Mulled wine marshmallows – and getting my mojo back!
You may or may not be aware that I work in a school. Such are the personal hygiene habits of many small children that during cough and cold season the air we breathe is more akin to a viral soup than an atmosphere able to sustain life. If Spock landed from the Enterprise and was surveying the atmosphere with his little box of tricks all the lights would turn to red and warning sirens would go off! Hardly surprising then that for the past three weeks I have had a rotten cold and last weekend finally succumbed to pneumonia. Fortunately for me the doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics each of which was the size of a small rodent and after a few days in bed I began to feel much more human. My lack of sense of small and taste completely knocked my baking mojo for six. I just couldn’t be bothered.
Finally, after a couple of days wrapped in a duvet I suddenly wanted to cook. An idea for a Christmas recipe had popped into my head and was refusing to leave until I’d tried it out. My mojo was back!
So, what had caused me to rise like Lazarus from my death bed? Mulled wine marshmallows, that’s what. Two of my most favourite things. I love a glass of mulled wine at this time of year and love snipping marshmallows into a cup of hot chocolate too. How could I combine the two? The thought of dropping marshmallows into mulled wine made me heave but what if I put the mulled wine into the marshmallow?
Mulled Wine Marshmallows.
Here is how I did it.
4 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp icing sugar
- 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 wine 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 wine. 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. Zest the orange over the setting marshmallows, rasp over a dusting of nutmeg. Rub the two cinnamon sticks gently together over the marshmallows and allow the small specks of cinnamon to fall onto the pink marshmallows.
- Set aside to cool before cutting. Overnight is good. Cut into squares and toss in the icing sugar/cornflour mixture still in the dish. Take half the marshmallows. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over barely simmering water. Dip the marshmallows into the chocolate and leave to harden on a sheet of baking parchment.
- Place the marshmallows in a clear gift bag, tie with a ribbon and share with a friend.
Due to my work commitments I wasn’t able to attend Let’s make Christmas. A wonderful idea started by Vanessa Kimbell. I was so fortunate to take part in the Ndali vanilla gift swap earlier in the year that I’d hoped to be part of the Christmas event especially as it was in The Rococo chocolate factory but sadly no. How wonderful then to be able to take part virtually.
I have also added this to the We should cocoa round up hosted by Chocolate log blog and chocolate teapot, as the ingredient is cinnamon. The cinnamon in my recipe isn’t in the chocolate itself but in both the mulled wine and the topping to the marshmallows before coating with the chocolate. I only hope this counts!