Sweet, soft, and squidgy. Marshmallows. Something I've eaten by the large handful yet have never really looked into how exactly you make them. Well, until now. They're not too dissimilar from making an Italian meringue except for the fact you don't have to make them with egg whites. Instead you need a few various forms of sugar, water, and gelatine. For those who haven't worked with a lot of gelatine, it doesn't always smell the nicest when working with quantities like in my recipe, however it doesn't affect the taste at all. Whilst classic plain marshmallows have always been my favourite, I thought I would have a play and incorporate one of my favourite things: Chocolate! For the sake of those who are eagle-eyed, I also ground some leftover pistachios and coated the marshmallows with them in addition to the cocoa mix. This isn't a must, just a bit of creative je ne sais pas! If you want to make plain marshmallows, disregard the melted chocolate and swap the cocoa with cornflour!
Makes 24-36 Hands-on Time 40 minutes Setting Time 4-6 hours
Ingredients 50g Icing sugar 50g Cocoa powder Unsalted butter for greasing 210ml Water, boiled 8 tsp Gelatine, powdered (2 Dr. Oetker Gelatine Sachets) 275g Golden syrup 360g Caster sugar 1 3/4 tsp Vanilla extract 75g Dark chocolate (minimum 70%) 1/4 tsp Fine salt
Equipment 2x Small mixing bowls Fork Deep sided 25cm x 20cm Brownie pan or 20cm square cake tin Spatula Freestanding mixer with whisk attachment or electric hand whisk with a large bowl Saucepan Jam thermometer Microwaveable bowl Microwave Sieve Baking parchment Round-edge knife Sharp knife Cloth
Add the icing sugar and cocoa to a small mixing bowl and combine using a fork.
Grease the bottom and sides of the tin thoroughly with the butter.
Add a little of the cocoa powdered mix to the tin. Shake and tap the tin to ensure every interior surface is dusted.
Tap any remaining powder back into the small mixing bowl.
Pour 100ml of the boiled water into the other mixing bowl. Add the gelatine and stir with a spatula until it's fully dissolved. This may take a little while (and the smell isn't the nicest).
Add 125g of the golden syrup to the freestanding mixer or mixing bowl along with the gelatine water and whisk on a medium speed whilst you make a syrup. If you’re using an electric hand whisk, stop whisking once you get to a gel paste.
Add the caster sugar, remaining 150g of syrup, and 110ml of water to the saucepan. Place over a medium-high heat and leave to dissolve. As the liquid starts to bubble, check on the temperature. You want it to each 115°C (240°F). Once it hits this temperature, turn off the heat.
In the mixer you should now have a cloudy gel paste. Slowly pour the syrup into the bowl with the mixer still running. Once you have added it all, allow to keep mixing at medium speed for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes has passed, increase the speed to high for a further 5 minutes. You should have what looks like a voluminous meringue.
When the 5 minutes have passed, add the vanilla extract and turn off the mixer.
Break the chocolate up into a microwaveable bowl and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in-between rests with a clean spatula until it has melted. Add the salt and stir this into the melted chocolate.
Place the bowl containing the marshmallow mixture in front of you. Scrape all of the melted chocolate on top of this and lazily combine it. By lazily, I mean give it a couple of folds so it's marbled rather than fully incorporated.
Tip the mixture into the dusted tin and try and even it out as much as possible.
Add a teaspoon or two of the cocoa powder to the sieve and dust the top of the marshmallow. Set the rest of the powder aside for later.
Leave to set for 4-6 hours.
When you're ready to turn the marshmallow out, lay down a piece of baking parchment in front of you. It's best to run a round-edged knife around the marshmallow, gently pressing the blade inwards as you go around so you prize it away from the sides of the tin.
Carefully tip the tin over the baking parchment. Expect some cocoa fallout. If you find the marshmallow is still not budging, use your fingers to gently ease the bottom away from the tin. If you run your fingers along the width of the pan and gently press them under the marshmallow you will find it will give up with little resistance and will fall onto the parchment.
When it comes to cutting up the marshmallow it's best to have a wet cloth nearby. Wipe and dry the knife between each cut. This should make the cuts cleaner and easier for you. Also, press the blade down rather than sawing.
Once you've cubed the marshmallow, take one piece at a time and add it to the powdered mix so you can coat the sides.
If you've made these in advance it's best to line a piece of Tupperware with baking parchment before putting them in and sealing up for later.