Marshmallowy fun

Although I like to eat healthily when possible, I do enjoy sweet treats, and I do love to bake. I at least try and have a healthy eating day if I know I’m then going to be making something unhealthy later. I quite often end up taking things I’ve baked into work with me, as it removes the temptation of having them sitting on the kitchen counter (with the added bonus of making you popular in the office). Sadly I haven’t done much baking in the last two weeks as it’s been Ramadan, and not really acceptable to take lots of baked goods into the office. As a mix up from the exercise related posts that I have put up so far, here is the first of a few food-related posts (and not a healthy one to start off with!). If you are trying to avoid sugar, this is not one for you. Thought I’d get it out of the way before I attempt a Whole30 when I get back from holiday!

Finished marshmallow squares. Makes you very popular amongst work colleagues when you take these to work at the beginning of the week!

Finished marshmallow squares. Makes you very popular amongst work colleagues when you take these to work at the beginning of the week.

From the Mmm… Marshmallows book by Carol Hilker. I’ve had this book for aaages, but have never got around to actually making anything (successfully) from it. I attempted marshmallows once before, but they failed epically. I later found out that it was because I used vegetarian gelatine (not by choice, just as it was the only thing available) – vegetarian gelatine does NOT work for this recipe, you end up with a sugary, fudgy mess (still edible, particularly on icecream, but definitely not marshmallow!). Therefore the only bad thing about this recipe, is that it’s not vegetarian-friendly. I thought it was time I re-visited the recipe, especially with the aid of my new thermometer spoon, that I haven’t had a chance to use since I got it for Christmas.

  • 180g (1 ½ cups) icing sugar + extra 30g (¼ cup)
  • 60g (½ cup) cornflour
  •  240ml (1 cup) ice-cold water
  • 3 tablespoons powdered gelatine
  • 400g (2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 120ml (½ cup) golden syrup/light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

13 x 9 x 2” rectangular pan

Makes about 45 1-inch/2.5cm cube marshmallows

  • Step 1. In a large bowl, sift 180g of the icing sugar together with the cornflour and set aside (I found that I had a lot of this mixture left over, so you could probably get away with half or ⅔ this amount) .
  • Step 2. Oil the bottom and sides of the pan, wiping it down with paper towels to remove any excess oil. Dust the bottom and sides of the baking pan liberally with the sifted icing sugar/cornflour mixture
  • Step 3. Pour half the water into a large bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over the water. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes.
  • Step 4. Warm the granulated sugar, golden syrup, remaining water and salt in a large saucepan set over a low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium –high and let boil for 10-12 minutes, or until a jam thermometer reaches 116°C (240°F) – known as the soft ball stage. Removed from the heat and pour in the gelatine mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the gelatine has dissolved (I put my gelatine mix into my counter-top mixer bowl, then just switched it on as soon as I added the hot sugar mix).
  • Step 5. Use a hand-held mixer to beat the mixture on a high setting for 10 minutes, until thick, shiny and tripled in size (I use a counter-top mixer, and although I haven’t tried to do this with a hand mixer, I imagine it would take some effort! In a counter-top mixer on full speed, this stage only took around 4-5 minutes).
do not touch this until the marshmallow mixture is in the tray cooling. Otherwise, you will find it ALL over your kitchen (and most likely your face too).

do not touch this until the marshmallow mixture is in the tray cooling. Otherwise, you will find it ALL over your kitchen (and most likely your face too).

  • Step 6. Add the vanilla extract to the marshmallow mixture and mix until just combined, then pour into the greased and sugared pan, working as quickly as possible (try and avoid getting your hands in it whilst you’re doing this – you will suddenly find marshmallow stuck to everything you touch!).
  • Step 7. Sift the remaining icing sugar evenly over the top and let the marshmallows set at room temperature for at least 4 hours, and up to 1 day until firm.
a whole tray full of marshmallowy goodness. That's an awful lot of sugar in there....

a whole tray full of marshmallowy goodness. That’s an awful lot of sugar in there….

  • Step 8. Once the marshmallows have set, shake off the excess icing sugar mixture and save. Run a knife around the inside of the tin, and gently peel the marshmallow out. It should come out in a big, marshmallowy block.
  • Step 9. Oil a sharp knife, and cut into squares (or whatever shape you like!), and dredge in the remaining icing sugar mixture to coat the sticky sides.
dredging the cut marshmallows in even more sugar

dredging the cut marshmallows in even more sugar

  • Step 10. Try not to eat too many in one go.

I was so chuffed with how well these worked. They were little light, fluffy, cloud-like marshmallows that almost dissolved in your mouth. It would be very easy to experiment with different flavours, I’m thinking mango and cardamom next, with some fresh mango juice instead of the water. Watch this space for an update.

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