Saturday, February 07, 2015

Blackcurrant marshmallows

Sharon got me the Marshmallow Madness cookbook for Christmas, which was a total surprise and a lot of fun - I love marshmallows!  I've already tried making some tutti fruitti marshmallows and some peppermint marshmallows, neither of which was great, but that was due to flavoring being too strong and/or overly wet marshmallows.  I won't get any better without practice, and I've had some Ribena black currant (or blackcurrant) juice concentrate that Brett got me for Christmas, and while I've been mixing some up as drinks, I've been tempted to try making my own gummis or marshmallows with it.  Since the Marshmallow Madness book included a recipe using unsweetened grape juice concentrate, I figured I'd try that, just swapping in the Ribena.

Here's a close up of the finished marshmallows, just poured out into a 9x9 cake pan, and dusted with the powdered sugar/cornstarch coating mix.  Now they need to sit and cure for at least 6 hours.

Except, if there's one thing I don't do well, it's sit and wait.  So I whacked off a corner, rolling it around in the coating to prevent it from sticking to me, and so because I was curious to see if the remaining marshmallow was still fluid enough to backfill into the new hole.

Turns out in just a few minutes after being poured out of the mixing bowl the stuff is already well set - it never did fill in the space I'd created by removing this little bit.  The color was really pretty, but wow, talk about moist!  (Apologies to haters of the word "moist"!)  The flavor was also way too strong and sweet...  While I'm learning this seems to fade a bit with curing/airing out, I'm also wondering if Ribena concentrate is much stronger than grape juice concentrate....and much sweeter.

Twenty four hours later, and they've definitely dried out a little.  The bit square of marshmallow was super easy to cut with kitchen scissors - even without greasing the scissors the marshmallows didn't stick.  Once cut I tossed them with the remaining coating mix left from the first attempt at marshmallows, and they were looking good!  Really nice color!

And in different lighting they look more pink - they're actually a touch purple in color.  Unfortunately, I'm not loving the flavor - it doesn't taste like the blackcurrant jelly babies or Tiptree jelly that I love.  This is more like that artificial "dark berry" flavor that antacids and other artificially flavored things here in the US come in.  Bummer...

Another issue is that the next morning it seemed like all the dusty coating was absorbed into the marshmallows - they were slightly shiny again, and a bit sticky.  So I'll need to mix up another batch and maybe give them a few repeat dustings.

I have some flavored candy oils I got after receiving the book, and one is banana cream.  I LOOOOVE artificially flavored banana stuff!  LOVE IT!  So I'm thinking I'll mix up a fresh batch of banana flavored marshmallows, and then mix them with the blackcurrant, and then hopefully the fake berry flavor of these guys will be tempered when alternated with the banana flavor.  Fingers crossed!

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