The Sweetest Valentine's Present - weekend recipe!
By Hester Browne - February 11, 2011
More Posts by Hester Browne
April 29, 2011
February 3, 2011
January 17, 2011
November 8, 2010
December 28, 2009
December 22, 2009
October 9, 2009
September 28, 2009
What could be sweeter on Valentine's Day than a pillowy, voluptuous marshmallow you've made yourself? Marshmallows might seem impossible if you don't have a non-WillyWonka-equipped kitchen, but they're actually quite simple, so long as you have the magic ingredient - a sugar thermometer. Pick one up from your local cookshop or jam-making neighbour, and you're away.
3 tbsp powdered sugar sifted with 3 tbsp cornflour
25g/2 packets of gelatine (sorry, veggies; Vegegel doesn't quite work
1/2 (half a) cup water
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 egg whites (or substitute meringue powder or egg white powder)
tsp vanilla essence or rosewater
pink (or lilac or spring green or baby blue...) colouring paste
*First, lightly oil a 9 by 13 inch baking tin and shake half the powdered sugar/cornflour into it to coat the sides.
*Pour ½ cup water in a shallow bowl and add the gelatine, then warm the bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring until the gelatine dissolves.
*Next put 2.5 cups of sugar into a pan, add half a cup of water and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Then clip your sugar thermometer into the pan, making sure you can read the level, and boil until the syrup reaches the hard boil mark, 122C/240F. This might take a while.
*While the syrup's boiling away, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. It's much easier to do all this in a stand mixer, as the next part require some juggling...
*When hard boil stage has been reached, *carefully* add the gelatine to the syrup - it will foam up so be careful, and stir it down.
* Turn the mixer back on, at a lowish speed, and pour the syrup into the bowl in a thin stream, aiming for a spot between the edge of the bowl and the beaters. The egg whites will thicken and go glossy. Turn the mixer up and whisk hard for at least five minutes, or until the mixture drops slowly and reluctantly from the beaters when you raise them. It should be only just pourable. Add the vanilla or rosewater, and a tiny smidge of colouring paste; you can always add more. I sometimes pour half the white mixture into the pan, then add colouring to what's left, and pour over the top to make stripy marshmallow.
* Leave to set in a cool place for a couple of hours, and when the surface is tacky to the touch, dust the top with the remaining powdered sugar/cornflour.
* When the marshmallow is springy but not too sticky, you can cut out hearts, or any other shape with a clean cookie cutter; or just chop into squares. Dust the cut sides with extra icing sugar/cornflour to stop it all sticking together, and save any offcuts for making Rocky Road or dropping into hot chocolate.
Serve with a big bowl of warm chocolate ganache, and fresh fruit – if you absolutely have to.