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Marshmallow Lion Faces: Kids Birthday Party Food Ideas – Dad In The Kitchen

If you’ve been following my week-long Dad-in-charge blog-countdown to Little E’s second birthday party (click here to check it out) then you know that I have a habit of taking other people’s great ideas, tweaking them, and then telling everyone that I’m a genius. So why not make it official? Here is my brilliant rehash of everyone’s favourite homemade marshmallows, but with an animal-themed twist:

Homemade Marshmallow Lion Faces!

I’ve always wanted to give sweet making a bash, and marshmallow is everyone’s childhood favourite. Unfortunately it tends to come in boring shapes. Tubes or cubes. Blah.

To solve this UN-level threat, Little E and I have bastardised a great recipe from taste.com.au (click here to see the original recipe) and given it a tiny creative twist.

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Seriously thirsty work, this cooking. Sugar on the floor, cap from gelatine thrown across the room. What’s next on the recipe, Dad?

Shopping List:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons gelatine
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • yellow food colouring
  • 2 x 12 slot cupcake or muffin pans
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 100g dark cooking chocolate or dark chocolate melts
  • snap-lock snack bag

As per the original recipe, start by greasing the muffin or cupcake pans.

Heat the caster sugar and hot water in a saucepan, over a medium heat. The sugar will quickly dissolve but you need to stir it continuously until it begins to bubble. You should notice the cloudiness disappear and the syrup will become clear. Take it off the heat.

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Whisk the gelatine with the cold water in a bowl, then mix into the sugar syrup. Put back on the heat and bring to the boil. Once again it should be a little cloudy until the bubbles begin.

As soon as the liquid is clear, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

When it is cool, use an electric beater or a mixer to whizz the liquid up (Phenom-A-Mum will be thrilled that I used her super-special mustard coloured Kitchenaid for this. That’s twice in two years we’ve used it. Money well spent!). Gradually increase the power to the maximum setting so that your liquid fluffs up and triples in volume.

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You should now have a thick white foam. Add in the vanilla extract and three drops of the yellow food colouring.

Pour the mixture into the two pans. If you are using muffin pans, only half fill each indentation or the marshmallows will be far too big. Unless you like really big marshmallows, then go crazy!

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Leave these to cool for an hour, while you toast the coconut. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. When it is hot, add the desiccated coconut and start stirring. DO NOT STOP! The coconut will brown very quickly. Keep it moving around to achieve an even toast. As soon as half of the coconut has changed to a golden brown colour, take off the heat and pour into a cool bowl.

When the marshmallow has set, scoop each one carefully out of the pans with wet fingers or a wet spatula. The marshmallow is extremely sticky and will break off where you touch it, if your fingers or utensils are dry.

Roll the marshmallow rounds in the toasted coconut, leaving a small clear patch in the centre of the top.

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Melt the chocolate in your microwave, or in a bowl immersed in boiling water. Pour into the snap-lock bag. Seal and then squish the chocolate into one corner of the bag. Use a pair of scissors to cut off the tip (only a small amount) and, ta da! You have your own chocolate pen.

Draw two eyes, a nose and a lion mouth in the centre of each marshmallow round. Place in the fridge to cool.

That’s it. Seems like a bit of work, but it’s actually really simple. And then you’ll get to taste the greatest marshmallows you have ever had in your mouth! So smooth, so fluffy. Why can’t the big companies make them taste this good?

It’s a conspiracy! Enjoy.

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David Hawkins

Half nerd, all Dad & Founder of Big Kid Little Kid, the go-to blog for Awesome Dads. David is on a personal mission to become a more awesome dad to his two sons and teach them all the facets of being a major nerd. NES-off anybody?