Saturday, 28 December 2013

Champagne Macarons

Dear readers,

I wanted to create a recipe using popping candy and I thought that champagne macarons would be the perfect vehicle for this ingredient. It was also a great time of year to eat champagne macarons and I had managed to save a little champagne from my birthday earlier in the month.

I was unsure on how to incorporate the popping candy since the 'pop' would disappear if it came into contact with anything wet. I came across this recipe where the popping candy had been coated with white chocolate to protect the chocolate from the moisture in the buttercream.

I used the same base recipe and method as I did for my Kaffir Lime and Coconut Macarons, and followed the idea of coating the popping candy from The Little Loaf.

Champagne Macarons
90g egg white
140g + 200g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
44g caster sugar
45ml champagne
100g butter
100g white chocolate
50g popping candy
Gold edible lustre

This recipe will make around 32 macarons (64 shells).

Sieve the almonds and 140g of the icing sugar together. Whisk the egg whites until they become stiff, then add the caster sugar and whisk until stiff again. Fold in the sieved icing sugar and ground almonds. Stir a few times until the batter has a runny consistency. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe circles of the mixture onto silicone baking sheets. Bang the baking tray gently on a flat surface to help the circles flatten and remove excess air. Leave to rest for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the macarons in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 140°C. Place a wooden spoon in the door of the oven to hold it ajar for the duration of the cooking. Bake for 18 minutes, then set aside to cool before removing from the baking sheet. Gently dust the shells with gold edible lustre.

Gently melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Pour in the popping candy, mix well and then pour out onto baking paper. Allow to cool then peel off of the baking paper and break it up into small pieces.

Sieve 200g icing sugar and cream with the butter, then mix in the champagne. Pipe the buttercream onto the base of one shell, place in a couple of pieces of popping candy chocolate, add a little more buttercream and glue together with another shell. Repeat until all shells have been glued together.

The chocolate certainly helped protect the popping candy from the moisture in the buttercream, however, after a couple of days the 'popping' had significantly reduced. Therefore, I would recommend eating the macarons as quickly as possible after they have been made.

I left the piped macaron circles to rest by a radiator, since it was the middle of December when I made these. If the circles are dry to touch then they are ready. If they are not, leave them to rest a little longer.

The champagne flavour was very subtle but it was detectable. I was thinking about combining the champagne with another flavour in the shells, but I am very glad that I decided not to because I am sure that it would have taken away the champagne flavour in the buttercream.

I found these macarons to be more successful (structure-wise) than my previous Kaffir Lime and Coconut Macarons. I was quite impressed when they baked first time with perfect feet and a lovely sheen on the top! I think that the banging of the piped circles is a very important step when making macarons.

I couldn't resist including a photo with my beautiful red sparkly Christmas nails!


I wish you all a wonderful New Year. I will be abroad working with chocolate and hope to post about it soon!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Blue Cheese Brownies

Dear readers,

There have been some interesting developments in brownie recipes recently; the latest trend being the addition of marmite. I remembered one Chemistry lesson when I was in college and we watched a clip of Heston Blumenthal making a chocolate fondant with blue cheese. Until I made these brownies, I'd never tasted chocolate and blue cheese together before. I searched the internet and couldn't find any existing brownie recipes with blue cheese. I did, however, come across a blue cheese truffle recipe.

I am no expert on blue cheese but I chose to use gorgonzola because I love the pungency and tanginess of it. I also love the sound of the word gorgonzola! However, I am sure that this recipe would work well with any type of blue cheese. I used the same base recipe as I did for my Salted and Spiced Dulce de Leche Brownies.

Blue Cheese Brownies
200g good quality dark chocolate
200g butter
100g blue cheese
250g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
125g plain flour

Melt the chocolate, cheese and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water and set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the eggs with the sugar and mix with the cooled chocolate, cheese and butter. Sieve and stir in the cocoa and flour. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes at 190°C. Slice once cooled.
I cooked these brownies for 30 minutes and they turned out a little dry, so I have reduced the baking time to 25 minutes in this recipe.

I found these brownies truly fascinating! The gorgonzola flavour was very subtle but added a deep, tangy complexity of flavours which came through near the end of each bite. I was very impressed and surprised at how delicious they were; I was half expecting them to turn out to be inedible! This recipe seems to achieve the perfect balance - if there were any more cheese I think that they would taste unpleasant.

