- 500 g sugar
- 2⁄3 cup water, plus ½ cup
- 20 g gelatine leaves
- 4 free-range egg whites
- ½ t salt
- 10 drops almond essence
- 50 g icing sugar, sifted
- 25 g cornflour
1. Place the sugar and 2⁄3 cup water in a small saucepan. Stir until all the sugar is translucent and covered with water, then heat over a medium-high heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the temperature reaches between 118°C and 121°C on a candy thermometer. If you do not have a thermometer, this is firm-ball stage*.
2. While the sugar syrup is cooking, bloom *the gelatine in ½ cup water for at least 10 minutes.
3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment and mix at a medium speed until stiff peaks form. To time this perfectly, turn the mixer to medium-high speed when the sugar reaches 100°C.
4. Pour the sugar into the egg whites while the mixer is on, pouring against the inside of the bowl. Turn the mixer off, add the gelatine and mix at a medium speed. Add the salt and almond essence and whisk until the marshmallow is fluffy and aerated – this should take about 15 minutes.
5. Line a 25 x 35 cm deep baking tray with baking paper, then combine the icing sugar and cornflour and dust the baking paper with this mixture to prevent the marshmallow from sticking. Pour in the marshmallow mixture, pushing it into the corners of the tray. Dust with more icing sugar and cornflour and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour to set.
6. Portion using a cookie cutter or cut into squares using a hot knife. Dust with more icing sugar and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Cook's note: Marshmallow fish were my all-time favourite as a kid, and they still are. I used to buy them from our corner store”
*BLOOM: To allow the gelatine to swell and absorb water to fully hydrate.
*FIRM-BALL STAGE: This means that a sugar syrup has reached between 118°C and 121°C on a candy thermometer. Test this by drizzling a small amount of syrup onto a spoon in a bowl of water, allow to cool for 30 seconds, then test how firm it is. The ball should hold its shape but still be pliable.
Photography: Jan Ras
Food assistant: Bianca Strydom