These fluffy, ethereal marshmallows can be flavoured with any number of combinations; fruit, chocolate, coffee, caramel, spices and citrus would all be fabulous.
8 sheets leaf gelatin*
2 egg whites
500 grams caster sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons each icing sugar and corn flour, sifted together
Apricot, Cointreau and Hazelnut
¾ cup dried apricots, chopped roughly
1¼ cups water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons Cointreau or other liqueur of choice
¾ cup hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
Grease a 24cm square baking tin with cooking spray and line fully with plastic wrap, bringing it right up the sides of the tin. Spray the base and sides of the plastic wrap to enable easier removal of the marshmallow.
Put the gelatin sheets in a shallow dish of cold water to cover. Leave for 10 minutes to soften.
Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until just stiff peaks.
Put the sugar and water into a medium saucepan and place over a medium low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Make sure there are no un-dissolved sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until it registers 118°C (soft ball) on a sugar thermometer.
Take off the heat and leave for 1 minute. Lift the gelatin leaves from the bowl and squeeze out the excess water. Stir into the sugar syrup to dissolve.
With the mixer on low speed, add the hot syrup to the egg whites in a steady trickle. When all the syrup has been added the marshmallow should already be starting to look white and glossy. Increase the speed and beat for 10 minutes until very thick and fluffy. Scrape into the tin and immediately add the Apricot, Cointreau and Hazelnut topping or a Mixed Berry, Rosewater and Crushed Meringue topping. Leave marshmallow in a cool place for 6 hours to dry.
To finish: When the marshmallow has set, sprinkle some of the sifted icing sugar and cornflour onto a chopping board. Invert the marshmallow onto the board and peel off the baking paper. Dust the marshmallow with some of the coating and turn fruit side up. Using a sharp knife greased with a little cooking spray, cut into squares. Store in a single layer in an airtight container in the fridge. If stacking, place baking paper between each layer. Makes about 20 pieces.
Apricot, Cointreau and Hazelnut: Put the apricots and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the apricots are soft. Cool for 5 minutes, tip into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon juice and liqueur. Cool completely.
To assemble: Dollop spoonfuls of the purée over the marshmallow along with ¾ of the hazelnuts. Using a skewer, marble them through the marshmallow. Scatter with the remaining hazelnuts. Put the marshmallow in a cool place for at least 6 hours to dry.