Nicki Trench's recipes for homemade, old-fashioned sweetie treats are perfect as presents or make them with the kids and keep them for yourselves...
125 ml (4 fl oz)
25g (1 oz)
red food colouring
free-range egg whites
500g (1 lb)
Cut your homemade marshmallows into big chunks to eat as a sweet, or cut into smaller chunks and serve with a big mug of hot chocolate. They also look fantastic served on a party table.
- Sift together the icing sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Grease a 20 cm (8 in) square shallow cake tin with a little vegetable oil,
then shake some of the icing sugar and cornflour mixture to coat the tin. Set aside.
- Pour the hot water into a bowl, sprinkle the gelatine on top and stir gently until the gelatine crystals dissolve. Add 2–3 drops of food colouring to the gelatine and mix thoroughly. (Pink is traditionally used, but you can use whichever colour you wish.)
- Put the egg whites into a food processor and set aside. Put the granulated sugar into a medium saucepan and add 250 ml (8 fl oz) of water. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. In the meantime, turn on the food processor and mix the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Boil the sugar mixture until it reaches 121°C (250°F), the hard ball stage – when a small amount of mixture is dropped into water it will form a ball that holds its shape. Take the pan off the heat.
- Pour the gelatine into the pan of syrup, stirring continuously until the gelatine is thoroughly mixed with the syrup. Turn the food processor back on and carefully pour the syrup onto the beating egg whites. Continue mixing until the mixture turns thick and bulky but is still pourable. If you lift up the beater, a ribbon of marshmallow should remain on the surface for a few seconds before sinking back down into the mix.
- Pour the marshmallow into the prepared tin and leave to set in a cool place for approximately 1 or 2 hours (do not refrigerate).
- Dust a chopping board or work surface with the remaining cornflour and icing sugar mixture. Butter a sharp knife and carefully ease the marshmallow mixture out of the tin and onto the board. Sift any extra icing sugar and cornflour over the marshmallow if necessary. Cut the marshmallow into cubes.
- Store in an airtight tin lined with baking parchment or greaseproof paper for up to one week. You can freeze marshmallows – they will only take a minute or two to defrost.
Sweet Temptation by Nicki Trench is published by Cico Books and is available, for £9.99 hardback, from all good bookshops.
- words Nicki Trench
- photos David Merewether