- 300g desiccated coconut
- 10 sheets gelatine
A colourless, tasteless and odourless setting agent made from the boiled bones, skins and…
- 500g granulated sugar
- 4 tsp liquid glucose
- 2 large egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Malibu, or coconut liqueur
- pink food colouring
- a little icing sugar, for dusting
Toast half the coconut in a large, wide pan over a very low heat. Keep stirring the whole time so the coconut toasts evenly. When the flakes are tinged golden brown, tip into a bowl to stop them cooking any further.
Line 2 square tins or dishes (18cm or 16cm) with baking parchment. Spread half the toasted coconut evenly over the base of one, and half of the untoasted coconut over the base of the other.
Put the gelatine leaves, one by one so that they don’t clump together, in a large bowl of cold water and leave to soften while you make the marshmallow mixture. Put the sugar, liquid glucose and 200ml cold water in a small, deep heavy-based saucepan, so that the mixture will be deep enough to get a thermometer reading. Place over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Turn up the heat and boil until the mixture reaches firm ball stage on a sugar thermometer (about 125C) – this will take a while. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, drop a little of the syrup into a glass of very cold water – if it sets to a firm but malleable ball, it’s ready.
While the sugar is boiling, beat the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric whisk until stiff.
When the syrup has reached the right stage, pour it in a steady stream into the egg whites while you continue whisking – making sure it hits the egg whites before the whisk blades. Lift the gelatine leaves out of the water, squeeze out any excess water and add, one at a time and still whisking continuously, to the mixture. Add the vanilla and Malibu, and continue whisking – the mixture will go shiny and start to thicken. Continue whisking for about 10 mins until it’s very thick, just pourable.
Scrape half the marshmallow mixture into the toasted coconut tin and spread the top to flatten as much as possible, then sprinkle over the remaining toasted coconut.
Add some pink food colouring to the second half of the mix, little by little and whisking all the time, until you get a nice colour. Scrape into the untoasted coconut tin, level as for the first, and sprinkle with the remaining untoasted coconut. Leave to set somewhere cool (but not the fridge) for at least 2 hrs, or until firm.
One at a time, carefully ease the sheets of marshmallow away from the sides of the tins, then turn out onto a chopping board. Remove the parchment and cut into squares with a sharp knife dusted with a little icing sugar if it is sticking. Keep in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment to prevent sticking, for up to a month.
Secrets of success
Remember, you’re working with hot sugar – if it hits the whisk blades before the egg whites, it’ll harden on them and you’ll get into a sticky mess! You might get bored whisking the mixture, but persevere – the thicker it gets, the more air you’ve added, so your marshmallows will end up lovely and light.