Phew…I made it to the end of the week!
It is such a hectic time of year (for all of us, I know), my head is spinning. My children finished school today for the Christmas holidays so I can heave a sigh of relief, well, in part anyway. So for a few weeks, we have no rushed early morning starts, homework battles will subside (albeit temporarily) and my school uniform laundering takes a break. Just Christmas to focus on, right?Oh, if only it were that simple! My passion for baking has totally overthrown any planning and organisation that it required for this time of year. I know from experience that it is always hectic (without the baking) but I can’t help but be in the kitchen at the moment.
Yes – I have Christmas gifts to buy and wrap, cards to write and post, gingerbread to bake, a Birthday Cake to make, preparations for my eldest daughter’s birthday this week, as well as bake, photograph and post bakes that I am desperate to share with you before Christmas. The only way I figure that I can manage it all is to ‘break it down’ into manageable tasks per day. Do you ever do that?
Anyway, I digress from these pretty, marshmallow lollies. I made these a couple of weeks back for the school fayre and I have to say they were a big hit – the kids loved them! I will be making more this weekend as I am going to add them to my daughter’s party bags and I think they will also look gorgeous, tied with ribbon, to any Christmas gift intended for a child. So appealing.
If you are familiar with making marshmallow, these lollies are very easy to make. If not, please don’t be daunted, they are straightforward. I was a bit apprehensive about piping the marshmallow as it was my first attempt but actually it was not the sticky, messy experience I was anticipating.
This great recipe, adapted in method and quantity (if you are going to the effort of making these, in my mind, you may as well make a few more, 18 being what this recipe makes) is from ‘Sweet Things’ by Annie Briggs. This book is brilliant! And if you are stuck for a little gift idea for a keen home baker, this gem of a book would be greatly received.
I added a little more fresh vanilla than the recipe stated and it works beautifully but there is no reason why you could not use a different flavour marshmallow, or add food colourings for a different effect.
These can be wrapped in cellophane, or bagged and stored in an airtight container. Such a lovely treat.
- 3 tbsp. cornflour
- 3 tbsp. icing sugar
- 525g granulated sugar
- 225ml water
- 2 tbsp. golden syrup, or liquid glucose
- 9 leaves of gelatine
- 3 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp. caster sugar
- 1 pod of vanilla bean seeds, or 1 1/5 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 60g dark chocolate
- 60g white chocolate
- 18 lolly/cake pop sticks
- In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour and icing sugar. Prepare three baking trays by lining with baking parchment and sieve the cornflour and icing sugar mixture quite evenly over the baking parchment. (Ensure you have some left for sprinkling over the lollies). Equally space the lolly sticks on the trays, six per tray.
- Place the granulated sugar, water and golden syrup (or liquid glucose) into a saucepan and add the 225ml of water. Over a medium heat dissolve the sugar. Bring the syrup to the boil and add a sugar thermometer to the pan. Allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 120 degrees C - this is actually between 'soft' and 'hard' ball on the sugar thermometer. It will probably take 10-15 minutes to reach this temperature.
- Meanwhile, fill a bowl with cold water. Add the gelatine leaves, one at a time, to the bowl and ensure they are all submerged. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites, salt and 2 tbsp. of caster sugar. As the syrup approaches the correct temperature, start to whisk the egg whites. Once the correct temperature is reached, with the mixer on a slow speed, pour the hot syrup into the whisked egg whites. Take one leaf of gelatine at a time, squeeze out excess water and put into the hot syrup/egg white mixture, all whilst constantly mixing. Repeat with every sheet of gelatine. Continue to whisk, at high speed, until the mallow becomes thick and shiny, about 10 minutes.
- Prepare two, large disposable piping bags with nozzles of your choice (I used a star and plain nozzle). Fill both piping bags with the mallow mixture. Pipe spirals over one end of the lolly sticks, so forming the lollies. When you have finished piping, twist the sticks into the marshmallow to ensure that they hold. Sieve some further cornflour/icing sugar mixture over the lollies. Allow the lollies to cool/set completely, approximately 6 hours or overnight.
- Place the dark chocolate, broken into chunks into a small sandwich/plastic bag. Do the same with the white chocolate. Place both bags of chocolate into a small bowl of hot water. Allow the chocolate to melt in the bags. Snip a small hole in the bags and drizzle the chocolate over the lollies. Quickly scatter sprinkles over the chocolate before it sets. Allow to set further.
- Store in a airtight container.
Source: Method and quantity adapted from Annie Rigg’s ‘Sweet Things’