If you’ve only ever had those pink and white marshmallows that come in plastic bags from the supermarket then real marshmallows will come as a revelation. Soft, fluffy little pillows of sweetness and ever so fashionable. We were recently won over by proper marshmallows with our coffee at Blind Swine in York , toasting them on the candle that warmed a fancy coffee percolater..
To be totally on trend then, you have to make your own and to make your own you will need this little book: Marshmallow Magic by Genevieve Taylor. She gives the basic marshmallow recipe and from there you can branch out into malted chocolate, honeycomb, banoffee swirls, Black Forest, and lemon meringue. There is no end, it seems, to the possibilities.
Basic ingredients are egg whites, sugar and gelatine and then you add flavourings: vanilla, lemon, chocolate, rosewater, whatever. But there are a few things you need to know before launching as a marshmallow maestro. ‘A free-standing mixer is pretty much essential,’ writes Genevieve, as the egg whites have to be whisked for a good ten minutes. A jam thermometer is useful and takes all the guesswork out of boiling sugar and, finally, gelatine-free marshmallows suitable for vegetarians are not wholly successful, according to Genevieve. She tried with help from the Vegetarian Society and they managed a veggie version for which she gives the recipe but reckons they are not as light as those made with gelatine and suggests vegetarians would be better off making marshmallow fluff which she includes in the book.
Still, vegetarians excepted, you (and your kids) can have hours of sticky fun creating these pretty little numbers.
Marshmallow Magic by Genevieve Taylor £9.99 Bantam Press