The recipe below based on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for homemade marshmallows will create about 25 lavender marshmallows.
Lavender Marshmallows Ingredients:
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
½ tbsp icing sugar
½ tbsp cornflour
25g gelatine granules (about 2 sachets)
2 egg whites
500g granulated sugar
Lavender Marshmallows Method:
Infuse the lavender flowers in around 400ml water for 20 minutes to 30 minutes and strain to remove the flowers (the flowers may absorb some of the water, but starting with 400ml leaves you sufficient for the recipe. Do not be alarmed by the dirty purple/green colour the water becomes, this will not affect the final look of your lavender marshmallows.)
Sift together the icing sugar and cornflour. Line a 20cm square shallow cake tin with cling film and lightly oil the surface. Shake a little of the icing sugar mix around the tin to coat ensuring the base and sides are well coated.
Add the gelatine granules to 125ml of the lavender infused water in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Beat the egg whites in a food mixer until they hold stiff peaks.
Put the sugar into a saucepan with 250ml infused lavender water and stir over a low heat until it has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the syrup fiercely until it reaches 122ºC (the hard-ball stage) on a sugar thermometer, then turn off the heat.
Gently pour the dissolved gelatine into the syrup and stir. The syrup will bubble up a little.
Image Source: Holocene Magazine http://goo.gl/Uufrp
Switch the mixer back on low so the egg whites carry on whisking, and gentle trickle in the sugar syrup, beating continuously until the mixture turns creamy. Add a little food colouring if required; a delicate purple suits the lavender marshmallows particularly well! Once the mixture has turned really thick but is just pourable, pour it into the prepared tin and leave to set in a cool place – not the fridge – for an hour or two.
Once set, dust a chopping board with the rest of the cornflour and icing sugar mixture and ease the lavender marshmallow from the tin. Make sure the marshmallow is dusted all over with icing sugar, then cut into squares using a hot wet butter knife.
The lavender marshmallows keep really well in the half paper half cellophane bags – like the ones you buy penny sweets in!
These are a perfect treat just as they are at any time of year, but you must try threading them onto skewers and toasting them over the fire, delicious!