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toasted gingerbread marshmallow islands

January 9, 2014

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I was startled, this morning, by the sudden chill in the air. The dreariness of grey skies when I’d become so used to sparkling blue. The absence of cicadas. The flurry of packing up a year-and-a-half in an apartment in exchange for a place of my very own.

Fingers crossed.

Before the packing started, a weekend in the Hunter Valley (I’ll take you on a virtual tour soon, promise), one that fell immediately after my first day of work for the year, which in turn came just days after I heralded the beginning of said year with what Koji believed to be too many tequilas.

(I think six is a perfectly reasonable number).

Days prior to New Year’s Eve, we repainted the Bean’s apartment, ate a few too many Christmas meals (involving duck! and multiple hams! and roast pork with trimmings!), wrapped and opened all of our presents and, well, ate this.

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I’d planned on making floating meringue islands as part of my Frenchy-chic themed pre-Christmas lunch, but ambition got in the way.

(I’d similarly planned on starting the year’s posts off with something virtuous and health-giving sometime around the 2nd of January, but apathy got in the way of that quick smart).

Instead, there were barely set gingerbread marshmallows that bobbed precariously in a sea of spiced custard. Frozen raspberries lay hidden under the layers and on top of the marshmallow’s torched surface.

I cut slabs of leftover marshmallow up and wrapped them in packages for guests to take home.

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As the years creep up on me, I find myself wishing for time replayed. To have Christmas again – but without the exhaustion. Without also having the stress of trying to close in the business year, planning to move house, figuring out renovations and starting the organisation and planning for what is likely to be the biggest party I’ll have in my funny little life.

They’re problems I’m blessed to have. A business that runs well enough for me to pay the bills and then some. A place to call home and the funds to make it feel that way. Family and friends who are willingly flying in from overseas to attend a big fat celebration.

It’s something I’ll be reminding myself of this year – to be thankful. To be honored. To be excited.

Oh, and to make more marshmallows.

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toasted gingerbread marshmallow islands
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 2C white sugar
  • 500ml water
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 20g gelatin
  • ¾C water
  • 2C white sugar
  • 1C glucose syrup
  • lots of icing sugar & cornflour
  • good custard and frozen raspberries to serve
How to make it
  1. First up, make the gingerbread syrup. Pop the ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla pod, 2 Cups of white sugar, molasses and 500ml water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until all of the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup, bits and all, into a container. You'll only need 250ml of the syrup for this recipe, but the rest is magnificent mixed with brown rum, pear juice and sparkling water.
  2. To make the marshmallows, first line a square tin with cling film and spray with a fine mist of oil.
  3. Put the gelatin powder and ¾C water in the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit there while you perform the next step.
  4. In a saucepan, combine the white sugar, glucose syrup and 250ml of strained gingerbread syrup. Heat the sugars until they reach 115C (around 238F) and immediately remove from heat.
  5. With the mixer on low, carefully pour the hot sugar syrup onto the gelatin mixture in a steady stream until it is all in the bowl then beat on high until the mixture has tripled in volume, is opaque, fluffy and almost completely cooled to room temperature. This will take a while.
  6. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pre-oiled tin and let it set for at least 2 hours.
  7. When the marshmallow is set, cut it into blocks. You'll need a sharp, well-oiled knife for this.
  8. To serve, place some frozen raspberries at the bottom of a glass and top with custard. Place a marshmallow block on top and brulee it with a blowtorch. Sprinkle a few more raspberries around for colour.
  9. If you would like to keep the remaining marshmallows, toss them in a mixture of icing sugar and cornflour until well coated. They'll keep for a couple of weeks that way.

 


  • #1
    January 13th, 2014

    I love home made marshmallows – completely different to store bought and so much better! love how you presented it – so visually appealing!

  • #2
    January 13th, 2014

    Is it possible to have marshmallows around for weeks without eating them? lol. And mmm…. burning…

  • #3
    January 15th, 2014

    Ah nothing like marshmallows and a new year for contemplation ;D

Shez