Homemade Marshmallows

As a baking obsessive I occasionally get the urge to try something new. I like a challenge and so I decided to try my hand at homemade marshmallows. After a little bit of research (ie internet trawling!) I discovered that I was missing what appeared to be a vital bit of equipment, a sugar thermometer. But I’m not one to give up easily and so I ploughed on.

I ended up with a recipe from food stylist extrordinare, Genevieve Taylor which I adapted to suit me. 
The key with this recipe is to be prepared. You’ll need to make sure you have everything to hand and weighed and measured beforehand.

Ingredients
16g sheet or leaf gelatine
2 egg whites
500g granulated sugar
250ml cold water
1tsp of vanilla paste or extract

Food colouring of your choice (I went with pink)
2tbsp icing sugar & 2tbsp cornflour mixed together.

You’ll also need:
20cm tin 
Cling film
Electric whisk or standalone mixer
Glass of ice cold water 
A teaspoon 

Method (I’ve left this bit free of photos as you’ll need to read it properly as you go!)

1. Line the tin with cling film and grease with a little vegetable oil.

2. Pop the gelatine leaves into a bowl of cold water and set aside to soften.

3. Put the egg whites in the mixer bowl and whisk them until they hold stiff peaks. You can then set this aside whilst you make the sugar syrup.

4. Put the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan and warm over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Gently bring it to the boil and bubble for 15 minutes without stirring. 

If you have a sugar thermometer then you’ll want to wait until the mixture reaches 122C. 

If you don’t have a thermometer, here’s where the ice water and teaspoon come in! Drop a teaspoon of hot syrup into a glass of cold water. The mixture should form a firm, toffee-like ball in the bottom of the glass. If it doesn’t then it needs more boiling.
5. Once it reaches temperature or forms a ball in the water, take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool slightly.
6. Start the mixer and begin to beat the egg whites again. In a steady and careful trickle, add the hot sugar syrup. As soon as you’ve added all the sugar syrup, increase the whisking speed to maximum. 

7. Remove the gelatine from the water, gently squeezing it to remove the excess water. 

8. With the mixer still going, add the soft gelatine. Whisk for ten minutes on maximum speed until you have a thick mixture. During this time you’ll want to add the vanilla paste/extract and food colouring.

9. Pour the marshmallow mix into the tin. Level it out so the top is even, and dust with plenty of the icing sugar and cornflour mixture.

10. The marshmallow mix will take at least 4-6 hours to set, but it’s best left overnight (if you can resist it!)
 
11. Once the marshmallow has set, turn it out onto a chopping board (carefully as this is going to get messy!) and cut into whatever shapes you like.

12. Toss the pieces in more icing sugar/cornflour mix and store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

Or, as it’s turning all lovely and Autumny, pile them on top of your hot choc and toast the rest in the fire. Yum!

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