I took these brownies into work (I work with a number of Food Scientists) and, as an experiment, I asked my colleagues to sample the brownies to see if they could guess the secret ingredient. It was great fun! Some suggested marmite, a few suggested stock cubes and one colleague even suggested green tea! A few picked up on the cheesy notes, however, only one person guessed the secret ingredient correctly (after a struggle!). In fact, they were from the Sensory department and have been working in Food Sensory Science for over 15 years! So, perhaps their correct conclusion doesn't count, since they are trained for this exact type of research!

In conclusion, these brownies caused quite a stir (to say the least!) and I now have my colleagues asking me if I will be continuing this "Monday Taster Challenge". I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested to have a go at making them, even if it is just to see people strive to guess the secret ingredient! I wonder if these actually have been made before, I find it difficult to believe that they haven't. I also wonder if blue cheese brownies will be the next flavour trend after the 'Marmite Brownies'. We shall see...

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Cucamelon Bloody Mary Salad

Dear readers,

There aren't many cucamelon recipes out there so I found it difficult to find inspiration. Many of my friends suggested that I make a cocktail with the cucamelons, perhaps something involving gin, since cucumber and gin make a good pairing. I thought to myself, why not make both a cocktail and a food recipe in one? I always love the addition of alcohol in food because it creates an extra dimension of flavour as well as excitement!

 Cucamelon Bloody Mary Salad
100g cucamelons
120g baby plum tomatoes
3 red chillis
100ml vodka
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 handful celery leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Slice the cucamelons, baby plum tomatoes and chillis and place in a bowl with the vodka. Allow to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight (this depends on how strong you would like the alcohol; overnight soaking will provide quite a kick!). Drain the vodka-soaked vegetables, add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently.

This salad can be served as a side dish or, since the flavours (and alcohol) are quite strong, it can be served as a canapé or a palate cleanser at a dinner party served in spoons or shot glasses.

This salad seems to go through a sequence of flavours as it is being eaten. It begins with fresh flavours and crunchy textures (especially from the cucuamelons), followed by the warmth of the alcohol which slowly develops into quite a kick at the end with the deeper, more 'Bloody-Mary-like' flavours of the celery seeds and leaves near the end. It is certainly different from most other salads and causes quite a stir!

I'm, actually, not a huge fan of vodka, but decided to stick with vodka in this recipe so that it wouldn't be too unusual. The vodka can easily be substituted for a different alcoholic spirit, such as tequila, and name the salad "Bloody Maria" instead of "Bloody Mary" (I regret not doing this in the first place now, since I much prefer tequila to vodka!).

Instead of cucamelons, chunks of cucumber could be substituted.

Monday, 30 September 2013


Dear readers,

Back in May I bought myself a packet of cucamelon seeds from Suttons. Since we had a slow start with summer this year, the seeds took a little while to take off. However, we were very lucky with our summer when it did arrive and my cucamelons have bloomed!

Cucamelons, despite their name, do not taste of melon. They taste of cucumber with a sharp hint of citrus. The 'melon' part of the name comes from the fact that they look like baby watermelons. They are native to Mexico, where they are called "Sandíitas de raton" (baby mouse watermelons).

Once they got going, they became a little wild and greedy, stretching their curly arms all over the metal supports and neighbouring plants! The cucamelon fruits themselves, however, do tend to hide behind the big leaves and sometimes a low angle is required to spot them!

From the 10 seeds that I planted, only three germinated into seedlings, two of which grew into tall plants that provided fruits. I think that, including allowing for the odd person stealing a sample, they yielded 60 to 70 cucamelons in total. Not bad for my first attempt at homegrowing!

I showed the top photo in this post to a colleague of mine who is also interested in homegrowing. He gave me a wonderful (and rather unexpected) reaction; I quote "Ah bless, they look lovely! Perhaps you could call them cute-a-melons?". How sweet!

Now I need some help in creating some recipes in which I can let these little beauties shine, both visually and flavour-wise. Please feel free to share any ideas and I'll see what I can conjure up!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Blackberry and Sage Cheesecake Cupcakes

Dear readers,

Blackberries have been available all over the place and I thought it would be a shame not to include them in a recipe, especially since they are abundant and free! I wanted to make something which would encourage the gorgeous juices of the blackberries to run and show off their colour, so I decided on a cheesecake cupcake.

As always, I like to create recipes with unusual flavour combinations. I especially like adding herbs to sweet treats because they can create very intriguing flavour combinations even though they are more commonly used in savoury recipes. I wandered around the garden and came across sage. I have seen a couple of sage and blackberry recipes before, so decided to go for it. One could call these "foraged cupcakes" since both the blackberries and the sage have been foraged. But I'm sure that there are plenty of other "foraged cupcake" flavour combinations out there!

