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Homemade are a world away from shop bought marshmallows!
on 8 August 2012
Marshmallows are in vogue at the moment, with at least 3 books already on Amazon, and another 2 soon to be published. Marshmallow Madness by US Food blogger Shauna Sever is one of them.
If you have never had a proper homemade marshmallow then you must. Go and make them or buy them. You will be amazed at just how good they are, poles apart from the chewsome boring commercially produced once. A homemade marshmallow is light, pillowed and totally delicious.
I did wonder how marshmallows could expand to fill a whole book, surely there would be several base recipes and then lots of flavour variations, but there are nearly 100 pages here, all full of recipes, techniques, hints and tips.
Starting with a clear "101"' introduction Shuana explains the different techniques of marshmallow making, splitting it into making the gelatine "bloom", the syrup and then the mallowing. There is a good equipment list (a stand mixer really really helps, but is not essential). Moulding, shaping and storage are all covered, as well as an interesting comparison of using egg white vs no egg. For vegetarians there is one vegan - gelatine free - recipe in the book.
Before reading this book I had made marshmallows several times, I found the basic recipes work well and loved some of the flavour variations, buttered rum were a huge hit, although possible more suited to a winter's evening than a boiling hot summer's day. Other flavours which caught my eye are a chocolate malt, key lime, peanut butter and strawberry. The suggestion of using jars of baby puree for flavouring is genius - all the ingredients to whip up a batch can then be kept in the store cupboard.
About 1 in 3 recipes is accompanied by a bright clear full page photo.
I love the suggestions for making more interesting mallows by layering, twisting, filling, piping and using moulds and cookie cutters for making the amazing creations shown on the cover of the book. A nice touch is that the book cover is also "puffy" to match the mallows within.
My only gripe is that this is an American book with cup measurements only, a weight conversion would be handy. Similarly American ingredients and stockists are listed with no UK equivalents.
Because of the absence of weight conversions and UK/EU stockists I am giving this book 3* for European readers and 4* for US.