Marshmallows are not a part of the French eating heritage and we usually get to know them through watching American TV series (you know, the ones where all the kids sit around a camp fire and roast their marshmallows). Our French equivalent is called guimauve (in reference to the plant it was originally made of, used for its anti-coughing properties), and more recently chamallows (a vague cousin of real marshmallows).
So that’s a long introduction when in fact I was never interested in them, until 2 separate events occurred:
- I saw my English-Australian mother-in-law made them very easily from scratch, with NO egg whites: I think that’s the thing that shocked me the most, because I had always assumed they were made with egg whites, giving their look and consistency. In reality, it’s just syrup slowly poured over gelatin, the whole thing being whipped up until ready.
- when visiting some castles during holidays, I took my daughter to the souvenir shop and…we couldn’t take our eyes away from the long stripes of coca-cola marshmallows…See, culture always gives you a lot of ideas!
Back home, I boiled a bottle of coke for nearly 2 hours to perfume a basic marshmallow recipe, but for some reason, the boiled coke didn’t smell like coke (it was a very interesting experience anyway because I could smell cinnamon and citrus in the coke fumes).
And one day, as I was queueing in a charcuterie shop to buy pâtés, pork sausages, etc…Destiny gave me a hand when I saw they were selling coca-cola cordials!
I guess you don’t need to look for a coke cordial if you can buy a coca-cola aroma (and then just add a few drops to a classical marshmallow recipe).
All this to say I used egg whites in my recipe, because I had some left from my many experiments!
Ingredients (makes about 50):
- dusting powder: equal quantity of cornstarch and icing sugar (use for instance 100g of each)
- 34g gelatine sheets (18 sheets) or gelatine powder
- 4 egg whites
- 1 pinch of salt
- 165 ml (11 tablespoons) + 75 ml (5 tablespoons) coca-cola cordial
- 100ml (125g) light corn syrup
- 160g granulated sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1 small lime)
- soak gelatine sheets in water for 5 minutes.
- prepare the tray (I use a 40cm-diameter, about 5cm-high bowl): lightly oil it, then dust it completely with dusting powder, using a sieve
- beat the egg whites stiff with a pinch of salt
- meanwhile, pour 11 tablespoons of coca-cola cordial, corn syrup, sugar and lime juice in a saucepan and bring the mixture to 120°C using a candy thermometer (I don’t have any, so as soon as the mixture starts bubbling, I lower the heat to the minimum and wait for 3 minutes).
- with the beater on, slowly pour liquid along the bowl containing the stiff egg whites and keep on beating
- meanwhile, squeeze excess water from soaked gelatin (or use gelatin powder) and put it with 5 tablespoons of coca-cola cordial in the same saucepan we used previously. Melt gelatin slowly over very low heat and when ready, pour mixture along the bowl containing the egg whites. Keep beating for about 10-15 minutes: the mixture should triple in volume and become thick.
- pour marshmallow mixture in prepared tray, spread it evenly and leave it to rest for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight), uncovered and NOT in the fridge.
- when ready, dust icing sugar powder over it and over scissors, and cut desired shapes (toss them in dusting powder). Remove excess powder by shaking shapes with a sieve.
- because these marshmallows contain egg whites, they can only keep for one week in an airtight container.