Blackberry and Sage Cheesecake Cupcakes
2 medium eggs
100g caster sugar
100g self raising flour
100g butter
8 sage leaves, finely chopped140g cream cheese
60g caster sugar
1 medium egg
75g blackberries

Cream together the sugar and butter, then add the flour and eggs and whisk. Mix in the finely chopped sage leaves and fill the cupcake cases up by two thirds.
Whisk together the cream cheese, sugar and egg then stir in the blackberries. Add a tablespoonful of the cheesecake mixture with the blackberries on top of the cupcake mix and bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown, depending on the size of the cupcakes.
Unfortunately, most of the cheesecake mixture migrated to the bottom and the sides of the cupcake which left the gorgeous purple colours to only be seen through the cases! I'm glad that I used white cases so that the colours of the blackberries were visible. However, once one opens the case, the gorgeous purples are unveiled to reveal their true colours!
These cupcakes had an interesting mix of reviews. Some found the sage flavour quite dominant, while others thought that it was very subtle. Personally, I think that they have just the right amount of sage, but the recipe can be adjusted according to one's taste!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A taste of the 193 course menu

Dear readers,

A couple of months ago, a friend sent me a link about an event taking place in London - a world record attempt on the longest tasting menu. The menu included 193 dishes from all over the world and was hosted by a food company called Unearthed. This sounded incredible and when I saw that they sold tickets for a 1 hour sitting of the event, I was determined to become a part of it!
                                     Table setting

The first set of tickets had sold out almost immediately. I was told that more would be released on a particular date. So I sat poised over the computer and fortunately managed to get 2 tickets!
The one hour sitting included 7 taster courses. Firstly we were given Kansiye - a traditional hearty beef stew with peanut butter from Guinea.

                            Kansiye from Guinea

The next stop was Thailand with the classic Pad Thai, served with a lemon wedge and some ground peanuts.

                         Pad Thai from Thailand
Two courses were served in the form of drinks; Rose Water Cordial from Turkmenistan and Otai - a watermelon, pineapple and coconut drink from Tonga. The Rose Water Cordial was aromatic and refreshing. The Otai really surprised us. We had never tried coconut and watermelon together before but the combination is delicious! This was a favourite of ours and we hope to recreate it sometime, with a drop of rum maybe...

 Rose Water Cordial from Turkmenistan

The next food course was Koshari from Egypt - an eccentric dish of macaroni pasta served with an exotic sauce of rice and lentils. To be honest, we thought that this one was pretty bland and didn't enjoy it so much.

                             Koshari from Egypt

The clock was ticking and we had 20 minutes left. We were given the last two dishes, both of which were desserts; Tama from Palau - a deep fried vanilla ball, and Frozen Durian from Malaysia. The vanilla ball seemed quite similar to a doughnut. Durian is known to be an acquired taste. To me, it tasted like slimy, garlic-spiked fruit. I don't think that I'll be in a hurry to eat durian again! But it was certainly an experience to try it!

                      Otai from Tonga

Our hour was then up and we had to leave for the next sitting of guests. During the meal, there were also some Uneartherd food products out for tasting including Bratwurst, Spanish omellete, chilli and lime prawn skewers, Proscuitto Crudo and Pear and Almond tart, to take us to a few more countries while we were in there!

 Tama from Palau and Frozen Durian from Malaysia

Overall, it was a very interesting evening, having sampled a variety of dishes from around the world. Some were more unusual than others. It would have been a dream to be part of the production of such an exciting event, and, of course, I would have loved to have tasted all of the 193 dishes.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Fried Chive Flowers

Dear readers,

Please allow me to apologise again for my absence from this website! Life has been really busy (as always) and I am just about to go on holiday.

One Saturday morning as I sipped my cup of coffee in the garden, I noticed that all of the chive flowers had blossomed. They looked so pretty that I decided to take a few snaps.

I then remembered reading Shu Han's post last summer on Chive Flower Tempura. This is a beautiful recipe that's, fortunately, quite simple too. It was a few weeks later that I finally got around to making the tempura - I was lucky that there were still some chive flowers left!

Fried Chive Flowers
A handful of chive flowers
½ cup plain flour
½ cup beer
A pinch of salt
Frying oil/fat (quantity depends on what application is used for the frying)

Wash and dry the chive flowers. Heat the oil to 190°C. When the oil is to temperature, add the beer to the flour and mix. Dip the chive flowers into the batter and fry for about 20 seconds or until they are golden brown. Place onto a plate with some kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt before serving with any sauce that one desires!


