Would you believe that I didn’t have my first bite of marshmallow cream until I was 17? It was my junior year of high school. It was a project for an English class, and we had to practice public speaking by teaching the class how to do something. While I opted to teach how to make 3D paper snowflakes, some other much more clever kid chose to explain how to make a fluffernutter sandwich. He then passed out sandwiches for the whole class. Tell me that guy didn’t get an A. As you can imagine, that first bite of marshmallow cream and peanut butter was a delight. I scarfed down my sandwich in record time. I made another one. It has been years since that first experience with marshmallow cream, and I can honestly tell you I haven’t eaten any since. I can’t explain why. But today, friends, all that changes. We’re going to make marshmallow cream from scratch.
Combine ⅓ cup water with ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup honey (light corn syrup will also work), and a pinch of fine sea salt in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture—without stirring it—over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture reads 240ºF on a candy thermometer.
After the sugar has been cooking for about 7 minutes, place 2 egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. You can also use a regular bowl and an electric mixer fitted with whisks. If you're feeling up for a workout use a normal whisk and your arms, but be warned that you have to go really fast at times.
Beat the egg whites on medium speed until they begin to get frothy, then bump the speed up to high, add ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, then continue to whip until you reach soft peaks.
When the sugar syrup has reached temperature, carefully take it off the heat. Let it cool for 10-20 seconds, then, with the mixer on medium, add a small splash of the syrup to the eggs. It’s important to add just a bit at first to temper the eggs and avoid scrambling them. Continue to beat the eggs while slowly adding more syrup, increasing the mixer speed to high.
Whip the mixture until it gets thick and glossy, which will take about 7 minutes. Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat the mixture well again. You could also try almond or peppermint extract if you’d like. Taste the cream, and add a pinch more salt if the cream cloying (then whip again to disperse the salt).
Transfer the marshmallow cream to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, re-whipping if the spread seems limp.