Are damn hard to make. Wouldn't know where I'd be if I hadn't dug up Grandma's Kenwood stand mixer.
Marshmallows. Something I obsessed over quite a lot last year, soooooo many marshmallow memories :) Like that time when Pascals Swirls suddenly became a sensation, and then those funny Have a Pascal Swirl memes made all these random Facebook pages pop up from nowhere!
Marshmallows. Great for any ocassion :) Whether it'd be chewing on them while watching a movie in the cinemas (definitely much quieter than chewing chips, choc tops or popcorn), or trying hard to roast them with the heat of a mere candle while on a hill on a slightly windy day, or sticking them in between two macaron shells for an additional pillowy feel :)
MARSHMALLOWS. Soft and pillowy and springy. Gets a bit sickly sweet after eating through half a packet though. But great in small amounts. Been a big part of my Year 11 year, so I've decided to bring it back into 2012 to remind myself what a great time I've had last year with them :)
Oh I wuv you marshies!! :)
But gosh, did I tell you they were so damn hard to make?
First time handling hard-ball sugar syrup. Was scared as. I remember back to that time I borrowed Kim's candy thermometer to make macarons the Italian method, and that did not go well. I get nervous with anything hot and involving the stove. I think that's why I like baking more.
I searched up so many recipes, and got tips from Steph @ raspberricupcakes, and I wanted to also know a bit of scientific background regarding the sugar-works and all, so I decided to try my first batch with Cooking For Engineers. I really like this site, they break down how stuff works, the chemical nitty-gritty really interests me! Started watching another one of Heston's series this holidays. Sooooo much to watch and catch up on. But so little time because it's near trials :/
Trial 1: Recipe 1: From Cooking for Engineers - I used half this recipe, because I had a smaller pan
I couldn't handle the hard-ball sugar at all. Started scraping it out from the saucepan, and it hardened at the bottom of the standmixer, and the strawberry flavoured marshmallow, even though I put only 1tsp of flavouring for half the batch (ie less than half the flavouring needed for the full batch), it still tasted a sickly sweet medicine-strawberry flavour. And was very sugary and dense. Urgh. A few hours in the fridge got it to lighten up a bit, but the strong flavour was still there. Oh man, dreams of recreating pascal swirl flavours. As you can see from the pics, I couldn't even drag it out of the pan, it was so dense and sticky, even after dusting the pan. And the recipe's call for dredging the marshmallows in heaps of icing sugar was all just too much. Dense, almost viscous, oh urgh gross. Definite failure. Chucked half the pan in the bin. The other half I kept in the fridge because Mum didn't want to waste it, and yes it did regain a bit of springy-ness but otherwise quite disappointing. Ahhh wells. I've failed macarons wayyyy more times, I'm not sad :) All part of the baking learning curve ehh :)
But this was definitely not the fault of the recipe, it was all my fault - first time handling scary hot sugar syrup. The person who wrote this was searching for an egg-white-less recipe, a simpler version of the common marshie recipe which calls for the aerating nature of eggwhite. But I was so nervous about it, so the next day I didn't use this recipe again.
Instead, I used smitten kitchen's recipe, because she said it was "failproof", and will result in "springy and fluffy" marshies. Just what I desperately needed.
Trial 2: Recipe 2: From Smitten Kitchen
They came out much much fluffier than the previous batch, I stuck with vanilla extract instead, and it was nice and springy :) Not too sickly sweet, and I dredged them in a mix of cornflour and icing sugar, and I think that makes them taste like the coating of marshies in packets they sell in supermarkets. Yayyy managed to cut 10 hearts and a few other shapes, and yayy, dipping marshies in chocolate, and I tried roasting them with a candle and yayy it worked!!! Didn't directly start melting like the previous batch, it bubbled and caramelised on the sides oh yumm!!