This is my homage to the 1971 movie version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As a young kid I was always mesmerized by the everlasting gobstopper, and kudos to them for making it more prominently featured rather than just briefly mentioning it in both the book and in the other movie version from 2005. Also, Gene Wilder is hands down the best version of Willy Wonka, in my opinion.
Even though I knew that the gobstopper is probably like other hard candies, I initially thought of it as being soft, like it’s made of marshmallows. So I decided to try making a marshmallow version. I also made a marzipan version, but it looked too melty, even after letting it sit for several days to help dry and harden it.
It’s not difficult to dehydrate marshmallows in the oven, and after doing so, it makes it easier to handle and slightly more sturdy. For the paint, I simply used food coloring gels and skinny food brushes I bought from an arts and crafts store. You can either color the marshmallows first and then assemble, or vice versa, although I should warn you, it’s much harder to paint them after the marshmallows have been assembled.
In honor of Willy Wonka, I wanted to make sure everything was edible, although just because something is edible, doesn’t mean it tastes good. These are somewhat better without the food color gels, I think.
the everlasting gobstopper
one bag of mini marshmallows
various rainbow food color gels
store-bought edible glue
Heat the oven to the warm setting, which is usually 170 degrees F. If your oven goes lower than 170 degrees, set it of that temperature. Scatter the mini marshmallows on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Turn off the oven.
On 20-30 minute intervals, stir the mini-marshmallows gently with your hands and turn the oven on again until it reaches 170 degrees, or whatever the temperature is for the warm setting, then turn it off. If marshmallows feel soft, it might be too hot, so oven the door to the oven a crack.
After about 4 or 5 hours, the marshmallows should be sufficiently dried. Cool completely.
To color the marshmallows, it is easier to color a whole bunch of one color and to let them dry at a time before assembling them. Alternatively, you can assemble them and paint them afterwards, but it’s trickier to do this unless you have really skinny paint brushes. You can either use food color gels as is, or else add a small amount of corn syrup to each color, although this makes it stickier.
To arrange the marshmallows into an everlasting gobstopper shape, imagine that you are putting together little men that have four arms and four legs. Start with one marshmallow for the middle (torso) and add four marshmallows around it (arms), followed by one marshmallow for the head, and four mallows on the bottom (legs).