The chemistry involved in getting the sugary goo to the right temperature & consistency is probably possible to master without a digital thermometer if you're an expert on the soft-ball & hard-ball stages of sugar syrup, tested (by hand) by dropping droplets of the bubbling lava in to cold water & rolling it between your finger tips....you get the picture, extremely tricky & quite frankly likely to strip your fingertips of their uniqueness if not handled correctly.
I tried, but in the process became trapped in a sugary sticky web of mallow mix the viscosity of glue. I thought the le creuset pots were ruined forever with burnt sugar, that I was never going to get the melted glucose off the kitchen surface & that I would be forever stuck to the food mixer.
But Father Christmas really does exist! Woo Hoo! I must have been a really good girl (I can't remember helping any grannies across the road or rescuing kittens from trees, but I tried to be true to me, remember to call people to wish happy birthday & brushed my teeth twice a day) as he read my wish list & delivered a top notch candy thermometer, complete with the perfect Marshmallow book under the tree on Xmas day. Yay-ness.
Coupled with the really lush Kitchenaid we'd borrowed from a friend over the hols, marshmallow making became a breeze & made me want to try every flavour combo possible, quit my job & open a Marshmallow Cafe.
So far I've made vanilla (easy-peasy now!), strawberry (classic yum) and pineapple with thyme (slightly more tricky but interesting taste. Here's how we made them...
Next marshmallow taste experiments : "cookies & cream", "apple-cinnamon" and "sea salt caramel". The possibilities are endless. I hope friends & family are ready to be receivers of bags of homemade fluffy treats this year!