You might be thinking about making some of your own edible Christmas gifts this year. I know I am, which is what encouraged me to flick through a copy of Marshmallow Madness by American author Shauna Sever. If making mallows is your thing, or you’d like to try, this is a book worth investigating.
Marshmallow Madness – Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes is written by Shauna, an American baker and US TV host who also writes a blog called Piece of Cake. Shauna also runs a dessert and catering business in San Francisco and in fact, has just written her second book, Pure Vanilla. Americans work fast!
This is the kind of book that instantly puts a smile on your face. It’s totally over the top, and even has a puffy cover, but there’s no doubt that candy-making at home is the ultimate way to spend a fun day.
Mallow-making is definitely trending – there have recently been a whole host of books published, dedicated to the art of making these sugary, sticky sweets at home.
You will need a sugar or candy thermometer and an electric mixer or whisk, but apart from that and lots of sugar, the tools and ingredients are all fairly simple.
Classic Vanilla Marshmallows are made with powdered gelatin, sugar, light corn syrup (you can use golden syrup in the UK), water, salt and vanilla extract. There is also a recipe for a vegan alternative. From that basic recipe, you can go on to experiment with a whole plethora of flavours, such as Deeply Chocolate Marshmallows, Honeyed Apricot Marshmallows or even Maple-Bacon Marshmallows. My favourite recipe is for the Homemade Marshmallow Cream (it gives normal butter-cream a silkier edge) and you can use it to fill Shauna’s Lemon Dream Whoopie Pies. I’m also intrigued by the S’mores Cupcakes, which have made next week’s baking list.
There are lots of directions for the marshmallow novice, with essentially three steps to follow – the bloom, the syrup and the mallowing. The mallowing happens with the aid of an electric mixer that incorporates air.
Note: Being an American book, all measurements are in cups and ounces. I think we can just about cope with that, now.
To win one of two copies, enter via the rafflecopter giveaway tool, below. Good luck and happy mallowing!
With many thanks to Quirk Publishing for my review copy and for the giveaway copy. Photography by Leigh Beisch.