I don’t know why, but there is something incredibly satisfying about making marshmallows. Maybe it’s because they’re not an obvious thing to whip up – you go to the shops and buy marshmallows, right? When you’ve made a tray of them, you just want to hold them up and say: “Look! I made marshmallows! At home!”
If you love marshmallows, by making them at home, you’re opening up a world of mallowy possibility. Chocolatey, boozy, nutty, dipped, filled…or just good old fruity. And fruity was what I went for on this occasion. (I should mention here that these marshmallows are not eggy! No eggs – just sugar and peach and whippedness, basically.)
I can’t remember the marshmallow recipe I’ve used in the past – I’m pretty sure it came from the internet somewhere – but on this occasion I was inspired by a brilliant (and very funky looking) book called Marshmallow Madness! by Shauna Server which I bought a couple of months ago. Shauna has absolutely loads of amazing-sounding marshmallow recipes but I my interest was piqued by her suggestion for raspberry marshmallows that used raspberry puree. It just so happens that we have (literally) gallons of peach puree in our store cupboard which we originally bought for bellinis at our wedding. (We still had the bellinis, we just didn’t use all of the puree- I bought waaay too much.) I figured peach puree would work just as well, and was a good opportunity to use some of it! And by coincidence, I recently purchased some freeze dried raspberries (I’ve only seen them in specialty shops in the past, but I got these from Waitrose- whoo hoo) which were called for in the recipe.
It might sound silly, but these marshmallows taste even more peachy than I was expecting (you might be thinking ‘duh’ at this point). But really, I was surprised by the delicate but pronounced peach flavour – after all, only real peach puree is used in them, no gross artificial peach flavourings. (I will confess at this point that I did ‘enhance’ the colour of the marshmallow with a drop of red and a drop of yellow gel food colouring to create a peachy hue, but you don’t have to – if you leave it au naturel, the mallow will be off-white in colour.) The tiny niblets of raspberry are chewy, sharp and intense and off-set the sweetness of the mallow really well. I am a fan of this freeze-dried fruit, and I am determined to find lots more uses for it.
Creating marshmallow is not difficult, but as with a lot of sweetie recipes, a stand mixer and a sugar thermometer will be your best friends here. Essentially you have to make a sugar syrup, add it to more sugar (and peach puree) and whip it up for about 10 minutes until the mixture is white, billowy and mallowy. Then fold in the raspberry (and colour, if you like) and scrape it into a tin to set overnight…then dust the block of marshmallow in a coating made from icing sugar and cornflour, and cut into pieces. Easy peasy!
Peach and Raspberry Marshmallows
(Adapted from Marshmallow Madness! by Shauna Server)
2 tablespoons gelatine powder (I made that 2 x 9g sachets) + 2 tablespoons of cold water to dissolve it
150ml peach puree
125g caster sugar
120ml liquid glucose (or light corn syrup)
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
10g tube of Waitrose freeze dried raspberry pieces
Food colouring (optional) (I used a drop of Americolor Super Red and a drop of Americolor Electric Yellow)
Approximately 8 tablespoons of icing sugar, and 8 tablespoons of cornflour, to dust the marshmallow with
– Put the gelatine and 2 tablespoons of cold water into a bowl with half of the peach puree (75ml) and leave to soak for about 10 minutes.
– Heat the sugar, half of the glucose (60ml), the remaining 75ml of peach puree, water and salt in a saucepan gently until the sugar is melted and the mixture resembles a syrup. Turn up the heat and boil the syrup until it reaches 115 degrees Celsius (240 degrees Farenheit).
-While the mixture is getting up to temperature (be warned, it does this quicker than you’d expect), melt the gelatine mixture to a liquid by either giving it a short burst in the microwave (20 seconds) or by putting it into a small saucepan and heating it gently. Put the remaining 60ml of glucose and the melted gelatine/puree mixture into the bowl of your mixer, and turn the mixer on, letting it run at a slow speed. (Alternatively, if you want to do this with an electric whisk, start the whisk and keep holding it, and ask a pal to bring you the sugar syrup when it’s ready.)
– When the syrup mixture has reached the correct temperature, take it off the heat and immediately pour it into the mixing bowl in a steady stream. You may need to scrape the last dregs of syrup out with a spatula- be careful, the syrup is incredibly hot. You will need to be quick, or it will set into hardened caramel (mmmm- you can eat those later, chef’s perks).
– Turn the speed of the mixer up to medium-high and beat the mixture for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture has billowed up to double or triple the original volume. Turn the mixer off and add the vanilla and raspberry pieces and briefly turn the mixer on to its slowest setting to combine them with the marshmallow.
– Grease (and line, if you want) a square baking tin – I used 8 x 8 inch but if you use a smaller one, your marshmallows will come out thicker/taller which would look really nice. Tip the marshmallow into the tin and do your best to smooth it out- I find that a greased spatula works quite well as it doesn’t stick so much.
– Cover the tin with cling film, making sure not to touch the surface of the marshmallow, and leave overnight or for 8 hours until the marshmallow is set.
– Dust the set marshmallow with some of the cornflour/icing sugar mixture (sieve it beforehand to get rid of lumps), then turn it out onto a tray or chopping board onto which you’ve sprinkled a couple more handfuls of your cornflour and icing sugar mixture. Cut the slab into as many pieces as you like, and dust each cut edge with more cornflour/icing sugar mixture so that the piece don’t stick together.
– Store the marshmallows in an airtight container.