Brilliant Blackberry Marshmallows

If you're a cook who always makes food from absolute scratch, or are in any way disapproving of packets and mixes, I suggest you move swiftly on because this is not going to make you happy.

It's like this, you see. I'm not a big sweetie fan, but as I love barbeques and did a lot of camping as a kid, I have eaten and enjoyed more than my fair share of marshmallows. Mostly the toasted kind, on the end of a stick, but also straight from the bag, on top of cupcakes, and pretty much anywhere else you could legitimately and usefully call on a marshmallow for sustenance.

Now, most things I like to eat, I also like to cook... except marshmallows. It's all that boiling sugar, and specialist sugar thermometers that put me off. I'd rather just hand over the cash and head straight to the bonfire. The only problem is that shop bought marshmallows can be rather disappointing. Sealed in bags, and stuck on a shelf, they end up as tough affairs, too chewy, dry and loaded with stacks of nasty chemicals. So when I spotted a sneaky little box hiding in the baking section of Sainsbury's which said 'Marshmallow kit'.  I checked the instructions,  saw it didn't require any special kit, and threw it in the trolley.

I know I'm probably not supposed to mention supermarkets but the kit was absolutely brilliant. My first attempt turned out 40 amazing, cloud like, fluffy marshmallows unlike anything we'd ever tasted before. I took them to a 25th wedding anniversary lunch and they disappeared in about three seconds.

The second batch I flavoured with lemon and swirled yellow food colouring through. Wrapped in cellophane and ribbon for presents, that batch went even faster and resulted in a commission to create 120 orange and lemon pieces for a wedding.

Swirling colour through the marshmallows looks amazing so I then tried using a fresh puree of blackberries for colour and taste and it's become my favourite. This recipes makes at least 40 gloriously light, bouncy marshmallows.

  • A mug of ripe blackberries, washed,  stems and gnarly bits removed.
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Sainsbury's marshmallow mix  (Tesco also does a mix)

Put the berries and water in a small saucepan and simmer until very soft. bring to a simmer then cook until soft.

whizz in a food processor then pass through a sieve so you are left with a couple of tablespoons of juice.

Follow the instructions on the packet to make the marshmallows. It takes absolutely ages to mix it but don't be disheartened, it will work. Promise.