I MADE MARSHMALLOWS! Yes I did...! And they actually taste like marshmallows, with all the stretchy, fluffiness you associate with them. Except these taste a million times better than shop-bought ones and I don't feel like I'm stuffing my face with additives and goodness knows what else. Because my marshmallows were delicately flavoured with fruity berry goodness and a sprinkling of dessicated coconut, which means that you have a perfectly formed gooey square of just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy that sugar craving.
You may be wondering why I decided to make marshmallows and, to be honest, as I'm not really a massive fan of marshmallows (unless they're toasted on a campfire), I could well ask myself the same question. A few months ago I saw a recipe somewhere for homemade marshmallows and I was intrigued, as I'd never even thought about the idea of making your own marshmallows... I saw that the recipe required a sugar thermometer though and it wasn't until I requested one at Christmas that the recipe popped into my head again. Since then a sugar thermometer has been sitting in my room waiting to be used, but when some of my friends were pestering me at the weekend to bake something new and adventurous, it was lucky enough to have its first outing and my homemade marshmallows were born. So girls (you know who you are!), I hope these live up to your expectations and are a suitable level of difficulty...!
Despite the initial unknown of boiling sugar to a specified temperature and the novelty of using my sugar thermometer, they were surprisingly easy to make! There's no actual baking involved, as it's the gelatine that you add which sets it. And the beauty of the recipe is that you can flavour them with whatever ingredients you want (within reason, of course!). I dissolved the gelatine in a berry smoothie and added a little red food colouring to enhance the pinkness, but you could use any fruit paste you like or any other flavouring. I'd never thought of flavouring marshmallows before and yet the possibilities are endless. They would even make cute little gifts wrapped up nicely. So I may well be making them again and if you want a bit of a challenge, try making some marshmallows!
Berry Coconut Marshmallows (makes 36 squares)
60ml Berry Smoothie
1 Sachet (12g) Gelatine
220g Caster Sugar
80ml Golden Syrup
100g Dessicated Coconut
Vegetable Oil (for greasing)
- Toast the coconut and allow to cool.
- Line a baking tray with cling film and grease with oil.
- Sprinkle a layer of coconut on cling film.
- Pour the smoothie into a bowl and sprinkle with gelatine to allow it to absorb the liquid.
- Put the golden syrup and caster sugar in a pan and pour in enough water to cover.
- Stir thoroughly.
- Cook over a low heat until sugar has dissolved and then bring to the boil (don't stir).
- Wait for the thermometer to read 115 degrees Celsius take the pan off the heat and allow to cool for one minute.
- Whisk the gelatine on a medium speed and gradually add the sugar syrup - the mixture should grow in volume.
- Continue to whisk until the mix becomes really thick and stretchy bubbles begin to form on the surface.
- Transfer to the lined baking tray and sprinkle with coconut.
- Leave to set for 1-2 hours until it feels firm to touch.
- Once set, remove from the tray and peel off the cling film.
- Cut into cubes with a lightly greased knife.
- Coat the sticky sides in more coconut and enjoy!