Shu Han recommends using a solid fat such as lard or coconut or palm oil, but I had none of these at hand so I just settled for plain sunflower oil.

Frying these in a deep fat fryer would be the safest way since the temperature can be controlled. I fried these using hot oil in a pan and the temperature was very difficult to control. I would recommend heating the oil to 190°C, then turning the heat off and removing the pan from the heat once you begin to fry, to prevent the temperature from soaring.

I was actually in such a rush to photograph these before I had to head out that I only tried one before I left. I ended up baking the rest of them for a few minutes once I got home and they were great!

Thanks for the recipe Shu Han!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea - Sanderson Hotel, London

Dear readers,

As one may have noticed, I am a great fan of Afternoon Tea! I love having a selection of different treats, which I can nibble in whichever order I please. However, many Afternoon Tea menus are similar, so, whenever I come across a different menu, I have to try it!

Firstly, we were given a selection of interesting teas which we were allowed to smell to make a choice on our selected brew. These included Mint Choc Chip, Apple Pie, Rhubarb and Custard and Strawberries and Cream. I chose a Strawberries and Cream tea, which had a pleasant subtle sweetness.

The quirky crockery
perfectly matched the innovative and unusual menu - mine had a zebra on a circus pedestal!

The top tier of the platter held a small carrot meringue on a bed of pea shoots and 'strawberries and cream' marshmallows mushrooms. The carrot meringues were a great idea, but they didn't taste of much. The marshmallow mushrooms were also a great idea but were a little too sweet to eat them all. As I've mentioned previously, I think that marshmallows require a little tartness as their high sugar levels can make them too sickly-sweet to eat!

The second tier consisted of a 'Tick Tock' traditional Victoria sponge cake, a melting mango cheesecake and a matcha green tea and white chocolate mousse served in a dark chocolate teacup. The Victoria sponge was light, creamy and delicious. The melting mango cheesecake was a little disappointing; it had a runny mango centre (like an egg yolk) which was held by an almost-crunchy gel coating. The mango sauce was not tart enough to sit well with the white chocolate flavoured cheesecake. It was too sweet and it had no crunchy base for contrast, either!

The matcha teacup was a quite a treat. The mousse was light and fluffy with a little tickle from the popping candy on top! The last sweet included the famous "drink me" potion. This consisted of 3 layers including a passion fruit jelly, coconut panna cotta and an exotic fruit foam. This was a fine fusion of tropical flavours which was far too small a portion!

The savoury treats included four sandwiches, a savoury olive scone (there was also a sweet fruity scone) and two mini quiches. The olive scone went fabulously with the herb and garlic butter on the side! I used two sides of jam and cream on the fruity scone. The sandwiches, each made with different types of bread, were quite impressive. They were rolled up to look even prettier (see photo below). The sandwiches included smoked Cumbrian ham with wholegrain mustard on sun-dried tomato bread, cucumber and chive cream cheese on spinach bread, smoked salmon and lemon butter on rye bread and egg mayonnaise with watercress on lemon bread. Each sandwich was packed with flavour. I would have definitely ordered more if I had had room!

We'd almost forgotten about the Jelly Wonderland course by the time we had finished everything else. We were very full by this point but we just about found room to try all of the jellies. There were raspberry, pear, green apple and mango and chilli jellies. We tried them all but we only really liked the green apple jelly. The others had very weak flavours and all of them had an unpleasant grainy texture.

Overall, it was a great escape down the rabbit hole with some fun and interesting treats. I would definitely recommend it!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Chicken in a Cherry Sauce - Happy 3rd Birthday to my blog!

Dear readers,

Another year has gone by rather quickly and, last Sunday, it was the 3rd birthday of Chicken in a Cherry Sauce!

As one may have noticed, the frequency of my posting has slowed down again. I am really sorry for this! As always, life is very busy and I have also found it particularly difficult to find time to take photographs for my posts during these dark winter months, now that I am working full time! Hopefully, now that summer is on it's way (we hope) and the days are longer, I may be able to post more than once a month!

As I said last year, I really appreciate the support from my readers. Thank you very much for your patience and your kind comments, they all make me smile and mean a great deal to me.

I decided to make an actual Chicken in a Cherry Sauce recipe this year. I wanted to make the cherry sauce slightly different from the Chicken in a Cherry Sauce Empanadas which I made last year, so I followed an oriental theme using sesame seeds and soy sauce.

