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Mango marshmallows by carolyne

18 April 2013

This recipe was meant to be titled mango and ginger marshmallows but searching spice cupboard I grabbed the ground ginger only to find that it was empty :( So, if you want to add some ground ginger it would give a lovely warmth to these soft, fruity delights.

My youngest daughter's favourites. Made with real mango, they are soft marshmallows that just melt in your mouth.

What you'll need:

  • A generous 1/3 cup Mango puree/pulp. (I used a tin of mango puree found in the international section of the supermarket)
  • 1 1/2 sachets of grantulated gelatine
  • Cornflour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup / corn syrup - or you can dunk your tablespoon all the way into the syrup tin and pull it straight out vertically and use that - it's the rough equivalent to 2tbsp measure the proper way :)
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • A sugar thermometer would be good although you could heat the syrup to hard ball stage if can't get hold of one.
  • An electric mixer. I use my long suffering hand held mixer but a table top one would be great!

This recipe uses a lot of liquid in comparison to the basic recipe I use, but I just didn't want to lose any mango flavour. It does mean that these marshmallows are soft but light and delicious.

Take a 1/2 cup measuring cup and add the generous 1/3 cup of mango into it. Then add cold water until it reaches the top of 1/2 cup. Pour it into a bowl, add the gelatine, stir and leave to set. (about 10 minutes).

Lightly grease your tin all over with vegetable oil or other lightly flavoured oil. (I use a 6" x 7" tin, you can use whatever size you like but the larger it is the thinner your marshmallows will be) Then liberally dust the tin with cornflour - the marshmallow will stick to anywhere that isn't covered!

In a heavy bottomed pan bring to the boil 1 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp (or 1 gloopy spoon (see above)) of syrup, and 1/4 cup of hot water. Boil and gently stir until the liquid reaches 130oC / 260oF

WARNING: you are dealing with boiling sugar, please make sure that you are able to give this your full attention and that no children are allowed near the stove.

Take off the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Then add another 2tbsp (or 1 gloopy spoon) of syrup. Slowly pour the hot mix into a large glass bowl taking care not to splash.

With an electric mixer start mixing the syrup. Add one tsp of the gelatine/mango at a time, mixing the whole time. The marshmallow mix will lighten and double, even triple in size and start creeping up the beaters.

Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl until it has formed peaks and mix into the marshmallow. I have only recently started using egg whites in my mix, it makes the marshmallows slightly easier to work with, but because this is a soft mix anyway it is completely optional)

Dollop into your prepared tin and spread out. Sprinkle some more cornflour onto the top and let it set for about 4 hours.

Once set cut with a knife or scissors. The sides will now be sticky and can by dusted in cornflour.

Keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Carolyne

xxx

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Malt Chocolate marshmallows by Carolyne

17 April 2013

For my 21st birthday my great Aunt gave me a traditional cookbook and in it was a recipe for marshmallows!! My first attempt did NOT work out! The recipe called for way too much gelatine and they tasted bleugh! Not deterred I tried again, this time creating a lovely soft marshmallow that tasted great covered in chocolate but without was a little flavourless.

THEN I discovered all the wonderful flavours that can be created!!

Homemade marshmallows are different from the shop bought ones, they are soft, full of flavour and they just melt in your mouth!

My children all have their favourites, and they are all different! Eaten plain or covered in chocolate they are delicious.

So I decided to run a mini series of different flavoured marshmallow recipes for you, starting with chocolate malt. I can't quite call it malteser because there is no crunch. It would taste wonderful covered in chocolate but just as yummy without. My kids say that this one tastes like hot chocolate :)

The recipe below fills a small 6" x 7" tin. For a larger tin you can always make 1 1/2 times the recipe, so, for example, where it says 1 cup of sugar add 1 1/2 instead etc.

What you'll need:

  • Cornflour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder - plus extra for dusting
  • 50g / 2 tbsp malt powder (I used horlicks)
  • 4tbsp golden syrup / corn syrup - or you can dunk your tablespoon all the way into the syrup tin and pull it straight out vertically and use that - it's the rough equivalent to 2tbsp measure the proper way :)
  • 1 1/2 sachets of granulated gelatine
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • A sugar thermometer would be good although you could heat the syrup to hard ball stage if can't get hold of one.
  • An electric mixer. I use my long suffering hand held mixer but a table top one would be great!

Dissolve the malt powder and cocoa powder in 1/4 cup of boiling water and let cool - it has to be cool.

