Jackie Lee Morrison was owner-operator of Lashings, a specialist brownie bar café and small-batch bakery. She honed her skills as a pastry chef in London, working in five-star hotels, fine dining, and Michelin-starred restaurants before moving to Wellington in 2016.
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To see Jackie’s classic milk choc brownie recipe, go here.
Homemade marshmallows are incredibly quick and easy to make, but require a little bit of timing and care, as you’re dealing with boiling hot sugar syrup.
While it is possible to make this recipe with a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer, you’ll need to be extra careful, and possibly enlist some extra help.
Makes 1 20x20cm tin
225g caster sugar Water 60g egg whites (about 2 large eggs) 3 sheets bronze leaf gelatine (see note) A splash of vanilla essence Equal parts cornflour and icing sugar
20x20cm square tin Spray grease Parchment paper Digital thermometer, or candy thermometer Stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment
Prepare the tin, spray grease tin, and line with parchment paper, then lightly spray grease again. Using your cornflour/icing sugar mix, coat the tin completely, shaking it around. Make sure you coat the sides as well. Set aside.
Place gelatine leaves in ice cold water, one by one, and allow to soften.
In a clean saucepan, place caster sugar and add just enough cold water to create a wet sand consistency. If you have any sugar crystals clinging to the side of the pan, brush them down with a wet pastry brush.
Place over a medium heat and allow sugar and water to melt into a sugar syrup – do not stir! If you need to, you can gently swirl the pan to redistribute the sugar. Stirring will encourage the formation of crystals and ruin the syrup.
Increase the heat and bring the sugar syrup up to 121ºC.
While the sugar syrup is coming up to temperature, place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer and whisk until just before you reach firm peaks. Turn down to very slow and keep the whisk moving. There is a little timing involved here so that you don’t overbeat the egg whites and the sugar syrup doesn’t overheat.
When the sugar syrup has reached 121ºC, turn the stand mixer back up to full speed and carefully and slowly stream the sugar syrup into the mix to make Italian meringue. Be careful not to hit the whisk attachment — if you pour the syrup against the side of the bowl, you’ll have the most success.
Squeeze out the excess water from your leaf gelatine, and drop it into the hot Italian meringue, then add vanilla essence. Keep beating on high until the mix has cooled slightly, is fluffy and doubled in volume.
While the mix is still slightly warm, stop the mixer, remove the excess marshmallow from the whisk attachment, and pour the mix into your prepared tin. Smooth the top with a palette knife, then dust more of the cornflour/icing sugar mix all over the top.
Let sit overnight, then turn out and cut into desired size and shapes, coating them with more cornflour/icing sugar mix to stop the marshmallow from getting sticky.
Gelatine leaves are easier to use than powdered. However, if you can only find powdered, then roughly 1tbsp powdered gelatine is equal to 3 leaves.
Sponge the powdered gelatine before using – simply add 1tbsp of cold water to the powdered gelatine, making sure that it’s all mixed together, then leave until the powder has fully hydrated and become spongey. After this additional step, use as normal.
I don’t recommend dropping the gelatine into the hot syrup to dissolve it, as if the temperature is too high, the gelatine will burn. Not only does this smell awful, but the setting properties of the gelatine will be destroyed. The temperature of the Italian meringue should be enough to melt the gelatine.
You can beat the marshmallow mixture until cool, but I find it’s much easier to spread into a tin when it’s still slightly warm.