You may be surprised how easy it is to make your own marshmallows at home, and although you need a few hours for the mixture to cool and set, each step only take a few minutes.
This recipe is definitely aided by a heavy duty mixer such as a Kitchen-Aid, but you can still make them using a hand-held mixer, just double the time it takes to beat them to ensure they are fluffy and stiff.
You can be adventurous with the flavours, adding other essences such as coconut, orange blossom, mint or rose-water, or replacing some of the water with berry or passionfruit puree. You can also add colouring to either the marshmallow or the coconut.
If your children don’t like coconut, you can dust the marshmallows in cornflour, or dip them in melted chocolate.
1 and ½ cups caster sugar
2 tablespoons powdered gelatine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Approx. 2 cups fine desiccated coconut (the fine coconut sticks better)
Hot and cold water
1. Combine the sugar with 2/3 cup of hot water and stir over a medium heat for around three minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear.
2. Mix the gelatine and 2/3 cup of cold water in a jug and use a fork to mix well. Pour into the hot syrup and stir for two or three minutes until the gelatine has fully dissolved.
3. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixture and leave to cool for half an hour or until it is at room temperature.
4. Line a lamington tray with baking paper, allowing paper to overhang the sides (slab pan).
5. Using the electric mixer beat the sugar syrup on high for 8 minutes or until very thick and glossy. Add the vanilla and beat for one more minute.
6. Spread into the pan, smoothing the top, and allow to set at room temperature for at least one hour.
7. Remove the marshmallow by lifting the paper and laying on a flat surface. Use a large, non-serrated knife and wet it under the tap for every cut or two you make (otherwise it will stick and begin to tear). Cut into small (or large) squares.
8. Pour coconut into a snaplock bag and add marshmallow one square at a time, shaking the bag to cover with coconut. You can add some food colouring to the coconut to make different coloured marshmallows. Place on a wire rack and leave until the surface feels dry.
9. The marshmallow will keep in an air-tight container for a week.