You may think that marshmallows are tricky to make at home, but actually they are really easy. It does involve scalding hot sugar syrup though, so they aren’t a project to make with kids; but they involve very few ingredients and most of the work is done by your stand mixer. For very little effort you will be rewarded with pillowy soft marshmallows in any flavour you choose. One little word of warning however – unset marshmallow is the stickiest substance known to man and if you aren’t careful it will get EVERYWHERE! (Including in your hair….yes. yes I did).
Marshmallows are made by sprinkling powdered gelatin over cold liquid, allowing it to soak up the liquid then gradually pouring in hot sugar syrup while whisking. Continue to whisk until the mixture has increased in volume and gone pale – like a stiff meringue; it is ready when it starts to form bubblegum-like strands on the surface. To flavour the marshmallows, you can use any (non-fatty) liquid you like to bloom the gelatin in, such as fruit juice, or in this case cold espresso coffee (I used Gourmesso). You can also mix in spices, extracts or powders once the marshmallow is ready – if you find that the coffee flavour is not strong enough for you then you can whisk in a spoonful of instant espresso powder. I folded through some melted dark chocolate so that the marshmallow was rippled to make them mocha, rather than plain coffee flavoured.
The prepared marshmallow needs to be poured into a tin lined with greased cling-film (else you will seriously struggle to get it off!) and leveled, then covered with greased clingfilm and set aside for a few hours to set, it is ready when it feels firm to the touch. The marshmallows have to be coated in a mixture of cornflour and icing sugar (I also added cocoa and instant espresso powder for extra flavour), this does two things – makes them less sticky, and prevents them from drying out. Once coated, the marshmallows will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. They are delicious in hot chocolate or coffee, and although I have yet to try, I think that they would make some pretty irresistible S’mores…
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) cold espresso coffee
- 24 g (2 Dr Oetker sachets/about 3 tbsp) gelatin granules
- 440 g (2 cups + 3tbsp) caster sugar
- 160 ml (2/3 cup) golden syrup
- 200 ml (3/4 cup + 1tbsp) espresso coffee
- 100 g (3.5oz) dark chocolate chopped
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp instant espresso powder
Line a deep, 23cm square cake tin with greased clingfilm.
Place the cold espresso into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk and sprinkle over the gelatin, set aside to bloom.
Meanwhile, place the sugar, golden syrup and espresso into a deep, heavy bottomed saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then turn up the heat and allow to boil until the syrup reaches 130C/266F on a sugar/probe thermometer.
While the syrup is heating up, melt the chocolate and set aside.
When the syrup reaches 130C, start whisking the gelatin mixture at a medium speed; slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin, don't pour it directly onto the whisk or you may get shards of sugar in your marshmallows.
Once all of the syrup has been added, turn up the mixer to a high speed, the mixture should grown in volume and become thick like meringue. Continue to whisk until the mix begins to form stretched, bubblegum-like strands on the surface, this can take 10-15 minutes.
Drizzle over two thirds of the melted chocolate and carefully fold through a couple of times so that the mixture is streaked, don't overmix.
Pour the marshmallow into the prepared tin and level with a spatula, drizzle over the remaining chocolate and draw a knife through it a couple of times to ripple. Cover the top with greased clingfilm and press gently to level it. Set aside for at least 3 hours to set.
For the coating, sift together the icing sugar, cornflour, cocoa powder and espresso into a bowl. Sprinkle some of the powder on a chopping board and turn the marshmallow slab out onto it. use a sharp, greased knife to cut the marshmallow into squares.
Toss each marshmallow in the powder making sure that they are coated on all sides, this stops them from drying out. Store in an airtight container, they will keep for 2 weeks.