|Apricot and Almond Marshmallows|
I quite often turn on the TV while I'm cooking in the kitchen. It's mainly just a background noise and usually tuned in to anything to do with cooking. Travels with Lynda Bellingham came on and I was intrigued by a woman who kept chickens and held clandestine dinner parties. She made some wonderful looking marshmallows with apricots & almonds. Of course I was only half watching thinking that I could look the recipe up on the Internet later. Of course I scoured everywhere looking for it and couldn't find it anywhere.
Not giving up I decided to use a basic Marshmallow recipe and do my own thing regarding the apricot & almonds. I had to wait overnight for them to set before I could turn them. Of course I was half expecting a complete disaster but no, they are just about the best marshmallows I've ever had. Unbelievably yummy and so grown up in flavour.
I've now got the marshmallow bug and I can't wait to try different flavours, vanilla & strawberry, pecan and maple syrup, rum & raisin, pistachio, rosewater the list could be endless.
Here's how I made them, be prepared for quite a bit of washing up but it's so well worth the mess you're going to make.
16 Pre-soaked dried Apricots soaked in 3tbsps of Amaretto failing this orange juice will do
Blitz the apricots in a food processor and set aside
3oz flaked almonds toasted
½ cup icing (confectioner's sugar)
½ cup cornflour (cornstarch)
sift these two items together into a bowl and set aside
butter a 13 x 9" oven tray really well
Sprinkle over a good coating of the icing sugar/cornflour mixture reserving the rest for later.
2 separate ½cups of water
2 cups of granulated sugar
2 packets of gelatin (¼oz packets)
1 tsp almond extract
the whites of 3 large eggs
a pinch of salt
an eighth of a tsp of cream of tartar
1. Place the first half cup of water into the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle over the gelatin. Leave to stand for a few minutes Once the gelatin has dissolved whisk until it becomes really thick and fluffy (around 8 to 10 minutes) Add the almond extract.
2. Place the second half cup of water into a saucepan and add the granulated sugar, stir to dissolve and turn on the heat to a medium setting. Continue heating & check with a sugar thermometer until it reaches 175c /240f (soft ball stage) and remove from the heat.
3. With an electric hand mixer beat the egg whites until frothy, add the salt and cream of tartar and beat until stiff.
4. Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture while the mixer is beating on a medium/high speed until well mixed and thick. Fold in the apricot mixture and very gently fold in the beaten egg whites until it's all incorporated.
5 Pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle over the almonds and leave to set in a cool place (not the fridge). Once mine had set on top I lightly covered it with parchment paper so that the air could still get at it.
6. I made mine in the late afternoon and didn't turn it out until the next morning but it will need around 12 hours to ensure that it's thoroughly set.
7. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on your work surface and liberally cover it with your icing sugar/ cornflour mix. Gently ease around the edges of your tin with a pallet knife slightly lifting underneath as you do and then turn the tin over onto the parchment paper, hopefully it should all plop out. If not just try again but be gentle with it.
8. With a really sharp unstated knife cut into whatever size you like . Do not use a sawing motion as you'll get rough edges just press firmly down. You could also use cutters to make different shapes.
9.Toss all the pieces liberally with the icing and cornflour. Store in a parchment lined, airtight container.
I really hope you enjoy these, we never got around to storing ours, they were scoffed in minutes