I have been toying with the idea of making marshmallows for a while, despite my fear of boiling syrup, but I wanted to flavour them and I couldn't decide what to go for. Then, one night, I awoke from my slumber with MOJITO MARSHMALLOWS flashing through my brain. Alliteration and rum? YES. We've already got mojito shoes, truffles, soap, cake and, um, cocktails covered, so this seemed the perfect addition to our ever-growing mojito stable.
I used Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's marshmallow recipe from The River Cottage Family Cookbook as a jumping off point, and then totally flew by the seat of my pants during the mojito part. Happily, the seat of my pants guided me safely to mojito marshmallow heaven.
There are a lot of steps, but this is a surprisingly simple recipe to master. At one point, a lot happens at the same time, but I managed to heat up a pizza, make a cup of coffee, and open the mail while I was making these, and I still have both my hands and EVERYTHING. Triumph.
Mojito Marshmallows (makes about 42, depending on how you slice 'em!)
You will need:
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- A little vegetable oil
- 30g fresh mint, finely chopped
- 60ml white rum
- The juice and zest of 2 large limes
- 2 large eggs, whites only
- 25g powdered gelatine
- 500g granulated sugar
- Coloured sugar, edible silver dust, or crystallised mint leaves to garnish (optional)
- Before you do anything, get some vital equipment to hand. You'll need a stand mixer, a measuring jug, three small bowls, a medium-sized saucepan, a CANDY THERMOMETER (this is important, and therefore worthy of CAPS LOCK), some kitchen roll, a 20cm square cake tin, and some other things like spoons and chopping boards and knives which I'll assume you already know the whereabouts of. Also put the kettle on - you'll need hot water a few times along the way!
- Sift the cornflour and icing sugar into one of the aforementioned small bowls. Grease the cake tin using a teeny splash of vegetable oil, wiping it all over the base and sides. Then dust with a little of the cornflour and icing sugar mixture, until all surfaces are lightly covered. You'll need the rest of the floury stuff further down the recipe.
- Make the mojito flavouring by mixing the mint, rum, and lime juice and zest in a bowl. Set aside for later.
- Deposit your egg whites into the mixer bowl, but don't turn it on yet.
- In a bowl, measure 125ml not-quite-boiling water. Sprinkle the gelatine powder on top and then stir with a wooden spoon until it's dissolved. Now ignore it.
- Pour the granulated sugar into a saucepan and add 250ml hot water. Over a low heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. At this point, start beating the egg whites at a medium speed until they're stiff.
- Fill a jug with some kettle-warm water and dunk your thermometer in it to acclimatise it (fussy, sensitive things, these thermometers). Now pop it carefully into your pan. Increase the heat slightly and keep the syrup at a rolling boil until the thermometer reads 122°C/251°F (this will be a surprisingly slow process, until the very end when suddenly the temperature will shoot up - so keep a close eye on it!). Turn off the heat as soon as this temperature has been reached. Carefully - using an oven-gloved hand - remove the thermometer and place it in the jug of water to recover.
- Now add the gelatine mixture to the syrup. It will fizzle, but stir continually with a wooden spoon and it'll soon calm down. You might find some of the gelatine has gone, well, gelatinous - just scrape it off into the syrup and give everything a mighty stir. It'll liquefy immediately.
- Start beating the eggs again on a low speed. Slowly add in the syrup, being careful not to pour directly on to the beaters, which may cause a painfully boiling hot splash, probably into your eye.
- Continue mixing until the mixture is thick and glossy. It should form the briefest of ribbons when the beaters are lifted out of the bowl.
- Now pour in the mojito flavouring, and whizz for a few seconds longer to combine.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture into your prepared cake tin, and leave in a cool place (NOT the fridge) to set overnight.
- Once the marshmallow has set firm (it'll still have some wobble), grease up a butter knife with a little oil (I saturated a wodge of kitchen roll with oil, as you need to grease your knife between each slice later on). Use the rest of the cornflour and icing sugar mixture to completely cover a chopping board, then gently ease the mallow out of its tin.
- Sprinkle the surfaces of the mallow with some of the floury stuff, then using a sharp knife - greased and dusted - cut it into strips. As you work, sprinkle any unfloured edges that become visible. Remember to wipe your knife on the oily kitchen roll and redust between slices, to ensure a smooth cut.
- Repeat in the other direction so that you end up with cubes of marshmallow. Again, dust each exposed side as you progress.
- You'll end up with around 42 delicious morsels of mallow. I sprinkled mine with bright green sugar for extra crunch and, more importantly, FUN - you can find coloured sugar in the supermarket baking aisle. I also threw some edible silver dust on there for good measure, and because my longing for the arrival of Behind the Candelabra has left me even more sparkly than ever. For a more, ahem, upmarket aesthetic, try crystallised mint leaves - I use Uncle Roy's.
- Serve after dinner, or just scoff them all WHENEVER (you won't be able to really, unless a sugar coma is your goal in life). Store in a cool place, in an airtight container.