Mix some cocoa powder and cornflour together. Lightly grease your tin all over with vegetable oil or other lightly flavoured oil. Then liberally dust the tin with the cornflour/cocoa mix - the marshmallow will stick to anywhere that isn't covered!

Add the gelatine to the cooled malt and chocolate gloop, stir and leave to set (about 10 minutes)

In a heavy bottomed pot put the sugar, 1/3 cup of hot water and 2 tbsp (or 1 gloopy spoon) of syrup.

WARNING: you are dealing with boiling sugar, please make sure that you are able to give this your full attention and that no children are allowed near the stove.

Start to warm up the sugar, syrup and water and bring to the boil stirring all the time. I know that when you make caramel stirring causes crystals to form, well, it doesn't seem to matter with marshmallows.

Boil and stir until the syrup mix reaches 130 oC / 260oF I used to heat it up to 115oC but have raised the temperature recently.

Take off the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Then add another 2tbsp (or 1 gloopy spoon) of syrup. Slowly pour the hot mix into a large glass bowl taking care not to splash.

With an electric mixer start mixing the syrup. Add one tsp of the gelatine/malt/chocolate at a time, mixing the whole time. The marshmallow mix will lighten and double, even triple in size and start creeping up the beaters. Add a few drops of vanilla extract.

Keep mixing until the mixture has cooled.

Every batch of marshmallows comes out a little differently depending on what ingredients you add. This batch is quite soft, which gives a lovely melt in the mouth texture but it does need more mixing.

Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl until it has formed peaks and mix into the marshmallow. I have only recently started using egg whites in my mix, it makes the marshmallows slightly easier to work with, but because this is a soft mix anyway it is completely optional)

Dollop into your prepared tin and spread out. Sprinkle some more cornflour/cocoa mix onto the top and let it set for about 4 hours.

Once set cut with a knife or scissors. The sides will now be sticky and can by dusted in the cornflour/cocoa mix.

Now you can dust off the excess powder and dunk in or drizzle on melted chocolate and leave to set...if you so wish :)

Keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Carolyne

xxx

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Bounty Eggs by Carolyne

27 March 2013

Every year we make all of our Easter treats for the family. No one gets away without something homemade :)

Bounty bars are a favourite in our house so I decided to make them into Easter eggs for this year's Easter gifts. And, oh they are sooo good!! The kids (ok I know that it isn't Easter yet but they needed to taste test) think that they are much nicer than "real" bounty bars :)

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup Desiccated coconut
  • 2 Tbsp Condensed milk
  • 2 tsp Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 200g Dark chocolate

That's it! 4 ingredients!! This amount will make 6 eggs the size that I made ours.

Place the coconut into a bowl. Add the condensed milk until combined and starts sticking together.

Mix in the icing sugar. The mix will be slightly crumbly but should stick together with pressure. Add more condensed milk if too dry or more coconut if too wet.

Now, grab some butter and rub it into your hands like handcream. Divide the mix into equal parts and start shaping the eggs.

Place the coconut eggs onto a tray or plate and put into the freezer while you melt the chocolate.

Cut chocolate into small chunks and melt.

Take the coconut eggs out of the freezer and place onto a fork and dip into the chocolate.  

Tap the fork on the side of the bowl to help the excess chocolate drip off.

You could sprinkle some slivered almonds onto the top before the chocolate is set.

Leave to set.  

Eat within a week.

Now to let the kids make a batch or two :)

Carolyne

xxx

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Bunny Bouquet by Carolyne

24 March 2013

I began this tutorial by myself but was soon joined by my children who then took over :) The bouquet of bunnies (last photo) was entirely child made! And yes, they aren't as smooth in texture as shop bought bunny lollies but I think that the fur gives them character :) 

To start, I drew a very rough bunny outline to be used as a template. This was placed under the greaseproof paper.

Using a spout squeezy bottle (find here) we outlined the bunny in melted chocolate.

Then, once the chocolate has hardened slightly (it won't take long) we spooned more melted chocolate into the outline and smoothed it out. You can add more layers to make your bunny lollies thicker.

Leave to set entirely. Melt a small amount of white chocolate and blob onto the bunnies for tails.

Once the tails are set the lollies will lift of the paper. Turn them over and place a lolly stick/kebab stick (not pointy end) onto the bunny and pour on a blob of melted chocolate. (see here for more information)

Let it set. And that's it!

