Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Marshmallow is one of my favourite things to make. As a kid, my mum would make marshmallow eggs, we'd dip them in chocolate and decorate them (or sometimes we'd just eat them plain). There is nothing more wonderful than that sweet and fluffy texture. Sadly, it's become known as one of those mass-produced supermarket products designed with a shelf life to outlive us all- which is why you get one hell of a kick out of making it yourself. Packet variety marshmallow is incomparable to the homemade version. I can't think what made me decide to go crazy making marshmallow again recently- except for the fact that I was using a lot of egg yolks to make custard for doughnuts and had a heap of egg whites left over (and I can't stand seeing stuff go to waste). I usually set egg whites aside as I go- I'll add them to a jar in the fridge until I have enough of them to make something with. Egg whites will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge in a sealed container- using ones that aren't super fresh for marshmallow works really well.
While marshmallow is perfect at any time of the year, eating them as an egg definitely feels more like an Easter activity- however, I use this recipe for all my marshmallow creations, so if you don't want to serve them as 'eggs', simply drop dollops onto a lined baking tray to be sandwiched together later with cream or yoghurt, or pour them into a dish lined with baking paper (each of these options will need the paper dusted with an icing sugar and cornflour mixture, see bottom of page), ready to be sliced into squares or shapes once set.
Just before we get started- don't be scared of marshmallow! It gets a really bad rap for being terrifying and difficult, but I find it very forgiving. You'll need to work fast, as it tends to set quickly once you've finished beating. One more thing- I love flying by the seat of my pants and using measurements that aren't precisely down to the absolute gram (I only weigh ingredients when my life depends upon it) and I avoid thermometers wherever possible. Where is the sense of adventure and fun, if you know exactly what is going on? However, I understand that this riotous kitchen behaviour doesn't work for everyone, so I have included a couple of temperatures to work with, just in case you're that way inclined. Let's make marshmallow!
HAPPY, FLUFFY MARSHMALLOW EGGS FOR EASTER (closely based on David Lebovtiz' recipe)
(Makes about 30 egg halves, ie 15 eggs once stuck together)
To make your egg moulds, pour flour into 1-2 large, deep oven trays and roughly level off. Your flour will need to be 2-3 cms deep. Using a real egg, press it gently into the flour, making egg-shaped indents and spacing them about 1 cm apart (each of these egg moulds will make one half of your marshmallow eggs- once set, you'll stick them together to make one whole egg). Make sure you do this before you get started!
1/2 cup warm water
6 tsp gelatine powder
1/3 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature (about 3-4 egg whites, depending on your eggs).
1 tsp vanilla essence or coconut essence, or raspberry syrup- the possibilities are endless!
Place first measure of water in a cup or small bowl. Sprinkle gelatine over the top and leave to dissolve.
Place second measure of sugar and water in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan,
In a clean electric cake mixer bowl with whisk attachment, add egg whites.
Heat sugar and water over medium to high heat. You'll see sugar melt and mixture begin to bubble- starting in the centre of the pot.
Turn on cake mixer and start whisking your egg whites, gently at first, on a slow speed.
Once your pot of sugar and water starts to bubble rigorously (around 100°C) increase the speed of mixer to bring whites to stiff peaks. When you notice the entire mixture of sugar bubbling entirely, including the edges of pot (at this point you are at around 120°C) you'll need to turn mixer up to it's highest speed, then remove sugar from the heat. Immediately start to (very slowly and patiently) dribble sugar mixture in (being careful not to cook your eggs). Your sugar mixture should remain clear throughout this whole process, if it begins to darken and change colour, it has begun to caramelise and has gone a step too far.
Once you've added sugar, mix your gelatine and water together again to make sure they're combined, and slowly pour in your gelatine mixture (your beater continuing to run, all the while) until it is all incorporated.
Finally, add vanilla (or your desired flavouring) and continue to beat marshmallow until the mixer bowl cools enough that it's still warm to touch, but not so hot you can't touch the sides. Your marshmallow should be smooth and glossy and delightfully fluffy.
Using a dessertspoon, quickly place spoonfuls into each egg mould. These aren't meant to be perfect eggs- they are cute and wonky with their own personalities, so don't worry if you have lumps and bumps everywhere.
Once they're set (this could take 1-2 hours), stick the halves together. The marshmallow centres should be tacky but not so soft that they get stuck to all your fingers.
We then melted 250g dark chocolate and 1 Tbsp coconut together and dipped half of our eggs in chocolate, the rest we ate uncoated. Make sure your chocolate is not too hot when you dip marshmallows in, if it's too hot you could melt your mallow. A few dried rose petals made them look extra cute, but you could use sprinkles or nuts for the outside. If you're dipping your eggs, it's much easier to dip one half in chocolate first, let it harden and then do the other side. I found an empty egg carton worked a treat for holding the eggs in place while the chocolate set.
Alternatively, you can mix together 3/4 cup icing sugar and 1/4 cup cornflour and dust this over eggs (or your marshmallow dollops or slices). You can also roll your marshmallow in toasted coconut! Both these options will help stop marshmallow from sticking together.
As this is fresh marshmallow, it will need to be stored in the fridge, and will keep for a few days (if it's not all eaten first).
Viola, that's Easter sorted! I hope you enjoy making these.