My dad sent us the Roald Dahl Book of Revolting Recipes, and we couldn't wait to try some of them. Of course the kids picked one of the most elaborate and daunting recipes in the book - edible marshmallow pillows (for when you wake up in the night feeling hungry).
I've never made marshmallow before, but it's easier than I thought. Basically you mix up a strong solution of gelatin, and boil some syrup to 240F. Then you combine them with an electric whisk until they go white and voluminous, like whipped cream or mayonnaise. Beat in an egg white and pour (quickly) into a container to set. (I'm deliberately not giving all the quantities and steps to make the recipe - if you want to make it, buy the book. The proceeds go to children's charities, but even if they didn't the author deserves to make a living)
We weren't quick enough with the first batch so it started to set and wouldn't pour nicely. We left that to set overnight and quickly whipped up another batch, which we poured into a lined Swiss roll tin in a smooth white layer.
The next day we did a few simple things that transformed our sheet of marshmallow into a realistic-looking pillow. The failed batch got cut into cubes and dusted with icing sugar, and were quickly devoured. I had mine in hot chocolate.
How did it taste? Well, exactly like marshmallow you buy so it's not really worth the effort of making your own, except to create the pillow I suppose. But the pillow did look spectacular. It would make an unusual birthday cake, or a themed dessert for a sleepover party. And it was fun to learn how something familiar is made - I always get a kick from that.