It´s Sugartime!

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Marshmallows mean bonfire nights, birthdays and children parties.

Every time I follow this recipe, I am surprised that only a few ingredients are needed to make this candy. The only tricky thing is that it leaves the kitchen in such a mess…especially when you have small helpers. This weekend, Johan, Silvia and Barbara helped me, and it was difficult not to have a laugh with the sweet sugar bees..

Just gelatin, water, sugar, and vanilla extract. Marshmallow making begins with gelatin ( 34 gr) as this is what gives the marshmallow its thick dense spongy texture. In order for the gelatin to do its job properly, you need to first soften it in cold water. Then, while the gelatin is absorbing the water, you need to start making a cooked sugar syrup. This involves cooking sugar (400 gr) and water (210 gr) for  20 minutes. Then leave for 10 minutes to cool down. Once this is done the two mixtures (gelatin and sugar syrup) are combined and whipped until thick and fluffy. You can also add color but be aware you only have a few seconds before it stiffens.

What is amazing is how this mixture starts out opaque in color, yet gradually transforms itself into this shiny and thick white fluff that looks like a meringue. Only, unlike a meringue, the marshmallow is very sticky so you will need to work quite fast and leave the mixture in a pan, which first has to be lined with parchment paper and dusted with confectioners' sugar to ensure easy removal.

The marshmallow does only need to set for a about 30 minutes, then you can easily cut the marshmallows into square. Be sure to dip the cut sides of each marshmallow into confectioners' sugar so that all the sides are no longer sticky. The marshmallows will keep in a cool dry airtight container for about two weeks.

Happy sugar time!

Helene Blanche

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