Last week I referred to crystalline and non- crystalline confectionery but I thought I’d take a step back and run through all types of confectionery (as defined by Michel Suas):
- Crystalline – defined by the formation of sugar crystals during the cooking process. Includes fondant, fudges and pralines.
- Non- crystalline – characterised by lack of crystal formation during the cooking process. Includes hard candies, brittles, caramels and toffees.
- Aerated – consists of a stable foam, created by the process of whipping. Includes marshmallows and nougat.
- Jellies – based on gelatin, pectin and agar setting agents. Includes traditional lollies like jelly beans and sour worms, as well as Turkish Delight and pâtes de fruits.
I’m going on a weekend away with my family where we always toast marshmallows around an open fire, so thought I’d attempt to make my own this time.
It was a daunting thought, so I was very surprised to see that marshmallows actually had very few ingredients and were a pretty simple process.
It’s basically a process of adding sugar syrup (close to soft ball stage) and bloomed gelatin to whipped egg whites.
There is an alternative method replacing egg whites which I might attempt another day.
One thing to be careful with is ensuring you whisk the egg whites long enough after you’ve added the sugar syrup and gelatin. I read in another article that it should resemble soft serve ice cream.
Marshmallow recipe (courtesty of Bo Friberg)
3 tablespoons gelatin powder
½ cup cold water
450g caster sugar
1tsp corn syrup
½ cup water
½ cup egg whites (approx. 4 eggs)
Cornflour and powdered sugar mixed at 1:1 ratio
Line the bottom of a 30x20cm pan and sprinkle generously with some of the cornflour and sugar mix.
Bloom the gelatin in ½ cup of cold water – make sure you sprinkle the gelatin over the water instead of pour water over gelatin. When completely bloomed, heat to dissolve the gelatin then set aside and keep warm.
In a heavy bottom stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and second ½ cup of water and start cooking over medium heat.
Place egg whites in bowl of mixer with the whip attachment.
When the sugar syrup reaches 110C start whipping the egg whites at a high speed. When it reaches 118C take the syrup off the heat and reduce the mixer to a slow speed. Slowly pour into the egg whites at a steady stream.
Take care to pour it between the whip and the side of the bowl to avoid splattering. Immediately add the dissolved gelatin and then turn the mixer speed to high.
When meringue is smooth and fluffy but still warm, pour it into the prepared pan and spread to even the top. You may mix in your colour (I made some blue ones for my Frozen obsessed niece) and flavoring just before pouring it into the pan. Store the marshmallow mixture at room temperature until cool completely.
When cooled and set, cut the marshmallow sheet into desired shape with a lightly oiled chef knife or a pair of scissors. Immediately coat the cut marshmallows in the cornflour and powder sugar mix. Dust or shake off excess coating and serve.