics are available in the US--- it's a Canadain company. The UK has a number of organic digestive biscuits-- Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, and Dove's Farm that I know of. But I could only discover that Dove's farm brand is vegan-- I don't know about the others. You may be able to get Dove's Farm ones through a Brit store online (there are some that are located in the States) or from a vegan outlet. They are pretty easy to make!

Cooking said...
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spiceislandvegan said...

Wow, that's amazing and clever! I am not a fan of marshmallow myself. I am not one of the corpses who were trying to veganize marshmallow. :-) It's interesting though! I love rice krispy treats but that can be replace with other syrups. Good job, Bryanna, for promoting the NZ business woman.

So the vegan marshmallow saga continues. Very interesting!


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi! I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm sure trying some of your recipes really soon!
I have a question and I think you can answer it better than any forum, I want to make some vegan royal icing and I've read that we can substitute the meringue powder with powdered egg replacer, do you think that will work?
I hope you can answer my question.
Greetings from Mexico!
My email address is:


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

anonymous, I just saw a recipe for a Royal Icing using egg replacer in the book "The Joy of vegan Baking" by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and I have not had time to try it yet.

zlamushka said...

Bryanna, this is wonderful :-) I absolutely love the melted choco-cookie. I am not sure this is very healthy, butI would give it a try.

Anonymous said...

I,too, enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, which got me trying to recreate the marshmallow. My handheld beaters($20) are bent beyond repair now (after the syrup violently seized up), and I'm too scared to try using a heavy duty mixer($?) in case it suffers the same doom. No wonder that recipe is so expensive.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Rev. ravenous-- with the kit you don't use beaters on the syrup-- only the "fluff", which is water and the contents of one of the packets. So, there's not danger of wrecking your beaters!

maybelles mom said...

wow, that is really cool. i just linked to this post on my site too.

Tovie said...

Do you have a gas stove? I toast marshmallows over a burner. Just stick them on a skewer, turn the flame on and toast away.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Tovie-- I have an electric stove. We don't get natural gas on our little island, and I don't like the way a natural gas stove that is fixed to use propane behaves. The flame is never really hot enough for stir-frying, and you can't turn it down really low either. Stoves made just for propane are prohibitively expensive and hard to find.

Anyway, I hope these toast better over a flame, but they sure melted fast!

brownie love said...

Did you substitute the same amount of Agave in place of the sugar in making your Marshmallows? do you still need to add water when using Agave?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

brownie love, I substituted agave for the corn syrup, but used organic sugar. I wouldn't try using agave for all of it because the extra liquid might ruin the recipe.

drdm said...

Your marshmallows look wonderful! I just began my adventure to create homemade vegan marshmallows & I'm desperate to succeed. My 1st attempt was cooking my syrup in a single pot, the recipe said to heat to 230degrees, I made a lovely "lava rock" failed miserably on the marshmallow though. Will I attain 230degrees if I retry this in a double boiler? Thank you for your response Bryanna!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

drdm, I have read in other candy recipes that you can get to 230 degrees F in a double boiler.