Arrange in a jar for a bouquet of chocolate bunnies!

Carolyne

xxx

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Bunny Tails recipe by Carolyne

19 March 2013

It only took 3 egg whites and 175g of caster sugar to make all these bunny tails! They are one of the recipes used in our tumbling bunnies party

Meringues are a great party food because they are made in volume, they can be made ahead of time, and they don't cost the earth!

What you'll need:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 175g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 140 oC

Seperate eggs being very careful not to let any yolk get into the egg whites. Also, don't use a plastic bowl or anything plastic to mix.

Using an electric mixer (you can whisk by hand but it will take a lot longer) mix egg whites until white and frothy and it stand in soft peaks.

Then carry on mixing while at the same time adding tablespoons of caster sugar. Mix well between each spoonful. Carry on until you have a glossy white meringue mix that holds its shape.

Place greaseproof paper onto baking sheets and spoon on blobs of meringue leaving spaces inbetween each one.

Bake for about an hour until a light caramel colour .

Take out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes before placing on a cooling rack. Be gentle with them as they are delicate

Place in an airtight container. Apparantly, you can freeze them, too but mine have never lasted that long :P

Enjoy

Carolyne

xxx

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Sugar Bunnies by Carolyne

16 March 2013

These sugar bunnies are copies of the watercolour bunnies that feature in our tumbling bunnies party. So I thought I'd do a quick tutorial on how to make them.

They really are quick and easy to make, and they are just so cute!

You'll need:

  • Ready made fontant
  • Yellow. pink, and brown gel food colouring (found in supermarkets. If you can't find brown, you could use some orange or whatever just to darken the yellow slightly)
  • Little chocolate drops/balls

Start by colouring some fondant with yellow and a tiny bit of brown food colouring, and knead until mixed.

Divide the fondant into 5 pieces: for the body, head, ears, feet, and arms.

Shape the body into a pear shape. Shape the head, arms, ears and feet like this photo below

Colour some fondant pink. Add to the feet and ears. Then using the back of a teaspoon, shape the ears.

Attach the ears to the head. You might want to use a drop of water to help it stick.

Push the chocolate drops into either side of the head for eyes.

Attach the arms to the body. Again, a drop of water may be needed.

Attach the feet.

And don't forget the tail!

And here he is! Isn't he adorable?!

Have fun putting them in different positions :)

Carolyne

xxx

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New Party!! Tumbling Bunnies!! by Carolyne

15 March 2013

I am so excited to get this party on the site! I had so much fun painting the tumbling bunnies. My youngest asked me if I was painting enough bunnies to fill the house :)

They print beautifully, so if you want to get the printables for a DIY party then you will be very happy with this set.

AND for the first time, we are offering not just printables...we have printed items too!

The banner would look wonderful in a child's room, party or not!

The great thing about these sets is that they look so good that you only need a few simple party foods and your party table will look spectacular.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

Find the party here

Carolyne

xxx

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Handcrafted Hot Cross bun necklaces by Carolyne

09 March 2013

I have just put up these realistic looking, fun, hot cross bun necklaces in the gift section of the site! They are perfect for Easter!

These fun necklaces will only be on the site for Easter so grab them while you can :)

The hot cross bun charm is handcrafted so there will naturally be slight differences in appearance. I make the raisins individually and bake them into the bun, so as with edible buns, they randomly sit where they like :)

You can find them here

Carolyne

xxx

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Single and double crochet tutorial by Carolyne

07 March 2013

I've done a second you tube video showing how to crochet a US single stitch (UK double) and a US double stitch (UK triple).

I have included both UK and US terms in this video, not to confuse you, but to help you understand the difference/similarities and allow you to read patterns from both countries :)

If you need any help, just ask.

These are the most widely used stitches and will allow you to get going and start crocheting :)

And below is a very quick video on how to crochet into the chain. I crocheted a US sc/UK dc into the chain.

Have fun!

Carolyne

xxxx

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How to crochet - the basics by Carolyne

27 February 2013

http://youtu.be/KyTQ3sd0aRs

I have finally made a YouTube Video on the basics of crochet. This video covers the slip knot, how to hold your yarn, chain stitch, and the anatomy of a stitch.

There are different ways to hold your yarn, this is just my way :)

I shall follow it up shortly with a video showing the basic stitches

You can find it by searching for my YouTube user name which is Carolyne Anne

Carolyne

xxx

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