Recipes for sweet treats to share as gifts
A handmade gift can be very special at Christmas, and what better one than a sweet treat they can share.
Raspberry ripple marshmallows
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 10 minutes to 15 minutes
Serves: 24 generous cubes
Vegetable oil, for brushing
500g granulated sugar
12 sheets (1½ packs) Dr Oetker Platinum Leaf Gelatine
2 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs, whites only
1 tsp Cooks’ Ingredients Raspberry Flavour
22g pack Cooks’ Ingredients Raspberry Powder
For the coating
4 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp cornflour
1. Lightly brush the inside of a 27x18x4cm tin with vegetable oil. For the coating, mix the icing sugar and cornflour in a large roasting tin. Sieve a little of this mixture into the prepared tin, then tilt and tap it to cover the base and sides, especially in the corners. Do this over the roasting tin to limit mess, then tap the excess back into the tin and set aside.
2. Heat the granulated sugar and 250ml cold water in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, increase the heat to high and boil hard, without stirring, for 10 minutes, or until a sugar thermometer reaches 115ºC. The syrup will be clear but will have thickened and the bubbles will have increased in size.
3. Meanwhile, put the gelatine in a bowl of room temperature water to soften. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric whisk (or preferably using a freestanding mixer) until stiff. Tip away the water from the gelatine and wring it out thoroughly to remove any excess water. Return the gelatine to the empty bowl.
4. As soon as the sugar syrup is ready (see above) add half of it in a slow, steady stream to the egg whites, beating fast as you go. Stop at the halfway mark and add the gelatine to the pan of sugar syrup – it will sizzle, then quickly become jelly-like. Swish the pan to melt it all before continuing to add it to the egg whites as before.
Add the raspberry flavouring and ½ the raspberry powder. Whisk for a further 10 minutes on maximum speed.
5. Add the remaining raspberry powder to one side of the marshmallow mixture. Using a large spatula, gently fold the mixture over the powder once or twice to marble it, before pouring into the prepared tin. Cover and place in the fridge to cool for 2 hours until set.
6. To cut the marshmallow, dip a round-bladed knife into boiling water and cut the set mixture into cubes. Drop each sticky cube into the icing sugar and cornflour mixture and turn until well coated. Tap off the excess before putting them into gift bags or boxes.
Preparation time: 15 minutes + chilling
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes + chilling
Makes: 24 squares
397g can condensed milk
450g caster sugar
120g butter, at room temperature
125ml whole milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds only
2 tbsp spiced dark rum or cognac
1. Line a 16x20cm tin with baking parchment. Snip into the corners to get neat edges.
2. Heat all the ingredients in a large saucepan set over a low heat. Once the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat to high and stir continuously with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes, until the original blonde colour has turned to butterscotch and the bubbles have increased in size. Drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan – if the mixture in the corners is catching, reduce the heat to medium. If the bubbles aren’t getting visibly bigger, increase the temperature slightly. If available, use a sugar thermometer; it should read between 110-120ºC.
3. At this point, remove from the heat and beat with a balloon whisk for 5 minutes, until the mixture feels heavy and smooth.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to cool on a trivet until at room temperature, then cover and put in the fridge to cool completely. Once fully set, cut into cubes with a sharp knife and transfer to a gift bag.
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