Grandpa Joe and Charlie were half running and half walking to keep up with Mr. Wonka, but they were able to read what it said on quite a few of the doors as they hurried by. EATABLE MARSHMALLOW PILLOWS, it said on one.
"Marshmallow pillows are terrific!" shouted Mr Wonka as he dashed by. "They'll be all the rage when I get them into the shops! No time to go in, though! No time to go in!"
--Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Image: Courtesy of Bryton Taylor
Eatable marshmallow pillows. Can you imagine sleeping on one of these? Soft, fluffy, and lickable late at night.
If you're like me, though, sleeping on one would backfire.
I fall asleep with my mouth shut. But some point during the night, my trap falls open and a waterfall begins. Not one of nature's wonders of the world. You come to and quickly slam your mouth shut.
Waking up would be like having your foot stuck in chewing gum.
My face, that pillow.
On the other hand, it would make a killer marshmallow to roast.
I actually used to hate marshmallows. Wouldn't touch them. Loved the idea of roasting them over a campfire, but would handball them off to someone else to eat. The crusty shell wasn't bad, but it was the inside with its sticky gooey too-sweet fluff that made me queasy. But now you'd have to hide the bag from me. Not the plasticky firm ones you get here in Australia. But those big hand-size ones. Our local grocery store imports the Rocky Mountain brand from the U.S. Ridic prices, but worth every teeth-sinking bite.
How do you like your marshmallows? Dunked in hot chocolate? Eaten "raw"?
I'm just looking forward to making another one of these big whoppers when fire bans are lifted so I can take one camping. Maybe with a huge slab of chocolate...and a gigantic graham cracker to go with it... Hmmm!
To make, collect or measure out:
3/4 cup cold water
4.5 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
1 cup corn syrup
3 cups white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup gluten-free cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Start by spraying the container with oil, and lay down some waxed parchment paper. Better yet, if you have a silicone pan, use that as it's already nonstick. I used the Wilton Book Cake Pan for this, the same pan I used for my Halloween Book of Spells cake back in 2011. Always great when you can reuse something you thought you bought for a onetime use only.
I've increased the amount of marshmallow from the same one as the violet marshmallow recipe. But realise you're only filling one-half of the pan. Any more, unless you have two mixers going at the same time, and you're going to have a kitchen overflowing with marshmallow. Delicious, yes, but hell to clean up.
Mix together the 1/2 cup each of cornstarch and powdered sugar and sprinkle it over the container using a sifter.
In the mixer, add in 4.5 envelopes of gelatin (4.5 tbsp) and 1/3 cup cold water. Leave for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add in 3 cups white sugar, 1/3 cup water and 1 cup corn syrup (glucose syrup derived from corn) and bring to a boil. Let boil (I've been told to not stir sugar) until the temperature is 121°C (250°F). You're fine up to 130°C (265°F). Past that, it won't be marshmallow.
Pour the boiled sugar mixture into the mixer with the gelatin and mix at medium to high speed. Add in 1/4 tsp salt. Let mix for 15 minutes.
Nearing the end, pour in the 5 tbsp of vanilla essence.
Take a plastic spatula and scoop and smooth the marshmallow into the pan. Sprinkle with the leftover cornstarch-powdered sugar mix.
Let sit for several hours in a cool place. Meanwhile, wash your equipment in hot water. It's a sticky mess!
The packaging was cotton fabric made into a mini pillowcase and a pillowcase design ironed on using T-shirt transfer paper. When I say "made," I mean iron-on hemming tape was used to piece it together.
Because needles and I? We don't get along.
This moment of realisation came in high school in home ec class, making a pencil case. Me being me, I didn't want just a pencil case. I wanted a bright pink furry leopard print one (and a binder to match). I snapped the needle. Twice. It went flying and nearly took out my eye. No joke. Ever since, we've kept our distance. So if you have a dislike of needles, don't worry, I get it and will be the last to judge. Just go with the hemming tape.
Download the Wonka Marshmallow Pillow packaging (flipped and ready to print on T-shirt transfer paper)
As delicious as marshmallow is, I found myself with just under a kilo of big fluffy marshmallow...Wonder what I did with it all? Check out the leftover marshmallow photo album on Facebook!
Other Roald Dahl related recipes
More from food