Chicken in a Cherry Sauce
For 2 servings

2 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of plain flour
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1 tin of cherries (ironically, my blog anniversary will always fall out of cherry season so I can never use fresh cherries!)

200ml orange juice
Half a jar of cherry jam
1 thumb of fresh ginger, chopped into thick slices

Mix the sesame seeds and flour together in a bowl and set aside. Mix the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of the sesame seed oil in another bowl. Dip the chicken breasts in the soy sauce mixture, then into the sesame seeds and flour. Place the coated chicken breasts onto an oiled surface and drizzle with the rest of the sesame seed oil. Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

In a small saucepan add the cherries, orange juice, cherry jam, chopped ginger and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Bring to the boil then turn down to a low heat and allow the sauce to reduce for 20 minutes or so. Once the sauce has thickened, remove the ginger pieces and pour the sauce over the golden sesame chicken breasts and serve.
Since this dish is quite sweet, I would recommend serving it with some refreshing, lightly cooked vegetables, such as pak choi.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Breakfast Flapjack

Dear readers,

I've always found it difficult finding time to eat breakfast in the mornings. Even though food is so important to me, I can't resist those extra few minutes in bed!

If I did manage to make time the mornings, I would choose to eat porridge every day for breakfast. I believe that oats are such a healthy food. I've noticed that supermarkets are now selling instant porridge pots, but at £1.00 a pot, I decided that eating those everyday would be far too expensive! I then found myself buying flapjack at work for breakfast. Again, this was too expensive in the long term, and a little unhealthy, too, with all that sugar and butter. Then I remembered reading about banana flapjacks by Choclette. I decided that substituting some of the butter and sugar with bananas would make the flapjacks that little bit healthier, which would make it appropriate to eat them everyday for breakfast, right?! I also thought that I'd pack some extra nutrients from other ingredients in there, too, for that extra boost in the morning.

This recipe is adapted from Chocolate Log Blog

Breakfast Flapjacks
2 ripe bananas, mashed
200g rolled oats
60g soft brown sugar
30g golden syrup
125g butter
80g dried cranberries
50g desiccated coconut
50g chopped dark chocolate
50g chopped pecans
25g pumpkin seeds

Mash the bananas in a large bowl with a fork. Add the butter, sugar and syrup and microwave for 30 seconds or so, to melt the butter. Mix well, then add the cranberries, coconut, chocolate, pecans and seeds, or whatever inclusions one wishes to add, then stir in the oats. Press the mixture into a greased baking tray and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing into squares.

These certainly make a good 'on-the-go' breakfast for my commute to work, without my feeling too guilty! The only problem is that they go down rather quickly. It may be worth making a larger batch...

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Butternut Squash and Cinnamon Tear 'n' Share Bread

Dear readers,

A couple of years ago my brother sent me a link of a pumpkin and cinnamon bread recipe which he asked me to make for him for his birthday. I'd completely forgotten about it until he mentioned it to me around Christmas time. He's a great brother but recently he's been a really great brother, so, finally I decided to make him this wonderful treat that he desired, and deserved!

I baked this during the very snowy weekend in January, so I have included a couple of my snowy photos in this post.

Since pumpkins are not in season, I substituted the pumpkin with butternut squash.

This recipe has been adapted from Sunny Side Up.

Butternut Squash and Cinnamon Tear 'n' Share Bread 
For the bread dough:
50g butter
120ml milk
1 sachet of yeast (~7g)
320g bread flour
200g butternut squash purée (boiled butternut squash, puréed)
45g brown sugar
A pinch of salt

For the cinnamon sugar:
250g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
50g butter

For the glaze:
50g butter
150g sugar
2 shots of rum
50ml milk
50g chopped pecans

Brown the butter in a saucepan on a medium heat, being careful not to burn it. Remove from the heat once it has browned. Gently warm the milk in the microwave so that it is lukewarm, then slowly add to the browned butter and return to the heat until it begins to bubble. Pour the warmed butter and milk into a bowl, add the sugar and allow to cool to about 40°C. Then add the yeast and allow to proof (a foam will start to appear on the surface). Then add the butternut squash purée, salt and 100g of the bread flour. Stir until well combined, then add the rest of the flour and mix well. Knead for a few minutes until an elastic texture is obtained. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour, or until it has doubled in size.

For the cinnamon sugar, brown the butter then add the sugar and spices and mix until well combined. Set aside.

