Have fun with marshmallows

This week I thought I would take the opportunity to show you something that you may not make at home very often - marshmallows!

Once you have mastered the basic version you can tailor the recipe to your liking and add different flavors like cinnamon or a shot of liquor. Peppermint oil works well, as does powdered espresso and armagnac.

As well as eating them with traditional hot chocolate they are great when placed on wedges of tangy lemon or lime tart.

Marshmallows originally were made from an ingredient from a marshmallow herb. Some cultures used the plant to make candy, whereas others used it to make medicine. The ancient Egyptians, for example, dried the root and mixed it with honey to make marshmallow treats, but the French experimented with using its gummy juice to soothe sore throats.

Modern marshmallows no longer contain parts of the marshmallow plant. Instead, they are primarily a mix of three ingredients: sugar, glucose and gelatin. The gelatin replaces the thick, gluey substance from the marshmallow plant.

Here are some tips to bear in mind before making them: Ensure you have all the ingredients measured out and ready. The temperature of the sugar mixture must reach 115c for it to work. Dust with a mixture of corn flour and icing sugar to avoid sticking together and to make them easier to pick up.

Ingredients

220ml water

445g sugar

1 tablespoon glucose

2 egg whites

9 leaves of gelatins

Equal parts of corn flour and icing sugar for dusting

Method

Add sugar water and glucose to a pan

Bring the mixture to the boil till it reaches 115c.

Soak the gelatin in cold water

Whisk the egg whites till stiff

Take the gelatin from the water and ensure you squeeze the access water out

Once the sugar mixture has reached the correct temperature, switch heat off and add the gelatin in. Mix till it has melted into the mixture.

Slowly add the sugar mixture to the egg whites while whisking all the time.

Half way through this process is the time to add any flavors you fancy.

Continue to whisk till the mixture is really think

Pour into container which has grease proof paper or pipe onto a tray into desired shapes.Refrigerate till it has set, it should take no longer than 10 minutes.

Go to www.halifaxcourier.co.uk this weekend to see a video of Glenn in action making marshmallows.