After trying this out, I promise you will never reach for that crappy jarred stuff ever again. There’s no need. By the time you go to the store and back, you can make your own light, creamy fluff.
Check out my video tutorial here.
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c light corn syrup
3-4 Tbl water
1/4 tsp kosher walt
3 ea egg whites (with absolutely zero yolks*)
1 pinch cream of tartar (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (you can substitute vanilla extract)
Note: You will definitely need a thermometer for this recipe. Don’t attempt do do this without one. A calibrated digital thermometer is my favorite, but a candy thermometer will do.
Place sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium sauce pot. Heat over high heat. Very carefully stir the sugar over high heat, ensuring no sugar crystals stick to the side of the pot**. If they do, use a pastry brush soaked in water to dissolve it back into the rest of the mixture. Continue to stir the sugar until all of it is dissolved into the pot.
After the sugar dissolves and begins to cook, place the egg whites in a stand mixer and let them mix on low until they are frothy (you can do this with a hand mixer as well). If you have cream of tartar, sprinkle it on now. Turn the speed to high and whip the eggs until they are just under stiff peaks. They should lightly fall off the tip of the whip.
Once the sugar starts to boil, keep a close eye on it. When the bubbles begin to become thick (unlike boiling water), DO NOT TOUCH THE POT! Don’t move it, don’t stir it. Just let it go.
I like to call cooked sugar culinary napalm. It gets much hotter than water ever can, and if it gets on your skin, the only way to get it off is either with a good chunk of your skin or by letting it cool on you; neither of which sound too pleasant to me. Be careful when handling sugar!
Cook the mixture until it reaches 240 F exactly. Immediately remove it from the heat.
Turn the mixer onto high speed. Keep the speed on maximum for the remainder of this process.
Slowly pour the hot sugar straight from the pot into the stand mixer. You’re going to want to pour a small, steady stream right between the whip and the edge of the bowl.
Once all of the sugar has been incorporated, add the vanilla powder. Continue mixing until the outside of the bowl is cool to the touch.
Store your mixture at room temperature. Feel free to put it on whatever you like, maybe a s’mores pie, perhaps? You can even make a fluffernutter or two… don’t worry, I won’t tell.
* #nerdalert: When whipping egg whites, it is crucial that you do not have a single drop of egg yolk mixed in with the whites. If you do, they will not whip. The proteins need to bond in order to form a structure strong enough to hold air bubbles. If they are coated in fat, they can’t form the bond. Think of it like a rock climber using oil instead of chalk to try to get a better grip. Ain’t gonna happen.
** #nerdalert: If the sugar sticks to the sides of the pot, it can crystalize the rest of the sugar as it heats up. Once sugar increases temperature above 212 F, the structure of the sugar changes and becomes very fragile. If you agitate the pot, it can crystallize the entire pot. This fragile state remains until the sugar begins to caramelize (above about 320 F).