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23 December 2014

Easy Vanilla Marshmallow Snowflakes


Christmas is T-2 days away! Can we compare Christmas shopping notes? Because I have not finished shopping and I need to borrow some ideas. We can trade though because I have already compiled a list of Christmas gifts for foodies and I've got some other things up my sleeves! Indeed I have not been completely swallowed by work, something which Lisa from Not Quite Enough and I have lamented on these last weeks, dare I say months (read the interview with Lisa here). I have made some edible Christmas gifts, most of which are last minute worthy like these easy vanilla marshmallows.   



I loved making these marshmallows, and then I especially loved playing with them. Something which you may have caught me doing on instagram with my shooting starscape. These were a Christmas request from my friend Emily, who is a bit of a marshmallow fiend. I've tried my hand at marshmallows before, including rose and raspberry ones. However, I wanted to keep the flavour simple for these ones, as I planned to cut them into snowflakes I knew there would be a lot of leftover marshmallow I'd need to use up in other dishes.

And there are so many use ups you can do for the leftover marshmallows. Rocky road, marshmallow frosting and marshmallow fudge (recipe on it's way!). But why confine yourself to desserts, stick some marshmallows in sweet potato Thanksgiving style! Dip them in hummus, ok maybe not hummus but you get the idea. 



Please don't stake me for calling this recipe easy, it is incredibly easy despite the fact it takes 2 hours to set. Just think, those hours are for you to pick up your last Christmas shopping, watch Love Actually or practice your carol singing in the bath. 


Vanilla Marshmallow Snowflakes
(makes 50-60 snowflakes plus leftovers!)

450g caster sugar
12g powdered gelatin 
(*for vegetarian/vegan marshmallows use 12g powdered agar-agar)
275ml water
50g icing sugar
50g corn flour
Vegetable/sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Step 1. In a bowl, set aside 100ml of water and the gelatin* until the water takes on a jelly-like consistency. In a separate bowl, sieve the icing sugar and corn flour together. Grease a 20cm baking tin with half the sunflower/vegetable oil and line the tin with baking paper. Then grease the baking paper with the remaining oil and evenly dust the tin with the corn flour/icing sugar on all sides, keeping some bake to roll the marshmallows in afterwards. You can use any oil to grease the tin but you might want to use sunflower/vegetable oil as it does not have a distinctive flavour that it could impart to your marshmallows.

Step 2. On a high heat mix together all of the caster sugar and 175ml water, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until a sugar thermometer reaches 113°C. 

Step 3. Once the syrup is at 113°C, start whisking the gelatin mixture until it has a smooth consistency and then slowly pour in the syrup, whisking as you go till the mixture has combined. 

Step 4. Add the teaspoon of vanilla paste and whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy, and the mixture has completely cooled (15-20 minutes with an electric whisk 30-35 by hand).

Step 5. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the dusted tin and  level it out by tilting the mixture or using a palette knife. 

Step 6. Dust the top of the marshmallow with a little of the reserved corn flour/icing sugar, cover with cling film and leave for 2 hours in a cool place until set. 

Step 7. Once the marshmallows are set, turn them out and cut them into 60 snowflakes and roll the marshmallows in the remaining corn flour/icing sugar. I use these snowflake cutters from Amazon.

These marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. But if you leave marshmallows uneaten for that long shame on you.