I think I’ve developed a slight obsession with marshmallows lately. Ever since I tasted the marshmallows from Sweetness the Patisserie I have been well and truly hooked on them (not the supermarket ones, the good stuff!) and on a whim I decided to have a go at making some of my own marshmallows.
My vision for my marshmallows was that they had to be pink and that they had to taste like the colour – to me it’s weird if the flavour doesn’t match the colour. I rummaged around for some fresh or frozen berries to flavour my marshmallows but as it often happens when you decide to do things on a whim, I had none. The bottle of Ribena was staring at me from the kitchen bench and I thought “what the hell” and chucked some of that in as my flavouring.
This marshmallow making business is hard work – an electric mixer in one hand and a saucepan full of sugar syrup that is supposed to be added in a slow and steady stream into egg whites in the other hand equals tired arms. Not to mention that the Italian meringue really did double in size and let’s just say my bowl was a little too small to accommodate its growth, which equals meringue everywhere. When I finally finished, I had dead arms and a meringue-flecked kitchen and was praying that my efforts had not gone to waste and that these marshmallows would turn out ok.
And they did! After allowing the mixture to set and cutting it up and dusting with snow sugar, I bit into one of them and they were soft fluffy pillows of Ribena! (and 4x the vitamin C of oranges!) They definitely weren’t as amazing as the ones from Sweetness but I was pretty happy with the final product.
If I were to make these again, I would probably put even more Ribena in it because it wasn’t as strongly flavoured as I hoped it would be. But now that I’ve made marshmallows once, I can’t wait to try experimenting with different flavours – the possibilities are endless!
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller
60ml Ribena concentrate
20g powdered gelatine
500g caster sugar
1 tablespoon glucose
2 egg whites
food colouring (optional)
Snow sugar for dusting**
1. Grease and line a 18cm x 25cm shallow cake pan and dust the bottom liberally with snow sugar. Dilute the Ribena concentrate with the water into a bowl and sprinkle the powdered gelatine over the surface and allow to bloom for about 10 minutes.
2. Place the caster sugar, glucose and 250ml water in a saucepan and dissolve over low heat. Increase the heat to medium and cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 125ºC on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add the Ribena and gelatine mixture, stirring until the gelatine dissolves.
3. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy, then gradually add the Ribena mixture in a slow and steady stream while beating continuously on medium speed until the mixture has doubled in size. If you want to make the marshmallows a certain colour now is the time to add in your food colouring. Gradually reduce the speed and continue beating until the mixture reaches about 40ºC. Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Dust the surface liberally with snow sugar and allow to set at room temperature for about 3 hours or until firm.
4. Dust a chopping board or work surface with snow sugar and turn the marshmallow slab onto the surface. Peel off the baking paper and dust sides with snow sugar. To cut out squares, dip a knife blade in warm water and cut the marshmallow slab in a grid. Dip the knife into the water between each cut. Have a bowl of snow sugar on the side to roll your marshmallow squares in after they have been cut. You can also cut out shapes using cookie cutters – dip your cutters into warm water before cutting out each shape and roll shapes in snow sugar. Brush off any excess snow sugar and store in an airtight container.
*When I made this recipe I used a 1:4 ratio of Ribena concentrate to water but I found it wasn’t strong enough. I’ve changed the quantities in the following recipe to make it a 1:3 ratio but feel free to modify this – all you need is a total of 180ml of liquid.
**You can purchase snow sugar from The Essential Ingredient. I didn’t have any on me so I substituted with a mixture of cornstarch and icing sugar mixed in a 1:3 ratio.
P.S. I should probably also mention that Ribena doesn’t actually contain 4x the vitamin C of oranges…