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June 1, 2012 / mintcustard

Royal marshmallows

You may or may not know that in a former life I wrote “Movie Dinners“, a book containing recipes for lots of those iconic meals and drinks that you might have seen on screen. I am the worst person to watch a movie with as I spend far too long looking at the food being eaten and can sometimes forget the plot. This does have it’s benefits however as I made myself make marshmallows. Magnificent is all I can say, so easy and a huge amount of fun. Good excuse to buy a sugar thermometer if you don’t have one, after all you can never have too many kitchen gadgets can you?

“Your greatest test… is yet to come!”
Actually that’s a lie. Stanley Baldwin was right to tell the King he was in for a rough ride but on the marshmallows front …. don’t worry they are a doddle! Helena Bonham Carter loves them. When asked if she’d had her costumes “bulked out” to play HRH The Queen she replied, “I didn’t have to go on the actresses’ diet of eating nothing. I was eating a lot of marshmallows on film.”

I wouldn’t suggest you eat all of these sugary pillows yourself as you are more likely to resemble the Stay Puffed marshmallow man than a member of the British royal family but do make a batch of them in preparation for watching the Diamond Jubilee celebrations with friends and family.
Cast and crew.

4 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp icing sugar
400g granulated sugar
1 tbsp liquid glucose
6 fl oz water
4 fl oz water
2 sachets powdered gelatine
2 large egg whites
1 tsp flavourless oil
boiled water in a kettle
gratin dish and sugar thermometer
Mise en scene.

  • Oil a large gratin dish, mine’s 6″ by 12″ and fill with the icing sugar and cornflour mix. Set to one side.
  • Place the sugar, liquid glucose and 6 fl oz of water into a large heavy bottomed pan and slowly bring to the boil. Place the thermometer into the syrup and heat until it reaches 128c (hard ball stage). This will take several minutes.
  • Whilst the syrup is heating take a tea cup and pour in the 4 fl oz of water. Sprinkle over the gelatine and allow to swell up (also known as sponging!) Pop the teacup into a deep bowl, pour the boiled water from the kettle around (not in!!!) the teacup and leave to sit until the gelatine has returned to a liquid state.You can give it a stir if you need to.
  • Check the syrup, when it reaches the correct temperature take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in the liquid gelatine mixture a little at a time – it will foam up as you do this so take care – and pop to one side to cool a little. Don’t leave it too long or the gelatine will start to set!
  • Whisk the egg whites to a soft peak and then continue whisking but add in the syrup slowly a little at a time. Continue to whisk until the whole of the syrup mixture has been added. Whisk on until the whole confection is stiff and thick. You need a pour-able mixture that leaves a thick ribbon like trail.
  • Scrape into the foam into the prepared dish. Set aside to cool before cutting. Overnight is good. Cut into squares and toss in the icing sugar/cornflour mixture still in the dish.
  • Sit on a throne like chair and indulge.


You can colour and flavour these marshmallows at the whisking stage. Pale pink and rosewater might make some delicate regal sweetmeats. Rolled in coconut or chocolate coated could be fun too.

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