Home-made marshmallow is a real treat. As for other home-made versions of typically mass-produced foods, making your own means you can ensure the quality of the ingredients and customise the recipe to your liking.
Combine the icing sugar and cornflour. Oil a 25 cm (10 inch) square cake tin and sift about three-quarters of the sugar–cornflour mixture over the oiled surface.
Sprinkle the gelatine over half the water. Place the sugar, glucose syrup and the remaining water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to keep on a very gentle simmer for about 15 minutes without stirring. Periodically wipe down the side of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to clean off any crystallised sugar. Using a food thermometer, monitor the temperature of the mixture — it should reach 120°C (250°F) — then remove from the heat. Add the gelatine to the sugar mixture, mixing with a fork or whisk until it is completely dissolved. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer with the pinch of salt until stiff peaks form and set aside. Beat the gelatine–sugar syrup with an electric beater until it has more than doubled in size. Incorporate the beaten egg whites, then the vanilla or other flavour, and continue to beat until combined.
Pour the mixture into the tin, smooth the top and dust with the rest of the sugar–cornflour mixture. Let it sit for 5 hours at room temperature. Turn out the marshmallow and cut into small cubes. Store covered in the refrigerator.
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