One of the things I do this time of year is try a recipe that I have never tried before, something sweet, so I can give the end product as a gift.
Really, this is not very wise considering I am planning on giving these things as gifts, and should they go wrong I would have to rush out to the shops at the last minute!
I've made fudge in the past, truffles and some disastrous too vinegary red onion marmalade.
This year I thought I'd try marshmallows, I'd seen them on River Cottage a few months back and they looked too delicious not to try. I love sweets but the shop bought marshmallows are always disappointing.
Boiling sugar, mince pies in the background!I used the River Cottage recipe but tweaked it a little to my taste.
I didn't go for the beetroot but instead prepared some vanilla sugar ahead of time (2 weeks in a tub with a couple of split vanilla pods) and also infused some spent vanilla pods in the hot water before I added the gelatine.
The vanilla taste comes through very well, I'd love to try other things next time - maybe infusing with fruit tea.
You also don't need a mixer for this but you do really need an electric whisk to save your arms, and obviously the thermometer is a total must.
I took my marshmallows out of the tin after about 3 hours but I left it on a powdered board overnight to set further, this makes them a lot less sticky to cut into pieces.
These take an afternoon to make but they are definitely worth it, they are nothing like the shop bought variety at all. I can't wait to hear the verdict from those receiving them! I will of course be keeping some for myself, for coffee dunking purposes.