There's a rule in our house and it goes like this: You cannot have hot chocolate without marshmallows. Hot chocolate without marshmallows is like SpongeBob without Patrick, or JD without Turk... not possible. (You can tell I live with boys, right?)
NOTE: The JD and Turk reference is a nod to my husband and his best friend. I don't let my kids watch Scrubs, even though they plead with me because they're convinced their Dad and his best friend are the main characters. And honesty, they are so much like them, they could be.
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
slightly adapted from Food.com
2 tablespoons gelatine (2 sachets)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
icing sugar for dusting and coating
Use cooking oil spray to grease a 20cm square cake pan and generously sprinkle it with icing sugar.
Pour 1/2 cup water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine evenly over the surface of the water. Give it a stir and set it aside.
Put the caster sugar and 1/2 cup of water into a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until dissolved.
Add the gelatine and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Let it stand to partially cool.
Add the salt, vanilla seeds and vanilla extract.
Beat until fluffy and doubled in size - about 10-15 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and even out the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle more icing sugar on top and then allow it to set for 2 -3 hours.
Spray a pallet knife with cooking oil and run it around the edges of the pan. Turn the marshmallow slab out. (Marshmallow slab, doesn't that sound good?). Cut into your desired shapes, spraying your knife or cookie cutter with cooking oil to stop the marshmallows from sticking to it. Roll the marshmallows in icing sugar and get ready for a sugar rush.