As I mentioned in this post, one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 is to make macarons, madeleines and marshmallows; specifically, vegetarian marshmallows (normal marshmallows contain gelatine which is derived from animals).
Well, my mother asked for vegetarian marshmallows for her birthday (which is today) so a couple of months ago, I started to scour the internet for recipes. I stumbled across this comprehensive recipe and method for making them, but decided that the likelihood of getting hold of all the ingredients was pretty low, as it’s an American recipe. I would probably have to spend a small fortune getting them sent over the Atlantic!
I noticed a few links to commercial mixes in the above link and duly investigated. I liked the look of Angel Foods NZ the best (and I love anything to do with New Zealand so it was always going to be the winner in this case!). They also have a very helpful instructional video so after watching and establishing that the marshmallow-making technique is unusual but not particularly difficult or complicated, I decided to take the plunge and buy some mix. Alas, Angel Foods NZ cannot ship to the UK but they very helpfully directed me to Ananda Foods, who sell the same mix but manufactured in the UK.
I made the marshmallows following the instructions in the box (which are slightly different from the Angel Foods video), using icing sugar to line the containers, and a generous dash of vanilla extract for flavour. I thought I’d keep it simple to start with! The recipe itself was pretty simple, and I enlisted help to whip up the contents of one sachet while I stood by the saucepan with the agar/syrup mix and stirred it as it reduced down to a thick brown syrupy concoction. Mixing the two together was luckily not as splattery as I’d feared, and the resulting marshmallowy mass was easily poured into the waiting containers. Removing the contents after they’d set proved similarly straightforward, and I cut them into squares and tossed them in icing sugar to take the edge off their stickiness. After a few hours, the individual marshmallows had formed a lovely crust and were ready for sampling:
I haven’t eaten ‘proper’ marshmallows in over a decade but these little squares of loveliness tasted almost exactly how I remember proper ones tasting. They were a little gloopier, but that’s the nature of products containing agar or similar seaweed-based gelling agents as opposed to gelatine. The recipient of these freshly made vegetarian marshmallows thought they were brilliant, so I’d say that my initial attempt at marshmallow-making was a success!
There are two lots of mix in the box from Ananda Foods, so I can have another go and perhaps try making a different colour or flavour of marshmallows next time. Any suggestions?