Two-tone is all the rage – two-tone hair, two-tone jumpers, you name it. So why not try and make a nice batch of two-tone marshmallows? The answer, my friend, is in the detail: although marshmallows are quite easy to make, the actual cutting (clearly and evenly) and rolling (so they don’t stick to anything/everything) requires patience and dexterity, and I have neither.
I used a recipe by Hugh F-W and Fizz Carr from the River Cottage Family Cookbook, which unfortunately has gone out of print but is a great collection if you want your kids to get involved in the kitchen. You will need an electric mixer, a square sandwich tin and a range of bowls; ideally you should use a jam thermometer to measure the temperature of the sugar, but I have managed it before by just crossing my fingers and waiting for a few minutes.
Suffice to say, if you like marshmallows – and all kids do – give it a try. Get the kids to do the cutting, though, so you have someone to blame if they are not perfect…
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- some neutral oil
- 2 packs of gelatine powder a 12g each
- 2 egg whites
- 500g granulated sugar
- red food colouring
Sift the cornflour and icing sugar into a small bowl; oil a square sandwich tin or similar and dust with a bit of the mix. Leave it on the side: you won’t need it until you are ready to cut the marshmallows.
Heat up 125ml of water, but do not let it get to boiling point. Pour it into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine on top of it. Mix it carefully until the gelatine is fully dissolved.
In a saucepan, mixix the granulated sugar with 250ml of water and bring to boil. Keep stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved and it begins to boil wildly. Stop stirring and let it boil: if you have a jam thermometer, wait until the liquid reaches 220C; if not, let it boil for around 5 minutes, then switch it off.
While waiting for the liquid to reach the required temperature, plug in your electric mixer close to the hob and beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form stiff peaks.
Once the liquid has reached 122C, pour in the gelatine mix and stir until it has completely dissolved.
Switch on the mixer and keep beating the egg whites while slowly pouring in the hot liquid. Keep whisking – the mix needs to become quite thick again, and this can take up to 10 minutes. Once you are happy, split the mix into two batches and dye one of them pink. Depending on the type of food colouring you are using that might take a few drops or quite a squirt – I dyed it a rather vibrant fuchsia!
Pour in the dyed liquid first into the prepared sandwich tin – chances are that it is a bit thicker than the white one – then pour the white one on top. Leave to set, which takes around an hour.
Now comes the messy bit. Dust a board or a clean work surface with some of the icing sugar and cornflour mix before turning the marshmallow-mass onto it (you will have to loosen it by running a small oiled knife along the sides of the tin). Dust the surface with more of the icing sugar and begin cutting the mass into the required shapes. You need to clean and oil your knife regularly, ideally between each of the cuts.
Dust the squares with the remaining mix, ensuring they are covered from all sides. You can store whatever is left in a tin or a jar to prevent them from drying out. Separate using greaseproof paper.
Let me know how you fare – don’t forget to post pictures of your perfect squares to show me how it is done!