Let's say you have made a big, delicious batch of strawberry gelato. And although you've enjoyed it on its own, you've started to wonder how it would work in sundae form. You don't want to eclipse the brightness of the fresh strawberry flavor with something as assertive as hot fudge, so you think, Hmm, how about marshmallow sauce?
You pull out your favorite cookbook for ice cream toppings and read the recipe for marshmallow sauce. You see it includes gelatin, which is a no-go for a member of your family who is an enthusiastic fan of (a) marshmallow sauce, (b) strawberry gelato, and (c) eating food in most forms, but who is a vegetarian.
You decide to read up on marshmallow sauce and see if it's possible to adapt a recipe for vegetarian consumption. Good news ~ it is!
This recipe, which I adapted from this one from What's Cooking America, produces a marshmallow sauce that is so close to store-bought it's amazing. It's absurdly simple to make, and the result is light, fluffy, spreadable, and ooey-gooey. The recipe does, however, call for a raw egg white, so depending on your comfort level about such things, this may not be the recipe for you. I tend to be extremely cautious about such things (you can ask my husband ~ he'll tell you I tend to cook pork chops and chicken breasts to a state of doneness called "jerky"), but I am okay with the little bit of egg white in this recipe for reasons I describe in the recipe notes. If you're not, please skip this one ~ trust me, the gelato is very nice on its own.
- 1 egg white
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whip attachment affixed, combine egg white, corn syrup, and salt. Whip the corn-syrup mixture on high speed until it is light, fluffy, and roughly twice its original volume.
- Turn your mixer off and spoon in the confectioner's sugar. Beat on low speed until sugar is blended into the corn syrup mixture. Add vanilla and beat in.
Spoon marshmallow sauce over ice cream; use it as a fondue for chocolate-covered graham crackers, fruit, and cookies; or top a peanut butter sandwich with it. Refrigerated, it will keep for about 2 weeks.
Makes about 2 cups of sauce.
- The USDA recommends that raw eggs not be consumed due to the risk of contracting salmonella poisoning. That said, if you are a daring and reckless sort who plays it fast and loose and you want to try this recipe, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk (if you care to). Purchase Grade AA eggs from a reputable (i.e., "clean") source (ideally a local farm), do not use any eggs with cracked or damaged shells, refrigerate your eggs at a consistent temperature of about 38 degrees F, and wash your eggs with soapy water before cracking them. This will prevent bacteria present on the shell from contaminating the yolk and white.
- It is possible to purchase pasteurized eggs. They come in a variety of forms ~ in the shells, in cartons, as yolks or whites only. These have been treated with heat, but not cooked, to kill bacteria.
- Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems are discouraged from eating raw eggs at all.