Go to work on an egg. I think today I went to work on six.
Six eggs for breakfast?! Well, not quite, but this week I have been coming up with new variations on the marshmallow, and I find them quite addictive. 3 egg whites produce a large volume of the stuff, and it is so utterly delicious, I could swim in it. Like all things made at home it is simply much better.
It is joyful to make too, and when you understand the recipe, so easy. When I was making it and thinking about all of the building blocks in my head, I realised that – HEY! – marshmallow is all about four things. Four steps and four factors – the structure (provided by sugar), the wobble (provided by gelatine), the fluffiness (provided by the egg white) and the flavour (in this case vanilla).
I wanted to explain this properly so that you could all confidently bound into your kitchens and make this at home. Cooking is only about understanding a recipe and executing it. That’s it. I think this is where my scientific background really leaps out, I have always wanted to know how things work. Once broken down, a recipe is not intimidating, it is just a crib sheet, and in this case, an introduction to the wonderful world of marshmallow.
I bid you come in. The only trouble is – and consider yourself warned – it is impossible to stop eating it.
Coming soon: my raspberry and rose marshmallow made with pure luscious fruit. I thought I would start with a simple one first to explain it.
Notes on the recipe: you will need a sugar thermometer. They’re not very expensive and are very useful to have. This is a lot easier with a mixer or electric whisk.
Recipe: Vanilla Marshmallow
30g gelatine powder (2 sachets)
4 tbsp golden syrup
3 large egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla extract
150g icing sugar and 150g cornflour, combined and sieved
1 tray greased with a light layer of oil then dusted with a light layer of the icing sugar and cornflour
Get your wobble on by sprinkling the gelatine in the water and leave to the side.
Bring the sugar, the golden syrup and the water to the hard ball stage – 121 – 130 deg C and while you are waiting for the sugar, whisk your egg whites as you would for meringue, until you get soft peaks and can hold the bowl over your head.
Slowly add the sugar mixture to the eggs, while whisking slowly (this is much easier with a mixer like a Kitchenaid).
When the sugar is added, briefly add the gelatine to the warm pot that the sugar was in, the residual heat will melt the gelatine. Add the gelatine to the egg white mixture with the vanilla slowly while whisking, as you did with the sugar. When added stop mixing and you’re done! You have marshmallow.
Pour your marshmallow mix into the tray and leave for a few hours or over night. Then, with an oiled knife, cut into little squares and then dust them with the icing sugar / cornflour mixture.
Store in an airtight box with the excess icing sugar / cornflour.
Try not to eat it all at once!