Once the dough has risen, place it onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. Roll out into a 20 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread the sugar evenly over dough and push down into the dough. Cut the rectangle into 6 strips and place on top of each other. Cut those strips into 6 even squares and layer them vertically into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes. Pre-heat the oven at 175°C.

Once risen, bake the bread for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

For the glaze, heat the milk, butter, sugar and pecans in a pan until it starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and add the rum. Pour the glaze over the bread and serve.

A foam did not appear after my first proofing attempt, so I gently heated the butter, milk and sugar mixture back up to 40°C and added another packet of yeast. After 10 minutes, a foam then appeared.

The dough expands quite a lot, so it is better to use a loaf tin too big (if one doesn't have a 9x5 tin), than a loaf tin too small. Mine was too small and some pieces fell out of the tin during the baking!

My brother was absolutely delighted with this treat, and, fortunately, it was a complete surprise to him, too. The bread had a slightly crisp crust with a sweet, spicy and chewy inside. The rum glaze was literally the "icing on the cake" - I wouldn't recommend making this bread without it! The little warmth from the rum really took it to another dimension - quite satisfying to eat when it's chilly and white outside!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Lime and Mint Marshmallows

Dear readers,

Happy New Year!

I had two weeks off work for the holidays and I thought that I'd be able to catch up with the blog by making and photographing lots of treats during my time off. I did spend a lot of time in the kitchen but, sadly, lots of these ideas failed (again!).

Firstly, I tried to make gin and elderflower marshmallows. I accidentally used double the amount gelatine, which resulted in a marshmallow mix quite difficult to control during the mixing! I added the elderflower flavour with a cordial, which was far too sweet for a product made almost entirely of sugar. And, to top it all, when I added the gin, the mixture starting fizzing!

However, I learned from this and decided that marshmallows need some sharpness to cut through their intoxicating sweetness so I decided to use lime. The marshmallow itself was absolutely divine (especially compared with the chewy, over-sweet elderflower and fizzing-gin marshmallows). I used both the zest and the juice of the lime for maximum flavour and it worked like a dream... (to my relief!).

As I mentioned in my Bacon Marshmallow post, my favourite type of marshmallows are those covered in granulated sugar because they provide a glossy crispy outer shell once they have been toasted. I decided to top these marshmallows with a little mint sugar to enhance the flavour and to mimic the marshmallows that I used to toast during my childhood. Unfortunately, I no longer live in a house with a fireplace! I was tempted to add a little bit of rum to the sugar (to make mojito marshmallows) but the lime flavour of the marshmallow was so good that I didn't want to interfere any more!

This is the same base recipe that I used for the Bacon Marshmallows (adapted from David Lebovitz)

Lime and Mint Marshmallows
9g powdered gelatine (1 sachet)
40ml + 40ml water
Juice (~20ml) and zest of 1 lime
20 fresh mint leaves
100g + 100g sugar (caster or granulated)
50g liquid glucose
2 large egg whites at room temperature
A pinch of salt
A few drops of green food colouring
Marshmallow mix (70g icing sugar mixed with 70g corn flour, sieved)

This recipe makes ~28 marshmallows. 

Put the gelatine, 40ml cold water and lime juice (this should be ~20ml) in a small bowl to soften.

Generously dust a greaseproof lined baking tray with the marshmallow mix and put to one side.

In a small saucepan with a sugar thermometer add the 40ml cold water, 100g sugar and the liquid glucose and place over a medium heat.

In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they are soft and fluffy. Add the pinch of salt.

Once the sugar mix reaches a temperature of 220
°F (104.5°C), beat the eggs until they become stiff. When the sugar mix reaches 245°F (118°C), slowly pour it over the whipped egg whites and continue whisking.

Put the gelatine, lime juice and water mix into the saucepan and allow it to melt with the remaining heat from the sugar mix. Whilst whipping, pour the liquefied gelatine into the egg whites and sugar. Add the food colouring and continue whisking until the mixture and the bowl has completely cooled. Gently fold in the lime zest.

Pour into a piping bag and gently pipe out the marshmallows onto the baking tray. Allow the marshmallows to set uncovered for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Blend 100g sugar and the mint leaves in a food processor until the leaves are finely chopped and mixed with the sugar. Sprinkle on top of the marshmallows just before serving.

These make wonderful palate cleansers for a dinner party. Also, they can be simply popped into one's mouth for a quick sugar fix! They were a huge improvement on the attempted elderflower marshmallows. I strongly recommend using flavours which cut through the sweetness of the sugary puffs of marshmallow.