My list of sweets to try has been growing steadily, thanks in no small part to all the recipe ideas I've been finding on Pinterest. As part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®, I headed to Sainsburys to shop for some confectionary ingredients, with the hope of recreating some of my favourite pins. Marshmallows, nougat, turkish delight... I want to master them all.
My initial plans always tend towards the over-ambitious, and I actually had dreams of making dozens of pretty sweets in a single afternoon. Then I clicked through from the pinboards (where everything looks so very easy) and realised that, in the real world, there's serious work involved in making the likes of Montellimar nougat.
Marshmallows sounded comparatively easy, and I found plenty of cases of people claiming to be able to make them in less than half an hour, beginning to end, so that seemed like a good place to start. I had some lime extract that I wanted to use, and I got the idea of lime marshmallows from Bobbies Baking Blog, but I didn't want to make them plain. Chocolate limes are a classic sweet and one of my childhood favourites, so my first thought was that it might work well to half-dip the marshmallows in chocolate. Or maybe, inspired by some of the amazing striped marshmallows I'd seen, I could make one layer of lime and one of chocolate.
I started by following this vanilla marshmallow recipe, which was about the simplest I could find, but I used Dr Oetker's Vege-Gel as a substitute for the gelatine. The Vege-Gel packet is very insistent about the fact that it works in a different way to gelatine, so I was prepared to amend the recipe accordingly to follow the packet instructions. That's fine; I'm very happy changing recipes and experimenting. I figured out how much Vege-Gel I was supposed to use based on the amount of liquid in the recipe, and I thought I was good to go.
Unfortunately it didn't work. An hour of hard work later, and all I had to show for my efforts was a bowl of striking green goo. Whatever I did, it refused to thicken to anything beyond a lime-scented slime. (The kitchen did smell amazing, though.)
Not a marshmallow.
I went back to Google, hoping I'd be able to track down someone who'd successfully made the substitution, only to discover pages of lamentation and failure... and the recommendation to use agar agar instead. I managed to find a vegan marshmallow recipe that doesn't rely on gelatine. Being vegan, it also skips over the egg whites, so the ingredient list is much simpler. Well, luckily I had a box of agar flakes in the cupboard, so I took a deep breath and went back to the kitchen. This one got a lot closer to working, but although the mixture did everything it was supposed to this time (including climbing up the arms of the whisk), the end product never quite set into a successful marshmallow.
Well, I needed to feed my friends now, not in six months time when I've finally mastered the art of the vegetarian marshmallow - so I turned to a more reliable idea. Sticking with the chocolate lime theme, I made some cute little chocolate cups, and filled them with a whipped white chocolate ganache, which I coloured green and flavoured with lime extract. Unlike my marshmallow attempts, these were a resounding success.
Chocolate Lime Cups
100g dark chocolate
150g white chocolate
100g double cream
½tsp lime extract
a couple of drops of green food colouring
candy lime slices and green glitter sugar, to decorate
- First, make the chocolate cups. Melt (and optionally temper) the dark chocolate, and coat 18 mini sillicone cases. The easiest way to do this is to add more chocolate than you need for each case (I found 1tsp was about right) and slowly rotate the case to coat it, before tipping the excess back into the melting pot. Don't make the cases too thin, or they will break when you try to remove them from the moulds.
- Set aside, and leave to cool.
- If you want to add glitter sugar, spread the sugar crystals on a plate, and dip the edge of the chocolate into the sugar just before it hardens.
- Once the chocolate cups have hardened, carefully remove them from the sillicone cases.
- Melt the white chocolate.
- With an electric beater, whisk the white chocolate together with the cream, lime extract, and food colouring. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Gently transfer the ganache to a piping bag, with a wide nozzle.
- Pipe ganache into each chocolate cup.
- Top each cup with a candy lime slice for decoration.
- Chill the chocolates until you're ready to eat them.
|I'm linking up with We Should Cocoa, which is being hosted this month at Elizabeth's Kitchen - where the theme is chocolates. These little morsels are perfect with a cup of coffee. I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with.|