Did you enjoy eating marshmallows as a child or indeed as an adult? I know I did when I was little and I loved the way they melted in your mouth. But they were only pink and white and both colours tasted the same. Bascially just like eating sugar! So I was intrigued by a website I came across whereby a lady was making and selling gourmet marshmallows!
I contacted Belinda Clark and was delighted to be given the opportunity to evaluate some of the mouth watering flavoured marshmallows she makes and sells.
Belinda as a child
I wondered why Belinda wanted to make marshmallows and have gleaned that she has always loved sweets as a child. Like me, she is not impressed with the pink and white ones. As Belinda says "With access to all these beautiful ingredients out there, what was stopping the confectionery that we eat day-to-day from being truly incredible. So one day I set about creating my own. When I made and tasted my first gourmet marshmallow, I knew that somehow my life had changed. It was like nothing I had ever tasted. Whenever I think about what I want to create with my products I go back to that moment and how special I felt, and how my friends reacted when they tasted my new creations."
Belinda making gourmet marshmallows
Belinda's marshmallows are unique in that no other manufacturer produces these in the same way that she does. I also read that Belinda Clark is the sole supplier of gourmet marshmallows to Fortnum and Mason! What an achievement!
The finished product!
Did you know that marshmallows actually originated in Egypt? They were made with the sap of the Marshmallow plant - Althaea Officinalis - which grows in salt marshes and near large bodies of water. The leaves, flowers and roots are known to have medicinal properties as described here.
I have been sent 7 packs of these delightfully packaged marshmallows and I would like to share my thoughts with you all.
So what’s a ‘gourmet marshmallow’? As Belinda says "Our marshmallows are super light and fluffy, and hand made in small batches using high quality all natural ingredients. We are all about the flavour and the texture - each recipe takes time to develop so that is the best we can make it. All our marshmallows are gluten free and many are fat free too - naturally."
So lets begin. I invited two friends to help share these exciting treats. I started off with Natural Raspberry and the first reaction was WOW! The raspberry juice was so flavoursome and the marshmallow just melted. Belinda suggests placing this variety on top of hot apple crumble and watch it going gooey. That sounds like a great idea! I put one in a scoop of my favourite well known brand of ice cream and it complimented it perfectly.
Derek looking to try a coconut mellowmallow!
We both tried the Natural coconut marshmallows and the taste of real coconut was certainly there and I placed one on top of a cup of hot chocolate and took a teaspoon and began to combine the flavours. MORE PLEASE! Derek preferred his on its own and agreed with Belinda that these would be great toasted over an open fire.
Getting ready to try a chocolate variety
Chocolate marshmallows were given to Derek to try first and he said the chocolate came through as very rich and tasted superb. I was eating some strawberries at the time and Belinda suggests toasting this flavour with brioche and strawberries! I didn't have the brioche, but eating a strawberry combined with a chocolate marshmallow was indeed a wonderful combination of flavours!
I am ready to eat some more! Salted Caramel, Natural Vanilla and Chocolate and Natural Raspberry varieties
Salted Caramel was indeed an unusual flavour, but nevertheless delicious all the same. It reminded me of when mum used to make home made toffee and I would be given small portions to try as the toffee started to set! Belinda suggests this flavour in an ice cream sundae.
A friend trying the vanilla flavoured mellows.
Vanilla was expected to be tasting like the white variety of marshmallows sold years ago and still selling. NOTHING like the mass produced ones at all! The vanilla was evident and my friend ate four one after the other and 'delicious' was her reply after each one! It is recommended to combine this flavour with another one, but I tried one and am perfectly happy to enjoy this flavour on its own.
Natural Passion Fruit and 'fat free!'
Natural Passion Fruit did not disappoint, an unusual combination and one that I have never experienced before in a 'sweet'. Again the fruit seemed to burst in the mouth and definitely moorish! As Belinda suggests, adding to a pavlova sounds very tempting! Oh and being fat free, so much the better!!
Natural Vanilla and Chocolate. OOH yes! Scrumptious and like a really expensive chocolate except much lighter in consistency. I enjoyed these accompanied by a glass of Baileys.
So, what have I learnt from my marshmallow tasting experience?
There are marshmallows and then there are marshmallows. The marshmallows that come covered in icing sugar and are so sweet they make one feel nauseous after a couple of squares, are not for me. Whereas these are so light and flavoursome, they are a pleasure and a delight to eat. So versatile as well added to various food products for an original and tempting treat.
One more extract from the website:-
We love a good party!
If you are planning a special occasion we can offer catering boxes of marshmallows. They make a very pretty display on cake stands and will go down a storm with your guests!
Glamping it up? Everyone knows toasted marshmallows are great – but you haven’t tasted a toasted marshmallow properly until you have tasted a toasted gourmet marshmallow - they really are delicious. Our personal favourites are Salted Caramel and Raspberry….but then again the Coconut is really good…oooo and the classic Vanilla….
Getting married? Along with loose marshmallows for your buffet, we offer hand-tied wedding favours that will wow your guests. You can choose which combination of flavours you would like, and a ribbon colour to match your theme. We can even make heart shaped marshmallows. Prices range from £2.00 - £2.75 plus VAT.
Finally I am delighted to announce that Belinda is donating 3 bags of delicious marshmallows for a raffle prize. Raspberry, Coconut and Vanilla flavours! Details will up on the website soon. Thank you Belinda!