So like many foodies, I see a cookbook or a magazine and before I know it it has made it's way into my carry bag and having coffee spilt on it while I indulge in every recipe from the ingredients list through to it's storing instructions. I saw this recipe in the "Gourmet Traveller; Annual Cookbook 2013 Collectors Edition" I picked up earlier in the week while grocery shopping. My ritual for new books and magazines is to wait until I have enough time to be able to read large chunks of glorious pages at a time. Last Wednesday I had the day off -- perfect! I packed it in my handbag and walked down to my local coffee shop and I slowly made my way through all 250 pages of delicious sounding recipes and mouth-watering photographs. I write down all the recipes I want to try and ideas I get while I turn all the pages in a little notebook - safe to say this book is already overflowing with ideas and things I want to try.
Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
Before Wednesday I had never made marshmallows before. As of Wednesday I now know that I might not be making them terribly frequently. Though the recipe is delicious and not particularly hard to whip together - the mixture is SO incredibly sticky. I am still finding sticky sections on the kitchen benches 3 days later!! The recipe for the marshmallows actually comes from a larger recipe for "Dolce de Leche Marshmallow Biscuits", a 'love child of the Spanish alfajore and the good old Wagon Wheel'. So what I have for you is a wonderful recipe that I recommend you to try. I am certainly and going to try and make them again as they were delicious - I'm just going to factor in that they take three times longer to clean up as they do to make! I have taken the recipe out of the magazine and added a few little tips that I found useful while whipping them up (my tips will be in red) - Enjoy!! Marshmallows - Gourmet Traveller, 2013 Annual Cookbook 2 tsp liquid glucose 375g castor sugar 3 egg whites 9 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes Seeds from one vanilla bean Icing sugar for dusting 200g dark chocolate - optional
To start with, I recommend getting all the ingredients ready and measured before even starting heating anything up. Depending on your cooktop you could find yourself with a very hot sugar syrup and egg whites still snuggled up with the yolks in the fridge!
Stir the liquid glucose, 250g of sugar and 100ml of water in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook until sugar syrup readers 118°C on a sugar thermometer (if you don't have a sugar thermometer then wait until the sugar syrup starts to boil with very thick bubbles - it then has another 5 or so minutes before it reaches 127°C).
When syrup reaches 118°C, whisk egg white and a pinch of salt with an electric beater until soft peaks form, then gradually add remaining sugar and whisk until glossy (to test whether it has been whisked enough, rub a small amount of mixture between two fingers it should be smooth and not grainy). Continue cooking syrup until it reaches 127°C.
Squeeze excess water from gelatine, stir into syrup, then gradually add syrup to egg white mixture, whisking continuously on medium speed. Add vanilla seeds and whisk at high speed until mixture is cool and thick (10 minutes) (This is the super sticky part. Gelatine is kind of like a cooking glue, as you are mixing it it sticks to itself as the beaters go around and around gradually picking up more and more mixture - if you don't keep an eye on it before you know it the marshmallow mixture is up onto the top of your hand mixer and slowing taking over your arm. Beat on an angle and move the mixer up and down to stop this from happening).
Spoon into a 20cm x 30cm cake tin lined with baking paper, smooth top with a wet rubber spatula and stand at room temperature until set (approximately 2 hours). Turn out of tin and cut into desired shape with a biscuit cutter dipped in icing sugar (I used a small love heart). Coat marshmallows in icing sugar. If desired melt chocolate and allow to cool before dipping or coating the marshmallows.
They will keep for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.