Please excuse below rant re: macarons... look as I said I was on a bakers high and was blinded to the fact that you guys probably don't care at all if I can KIND OF make a macaron. I mean they really weren't great. So much so that I didn't even think about putting a recipe along with it... man what was I thinking exposing myself like that? You guys are all supposed to keep the allusion that I'm a great baker, not a person who 8 times out of 10 screws things up. I have to admit though I'm a bit sick of going on foodgawker.com and seeing every second photo is of a macaron, usually of the salted caramel variety. Sure they are tasty and are really pretty to look at when done well, but... so I apologise for that too. Okay, maybe put that rant down to the fact that I am just a tad envious of all these amateur bakers out there seamlessly baking away their afternoons, producing great looking macarons while I'm here only dreaming of such things.
Moving on... I decided on a whim, like I always do at 9pm a few nights ago to create something sweet and tasty purely so I wouldn't have to deal with the pile of uni work I have just relaxing on my study desk. I decided to make marshmallows after seeing a few recipes around over the years of these beautiful cubes of vanilla-y lightness and maaaan did I get sticky.
This recipe requires multi-tasking and a bit of pre-planning (never my forte) but the end result is worth it - softly sweet pillows with a slight taste of raspberry tartness. So much better than the bought stuff!!
250 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoons liquid glucose
9 gold strength gelatin leaves
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1/2 a cup frozen raspberries
Equal parts icing sugar and cornflour for dusting
First off get the raspberry puree going - place the raspberries in a saucepan with 1 tablepsoon of water and 1 teaspoon of caster sugar. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring to help break down the raspberries and dissolve the sugar. Once the raspberries have completely softened remove from heat and set aside. Combine 175gm caster sugar and the glucose in a saucepan with 100ml of water. Cook over a medium-high heat until mixture reaches 118°C on the sugar thermometer.
While this is happening, soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of water for 5 minutes until soft and squishy. Drain and squeeze the excess water from the gelatin, place in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water on the stove. Gently heat the gelatin until it is completely melted. While this is happening, whisk the eggwhites with an electric beater until soft peaks begin to form, then gradually sprinkle the rest of the caster sugar into the eggwhites with the beaters still going. Keep cooking the sugar/glucose/water mixture until it reaches 127°C.
Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature, remove from heat and pour in the gelatin and vanilla, while whisking continuously. Now, keep whisking the eggwhites while you slowly and gently (because it's HOT) pour the gelatin/sugar syrup mixture into the eggwhites. Keep whisking these combination for about 10 minutes or more, until the mashmallow mixture has cooled and become thick, fluffy and doubled in size (this is a lot of easier if you have a magimix or kitchen aid contraption). After 10 or so minutes stop whisking and pour the mashmallow mixture into a baking paper lined baking tin (it doesnt matter how big or deep this tray is - however you would like it to be - I wanted to make BIG marshmallows so I used quite a deep baking tray one that I usually cook loaf style cakes in). Using a palette knife or something of the sort, make sure you smooth the mixture over and push it into the sides of the tin so as not to have air bubbles in your marshmallows.
Leave to refridgerate for 2 hours or overnight. When ready to cut the marshmallows, I found it easier to have a butter knife sitting in warm water to gently coax the baking paper away from the marshmallow block (it can be quite sticky without any icing sugar to dry the surfaces out). Then before cutting into squares I warmed the knife up again to make for easy cutting. Place each individual marshmallow on a plate and generously sprinkle with a combination of icing sugar and cornflour. Homestyle marshmallows are now complete for you to eeeenjoy.