Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Tree Marshmallows

I have to admit, it's been difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year. I am in a current state of post-holiday depression, stressed out and all of my family members are overseas. So I'm feeling like a bit of a Scrooge. But here's a cute little recipe that helped lift my spirits - Peppermint and Cocoa Nib Christmas Tree Marshmallows!
Believe it or not, I actually thought of this recipe nearly 5 months ago. We had just had a Christmas in July party and then this idea hit me and I was incredibly bummed that I hadn't thought of it earlier. But it sounded like such a fun and easy idea, I knew I had to remember it for the real Christmas.
I've only attempted marshmallows a couple of times before this, having some great success with my alphabet marshmallows. I much prefer the recipe below, since it uses glucose syrup rather than light corn syrup, which is slightly less evil (I think) and more widely available in Australia. And it was a great recipe to use Lady Mix-a-Lot for, she made everything so much easier! And the marshmallows were SO FLUFFY. Yes, I totally hugged my KitchenAid after this. My Christmas tree cookie cutter was kind of dodgy so these could have looked neater, but you can still tell what they are.
One issue that I did have was that it was rather humid on the day I made the recipe, so I found that one hour wasn't sufficient time to dry these marshmallows out. But after a few more hours and an extra dusting of sugar, they were good to go. I love the combination of mint and chocolate, and I have a love affair with cocoa nibs. I just think they look so good sprinkled on top of anything. I may have gone a little bit overboard with the peppermint flavouring, but I think the bitterness from the cocoa nibs helped to balance it out. If you can't get cocoa nibs, chopped up chocolate or chocolate chips should be fine (and might be slightly more kid-friendly). It's a super easy recipe that is a great treat to bring along to any Christmas party.
Peppermint & Cocoa Nib Marshmallows
(adapted from this homemade marshmallow recipe, makes approximately 24)
500g caster sugar
1 tbs liquid glucose (see note)
2 tbs gelatine powder
2 eggwhites
2 tsp peppermint essence
Green food colouring
1/2 cup (75g) cornflour + 1/2 cup (75g) icing sugar, sifted or 1 cup snow sugar
Cocoa nibs, about 3 tbsp

Grease and line a 18cm x 25cm x 4cm lamington pan. (I also had to use a second 20cm square pan as well) Dust inside of pan with 2 tablespoons icing sugar (or snow sugar). Combine the caster sugar, liquid glucose and 200ml water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until a sugar thermometer reaches 120°C.

Place 200ml cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the powdered gelatine, then stand for 10 minutes. Place the bowl in a saucepan of simmering water and stir until completely clear. Stir the gelatine mixture into the sugar syrup.
Beat eggwhites with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Continue to beat while you gradually add the sugar syrup, then beat for a further 10 minutes until mixture thickens and becomes glossy. Add green food colouring while this is beating to achieve the right colour. Fold in the peppermint essense and pour the mixture into the pan. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes and then sprinkle cocoa nibs over the surface. Chill for 1 hour until firm.

Combine the remaining icing sugar and cornflour in a bowl (or just use snow sugar), then spread over a tray. Using a Christmas tree shaped cookie cutter, cut out shapes (while trying to minimise waste), and roll each in sugar mixture. Stand for at least 1 hour or overnight to dry. Store in an airtight container. Marshmallows are best eaten within a couple days.
I brought these along with me to the Sydney Food Blogger's Xmas picnic, which was fantastic fun as per usual (Thanks Helen & Suze!). There was so much awesome food and everyone put so much effort in, I felt a little lazy bringing these super easy marshmallows which I had hurriedly whipped up the night before! I'm not sure if I can un-Scrooge myself enough to get any more Christmas recipes out the door in time for the holidays, but we'll have to wait and see!
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  1. It would've been so cool if you add red pop rocks to the recipe at the end or something! Lovely recipe and the green looks so minty! Can't wait for the Xmas blogger picnic post :)

  2. I'm not much of a marshmallow person, but these are so cute and festive!

  3. I've never made marshmallows before but have always wanted to. These look so adorable and festive, I think I will try them soon!

  4. What a cute idea. They remind me of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

  5. hee your marshmallows were so squidgy and fluffy!

  6. Don't feel lazy, those marshmallows were great! I'm not even a mallow kinda gal, but stole a few for the road ;)


  7. These were ohhhh sooo yummY!! loved the mintiness!! dw Christmas spirit will mow you down when the 25th comes.. it always does :)

  8. These are adorable, sorry you are nervous nelly during the holidays!!

    Lovely pictures, really love the whole setup

  9. your little christmas tree marshmallows were so cute! I really have to try making home-made marshmallows asap, once I go and buy some glucose :)

  10. So cute! Yay for Lady-mix-alot! These look perfect Steph! And boo for post-holiday depression, hate that!

  11. Amazing! I guess I am too late now but I will definitely give them a try for Valentine´s maybe? Thanks for sharing!

  12. argh how did i miss out on these? i remember noticing how cute they were and then next time i looked they were all gone! inspired - and minty fresh!

  13. Mmmm these were so moreish... why did you have to offer me so many arrghhh *eats diet away*

  14. Yum, these look soo soft and fluffy. I love the color and the Christmas tree shape!

  15. Homemade marshmallows are the BEST and I love these! Now I'm craving fluffy minty crunchy nibby treats!

  16. Great marshmallow recipe, thanks for sharing, they look really good. Nice and light looking, the way a marshmallow should be.

  17. YOur marshmallow trees looks so cute :) Very cosy :) I feel fromthis pictures warm from your home :)

  18. Amazing job, they are so festive and cute!

  19. These are so cool - did you like that green beater clean? I would looks so scrummy!

  20. Very Very cute!! All these great Christmas ideas. I should have started cooking Christmas treats earlier.

  21. These Christmas tree marshmallows are so pretty with cocoa nibs! Great idea for Christmas baking.

  22. These immediately brought the Peppermint & Dark Chocolate Magnum to mind! I'll bet they tasted just as great! I don't think I'd have the patience to cut shapes out though, would have to spoon it directly from the container! :D

  23. oh so minty goodness :) fab idea to put into organza bags or cellophane bags as a fancy xmas lolly bag for guests!

  24. Super awesome, LOVE choc mint and these trees are very cute. Well done for remembering a recipe you came up with so long ago too, my memory isn't always so good.

    Christmas hugs to you, hope the scroogeness lifts. I think these are a pretty good start to that :)


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