Thursday, July 14, 2011

Marshmallow Madness!

Cover of the April Edition of 'Delicious'
So after my Mom showed me a recipe in a magazine called 'Delicious'  by BEA VO for marshmallows I've been dying to try them. Unfortunately the recipe is not on the magazine's website so you will have to make do with my instructions if you'd like to try make them yourself. The magazine suggests using strong flavours such as spices, coffee, chocolate, nuts, vanilla, liquers, berry fruits and citrus fruits and not flavours such as apple or peach. One my first attempt I used lemon juice but as I'll explain later the attempt was a complete failure. One my second attempt I was less adventurous and simply went with vanilla.

The Gelatine Sponging 
Firstly, I sprinkled some gelatine into water and allowed it to soak it up in a process called sponging..... It is not very exciting. While that was going on I put some caster sugar and golden syrup and a tiny bit of water in a saucepan. I thought I'd made quite the mess simply measuring out the golden syrup but the worst was yet to come! Now my greatest downfall has been this step. On my first attempt a couple of weeks ago a number of things went wrong. Firstly, I bought Maple flavoured golden syrup by accident. I was furious!   Grrr. Then the recipe said to cover the syrup and sugar in the saucepan with water. Me being an eijet just lashed the water into the pot which led to my mixture being too runny and not mixing properly. This resulted in a separated mess that just tasted like maple syrup and not lemon flavoured marshmallows. Straight to the bin which is saying something because my family are not ones to throw away food!

Measuring out the Golden Syrup... Messy
The tricky bit about heating the golden syrup and sugar is that you are suppose to heat it to between 130 and 140 degrees Celsius. Any less and the marshmallows won't be very fluffy. Any more and the mixture will burn. The sensible thing would be to go out an buy a sugar thermometer or whatever they are called but oh no I was like I'll totally be fine.... Yea I burnt it. I blame my boyfriend for phoning me at that exact moment but really it's my own fault. My Mom managed to do it without a thermometer so why couldn't I? What was worse that wasting time and ingredients is cleaning the pot! Basically I had made burnt toffee and it made an awful mess. I was hoping that my Mom wouldn't come into the kitchen and see what an absolute mess I'd made! A couple of boiled kettles later and no one will ever know.

Mmm Burnt Toffee
Absolute Nightmare!
So after I destroyed all the evidence of my previous mess I started again and nailed it! I brought the mixture to the boil. Then I boiled it for only 3 minutes and took it off the heat. While the mixture was cooling down I whisked the gelatine 'sponge' and then added the syrup and sugar and whisked it all up. Added a cap of vanilla essence and a cap of red food colouring and kept whisking away for ages yet it didn't seem to be getting any thicker. Supposedly, it will form a consistency like bubble gum...

Attempt Number 3: Success!
It may look nice but gelatine stinks!
So I got fed up whisking and decided to line a tin with cling film, which was greased and coated in cornflour but when I returned I noticed a sticky drip hanging off the whisk like an icicle. So I started whisking again and it finally began to thicken up and look very tasty! Poured it into the tin, covered it and put it in the fridge for two hours to set. I went off for a run to keep myself distracted and make room for lots of Marshmallows! 

Is that like Bubblegum?
Mmm Tasty Tasty
A Little Runny for My Liking
So after two agonising hours I could not wait anymore but I had plenty more work to do. Unfortunately I hadn't greased the cling film enough and it just wouldn't come off! The marshmallow was incredibly sticky! I had to douse  the place in cornflour to stop the marshmallow sticking to everything! No point trying to cut it with a knife as it just sticks to it so out comes the scissors my favourite cutting device. So once I'd cut a square I painstakingly removed the cling film from it while covering it in cornflour the whole time. This resulted in not very square marshmallows and lots of cornflour. 

Cutting up the Marshmallow into Squares
Painstakingly Removing the Cling Film
So after all the effort and mess I'd made some oddly shaped tasty marshmallows! They we still very sticky and not as fluffy as I'd like. According to the magazine the lack of fluff is probably due to not reaching 130 degrees. Although they definitely became less sticky and  more tastier the next day. The day after that I don't know as we'd eaten them all by then! Next time I make them I hope to get them even better! I'm thinking maybe rose flavoured ones. I posted the recipe here: Homemade Marshmallow Recipe or if you just want to look at more of my creations have a look at Summer Time Treats, or Yummy Biscuit Cake!

Nom Nom Nom Homemade Marshmallows

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