Unicorn Marshmallows

See just how much wonderment and joy one tiny sweet thing can cause.

Ingredients

  • Oil, for greasing
  • 1½ cups coconut water
  • 3 tablespoons powdered gelatin
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 to 2 drops natural pink food coloring
  • 1 to 2 drops natural green food coloring
  • 1 to 2 drops natural blue food coloring
  • 1 to 2 drops natural purple food coloring
  • 1 to 2 drops natural yellow food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Instructions

Oil an 8 x 8 inch pan and line with parchment paper. Lightly oil the paper.

Pour ½ cup coconut water into a large stand mixer bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on the top and leave to soften. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy.

Place the remaining coconut water in a saucepan with the sugar and honey and cook on a medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Keep stirring and increase the temperature. Check with a thermometer—the mixture needs to reach 240°F.

Carefully, pour the cooled syrup mixture into the gelatin mixture still in the mixer bowl. Add the vanilla and coconut extracts and beat on low speed, until combined. Increase the speed to high and continue to beat until fluffy and the mixture has tripled in volume, about 6 minutes (you want to make sure it’s still a little bit warm to work with).

Meanwhile, arrange 5 separate bowls on the worktop and put a different food color in each. (If you are using the powders, mix each one with 2 teaspoons water to dissolve first, so that the color mixes evenly through the marshmallow.) Lightly oil 5 spoons or spatulas, one for each bowl.

Spoon a fifth of the marshmallow into each one of the bowls. Mix quickly with the oiled spoon or spatula to take on the color and then scrape the marshmallow into the lined pan, spreading it across the base. Repeat, one at a time, with each of the remaining colors, layering them one on top of the other in the pan. You will need to work quickly, before the marshmallow starts to set.

Using an oiled knife, swirl through the mixture to create a marbled effect. Do not overwork it or you will lose the marble effect. Dip the knife in cold water and smooth the surface. Cover with a lightly oiled piece of parchment paper and set aside in a cool cupboard overnight to fully set.

The next day, using a lightly oiled sharp knife, tip the marshmallow out onto another sheet of parchment paper and slice into cubes.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar and use to cover the sides of each cube. Serve with a mug of hot chocolate for the ultimate sleepover treat—whatever your age! Makes about 32.

About this recipe

“OK, so not exactly made from unicorns…but when you see the super cool pastel colors and the amazing food science at work in this recipe, you will see just how much wonderment and joy one tiny sweet thing can cause. I have to say, if only my chemistry lessons at school had been like this, then who knows what might have happened? For anyone a little nervous of using food coloring, there are some really great natural food colors for sale now, or you can also use natural freeze-dried foods—I have used blueberry and raspberry in the past. I guarantee the sight of the marshmallow mixture expanding and taking on the colors will get any kids you know into the kitchen and interested in the possibilities of food and cooking.” – Caroline Byron


Recipes and images used with permission from Gluten Free, Naturally by Caroline Byron, photography by Clare Winfield. Published by Kyle Books.

Ingredients

  • Oil, for greasing
  • 1½ cups coconut water
  • 3 tablespoons powdered gelatin
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 to 2 drops natural pink food coloring
  • 1 to 2 drops natural green food coloring
  • 1 to 2 drops natural blue food coloring
  • 1 to 2 drops natural purple food coloring
  • 1 to 2 drops natural yellow food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
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