Making marshmallows – points to remember:
- Lay out all your ingredients and equipment before starting.
- Soften the gelatine in cold water, adding one sheet at a time.
- Make the sugar syrup in a pan. Put on a low heat to start with so the sugar can dissolve before turning up the heat. Use a sugar thermometer and heat the syrup to the 'hard ball' stage - 125C.
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. When the sugar syrup hits 125C, turn off the heat, take out the thermometer and pour it in a slow, steady stream onto the egg whites, while whisking. Make sure the syrup hits the egg whites not the whisk.
- Add the gelatine one leaf at a time, squeezing out any excess moisture before doing so. Whisk for 10 mins until thick.
- If you'd like to colour or flavour your marshmallows, do so now.
- Prepare a roasting tin lined with baking parchment, covered in a mixture of icing sugar/corn flour.
- Pour into roasting tin, sprinkled with icing sugar and cornflour. Gently smooth the top. Dust with icing sugar and cornflour, or topping of your choice.
- Leave to set at room temperature for around 2 hours. Chop the marshmallows into pieces.
Get everything prepared
It's really important to get everything ready to go - once you start the process of making marshmallows, you can't stop. Have all your ingredients measured out and to hand. You'll also need a hand mixer, a lined tin dusted with icing sugar and cornflour, a bowl of cold water for the gelatine and a sugar thermometer all laid out in front of you.
Working with gelatine
Adding the gelatine sheets one at a time to the bowl of cold water stops them from sticking.
Adding syrup to the egg whites
It's important that the stream of sugar syrup hits the egg whites first, not the blades of the hand whisk. This is for safety reasons (the sugar syrup is extremely hot) and because otherwise you can end up in a sticky mess.
Cutting the marshmallows
If your knife starts sticking when cutting the marshmallows, dust with a little more icing sugar.