But marshmallows are so cheap, why would I make my own?! That’s the first thought I had when my fiance suggested we make rather than buy for a dinner party dessert. The answer, though, is pretty simple. They are just so much better than shop-bought. Softer, fluffier. Quicker to melt in a mug of hot chocolate. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with anything other than homemade again!
And they aren’t actually as complicated to make as they seen. Sure, it involves heck of a lot of egg whisky (a stand mixer is ideal for the job) and making a sugar syrup (I have a bit of a fear of working with hot sugar so I need moral support for this recipe). But it’s quick, simple and the results are amazing.
Of course, once you’ve got the basic recipe sorted you can make all sorts of ‘gourmet’ marshmallows. Add rose water, or even some citrus extract. Swirl in some food colouring. The possibilities are endless and I’m looking forward to experimenting!
Recipe – makes a large 20x30cm tray
- 50g cornflour
- 50g icing sugar
- 50g liquid glucose
- 450g caster sugar
- 10 sheets of gelatine
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 vanilla pod
Sift the cornflour and icing sugar into a bowl. Finely sift half the mixture over a deep 20x30cm tray and set the other half aside. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in a small pan with 125ml of water.
Mix the liquid glucose and caster sugar together in a pan with 250ml of cold water, and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar syrup is clear, turn up the heat and allow the syrup to boil vigorously (don’t stir). When it reaches 110°C on a sugar thermometer, place the gelatine pan over a medium heat and stir until dissolved.
Whisk the egg whites in a free-standing electric mixer until you have stiff peaks. Once your syrup has reached 122°C, very carefully and slowly pour it into the mixer (with it still whisky), then slowly pour in the dissolved gelatine.
Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla pods, add to the mixer bowl, and continue to whisk for 5 or so minutes The mixture should be increased in volume and very thick, but still pourable. At this stage you could add flavourings and/or food colouring.
Either way, pour the marshmallow mixture into your prepared tray, then sift over the remaining mixed cornflour and icing sugar. Leave to cool until set, then slice with a knife (or use cutters to make interesting shapes). If giving as gifts you’ll want to dip the cut sides (they’ll be sticky!) into more icing sugar/cornflour.
And that’s it! Reasonably simple, and the result is pretty special. We mainly enjoyed these as part of a S’mores dessert (blowtorched marshmallows, chocolate soil, whisky ice-cream and a chocolate sauce), but they were also amazing when used to top a hot chocolate. In fact, typing this has reminded me I have all the ingredients available. And seeing as it’s currently snowing, I think a hot chocolate is really rather appropriate, don’t you?!
Have you ever made homemade marshmallows?