For those with a proverbial sweet tooth

July 4 in America would not be complete without S’mores, even though National S’mores Day is actually August 10.

S’mores, for the uninitiated, consist of a fire-roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate, sandwiched between two Graham crackers – pretty much our digestive biscuits. Back home, we found that Tennis biscuits are an even better alternative.

The key to really nice S’mores, is the marshmallows, and homemade is best.

Dear son-in-law Adam treated us to S’mores with homemade marshmallows on Independence Day during our recent visit, and needless to say, I am now hooked.

Ingredients, Selection and Preparation

1 1/2 cups (375ml) white sugar

1 cup (250ml) golden syrup

3 sachets of powdered gelatin

1 cup (250ml) ice cold water

1/4 tsp (1.25ml) salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup (250ml) icing sugar

1/2 cup cornflour: commonly known as Maizena

non-stick spray

1 slab plain milk chocolate

1 pack Tennis biscuits

Method

Put half the iced water and the gelatin in a stand mixer bowl. Fit the paddle attachment.

Combine the remaining water, sugar, golden syrup and salt in a small saucepan.

Cook at medium heat for three to four minutes, then put in a sugar or similar thermometer and cook until the temperature reaches 115°C, then immediately remove from the heat.

Start the mixer on slow speed, and pour the sugar syrup mixture into the mixer bowl in a steady stream.

Increase mixer speed to high, and whip for 12 to 15 minutes, until the mixture becomes very thick.

Meanwhile, prepare the baking tray – 350 x 250 x 40 – for setting the marshmallows.

Sift together the icing sugar and cornstarch.

Spray the baking tray with non-stick spray, coating the inside completely.

Pour in about half the icing sugar cornflour mix, and completely coat the baking tray bottom and all the way up the sides.

Reserve the excess for later use.

Add the vanilla extract to the stand mixer bowl and beat in for the last minute.

Lightly oil a spatula, and very quickly – the mixture sets rapidly because of the high proportion of gelatin – turn out the mixture and smooth it evenly in the baking tray.

Sprinkle with the icing sugar cornflour mix to coat the surface well.

Let the mixture stand for at least four hours to set, and preferably overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board, and using a lightly oiled pizza wheel, cut into 2.5cm squares.

Dust the cut ends with the icing sugar cornflour mixture.

Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

To make S’mores, place a series of Tennis biscuits on a baking sheet, and place onto each a square of chocolate topped with a marshmallow.

Place in mid-oven at 150°C for a minute or so, until the marshmallow and chocolate melt.

Remove from the oven and top each with another Tennis biscuit.

They are awfully sticky and messy to eat, but oh so delicious.