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Jamie Oliver’s Marshmallows

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I love Jamie Oliver’s recent book Comfort Food http://www.jamieoliver.com/comfortfood/

It has some brilliant reworkings of classics as well as some innovative new recipes. One of my favorite cakes is Jamie’s Hummingbird Cake, which I have recreated in a previous post, see here.

I made Marvelous Marshmallows this weekend. They are really quite straight forward, but as Jamie notes, the recipe is precise so read it carefully first and follow the instructions exactly.

These delicate, pillowy marshmallows are fabulous to look at and even better to eat. I flavoured mine with rosewater, and coloured with rose pink food colour.

Beware – or like me, you’ll end up covered in icing sugar if you eat them without suitable covering!

PS Thank you to hens Maxine and Honey who provided the eggs for the recipe. You are the best!

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Here is Jamie’s recipe as is without tweaks.

Ingredients

50 g cornflour

50g icing sugar

50 g liquid glucose syrup) get it from the supermarket or a chemist)

450 g caster sugar

10 sheet gelatin

2 large free-range egg whites

2 vanilla pods

1 ½ tsp natural food colouring (optional)

Choose your flavour: rose water, orange blossom water, natural lemon extract, natural orange extract or natural peppermint extract

Method

This is a precise recipe, so make sure you read through the method carefully before you start, get all your ingredients weighed out and get your equipment ready to go. You’ll be working with hot sugar and syrups, so it’s best to keep your kids out of the kitchen until those marshmallows are cooling, ready to eat.

Sift the cornflour and icing sugar into a bowl. Finely sift half the mixture over a deep baking tray (20cm x 30 cm) and set the other half aside in the sieve until later.

Mix the liquid glucose syrup and caster sugar together in a pan over a low heat with 250 mL of cold water. Heat gently, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved and you have a clear syrup.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in a small pan with 125 mL of water.

Once the sugar syrup is clear, turn up the heat, pop in a sugar thermometer and allow the syrup to boil vigorously (please don’t stir it). When it reaches 110ºC, place the gelatine pan over a medium heat and stir until dissolved.

Whisk the egg whites in a free-standing electric mixer until you have stiff peaks.

Once your syrup has reached 122ºC, very carefully and slowly pour it down the sides of the bowl of the moving mixer, then pour in the dissolved gelatine.

Halve the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the seeds, add the seeds to the mixer bowl, then continue to whisk for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture has significantly increased in volume, but is thick and still pourable.

You can have a plain white vanilla marshmallow, or you can add any of the flavours listed, to taste (remembering to start small as you can always add more, but you can’t take it away!). Add any natural food colouring at the same time (if using) – I like to try to match the colour of the marshmallow to the flavour I’m using, whisking for a further 2 to 3 minutes to give you a nice even colour and flavour. Either way, pour the marshmallow mixture into your prepared tray, use a palette knife to smooth it out, then sift over the remaining mixed cornflour and icing sugar and leave somewhere cool for 2 to 3 hours, or until set and soft.

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Viv’s Baby Meringues

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These meringues were created for a friend soon to have her first baby. A book of advice, wise sayings and best wishes was presented to the mother-to-be at her baby shower.

I thought the recipe for some “baby” meringues would be appropriate for my contribution to the book!

I made a basic meringue recipe, and coloured and flavoured four different kinds of meringues.

Rose water meringues: a drop of rose water and a couple of drops of red food colouring

Orange meringues: a drop of orange flower water and one drop of orange food colouring

Pear meringues: a drop of pear essence and a couple of drops of green food colouring

Almond meringues: a drop of almond essence and one drop of blue food colouring

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Ingredients

3 egg free range whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup caster sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to very slow – 135 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Beat egg whites at low speed with an electric mixer until frothy, add cream of tartar and beat on highest speed until peaks hold their shape. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons of the measured sugar and continue beating for 2-3 minutes. Add all the remaining sugar at once, fold in quickly and lightly with a metal spoon.

Add your flavouring at this point or food colour. Spoon or pipe onto prepared trays. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Leave in oven for a further 1/2 hour or until dry – longer is better. When cool, store in an airtight container.

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