I read a blog post recently about making Turkish Delight (bare with me – marshmallows will be along soon!), and thought that would be a decadent indulgence to include in a Christmas hamper. It looked reasonably straightforward to make, with ingredients I mostly had at home.
I found and pinned a couple of recipes. A lot of them required a sugar thermometer which I don’t have, and have managed to do without. Most recipes from the USA listed Corn Syrup as an ingredient. We don’t seem to use that here in Australia. I expect liquid glucose is our equivalent, as I found other recipes that used that.
So I tried this one first. Easy to follow instructions. Looked like it was doing ok.
Then I tried this recipe. Again, easy to follow instructions, but different method and ingredients.
The first one tastes pretty good, but was so sticky I couldn’t easily get it off the paper. The second one set beautifully, didn’t stick at all (mind you, I put cornflour on my baking paper-lined tin so that might have been the difference) but tasted gluey and floury. I didn’t bother dusting either batch with icing sugar/cornflour, as I was less than pleased with their result.
So I decided to ditch that idea. I might try again when Christmas isn’t a week away!
I don’t know what made me think of trying marshmallows next. But I am so glad I did! I found and pinned some recipes to my Yum Pinterest board.
I chose this recipe from Taste.com.au for my first attempt. And I am very happy with the result, so I don’t think I’ll need to try any others!
The recipe from Taste is so easy:
1 1/2 cups caster sugar (I used plain white sugar and it worked fine)
2 tablespoons gelatine
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Grease and line a 26cm slab pan, allowing paper to hang over sides. (I didn’t bother greasing, and it didn’t stick at all)
Place the sugar in a saucepan, add 2/3 cup hot water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and syrup is clear.
Place gelatine in a bowl, pour over 2/3 cup cold water and use a hand whisk to combine. Pour mixture into hot sugar syrup and cook, stirring constantly, until the gelatine has dissolved and the mixture is clear. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Pour cooled mixture into a large bowl and use electric beaters or a kitchen mixer on high to beat for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is very thick. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
Pour into the prepared pan and leave in a cool place to set. Once set (about 1 hour) turn out of the pan and use a wet knife to cut into squares.
Place the toasted coconut in a bowl and add the squares in batches of four, tossing them through the coconut to coat properly.
Other recipes required sugar thermometers and various other details. I found this simple and easy.
The mixture whipped up nicely. So thick and glossy!
I actually used two smaller trays. I divided my mixture between the two trays and then went back to smooth them over, to find that it had already started setting. So I left them not so smooth 😉
An hour or so later I cut them into squares and rolled them in toasted coconut. You can also roll them in a combination of cornflour and icing sugar. Equal quantities cornflour and icing sugar seems to be the usual thing, but you can also use much less icing sugar than cornflour if you prefer.
To toast desiccated coconut, place it in a dry frying pan and cook over medium heat. Make sure you stir it continuously, and don’t leave it alone! It only takes a couple of minutes. Once golden, remove it from the pan and let cool.
I made some up into small packs to give to some school friends. I got a text later in the afternoon from one friend who said: “Mum said she could eat a whole tray of these, while Master E says it was like eating feather pillows!”
I love my new Santa table runner!
These really are little pillows of deliciousness!
I really can’t describe how much we love them. Once you have tried homemade marshmallows, store bought ones will pale into insignificance. You will have to try them yourself!
I will also try making some flavoured marshmallows. Today I tried adding Butterscotch Schnapps. It didn’t whip up quite so well, so I need to experiment with that. They still tasted quite good!
I have an idea on something savoury and crunchy to gift along with the marshmallows. I will up update with that soon 🙂
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