Thursday, 20 December 2012

Revenge of the staypuffed marshmallow man

I have said before on this blog that i am a hobbyist, i am also a father, fiancee and employee.

Now assuming the world does not indeed end in fire and brimstone tomorrow, we all know xmas will be around the corner. For me this means the imminent arrival of my kids. I only get to have them every other xmas as it's a 'gentlemans agreement' between me and the ex. Alas as some of the UK readers will remember, 2 years ago the country was in white out and pretty much crippled. In the end that meant a heart breaking call to my kids to let them know i wouldn't be able to get them for xmas.

Well fast forward back to this year and in 48 hours that little hoard will be here.
As a parent I'm always looking for a little something different to do my kids at xmas and this year is no different.
So with a wry grin i headed into the kitchen to make some home made marshmallows. Oh you can imagine the chaos.

First off i will share the simple recipe.

Winter Spiced Marshmallows

Sunflower oil for greasing the tin.
Greaseproof paper
3 Tablespoons of Icing Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Corn Flower
24grams Powdered Gelatin (dr.oetker do a pack of 6 sachets and each is 12 grams)
1 Teaspoon of ground ginger
1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
350 grams of granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons Of golden syrup
2 Tablespoons of Black treacle.

Preparation
Line a cake tin with greaseproof paper and then grease with sunflower oil.
In a bowl mix together the icing sugar and corn flower. Use about 3/4 of this to dust the inside of the greased paper tin.
Into a saucepan add the Granulated sugar, golden syrup, treacle and about 150ml of water. Stir and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the temperature and simmer for about 20 minutes. If you are high tech you can use a sugar thermometer to test the temp and your looking for 113 degrees cel.
In another bowl mix the gelatin powder, cinnamon and ginger with 100ml of water, mix and leave to one side.

Once you have allowed the sugar mix to simmer for about 15-20 minutes your ready to start getting messy.
Use an electric mixer...a hand whisk will not work unless you have the muscles of Arnie and stamina of a long distance runner.

Put your gelatin mix into the mixing bowl and set your mixer going on its lowest speed. Take the saucepan of sugar mix and slowly pour it into the mixing bowl with the gelatin mix. Leave this whisking for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has tripled in volume. (if your anything like me you will find the 'marshmallow monster that climbs the whisk rather entertaining)

After about 10 minutes its time to get really messy. That gloop in the bowl, yeah the stuff that is more adhesive than 'no more nails'. Well you have to persuade it to leave the mixing bowl and get into the cake tin you have prepared. Good luck as it will stick to the whisk blades and anything you use to pry it out.

Want a tip?

After much trial and error, a lot of mess and on occasion 2 pairs of hands. I discovered that water was the best 'anti adhesive'. Use a large spoon, dip it into water and use it to coax the mixture into the cake tin. To spread the mixture out more evenly simply dampen your hands and use them to spread the mixture out.
Cover the cake tin with some greaseproof paper and leave to set in a cool dry place (not a fridge...or freezer) for about 2 hours.
Then dust a work surface with the remaining corn flower/icing sugar mix  (you did keep it didn't you?). Empty the marshmallow from the cake tin onto the dusted surface and cut into pieces...or eat whole if you so desire little piggywiggy.

For a giggle, have a go at prying the mixture out without using water...the stuff is like...well like no sticky stuff i have ever known.

If the 'winter spiced' idea doesn't seem your thing, then simply replace the ginger/cinnamon with a flavouring of your choice..say lemon, orange, vanilla etc (you can usually get little pots of flavouring) and don't add the black treacle to the sugar mix.

I hope any of you who give this a try, enjoy the fun, mess and yummy results!.