Making these at home is easy, so long as you stick to the cooking temperatures and times.
- 30 g runny honey
- 250 g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp powdered gelatine
- 3 egg whites
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ lemon, zested
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp orange blossom water (see Note)
- 80 g (½ cup) icing sugar mixture, to dust
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 2 hours
You really need a sugar thermometer for this recipe, and an electric mixer will save your arm from getting sore, too, although, at the end of step 4, you can whisk over a bowl of ice to speed up the cooling process. I use a Middle Eastern brand of orange blossom water. Some are stronger than others, so use half and taste just before you finish whisking, adding more if need be.
Grease and line base and sides of a deep, 20 cm square cake pan.
Place honey, caster sugar and 2 tbsp water in small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring every now and then to dissolve sugar, until mixture reaches 118°C.
Meanwhile, whisk gelatine with 80 ml boiling water until gelatine dissolves. Set bowl over a small pan of gently simmering water to warm and make mixture runny.
When sugar and gelatine are nearly ready, place egg whites, a pinch of salt, lemon juice, zest, vanilla and orange blossom water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until firm peaks form, then whisk in hot sugar mixture in a thin, steady steam. Repeat with hot gelatine mixture and continue whisking for 12 minutes or until mixture is almost cool.
Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan, then set aside at room temperature for 2 hours or until completely set. Dust with icing sugar mixture, then, using a knife dipped in icing mixture, cut into squares and serve. These marshmallows will keep in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 3 days.
• Orange blossom water is available from specialist and Middle Eastern food shops.
Photography by Alan Benson