Marshmallow Mayhem!

>> Saturday, 29 May 2010

I'm so excited about posting this!

Those that know me well, will be aware that I have an unhealthy obsession with sweets. Ever since I was little I have been obsessed with trying every form of sweet available. One of the best cakes I've ever eaten was made by my mum for my 18th birthday. A giant carrot cake, covered in white icing and Haribo Starmix! It's got to the extent that friends even take pictures of sweets for me on their globe-trotting travels (thank you CN!)
I've progressed through the ranks of the humble penny sweet, to every single variant of Haribo and now I'm peaking at making my own. Over the past few months I have been buying molds and experimenting with recipes in order to reach my goal of creating my very own bag of 'Helebo'..or something that sounds slightly more appetising!

It starts here, with marshmallows...Who knew you could make these at home?! I have been so, so impressed with this recipe. The mayhem element refers to the amount of mess you make in the process, but this is such a cool thing to make that I can get over it.

Ingredients below will make a giant mound of 30 fluffy squares of fun!
  • 460g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp glucose syrup (you can get this from the cooking section of most supermarkets or try golden syrup if you can't find it)
  •  360 mls water
  • 4 tbsp powdered gelatine
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 75g cornflour
  • 75g icing sugar
  • Food colouring (I used natural colouring in pink & blue)
  • Food flavouring (I used strawberry)
1. Line a deep tin (suggest a roasting tin) with tin foil and spray with flavourless cooking oil. Mix together the icing sugar and cornflour and shake a few spoons onto the foil to prevent the marshmallow sticking. Put the tray to one side (I used two tins to create the 2 colours)
2. Put 180mls of water, granulated sugar and glucose into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until dissolved. Then up the heat to boil the mix until it reaches 260c (I just boiled it aggressively for a few mins until it looked crazy hot as I've not got a food thermometer - I'd leave it simmering for a while first though as it'll be another 15 minutes before you need this..)
3. To prepare your gelatin mixture, put the remaining 180mls of water in a saucepan with the vanilla extract and pour over the gelatin. Stir once and leave to absorb for about 5 mins. Then, heat the mixture on a low heat until it becomes liquid and add your colouring and flavouring (if you want multiple flavours/colours you'll need to start separating things into separate pans at this stage - extra mayhem for you - you'll need about 2 tsp each of flavouring and colouring for this amount, though it's really based on your personal taste)
4. Whisk your egg whites until soft peaks form
5. When your syrup is at 260c, remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture (this will foam up - be careful!). Then pour this slowly into your egg white mix whisking all the time (clearing a food mixer makes all this a lot easier). Once combined, you'll need to whisk on a medium-high speed for about 10 minutes until it holds it shape (soft peaks).
6. Pour into your tin/s and smooth the top out. Then you'll need to leave to set for 12 hours
7. Once set, put spoons of your cornflour/icing sugar mix on your kitchen surface and turn out your marshmallow (put it upside down on the surface and slowly peel off the foil). Using a sharp knife, dusted with powder, cut your marshmallow into your chosen shape, ensure all of the edges are coated in the powder to prevent stickiness

That's it (phew!!). It's lots of effort and mess but they taste amazing! They keep for up to 1 week in an air proof jar, but are best eaten within a few days of making. They'll get stickier the longer you leave them so, every day or so you might want to add more of the icing sugar coating.

 I think they'd make a really nice gift....

...or a cool dessert with fruit.....

...I made these by dipping strawberries in the mix and leaving them on a few spoons of the powder mix for 12 hours. Yummy, yummy!!

I can't take any credit for the recipe, it's from a professional cook called Elizabeth LaBau who has a great picture step-by-step guide here (worth looking at first I think). One little cheat worth thinking about, is not adding the colours until you're about to pour into your tins (i.e. make one big mix, split into a few bowls, add your add your colours/flavours separately and then put into your tins). I also want to experiment with lemon zest and fresh fruit chopped and mixed in. You could also cover the edges with chopped nuts, cocoa powder or maybe hundreds and thousands!

Hope you like and maybe try for yourself!
Helen x

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