It’s not an addiction…really…but sometimes, I just feel like sugar. Sugar, sugar and more sugar. I know it’s bad but I just can’t stop myself. For times like these, there are home-made marshmallows, marshmallows that are so sweet that they make your teeth squeak!I came across this recipe a while ago and had been saving it for a special sugar craving day. I added some cocoa which brought the sweetness down a notch.
Keep in mind that I’ve never actually eaten or attempted to make home-made marshmallows before and so I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, they came out as I expected: like a soft super sweet melt-in-your-mouth cloud of chocolate and vanilla.
Don’t be put off by the long list of instructions. There’s just a little bit of preparation, a lot of whisking and you’ll be rewarded with soft fluffy marshmallows.
Before you begin, some handy tools for making marshmallows:
1. An electric mixer. Some recipes say that electric hand-held mixer won’t do the job and that you need a stand mixer. However, my hand-held mixer coped with it quite well.
2. The only downside about using a hand-held mixer is having to pour the boiling syrup into the egg whites while whisking at the same time, without causing serious injury to yourself.
3. A candy thermometer. The sugar mixture needs to hit the ‘hard-ball’ stage (approx. 122C) and having a thermometer makes it easier to keep an eye on things.
4. A pair of scissors for cutting the finished marshmallows. I used a butter knife and ended up with straggy edges.
Fluffy chocolate-vanilla marshmallows
Adapted from here.
What I used for the marshmallows:
1 cup water (240ml)
450g caster sugar
16-17g gelatine (that’s all I had in the kitchen but luckily it worked out ok)
¼ cup water (60 ml)
2 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
4 tbs cocoa
4 tbs hot water
What I used to coat the marshmallows:
3 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp icing sugar
The prep work:
1. Mix the 3 tablespoonfuls of corn flour and sugar together.
2. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin (removable base tins are advisable). I lined the tin with ordinary baking paper. Grease the lining again and generously sprinkle the corn flour-icing sugar mix over the lined cake tin.
3. Put the 60ml of water in a bowl sprinkle the gelatine over the water and mix lightly. The mixture will solidify slightly. Set aside.
4. Boil some water and mix the 4 tablespoons of cocoa and 4 tablespoons of hot water in a bowl. Set aside.
5. Place the 2 egg whites in a clean bowl.
6. Take out a second bowl and set aside.
The real work:
1. Over a low heat, place the 240ml water in a pot and add the sugar. I tend to put the thermometer in at this stage and stir around it until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Turn the heat higher and let the syrup boil (no stirring required) until the temperature of the syrup reaches 122C. This is known as the hard ball stage.
Another method of checking that the syrup has reached this stage is by taking a teaspoonful of the syrup and dropping it into a bowl of cool water. The syrup dropped in the bowl should turn into a hard ball.
3. While the syrup is boiling, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks appear.
4. When the syrup has reached the correct temperature, carefully pour the boiling syrup in a steady stream into the whipped egg whites, while whisking at the same time.
As I’m right-handed, I tend to hold the whisk with my left hand while pouring the hot syrup in with my right hand. Here’s where a stand mixer comes in handy!
5. Once the syrup has been incorporated, add the vanilla. Keep beating the egg whites.
6. Heat the gelatine mixture in the microwave until it has dissolved. Add this to the meringue mixture. Keep beating.
7. Keep beating until the mixture becomes thick and gloopy. I think this took at least 10 minutes. My hand-held mixer (and my arm!) started to struggle a little at this stage. The mixture was still slightly pourable, but only just.
8. Pour half the meringue mixture into another bowl. Whisk the cocoa mixture into half the meringue mixture.
9. Pour the cocoa meringue mixture back into the 1st bowl. Lightly swirl the cocoa mixture into the vanilla mixture.
10. Pour into the tin and smooth the surface.
11. Generously sprinkle with the corn flour-icing sugar mixture.
12. Leave to set overnight or for at least 6 hours. (This is probably the hardest part!)
13. Once the marshmallow had set, remove from the tin and cut with a greased knife or kitchen scissors.
14. Eat until you start feeling slightly ill. :-)
What a great way to start the week!