So this is the same recipe as my original but with the addition of fennel and sesame seeds, giving these fluffy pillows a aniseed aroma and seedy texture.
Oh yea, and as per the previous recipe for marshmallow, using a free standing mixer makes this a whole lot easier……
8 tablespoons icing sugar
8 tablespoons cornflour
Veg oil, (or something without a strong flavour) for greasing
26g (16 sheets) gelatine (see little note below…)
900 g caster sugar
1 tablespoon glucose (you can get this in the ‘cooking/baking’ section of supermarket)
400 ml water
5 medium egg whites
½ teaspoon fennel seeds lightly crushed
and 50 g sesame seeds toasted
28 x 36 cmish sized tin
1. Sieve the icing sugar and cornflour together into a bowl. Grease a tray with veg oil, and dust liberally with the icing sugar and cornflour mix.
2. Pour the caster sugar, glucose and water into a clean pan, bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve, then reduce heat and simmer gently without stirring for about 20-30 minutes. (but check earlier) Now if you invest in a sugar thermometer this makes life easier (it needs to reach 115-120 C.) but as you probably don’t have one, so use the old trick (Soft Ball Stage) below in Little notes……
3. Soften the gelatine by dropping the leaves of gelatine into a large deep bowl of cold water. Give them a jiggle about and leave them for about 10 minutes and then they will be lovely and wobbly and soft.
4. Whisk egg whites with a pinch salt, in a really deep, really clean bowl, (definitely no smidge of grease or dirt in sight or it won’t work) until stiff and glossy.
5. Gradually add the syrup, whisking all the time. (the free standing mixer really helpful here, you see.) Keep the pan, then with your fingers, lift the wobbly gelatine from the bowl of cold water, and squeeze gently in your hands to remove any excess water.
6. Drop this squeezed gelatine into the reserved hot pan, and roll around in any remaining syrup to melt, then gradually beat this into the meringue mixture. Carry on beating for 5-10 minutes until the marshmallow has cooled, though not completely cold. Finally briefly beat in the sesame and fennel seeds just enough to mix evenly.
7. Pour and spread out onto the lined tin and dust liberally again with the icing sugar and cornflour mix.
8. Leave overnight to set completely, then cut into squares. Makes as many as you see in the picture. (apart from the two pieces I ate.)
9. Toss the cubes with more of the icing sugar and cornflour mixture to keep. I guess it keeps for a few weeks with all that sugar.
Little notes….Soft Ball Stage….ok this means that if you lift a tiny amount of the boiling syrup (Use a fork maybe) and drop it in a cup of water then when you fish the sugar out it will be slightly pliable to the fingers. Best way to clean pan after…then check little notes below…..
Little notes on gelatine.….in the olden days (I’m only talking a few years ago!)….gelatine used to be sold in sheets double the size they are now. So be careful with any old recipes using leaves of gelatine. The leaf I refer to here is the new size and each leaf is about 1.6g in weight to be exact! I prefer using gelatine leaves rather than gelatine powder. It’s my chefs background, but also they are easy to use and I love the feeling of the softened wobbly gelatine in my fingers. Most supermarkets now sell this in the baking section.
More little notes…to clean a pan easily that you think you’ve wrecked after cooking hot syrup or caramel, then fill the pan with hot water, bring to a boil and simmer til the sugar has evaporated. May have to repeat.
Even more little notes….Just to repeat….when making meringue, make sure the bowl and whisks are completely clean and free from water or grease before using. Otherwise it will not froth up much/enough.
Yet more little notes….to crush seeds if you don’t have a pestle and mortar, which makes it easy, then crush the seeds on a chopping board with the base of a small saucepan, (push the heel of your hand on the bottom of the pan) or in a mug with the rounded end of a rolling pin.