Marshmallows seem to be taking the world by storm at the moment, they are the sweet ‘du jour’ and are turning up everywhere from posh farmers markets to the menus of Michelin starred restaurants. No longer are marshmallows limited to the pink and white flumps of yesteryear. Today’s marshmallows comes in an amazing range of flavours and colours and the very best are lovingly hand crafted by artisan makers. And for the adventurous or just plain goofy among you, have you seen the personalised printed marshmallows that you can get from www.boomf.com? At first I will admit that this seemed a step too far – and then we realised that you could literally toast your ex!
However going back towards the hand crafted artisan marshmallows idea, it really is surprisingly easy and fun to make your own marshmallows. And, as with everything homemade, you know exactly what has gone into it and can make it any guise that you fancy. And being the proud owners of Jersey’s Lavender Farm, we immediately thought…lavender! (I bet you couldn’t have predicted that could you?!).
To make 36 lavender marshmallows you will need:
- 3-4 tablespoons of dried culinary lavender buds
- 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 14g powdered gelatine
- 450g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 50g icing sugar, plus extra for dredging
- 50g cornflour, plus extra for dredging
- Make a lavender syrup to flavour the marshmallows. Add 2 tablespoons of dried culinary lavender and 2 tablespoons of water to a small pan and bring to the boil. Boil this for a couple of minutes until the liquid has reduced a little and then to cool and infuse for at least 2 hours. NB. This will make a very strongly flavoured syrup, which may not be suitable for other recipes.
- Combine the gelatine and 100ml of cold water in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes until the gelatine has softened.
- Meanwhile pour the caster sugar and 175ml water into a heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Once you have a clear syrup decrease the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes (without stirring) until the mixture reaches 113˚C when measured on a sugar thermometer (this is also known as ‘soft ball’ stage).
- Now immediately place the softened gelatine in the bowl of a stand mixer and start to beat on a low speed. Next slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the bowl in a steady stream, whisking continuously until all of the syrup has been combined.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the lavender syrup and then increase the whisking speed and beat very fast for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened, cooled and is beginning to set.
- Meanwhile prepare a 20cm square baking tin, by greasing it with the sunflower oil, lining with baking parchment, greasing again with the oil and then coating the inside with a mixture of the cornflour and icing sugar (reserve the rest of this mixture for later).
- Pour in the marshmallow mixture, smooth the top and then dust with some of the reserved icing sugar and cornflour. Cover the tin with clingflim and leave the cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
- Meanwhile make a lovely lavender sugar to coat your marshmallows by grinding 1 tablespoon of dried culinary lavender with 1-2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
- Turn out the marshmallow block onto a surface dusted with the remaining icing sugar and cornflour mix, cut them into 36 squares and then dredge in the lavender sugar.
Yum, yum, yum!