I am not a person with a lot of self-control. I would eat up an entire cake I like if no one is watching. I am surprised when my baking actually last through the weekend to the Monday when I bring into work to share.
My mother, on the other hand has the mental discipline of a sticker you can’t peel off no matter how hard you try. It doesn’t matter how much she like something. She will stop after one serving cuz she super health conscious and weight conscious, you know, Asian moms, she is disappointed that I don’t share the same will of steel. Anyway, recently she told me someone has given her a bag of these snackies and she had some real trouble stopping at just one. So she shared it with people she was working with that day. Apparently they were fighting over these just to get one more bite.
Alright? Huh. Tell me more.
She managed to secure the recipe from her friend. It looks quite simple but there are a lot of ingredients. Apparently it is very important the biscuits in this is just right. Firm enough to hold texture and crisp enough to provide a crunch. I don’t have a single clue what the correct texture is like since all of the recipes I have seen are Chinese and they suggested brands of biscuits I have never heard of. So bear in mind this might not be the perfect recreation of the amazing thing that my mom tasted. From the photos and descriptions I think Ritz (original flavour) is the closest thing to it so that’s what I did. Feel free to experiment with different biscuits available in your area. You will be moving it around with an amount of force so anything that crumbles too easily will not work.
Depending on the type of biscuit you want to put in you can adjust the sweetness that way as well. The lightly salted ones like Ritz cut down on the sweetness but if you like it sweeter you can put in a sweet biscuit as well.
The original recipe calls for 400g but the box I got was only 250g and it was too late to get more so I just ran with that. As it turns out I prefer having this amount of biscuit, I like that you can still get some marshmallowy softness instead of all biscuit crunch.
The only thing that really turned me off from the original recipe was that you are to dust milk powder over the finished product so it won’t stick to each other. I might have mentioned it before but I detest milk powder. The very smell of it make me gag. But this thing is sticky like insane and you will have to dust something on it. I think any sort of floury powder would work, I opted for icing sugar for this because it only add a little bit of sweetness.
So does it live up to the hype? Well I wouldn’t say they are the most amazing thing I have ever tasted because that is something I say about things that include my one true love: custard. It is, however, very easy to eat. You know? No fuss, no mess, not too sweet so you don’t feel like you have overindulged. I would recommend giving this a go for sure.
There is a lot of room to customize this. You don’t have to use cranberries. You can use any dried fruits. If you use something a bit larger like dried apricot, then I’d recommend cutting it down to a smaller size. Same with the nuts. Use whatever you like and use them whole or lightly chopped. I will not recommend you grounding it though as you then lose the texture of the nuts. I had an idea that I can make a chocolate one by adding cocoa powder in with the milk powder, then dust the finished product with malt milk powder. I think that’d be amazing and that is what I am going to try next time. I will update this when I have a working recipe. The possibilities are endless! You can also easily 1/3 this recipe and make multiple flavours in one go!
Adapted from Multiple Chinese sources online: (makes 1 x 11″ x 9″ tray, use a smallert tray if you want it taller)
120g Unsalted Butter
100g Unsweetened Milk Powder
120g Dried Cranberries
140g Mixed Nuts
250g Snack Biscuits (like Ritz)
1. Before you start, make sure you have measured out all the ingredient and have a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Once you start with the marshmallow everything will have to move very quickly.
2. We will start with the nuts. I am using a mix of pecans, pistachios and hazelnuts. These are what I have, and what I like. Put them on a baking tray in 175°c/350°f and roast for 10-15 minutes. Move them around in the tray every 5 mins or so until you can smell the nuts. If you got the nuts already roasted in store then skip this step. Now this is your preference, you can keep the nuts whole if you like. I put mine in the food processor and lightly blitzed them to slightly smaller chunks. This is completely optional.
2. In a large non stock pan, melt your butter. Once butter is melted, add in the marshmallows. The pan above is a 23cm pan and not big enough. I have to transfer that into a bigger pan.
3. Bigger pan. Deeper too. So continue to melt the marshmallow. Keep stirring careful not to let it burn. If you burn it you will have to start over. Once it is melted into a thick white goo toss in the milk powder and mix. The mixture will thicken considerable, keep stirring. You will have to do this quickly! Turn the heat off once everything is all mixed in. Supposedly the longer you keep the marshmallow mixture on the heat the harder it will get when it is done.
4. Toss everything into the pan and MIX. Fold the marshmallow mixture over the nuts/biscuits/fruit and just keep mixing. If you see silky strands as you mix them, you are on the right path. Now they recommend you put on some gloves and use your hand to shape the mixture at this point. I didn’t, I just used spatulas.
5. Pour the mixture into your lined baking tray. Push the mixture down with spatula/hands just so you get it to a big neat slab. Let it cool in the tray for around 30 mins or until set.
6. I sprinkled a piece of parchment with icing sugar. Then turn the slab over onto it. You can also just sprinkle the powder on top. Or, cut the slab into whatever size you like then toss it into the powder to prevent sticking. This is up to you. You just need to coat all sides because IT IS STICKY AS SHIT.
7. I cut mine into strips then into squares. Sorta like nougat. Store it into an air tight box. It should keep for a few days. Bear in mind, the biscuit will soften as days go by and the sugar part will harden if you fridge them. So I’d say eat it up in a few days, don’t worry, it is very easy to eat them all up.