These bite-sized marshmallows coated in coconut are perfect for all sorts of occasions. The size and shape of these can vary according to what you need or have to hand. But always remember to take especial care when working with boiling hot syrup.
Makes 72 coconut marshmallows, more or less (depending on the type of mold you use – see Tips below)
- 1¾ ounces / 50g corn flour
- 1¾ ounces / 50g icing sugar
- 1¾ ounces / 50g liquid glucose syrup
- 5¼ ounces / 150g desiccated coconut
- 15¾ ounces / 450g caster sugar
- 10 sheets of gelatine
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 vanilla pods (see Tips below)
- a flavouring of your choice (see Tips below)
- cooking oil spray
For this you will need three silicon trays such as a Wilton Brownie Bite Square 24 Cavity tray or similar.
Oil each tray’s cavities (see Tips below).
Sift the corn flour and icing sugar into a bowl.
Mix the liquid glucose syrup and the caster sugar together with 8¾ fluid ounces / 250ml of cold water in a pan over a low heat.
Stir occasionally until all the sugar is dissolved and you have a clear syrup.
Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in a small pan with 4½ fluid ounces / 125ml of water.
When the syrup is clear, turn up the heat and bring it to a vigorous boil. It is important not to stir during this and you will need a sugar thermometer to check the progress of the temperature.
When the syrup reaches 110°C / 230°F, place the pan with the soaking gelatine over a medium heat and stir until dissolved.
Whisk the egg whites until it is stiff enough to stand in peaks. Use a freestanding electric mixer if possible.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on the rising temperature of the syrup.
When the syrup reaches 122°C / 252°F, pour it slowly down the sides of the bowl with the whisked egg whites. If using an electric freestanding mixer, allow the bowl to continue moving, otherwise turn the bowl with your free hand. Take especial care to avoid being scalded by the syrup.
Pour in the dissolved gelatine.
Halve the vanilla pods lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add them to the mixture. (See Tips below.)
Continue to whisk the mixture for 6-8 minutes until it has increased in volume and thickness but can still be poured out.
At this point you can decide whether to leave the marshmallow as plain vanilla or add a flavour of your choice (see Tips below). If adding a flavour, start slowly and build it up carefully to a point where you think it is just right. You can’t take it away if you put in too much! Continue whisking for a few more minutes.
Pour the mixture into a piping bag, and, using a half-inch / 1cm nozzle, fill each of the cavities in your trays.
Finely sift the corn flour and icing sugar over the top.
Leave for two hours.
Meanwhile, toast the desiccated coconut in a dry non-stick frying pan making sure it doesn’t catch. When it turns a golden brown, tip it into a bowl and allow to cool.
When the marshmallows are ready, remove each one carefully from each cavity, and, using a cocktail stick, give each one a turn in the coconut to cover.
You can leave these plain, or you can add favouring such as rose water, orange blossom water, natural lemon extract, natural orange extract, natural peppermint extract.
While I use three 24 cavity Wilton Brownie Molds I sometimes other kinds of silicon trays, such as three heart-shaped molds with six hearts in each, which make 18 somewhat larger marshmallows. Just vary your shapes and sizes according to your needs or availability.
To oil the cavities, spray oil into each then use a pastry brush to make sure the whole cavity is coated, especially in the corners.
To cut I corner, I have occasionally used vanilla powder instead of vanilla pods.
The ancient Egyptians knew how to make marshmallows, usually flavoured with honey and nuts, and reserved exclusively for the pharaohs and the gods. The French developed the more modern form using egg whites and called it pâté de guimauve. Traditionally, it was shaped into long strands of different colours and twisted together to form thick, multi-coloured ropes, or lanyards of confection kept in tall apothecary jars. They were offered in the most exclusive Paris restaurants as a post-dessert finishing touch to a meal.