Strawberry Crunch and Pomegranate Marshmallows
I learned how to make marshmallows at college and the memory of the sticky mess has stayed with me for many years. So one day,when my good friend Fabien and I were chatting about making marshmallows, I dug out my old college notes and recipes and we had a go at making these light sugary fluffy puffs of egg and gelatine. It was fun, but it remains a messy and sticky job just as I remembered but its nothing that hot soapy water cannot fix.There’s a sense of excitement in the air as Bonfire night draws near and making marshmallows is high on the agenda.
My aim was not to use food colouring but I wanted to add a twist to the tradition. For that reason I have chosen to add a light crunchy texture to the outside and for the flavour and very mellow pink colour I have used pomegranate juice. There are so many twists and changes that you can implement to put your own unique stamp on this recipe. Have a go it’s fun and delicious. Marshmallows will never be the same again!
- 4 small or 2 large fresh free-range egg whites
- 500g unrefined caster sugar
- 250ml filtered or natural spring water
- 8 gold leaf gelatine (or 25g powdered gelatine)
- 120ml pomegranate juice reduction (250ml juice reduced to 120ml) )
- 10ml rosewater (optional)
- Dusting and garnish:
- Equal quantities of cornflower and icing sugar mixed together
- Freeze-dried strawberry nibs
Prepare the chosen moulds for the marshmallows. Grease the moulds lightly with oil and a generous dusting of the cornflower mixture. Sprinkle a generous amount of freeze-dried strawberry nibs, set aside. Alternatively I have chosen this time to prepare a flat tray lined with a silpat.Dust with generous amount of freeze-dried strawberry nibs, and get a piping bag ready with a plain nozzle.
Weigh the sugar and water in to a medium saucepan. Place over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Do not boil until all the sugar has dissolved, you may stir the sugar at this stage but do not stir the sugar water as soon as it starts to boil, it will form unwanted crystals. Boil the sugar syrup to 122°C, hardball stage.
While the sugar is dissolving bring 250ml of pomegranate juice to the boil, reduce to 120ml over high heat, once the juice has reduce to the correct measure let it cool.
Soften the gelatine leaves in cold water. Once the gelatine is soft and the pomegranate juice has cooled slightly, squeeze the access water from the gelatine and add the gelatine to the juice, stir to dissolve and set aside until the sugar has reached 122°C.
Once the sugar has reached 122°C remove from the heat, stir the gelatine and pomegranate juice in to the boiling syrup.
Place the egg whites in a clean grease free bowl of a mixer, aerate with the balloon attachment and then slowly trickling the sugar syrup on to the whisking egg whites, continue until all the sugar syrup has been incorporated, turn the speed to high and whisk for about 6 – 8 minutes until the marshmallow mixture has cooled and the mixture has a high glossy shine with a thick ribbon texture.
Spoon or pour the mixture into the desired moulds, work fast as the mix will start to set. Or spoon the mixture into the piping bag and pipe fast. Let the marshmallows set at room temperature, do not refrigerate.
Turn the marshmallows out on to a work surface heavily dusted with the cornflower and icing sugar mixture. If you did use a large tray cut with a sharp knife dipped in to boiling water. This will help to cut the marshmallows with ease, roll the shapes in generous amount of icing sugar and cornflower mixture.
Keep in an airtight container in a cool well-ventilated cupboard, do not refrigerate.
Food Fanatics Tips
- Saffron and Apricot: Replace the pomegranate juice with 125ml water, saffron and 50g diced dried apricots. Soak the apricots in the water infuse with the saffron for ½ hour, bring the infusion to the boil, puree until smooth, return it to the saucepan, add the soaked gelatine and dissolve as in the method above
- Rum and Golden Raisin: Replace the pomegranate juice with 100ml water, 25ml rum & 50g golden raisins. Let the raisins soak in the water and rum for ½ hour, bring to the boil, puree until smooth, use the hot liquid to dissolve the soaked gelatine as in the method above.