Fruit

How to Make Flavored Marshmallows for All Your Summer S'mores

June 20, 2016

Strawberry marshmallows? You might surmise that the best way to make them would be to cook fresh berries or their juice to a concentrate and use the reduction to flavor the marshmallows. While that is very smart thinking, your marshmallows will taste more like strawberry jam than fresh strawberries and you will have done more work than necessary!

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Chocolatiers and pastry chefs often use freeze-dried fruit powders as a source of pure, concentrated, fresh fruit flavor without artificial color or flavor. The powders are simply pulverized freeze-dried fruit (or vegetables, for that matter), which you can find in small packages in many supermarkets. If you crush the fruit pieces in a mortar or toss them into a food processor, you get fruit powder. (You can also buy the powder online.) (Note that dehydrated fruits—like the ones you'd snack on while hiking—won't work for this, since they aren't dry enough!)

Marshmallows made with freeze-dried fruit powder have the flavor and aroma of fresh berries. They are unusual and compelling enough to serve just as they are. But you could also dip them in chocolate, or make s'mores with them—perhaps with a layer of peanut butter? How about a parfait of marshmallows, whipped cream, and fresh berries? If you laced the whole thing with a little strawberry jam, you would get a triple strawberry flavor effect.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

You could fill sandwich cookies, or reinvent rocky road ice cream by folding them into vanilla or strawberry ice cream with toasted almonds or roasted peanuts and homemade chocolate chunks. And imagine making the marshmallows with other fruit or even vegetable powders—I know you’re thinking about carrot marshmallows…

Alice Medrich is a Berkeley, California-based pastry chef, chocolatier, and cookbook author. You can read more about what she's up to here.

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Have you cooked with powdered fruit? What do you do with it? Share your ideas in the comments.

8 Comments

Ali S. July 20, 2016
To make chocolate marshmallows, would you use cocoa powder in place of the freeze-dried fruit powder?
 
E V. July 3, 2016
Is it possible to make this Vegetarian? I have tried to use a vegetarian gelatin before and it doesn't ever SET the proper way.
 
tina F. July 3, 2016
Would love to make these, but is there a substitute for the corn syrup, because...ick! I never use it.
 
Author Comment
Alice M. June 22, 2016
Please don't confuse regular dried fruit with freeze dried fruit. They are not the same and will not produce the same results or the same flavor of fresh fruit.
 
Ebony W. June 21, 2016
Would regular dehydrated strawberry work or is there a specific benifit by it being freezer dried?
 
Caroline L. June 21, 2016
Regular dehydrated would work, too! As long as you can grind it into a powder, it should work.
 
BakerRB June 21, 2016
I agree that dehydrated should work, but freeze dried will be much easier to grind and have a fresher taste, at least in my experience.
 
Caroline L. June 22, 2016
Hi Ebony—I think I misunderstood your question! (My apologies! I hope I haven't mislead you.) I'd stick to freeze-dried—they're the only ones that will turn into a proper powder (thus making the marshmallows consistently pink and fruity without changing the texture).