Although aware of breast cancer, I admittedly don't take the risk seriously enough. That rings true for most illnesses and other dangers out there, I am just too busy leading my life to be worrying about something that could put a sudden end to it.
That said, we've had (at least) two cases of it in my family and there might be others that I just wasn't aware of, and I also have recently seen many of my friends affected by it, not that they have cancer themselves, but they worry about a close friend whose been diagnosed, have parents who are undergoing treatment or have lost someone close to their heart.
When Emily of La Dolce Vita was in such a situation recently, she called upon all food bloggers to dedicate a post to breast cancer awareness. Now, I didn't actually think that this creation here would ever make it onto my blog, but this seems like the perfect occasion. As per brief, it is pink, and I made it for (and with!) someone very dear to my heart.
My Mum is a marshmallow addict and I always buy special editions of this foamy candy wherever I can find some - heart-shaped for Valentine's, pumpkin-shaped for Halloween, lavender-scented, chocolate-flavoured... you name it, I've bought it. When she came over in the summer, we decided to make our own, following a recipe I found in Elle Bistro, the German edition of Elle A Table. It's easy enough to make, using fresh strawberries, orange flower water and, most essentially, heaps of gelatine - it won't keep very long, though, as it has to be kept completely dry and any kind of humidity or heat will make it "sweat" profusely... but it's a fun thing to try and make, especially if you get more experimental with flavours than I dared!
(yields a 40 x 30 cm baking try full)
15 leaves gelatine
200 g strawberries
500 g caster sugar
160 ml water
60 ml orange flower water
6 egg whites
(red food colouring, if you wish)
icing sugar and corn flour to dust
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.
Meanwhile, wash and hull the strawberries, then purée until smooth. Dissolve 475 g of the sugar in the water and bring to the boil. Beat the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until stiff and glossy. Gradually incorporate the hot sugar syrup. Heat the strawberry purée and orange flower water, then squeeze the gelatine leaves from excess water and dissolve them in the strawberries. Add to the egg whites (along with the food colouring, if using) and beat for another 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled.
Sift together some icing sugar and cornflour in equal quantities, then brush a baking tray with oil, dust generously with the mixture. Spread the tray with the marshmallow mix and leave to set in a cool and dry place (at least 4 hours).
When the mixture has set, dust generously with more icing sugar and cornflower.
Have a glass of hot water ready. Keep dunking your knife in the hot water as you cut the marshmallows into bite-sized chunks.
(*based on a recipe in Elle Bistro, summer 2005)