I LOVE TO COOK, AND CAN PRETTY EASILY MAKE MOST THINGS, BUT SWEET MAKING IS ALWAYS SOMETHING I STEER CLEAR OF.
Sweet making means sugar syrup, and I have an uncanny knack for messing that up.
Not that long ago, I made Creme Brulee for a family do, and it took me four tries to get the caramel right (while everyone sat waiting at the dinner table...) and even then it wasn't edible.
But these marshmallows, well, even I can do these!
They're super easy and don't require any fancy thermometers - and they certainly don't require you to burn your fingers testing out the squishy-ness of little balls of molten sugar :)
And they don't require egg whites, so they're safe for kids.
Marshmallows are also something not many people make anymore, so they're always a bit of a novelty at a party too.
STEP ONE: You'll need 1.5 cups of white sugar and half a cup of water, 2 tablespoons (30g) powdered gelatine, some sprinkles, and a little essence, if you want to use it.
I used a teaspoon of strawberry essence - the color is actually a lot weaker than it looks in this image, and because of that my marshmallows stayed white, which was what I wanted :) You might like to add a few drops of coloring to yours.
You will also need a few tablespoons of icing mixture to toss your finished marshmallows in.
STEP TWO: Combine sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan, place on the stove on low heat, and make sure all the sugar dissolves - the mixture will be clear not cloudy when you have. You can stir it if you want.
STEP THREE: When all the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens, but don't let it brown at all!
You know when you heat honey, and it's very runny but still a bit thick? That's the consistency you're looking for. When you get there, set the mixture aside to cool for five minutes or so.
STEP FOUR: Dissolve the gelatine in a little hot water and add it to the sugar syrup, then get your beaters out and start beating.
This can take a while - like 5-10m of beating on high speed. I find it easiest to just beat it in the pot I made the syrup in too.
It will gradually fluff up, and get thicker and thicker. When you notice your beaters struggling because it's gotten so thick, it's ready. Using a spatula, stir in any flavoring or coloring.
STEP FIVE: Pour the mixture into a greased tin, top with sprinkles, and let it set for an hour or two.
STEP SIX: When it's set, use a greased knife to loosen the edges...
... and the whole thing will easily peel out. Place on some baking paper.
STEP SEVEN: Use a straight bladed, greased knife to slice the marshmallow into squares. The marshmallow will be super sticky, so liberally dust with icing sugar where you need it.
When all the squares have been cut, make sure they have all been tossed in icing mixture and shake off the excess. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
I couldn't tell you how long these will store for, because they've never lasted more than a day or two when I've made them! Given their sugar content though, I would think they would be fine to store for three days to a week in a sealed plastic container.
And I almost forgot! These Homemade Marshmallows also toast up just like store bought ones!
If you missed my other posts about the last minute birthday party we threw for Missy last Sunday, check them out here:
Part Two - Sweet Sprinkles Popcorn
Part Three - Classic Fairy Bread
Part Six - Chocolate Ripple Cake
All the best,