Here’s a secret for you – I used to HATE passionfruit. With a furious passion. The same passion with which I currently hate kiwi fruit (I love kiwi people, just can’t stand those weird fuzzy egg-shaped fruits with their tasteless green innards).
Passion fruit and me was a non-starter. I think it was entirely the texture, to be honest. I’m so sorry to have to use this terribly gross adjective, but there’s no other word for it: snotty.
I have learned to love the p-fruit. In fact, now it’s absolutely my favourite tropical fruit. And the cool thing is, that living as I do in a sub-tropical city (we’re just shy of the tropic of Capricorn), there are passionfruit vines growing everywhere.
I love a cheeky urban-forage. I figure, if the fruit is outside of a person’s property, then it’s fair game! And also if I’m very quick, and very quiet and only take a few, shh, run!
I used to think that passion fruit curd was the highest goal a passionfruit could aspire to. But now, having tried these ridonculous Passionfruit & Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, I know the truth.
These are the greatest marshmallows of all time. I will probably make other varieties in my life, but I can’t imagine they will be as nice as this.
The gorgeous, primrose yellow of these marshmallows comes entirely from the passion fruit, though I seemed to get an especially bright orange-yellow batch, so others may turn out a little paler.
Imagine one of these floating in a cup of dark hot chocolate. Or torched and used as a layer in a decadent chocolate cake. Or studding a batch of white chocolate rocky road. Seriously.
The only thing is, this is candy-making. So you do have to be precise. You will need a sugar thermometer, and either a standing mixer, or a very brave friend to hold the bowl and whisk, as you stream in the sugar-syrup.
Save for that bit, which is really no more scary than draining a pot of pasta, these are pretty simple to make. Just follow the steps like any other recipe, and be prepared for deliciousness. AND DON’T FORGET TO TOAST ONE!
P.S. Seriously, toast one.
- flavourless oil, such as grapeseed
- 180ml strained passionfruit juice (anything from 5-10 passionfruit, depending on their size)
- 20g powdered gelatine
- 2 cups (450g) caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup (100g) cornstarch (that's cornflour if you're in Aus/NZ)
- 1 cup (100g) icing sugar
- Lightly grease and line with non-stick baking paper, an 8x8inch (20x20cm) square baking pan.
- Place the passionfruit juice and gelatine together in a small bowl, and stir well, then set aside to bloom.
- Place the caster sugar, and 1 cup (250ml) of water into a deep, heavy based saucepan.
- Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the pan.
- Place the egg whites and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk them for about one minute, or until they're frothy and light, but not at soft peaks. Turn off the mixer and leave.
- Place the vanilla-sugar-water mixture over a low heat, and stir gently, just until the sugar dissolves. Then, turn the heat up to medium-high, stop stirring and cook until the mixture reaches 125C/257F.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and stir through the bloomed passionfruit-gelatine mixture.
- Begin whisking the egg whites again on a medium speed, and then slowly stream in the hot passionfruit syrup. Keep whisking the whole time, until all the syrup is in. The mixture will be opaque, and seem quite runny.
- Continue whisking the mixture until it is almost at room temperature, but not quite. It should almost triple in size, and become moussey and cloud-like.
- Scrape the mixture into the lined pan (it won't be sticky, more moussey) and leave to set at room temperature for several hours.
- Once the marshmallow is set (jiggle the pan around, or give it a poke, it will be soft, but elastic), sift together the cornstarch and icing sugar a few times, and spread about half of it out on a clean work surface.
- Turn out the marshmallow onto the sugar mix, and using a well-oiled knife, cut into 16 squares - you will need to clean and re-oil between cuts.
- Dust over the remaining sugar mix, and then toss and coat each square. Store at cool room temperature for up to two weeks.