Homemade marshmallows are the BEST!! It’s like eating clouds. delicious, delicious clouds!
What You Need
455g granulated sugar
1 tbsp of liquid glucose
9 sheets of gelatine
2 Large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
Oil, for greasing
Icing sugar, for dusting
Cornflour, for dusting
Equipment: Sugar thermometer, heavy based saucepan, metal or pyrex jug, baking tray and palette knife (or a spatula)
How to Make Them
1. Soak the gelatine in 140ml of cold water
2. Put the sugar, glucose and 200ml of water in a heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil and continue cooking until it reaches 127°C/260°F.
3. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff
4. Once the syrup reaches the right temperature, carefully slide in the softened gelatine sheets and the water. The syrup will bubble up and can burn so be careful children! Pour the syrup into the jug.
5. Continue to beat the egg whites while pouring in the hot syrup from the jug. The mixture should have a shine to it and begin to thicken.
6. Add the vanilla extract (you can also add food colouring at this point if you want different colour marshmallows!) and continue whisking for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape on the whisk.
7. Lightly oil a shallow baking tray and dust it with sieved icing sugar and cornflour.
8. Spoon the mixture onto the baking tray and smooth it over with a palette knife.
9. Leave to set in the fridge for at least an hour - longer if you can resist the temptation!
10. Dust the work surface with more icing sugar and cornflour.
11. Loosen the marshmallow from the tray with the palette knife onto the dusted surface.
12. Cut into squares with a wetted palette knife and roll in icing sugar and cornflour.
13. Leave to dry a little on a wire rack and then pop into an airtight container or your mouth!
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/Fan 1600C/Gas 4. Grease two 20cm (8inch) sandwich tins then line each tin with baking parchment.
Blend cocoa and boiling water in a large bowl, add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until the mixture has become a smooth, thickish batter. Divide the cake mix equally between the prepared tins and level the surface.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25-30mins or until well risen and the tops of the cake spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out, peel off parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.
To make the honeycomb, put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. You mustn’t stir once the pan’s on the heat, though.
Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt, then turn to goo and then to a bubbling mass the colour of maple syrup - this will take 3 minutes or so.
Off the heat, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and watch the syrup turn into a whooshing cloud of aerated pale gold. Turn this immediately onto a piece of reusable baking parchment or greased foil.
Leave until set and then bash at it, so that it splinters into many glinting pieces.
To make the buttercream, beat the butter until pale yellow then add in the sifted icing sugar a tablespoon at a time while continually beating the mixture. Once all the icing sugar has been added add the honey and keep beating until you get a thick creamy mixture that doesn’t drip of the whisks.
Grind up some of the honeycomb into a fine dust and stir into the buttercream mixture. The amount you use is to your own personal taste.
Sandwich the cake together using the honeycomb buttercream (keep a tablespoon of it aside for decoration).
For the ganache, place the cream in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Allow to melt slightly and then stir until it is glossy and smooth. Set aside to cool to a spreadable consistency.
Spread the ganache over the cake. I did one layer first (the crumb layer) and put the cake in the fridge for a few minutes to allow that to stiffen and then added the final layer.
Place the tablespoon of buttercream on the top of the cake to hold the wedges of honeycomb in place and grind up some more honeycomb to decorate the sides.
All the others were staring at Simon aghast. There’s no way he could do it. It was way too high. The murmurings were growing louder but Simon just took a long breath and focussed on what he was about to do. A small crack, a silent gasp and off he went. Falling majestically through the air swaying softly from side to side. He spread out further, enjoying feeling like he was part of the world, part of the daily hustle and bustle that he had spent his life always looking down on. As he was wishing that this feeling would never go away he landed softly on the ground. He had made it. A loud cheer went out from above.
The other leaves couldn’t believe it. He’d actually done it. He was amongst the groundlings. He was part of the Movement. Jealously and excitement overtook them all and they began to wriggle. Snap. Snap. Snap. One after the other they broke off and fell to the ground. Trickling through the sky in a majestic golden rain. A rain that was blown apart by a sudden sharp wind. Swirling through the sky, screaming trying to regain control, the leaves panicked for there lives. The Overseers, a family form the top of the tree, were flung into a puddle and one by one they drowned in it’s ripples. The other leaves began to struggle against the wind terrified of meeting a similar fate. A bunch of them made it to the ground but were swiftly sent flying into the air by a big red rubber boot. The sound of screaming and veins breaking echoed through the air.
Eventually the wind died down. A broken, wet golden mass left behind. Families were separated. Babies were crying. A mother, who had held her baby close through the whole ordeal and was now huddled against a lamp post, was staring up at the bare branched haven they had just left. Without a moments thought.
“Mummy I’m cold.”
“I know baby but don’t worry the sun will be back soon.” she comforted while in her stomach she knew that they would not last the dark night that was now enveloping them.