Posted by Sylvia on Wed 16 July 2008
I originally wanted to make marshmallows because I wanted to make rice crispy cakes. I realised that Connor was 13 years old and 1) had never been to a school bake sale and as a result 2) had never had a rice crispy cake. The problem was that marshmallows in Spain are pink which clearly would not do at all. I searched around and was lucky enough to find the Brownie Points Blog at http://www.browniepointsblog.com which is full of step-by-step instructions for scrumptious and wonderful looking dishes.
The great thing is that making marshmallows is a real boys recipe in that there’s almost-science involved. You have to test the sugar syrup for the “soft-ball stage” which is fun if you don’t have a candy thermometer.
Take a glass of very cold water and place it next to your boiling sugar syrup. Dip in a spoon and let most of it drip back into the pan and then (quickly, carefully) move the spoon over the glass and let one drop land in the water. Initially it will lose its shape as it touches the water. When the “drop” remains in a ball shape until it splatters at the bottom of the glass, it’s at the soft-ball stage.
This is fun as a group effort.
1 envelope of gelatin didn’t mean very much to me but I found out that it’s one tablespoon. I measured an envelope of Spanish gelatin and it was exactly one tablespoon – happy days!
We can’t find corn syrup locally and although I’m sure it’s probably not to hard to recreate (it’s just sugar syrup, right?) I decided to make it with Lyle’s Golden Syrup, the British equivalent. It’s a bit thicker than corn syrup but I thought that wouldn’t matter as it would even out in the boiling stage. Maybe not quite: our marshmallow batter is thick and sticky and there is no question of it pouring out of the bowl or using toothpicks to mix coloring across the top layer. It takes everything I’ve got to drag it out of the bowl and into the flat pan at all!
But we know that sticky is good when it’s a sweet sticky (in fact, I’ve been propositioned twice when making these) and certainly the end result is just as good!
In the end, I couldn’t resist the idea of adding fruit puree, so we made the strawberry marshmallows as she describes on her blog. It’s simple enough, just substitute some of the initial water with strawberry puree. So after all that, we have pink marshmallows. But they are really nice pink marshmallows!
The only other change I have made is that I omit the rice flour and just coat the marshmallows with powdered (icing) sugar. It works fine and realistically what’s a bit more sugar at that point, right?