Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Persistence pays

Last week, after my fairly unsuccessful attempt at apricot marshmallow (p198), I conjectured that adding the sugar before the gelatine might make a difference by stopping the marshmallow from setting before I could fold the apricot through.

There’s a variation of this recipe which uses banana instead of apricot. I had an egg white left over from making mayonnaise, and there were some brown bananas in the fruit bowl that needed using. I decided to have another go.

I once again got out my eggbeater, but this time I had a lot of trouble getting the egg white even frothy, let alone to the “stiff peaks” stage. I'm pretty sure this was because I had to use a much bigger bowl, since my small one was in the fridge, full of mayonnaise.

I persisted with the beating, (feeling slightly guilty about the amount of noise I was making for the neighbours through the wall) to no avail. I got the whites a bit frothy, but that was all.

Eventually I emptied the mayonnaise out of the smaller bowl, washed it carefully so as not to get any greasy traces in my egg whites, and transferred them through. This was slightly more successful, but I still never got them very stiff.

After what seemed like hours of beating, I gave up and decided to start adding the sugar. This beat in quite easily, so I went on to the gelatine. I beat it through quite quickly, and tried to add the banana before the marshmallow set. Even then, it was too late: when I tried to fold the banana through, all I got was big lumps of marshmallow through the banana.

Figuring I’d probably ruined it anyway with my underbeaten eggs, I thought “oh well”, and beat the banana in with my eggbeater. I got a smooth mixture out of this, but it didn’t make nearly as much as it should have – my half mix should have got me two dessert glasses full; in reality I barely had enough for one. This was of course the result of not beating my eggs enough – the amount of marshmallow I had was quite out of proportion to the amount of banana I added. Beating the banana in probably removed a bit of air out of the mixture as well.

I gamely placed my banana-heavy mixture in the fridge to see if it would actually set. About an hour later, I found it actually had! And you know what? It was delicious! I’m absolutely sure that my version of banana marshmallow was nothing like it was supposed to be, but I don’t care: at least all that beating got me a tasty dessert in the end.


  1. Was the egg white at room temp, its supposed to make a difference.c

  2. No, it was straight from the fridge - should have thought of that.

    Then again, the one I used for my meringue was straight from the fridge too, and I had no problem with that one. Suspect size of bowl and possible traces of grease on bowl to be the culprit.


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