I find myself writing this post on the flight back from Scotland. I would say back home to London but it very much feels like home is the place I am leaving.
Every summer, like the birds, my family migrates to spend the last of the summer days amongst the mountains and the heather with the cows and the eagles our only companions. I wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact I’d always have it that way if I could.
But back I head.
Back to the most wonderful city in the world that will fill my time with a thousand and one things until I can return to Scotland once more.
I head south with a little treasure trove of the tastes of places left behind. Nestled carefully within a Frostie’s box are these- the lightest, fluffiest marshmallows made with the tinniest sweetest raspberries that grow wild on the moor.
They almost didn’t make it. There was almost a disaster. When I poured the sugar syrup onto the egg whites rather than turning quickly into a cloud of marshmallowy goodness it slopped around the bowl, a sea of hot pink liquid, for what seemed like forever. It was about to go into the bin. Then I remembered myself and realised that I would spill it on the floor if I tried to bin it, the pink sticky sea would be all over the kitchen floor. I decided to leaving it mixing until cold to avoid certain disaster.
Thank goodness I did.
Somehow, slowly, miraculously it started to thicken and form the largest quantity of marshmallow I have ever seen. It was a giant. The sweetest smelling, prettiest giant imaginable.
Makes 64 marshmallows
Adapted from ‘Ballymalloe Cookery Course‘ by Darina Allen
8inch square tin
3tbsp icing sugar, to dust the tin and coat the set marshmallows
3tbsp cornflour, to dust the tin and coat the set marshmallows
20g gelatine (sheet or powder)
125ml raspberry puree (seedless)
2 egg whites
500g granulated sugar
Pink food colouring
1 cap full of rose water (½ – 1 tsp)
- Line the tin in baking paper and lightly grease with a little oil. Mix together the icing sugar and cornflour and give the oiled paper a sprinkling with a couple of teaspoons of the mix
- Put the gelatine and 125ml of raspberry puree in a bowl to soften for 5mins (make sure you separate the sheets)
- Add the granulated sugar to a pan with 250ml water and gently heat, stirring carefully (wiping any granules of sugar off the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush) until all the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat to high and leave to boil (without stirring) until it reaches 122°C
- As the sugar is heating place the bowl containing softened gelatine and raspberry puree over a pan of gently simmering water to dissolve
- When the sugar reaches approximately 110°C whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks
- As soon as the sugar has reached 122°C take it off the heat, stir in the gelatine (it will boil up the pan) and, with the eggs whisking on a slow/medium speed, pour the sugar onto the eggs, taking care not to land the stream on the whisk or too far up the bowl
- Whisk the mixture on a medium/high speed until it has cooled and thickened
- Add the food colouring and rose water and whisk in
- Pour the mixture into the square tin, level and leave to set in a cool place (but not the fridge) for around 2 hours
- Once set lift the marshmallow block out onto a chopping board and cut into pieces using an oiled knife and coat in the icing sugar/ cornflour mixture
- Store in an airtight container. If left alone they last at least a week