Friday, 9 January 2009

From a North London Kitchen, home of gritty realism

We have some special hot chocolate that we want to get through in the next couple of weeks, and what with the Alaskan marshmallows having been gobbled up, what better excuse could there be for jumping on the bandwagon and trying to make them myself. I don't have anything as exotic as princess emulsion, but I do have a nice bottle of Madagascan vanilla extract which I thought would be perfect.

I found a recipe from Baking Bites, and off I went. I decided to halve the recipe as i
t was supposed to make 36 large marshmallows, and there's no way we could get through all those. It was an easy recipe to divide and I thought that all would be well.
It definitely started off well, a small amount of liquid in my mixer very soon became a balloony fluff of bright white mallow. I couldn't believe how quickly it happened, and how impressive it was. Then, in my awe I lost sight of what I was doing. I forgot that when you halve ingredients you also need to adjust things like cooking time. The full recipe said whisk on high speed for 12 minutes, and I did just that...except I probably should have only whisked for six.

As I said though, I was so impressed by the results that it totally slipped my mind! After twelve minutes I dutifully oiled everything in sight - cling film-lined baking tin, spatula, hands, second spatula! - as instructed, but still the mixture stuck everywhere! It's sooooo sticky, I can't stress that enough, it stuck to every unoiled surface, and quite a few of the oiled ones. But eventually I managed to get it in the pan, spread it a bit and left it to set in the fridge.
A few hours later I cut it into small cubes and tossed the marshmallow in equal portions of icing sugar and corn starch. Voila! Homemade marshmallows!

I couldn't wait for N to get back from football so we could try them. I was so certain everything had gone perfectly.
Que N's return, the kettle on, hot chocolate made, marshmallows dunked and the revelation. Hmm.....kind of gritty. Wait, what? Gritty? Yep, that's right, they were somehow fluffy, whilst being every so slightly gritty. I presume because either the sugar didn't melt properly, or I over-whisked the mix. The flavour is lovely, but the additional texture not so much. I was pondering whether I could pass this off as a new fad in marshmallow making, but nah, I have to hold my hand up and admit that my marshmallows are a bit gritty!

And we have a load of them! It's not that they're unpleasant, the flavour is lovely and the initial fluffiness very nice and in fact since we both like them to melt into our drinks any residual grit disappears, so its not a problem. Except we don't actually drink that much hot chocolate. Anyone out there fancy some slightly interestingly textured homemade vanilla marshmallows? They're light and won't cost much to post!

1 comment:

Lynne said...

You don't give the recipe - so it is difficult to know what the problem might be - using garnulated instead of caster sugar? Did you have to melt the sugar before whisking? If so it could well be not melted enough! I don't really have any idea ! And who am I to give advice anyway - who's never made marshmallows in her life - and doesn't much like them either!