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Apricot marshmallows March 19, 2011

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Fruit, Sweet things.

It’s all very well dealing with inner bits of animals and other savoury things, but sometimes only something sweet will do. I had been interested in making marshmallows at home, so when I saw a simple recipe on Not So Humble Pie, I decided to give it a go.

To start with, I heated sugar and water in a saucepan, until the sugar was dissolved and the mixture was heated to Firm Ball stage.

Now, you might not realise how wonderful that photo above is. You are looking at my wonderful new addition – a candy thermometer! This nifty little device clips onto the side of the saucepan, allowing one to view the temperature of the liquid within, without the need to dip (for example) a meat thermometer in an out of the mix, or try to perch it on the edge of the saucepan. Not that I would know anything about that, of course!

With the sugar boiling, I set to work preparing the other elements of the marshmallows. Instead of boiling raspberries to extract their juice, as in the original recipe, I used tinned Apricot Nectar. I sprinkled some powdered gelatin over the nectar and whisked it through.

What that photo doesn’t show is how quickly the addition of the gelatin turned the apricot nectar thick and almost set. It happened in a matter of minutes! I also began whipping a couple of egg whites until they were foamy but not stiff.

When the sugar mixture reached the correct temperature, I carefully poured it over the apricot, and whisked it all together. It bubbled up quite dramatically as I poured it in – hence the lack of photos! When it was well integrated, I slowly poured this mixture into the whipped eggwhites. I did this fairly slowly to (hopefully) ensure the warm apricot mixture didn’t cook the eggs!

Once all the apricot mix was in the eggs, I turned the mixer back on a whipped it on a fairly high speed for several minutes. As the mixture cooled, it increased in volume and thickness. I ended up having to mix it for over 10 minutes until the bowl was completely cool. At this point it was thick and goopy, and looked a bit like marshmallow mix!

I poured the mixture into a baking tin I had prepared by rubbing it well with vegetable oil, and let it set for a few hours. It soon firmed up and I was able to sprinkle liberal amounts of a cornstarch and icing sugar mix over the top of it, to make it less sticky. As I lifted it out of the tin, I sprinkled more of the cornstarch/icing sugar mixture underneath the marshmallow sheet, to assist with lifting it out.

It was quite flexible and forgiving, and I was able to lift the whole sheet out without breaking it.

Now it was just a matter of chopping up the sheet into bite-sized pieces! I got out some of my smaller cookie and fondant cutters, dipped them in the cornstarch/icing sugar mix, and cut out a variety of shapes. I found I had to keep dipping the cookie cutters into the cornstarch/icing sugar, as the stickiness from the sides of the marshmallows made the cutters rather sticky.

The end result was a giant plate of marshmallows – more than enough to put into a cup of hot chocolate!

While they didn’t end up looking as orange as I was expecting, the marshmallows were definitely apricot flavoured! I really liked the addition of the fruit to the sugar mixture – while they were still very sweet, the apricot helped temper that somewhat. However, next time I make them, I think I’d make a half batch, not the full amount. While the marshmallows can be stored for a few days in an airtight container, it was still a lot of marshmallows to get through in a short period of time!

These definitely hit the spot for their sweetness and fruitiness, and I was amazed how easy they were to make. A nice reward for minimal effort.


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