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December 1, 2013 / mintcustard

Candy Cane Marshmallows and popcorn balls.

Since I discovered just how easy marshmallows are to make I’ve been hooked on making them. I love them all year round. I’ve used them to make a s’mores pie, plain marshmallows, mulled wine marshmallows, teacakes in both their hemispherical form and as a teacake traybake. I’ve used the leftovers as an ingredient for Rocky Road and popcorn balls, a recipe for which is below in the post.

How ever as I’m beginning to feel more festive, I decided to make marshmallows with a more christmassy flavour. I toyed with the idea of mince pie, and they may still happen but plumped for candy cane instead.

Candy Cane Marshmallows

Candy Cane Marshmallows

4 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp icing sugar
400g granulated sugar
1 tbsp liquid glucose
peppermint extract
red food colouring gel
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
To decorate 4 candy canes crushed to rubble.
Tin lined with cornflour and sugar.

Tin lined with cornflour and sugar.

How to
  • 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.

    Rippled marshmallows

    Rippled marshmallows

  • 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.
  • Add in peppermint extract until the mixture tastes minty but doesn’t resemble toothpaste!
  •  Keep whisking. You need a pour-able mixture that leaves a thick ribbon like trail. Take a little red gel on a cocktail stick and ripple through the mixture in the bowl.
  • Scrape into the foam into the prepared dish. Set aside to cool before cutting. Overnight is good. Sprinkle the surface with the crushed candy canes. Popping the candy canes into a zip loc bag and hitting them with a rolling pin does this very efficiently! Cut into the marshmallows into squares and toss in the icing sugar/cornflour mixture still in the dish.
Finished marshmallows, with crushed candy cane sprinkles.

Finished marshmallows, with crushed candy cane sprinkles.

Popcorn Balls
1 pack microwave butter popcorn or a large bowl of freshly pan popped corn. If you don’t like pop corn then rice krispies will work too.
15  to 20 big marshmallows
knob of butter
parchment paper
How to
  • Lay out a sheet of parchment on your work surface.
  • Cook the popcorn according to the manufacturers instructions. Open the pack and allow to cool slightly.
  • In a double boiler or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water melt the marshmallows.
  • When completely melted, tip the popped corn into the marshmallow slurry and mix well to combine.
  • Liberally smear your hands with butter. (I think I ought to send Nigella this recipe, can you imagine the resulting TV viewing figures!)
  • Take a cricket or base ball sized lump of corn and fashion it into a sphere.
  • Place on baking parchment and repeat with the rest of the mixture. (makes 10 balls approx)
  • Take to the cinema and save yourself at least £7!
  • If you want these to be festive you could decorate with stars, red and green sprinkles or glitter.

I am also adding this to the December Tea Time Treats round up as this month is Festive Foodie Gifts. Hosted by What Kate Baked for the final time and superbly co hosted as ever by Karen at Lavender and Lovage. A cellophane bag of these in anyone’s Christmas stocking would be a treat


Leave a Comment
  1. rachelradiostar / Dec 1 2013 4:08 pm

    I will have a go at these! I just bought your book off The Book People xx


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