RASPBERRY AND CREME DE CASSIS MARSHMALLOWS BY CLOUD NINE
Ingredients: 16g (approx 10 sheets) leaf gelatin * Sunflower oil spray *15g icing sugar * 15g cornflour * 330g frozen raspberries, thawed * 2 large egg whites * 500g granulated sugar * 1 tbsp glucose syrup * 50g freeze-dried raspberry powder * 4tbps crème de cassis (blackcurrant) liqueur or to taste. Makes about 36.
How To Make:
- Add the gelatine leaves to a shallow bowl of cold water and set aside.
- Spray a 20cm square cake tin with sunflower oil. Sift together the icing sugar and cornflour. Then dust the tin with this mixture, tapping around the sides for an even coating.
- Puree the raspberries. Strain through a fine sieve with a spatula to get rid of the seeds.
- Whisk the egg whites with a food mixer until stiff.
- In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, mix together over a low heat the sugar, glucose syrup and 180ml of water. Stop stirring when the sugar has dissolved, insert a sugar thermometer and turn the heat up.
- Meanwhile, remove the leaves of gelatine from the water, squeeze the water out. Add to the raspberry puree and whisk to combine
When the sugar syrup has reached 128°C, remove from the heat. Add the raspberry mixture.
Start the mixer again on a low speed and pour the very hot syrup mixture down the inside of the bowl.
Gradually increase the speed to high and continue mixing until the mixture is thick and holds its shape for a moment on the whisk when you lift it out. It will have tripled in size and faded from a deep rich red to a pale powder pink.
Add the crème de cassis at this point and whisk again. Pour the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface and stand uncovered for four hours at least, or overnight, somewhere cool, but not in the fridge.
When the marshmallow is set, dust a chopping board with the icing sugar/cornflour mix, then pass a knife around the edge of the marshmallow to loosen it and turn out onto the board.
Cut with a wet pizza cutter, and then coat each cube in the freeze-dried powder, or alternatively in more of the icing sugar/cornflour mix. Now they're ready!
MERINGUE-TASTIC CHRISTMAS CAKE BY THE MERINGUE GIRLS
'Bah humbug to a traditional cake this Christmas!' say the Meringue Girls, aka Alex Hoffler and Stacey O'Gorman. Having swiped cupcakes from the number one spot with their gorgeously gooey meringue kisses, they've whipped up this stupendous show stopper for the Christmas table - a seven layer pistachio meringue Christmas tree cake, sandwiched with brandy cream and finished with edible decorations – exclusively for us! Check out the new issue, out today, to see the full feature.
Ingredients for the Meringue: * 400g egg white (we use Two Chicks Free Range Liquid Egg White) *800g caster sugar * 500g pistachios, ground. For the brandy cream: 600ml double cream * 2 tablespoons icing sugar * 1 shot of brandy, or 2 tbsp of rosewater if you want to keep it booze free. To decorate: edible glitter * 1 punnet of figs sliced into 1/6ths * 1 punnet of strawberries * 1 punnet of physylis (cape gooseberries) * A handful of dried cranberries * edible flowers or any other xmassy decorations you like! Holly sprigs, gold leaf or sprinkles, a heart-shaped sparkler...
How To Make:
- Preheat oven to 200?C. Line 6-7 small flat baking trays with baking paper and draw out your seven Christmas tree layers on each sheet. Draw the largest circle on your first sheet of baking paper. Use your serving plate/tier as a stencil.
Once you have your circle, draw a five-point star within it, making your star as fat as possible. Get your next sheet of baking paper and trace over the star, but making the star 2cm smaller. Repeat until you have your final 7th baby star for the top of the tree.
Line a deep roasting tray with baking paper, pour in your caster sugar and put it in the hot oven for about 5-7 minutes until the edges are just beginning to melt. Heating the sugar helps to create a glossy, stable mixture.
Meanwhile, crack the egg whites into a non-plastic bowl. Make sure your bowl and whisk are free from grease. At first whisk slowly allowing small stabilizing bubbles to form, then increase the speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks. The sugar should be ready to take out of the oven at this point.
Turn your oven down to 100?C. Whisking at full speed, slowly, big spoon by spoon, add the hot sugar to the meringue mixture. Once you have added all of the sugar, continue to whisk on full speed for about 5-7 minutes. Feel a bit of the mixture between your fingers, if you can still feel the gritty sugar keep whisking at full speed until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth, stiff and glossy.
- When ready, carefully spoon your stiff meringue mixture into a disposable piping bag. Pack the meringue mixture in tightly, ensuring there are no air bubbles. With sharp scissors, cut the tip of the piping bag to the size of a 20p coin. To get the piping bag flowing, use some of the mixture pipe small dollops on to the four corners of your baking sheets and stick down your baking paper securely in place. You are ready to start piping!
Hold the piping bag with two hands, place your dominant hand at the top of the piping bag and your other hand half way down the bag. You must ensure that there is pressure at the top on the bag. Use the hand that is half way down the piping bag to control the flow of the mixture and squeeze to form your beautiful filled in stars. These should be at least 1inch thick. Cover each star with your ground pistachios.
- Bake these at 100C for 45mins-1hr, until the meringues is firm and come off the baking paper without breaking. Take out and leave to cool.
- In a bowl whip the double cream and icing sugar into stiff peaks. Fold through the brandy at the last minute. You want your cream to be very thick but not over whipped.
- Time to assemble! Very gently place your largest star on the cake stand and spoon a large spoonful of your brandy cream on top. Smooth it out to the edges and then place the second largest star on top making sure that the points of your second star fit into the gaps from the first star not directly on top. Repeat this process until you have layered all seven stars.
- Decorate! We dipped our figs, physalis, dried cranberries and strawberries in edible glitter and stuck these and the edible flowers into the cream in a spiral tinsel garland. We added a beautiful heart sparkler to top off the cake and give it the final wow factor.