When I get an idea in my head I like to explore all the different ways it can be done. Hence I will eat the same foods for a week and then not again for a while. It comes in handy when you live on a budget. I like experimenting with different foods to see what I can come up with. I have been watching James Martin in the afternoon and he has some very good recipes. I made his marshmallows as I’ve always wanted to make them and there rather tasty. There was a craze a while back so I have peppermint, chocolate and coffee flavoured as well as normal.
When making them an electric whisk is essential due to the amount of beating required and if you don’t have a sugar thermometer you will get softer mallows that spread easily and taste very nice but are not set as much as normal. Also liquid flavourings are better. If using coffee or cocoa disolve it first otherwise it doesn’t combine properly and you might end up with a bitter end product. (Despite the sugar I used.) Rolling in sugar/arrowroot/cream of tartar/cornflour is also necessary to prevent stickiness. Some of these shortcuts are due to laziness and others to not knowing how to make them.
Marshmallows are also one of the few things you can eat on a paleo or lactose intolerant diet that I tried last year. The recipe mentioned above isn’t but there is an abundance of different recipes out there for all different diets. Some are cooked as they don’t use gelatine, some are flavoured or turned into meringue biscuits. You can use jelly/jello if you don’t have gelatin and want it fruit flavoured. We don’t usually think of flavoured ones but the taste of your homemade ones are better than shop ones, healthier as there lower in calories and don’t have so many
/artificial ingredients and possibly cheaper. Meringues are really cheap but marshmallows not so much. This is a good creative activity as you can make them very complex in terms of variations or incredibly simple. Beware the hot sugar if your using it though and things can get a bit messy. You can of course colour them as well as flavour them. They can even be made vegan with egg replacers, condensed milk or omit it entirely. You can coat them with lots of things as well as adding nuts, fruit, spices etc to them. You can even make them like cocktails by changing the liquid used as I saw a recipe using apple cider on pinterest. This is a very useful place for unusual recipes. Your imagination is the only limit.(plus your budget, cupboard, time and ability to use the net lol).
Basic marshmellow recipe has egg whites, sugar and gelatine with water to melt the gelatin, basic meringue recipe has been previously covered but is egg whites and sugar. See my basic cookery page.