Have you ever been enticed by the cute mini marshmallows in the shops? I thought I’d share with you what I made after I came home with an irresistible bag of pink and white ones.
This is my adaptation of Christine France’s recipe for marshmallow crunch bars, from her book 1 Mix, 100 Cakes. I hope you’ll also feel free to adjust the type and quantity of nuts and fruit (and chocolate!) to your own tastes and celebratory occasions. In this example, I swapped mixed nuts for almonds, glace cherries for dried cranberries, and added coconut as well as chocolate chips, in an effort to find a suitably festive recipe leading up to Christmas.
175 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 g caster sugar
125 g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
30 g desiccated coconut
100 g almonds, chopped
75 g cranberries
75 g dark chocolate drops
75 g mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Oil a 23 cm cake tin. Prepare ingredients (e.g. chop nuts, soften butter).
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.
- Add in the butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix well until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Add in all of the coconut, then two-thirds of the almonds, cranberries and chocolate, then one-third of the marshmallows, mixing well after each addition.
- Spoon the batter into the cake tin, smooth over the top.
- Mix together the remaining ingredients and scatter evenly over the top, pressing down a little.
- Bake for 45 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Cool in the tin for 20 minutes until firm, then cut into slices before cooling completely. Don’t leave the slicing too late, as the marshmallow becomes too sticky once cooled.
There is a multitude of flavours and textures in this slice: the hidden marshmallows are melty but those on the top are meringuey; the tart cranberries are almost completely melted; the coconut and chocolate give interesting pops of flavour; and the almonds provide a nutty crunch. The cake base itself is rather plain and difficult to distinguish from all of the other components. I do like the proportion of the slice’s cake layer versus the topping layer, though. I am tempted to try other fruit and nut combinations – there are so many possibilities with this recipe.