Homemade marshmallow brownie with marshmallow made from scratch. You’ll be happy to hear that you can make those brownies with Marshmallow Fluff instead of fighting with hot syrup and meringue for the whole afternoon.
Can you make marshmallow at home?
The sucker for punishment that I undoubtedly am, I endeavoured to make marshmallow from scratch. To be truthful, I’d had a stack of egg whites in the freezer, tidily decanted two at a time into freezer bags, waiting for inspiration after only so many meringues that you can bake.
It was fun. Not the kind of fun that I’d want to repeat too soon though.
Marshmallow is basically a meringue made with hot sugar syrup, instead of caster or icing sugar. In addition, the sugar syrup is made with corn syrup cooked with sugar, to be extra-syrupy, and that makes everything stickier and generally messy.
Making the syrup however is a doddle if you’re an experienced jammer (I am), otherwise it might seem to last forever.
But that’s doable: the real fun begins when you pour the syrup into the beaten egg whites ‘in a steady slow stream’, as recipes instruct.
If you’re doing it with a handheld mixer, you’re stuffed – and don’t even dream of whisking it by hand. The coordination of your mixer hand with the ‘slow steady stream’ hand, no matter which task you do with your dominant hand, is near impossible.
The whole project is bound to end in splatting the ‘steady stream’ all over your hands – and I can tell you hot sugar burns are quite unpleasant – or ricocheting it off the mixer paddles all over the kitchen.
Can I not use standing mixer?
The standing mixer is a godsend in most circumstances but here, not so much.
The slow steady stream will either bounce off the whirling attachment (see above) or trickle down the walls of the bowl, nicely solidifying on its way.
If you somehow manage to send the slow steady into that magic square centimetre between the paddle and the bowl wall, at the end of the exercise you’ll find it pooled at the bottom hiding underneath the partly made marshmallow.
You’ll then need to dip the whole bowl in a pan of hot water to melt the syrup (of course it set in the meantime) and try to salvage the mixture by beating it furiously again whereby it may well give up and collapse into clumps.
So yes, go on the above adventure making good note of my caveats or buy Marshmallow Fluff if you are sensible and it’s available. It will pay off though (especially if you just buy the Fluff) because it is absolutely the best brownie in the whole wide world.
What about the brownie?
Weirdly, the original recipe from Salt & Straw makes the brownie merely as a chopped up addition to vanilla and brownie ice cream. Some people! All that trouble only to churn the outcome in ice cream, thus making the flavour flat and indiscernible.
But whatever you do with your baked brownie, making it is a walk in the park compared to the devilish marshmallow fluff.
Butter and chocolate melt in a double boiler, sugar and eggs get beaten until pale and fluffy, then both are combined by pouring chocolate butter in a steady slow stream (hehe).
Dry ingredients can be just folded in and there is double cream added at the end (in a slow steady stream of course) which will make the brownie incredibly tender and rich.
The marshmallow or the Fluff is the last addition and its purpose is to create wonderfully sickly, gooey streaks in the cake.
Baking is the matter of twenty minutes or so, until the surface cracks and the edges start to pull away.
It’s gorgeous, it’s rewarding, it’s the brownie of dreams, but is it worth the toil of making your own fluff – that’s debatable.
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