It was my birthday weekend this weekend (I’m still not quite sure how I feel about turning 23 but we won’t dwell on that…) and that has meant only one thing – cocktails. Lots of cocktails. So what better time to share with you these marshmallows that combine two of my favourite things – sugar and alcohol.
Over the course of the last three days I’ve used my birthday as an excuse to indulge in visits to some of London’s most buzzed about venues that I’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time…
Friday night was spent getting to know Camden Town a bit better and visiting the camden branch of Blues Kitchen (I talked about my visit to the Shoreditch branch here). Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about the bar as I had to take myself home early after a few too many birthday drinks but I can tell you I’ve been told great things about the live blues band that was playing and if you book a table for a birthday on a friday you get a complimentary bottle of bubbly – definitely something worth doing as reserving a table doesn’t cost anything and you get queue jump for the evening – making the post-9pm £5 entrance fee leave you feeling undercharged.
After a lazy morning munching on cold pizza and chocolate fingers (I’m suddenly aware this post isn’t painting the best picture of me…) we headed over to Primrose Hill to take in the beautiful London cityscape and get some brunch from the gorgeous Greenberry Cafe. We all went for something different but after changing my mind a few hundred times I settled for the sweet potato fritters with chorizo and poached eggs which were quite honestly bloody gorgeous and I will be heading back there to try out as many of their specials as I can over the next few months.
Saturday evening saw us chow down on a mexican feast at Lupita (and of course more cocktails – strawberry mojitos anyone?) before heading over to England’s only branch of Sushi Samba. In my excitement to get up to the bar and try out the drinks I’d heard so many good things about I forgot about my fear of heights. Heading up to the 38th floor of Heron Tower in a glass lift is something that I’m not sure I’ll be doing again in a hurry but the views we got once we were on safer, more solid ground were pretty phenomenal!
The drinks here don’t come cheap – £13 pounds plus a 12.5% service charge – but my ‘Lychee Cooler’ was delicious and the whole experience was pretty special and worth it.
Today has been spent relaxing over a much needed cooked breakfast, complete with nutella pancakes for pudding (if you can’t have pudding with breakfast for your birthday, when can you?) and exploring Hampstead Heath – I honestly feel so lucky to be living in such a beautiful part of London with some of my best friends so close to me! If any of you ever find yourself in the capital with nothing to do I promise you that a walk around this enormous park finished with a treat in any of the hundreds of surrounding eateries won’t disappoint.
Any way, enough waffling, I made a batch of these up for a girlfriend’s housewarming and after one too many mojitos (I promise I don’t spend all my time drinking rum) we cracked these open and I was delighted that they went down a treat. If you ask me, they make a perfect present and say ‘You’re the Best’ better than any Yankee Candle and bottle of rosé ever will.
Ingredients (Makes around 50 Marshmallows)
2.5 Tbsp Powdered Gelatine (Approximately 24g or two sachets worth)
8 Tbsp Cold Water
350g Caster Sugar (or 375g Granulated Sugar)
125ml Cold Water
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Strawberry Extract
1 Tbsp White Rum
50g Strawberries, fresh or frozen
Icing Sugar, for dusting
* Rum can be removed and replaced with another ½ Tsp Strawberry Extract.
– Dust a rectangular dish (approx. 12″ x 7″) with icing sugar, add the powdered gelatine and 8 tbsp of cold water to a measuring jug and leave both to one side for later.
In a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan pour in the sugar and 120ml cold water and heat on a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, sitting constantly with a wooden spoon.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add the gelatine (which will now look a little like golden clumpy jelly) and stir well.
Turn up the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil and let the mixture boil for 1 minute before removing from the heat.
Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a large, ceramic or glass mixing bowl with the salt and strawberry extract taking care not to burn yourself on the extremely hot sugar mix. Leave in the bowl to cool for another 10 minutes.