September 08, 2009
Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone had an enjoyable and restful holiday -- I know I did! AC was actually in Seattle this weekend, so good ole' Sachi and I got the entire apartment to ourselves. This was the first time AC and I had been apart since we got married, and at first it was a little weird. BUT, I was able to make homemade marshmallows in his absence...and go on guiltless (well kinda) shopping sprees, watch chick flicks, and have girl time as well :D
Anyway, I've been wanting to make homemade marshmallows ever since I walked past Miette Patisserie and saw how ridiculously cute and trendy their homemade marshmallows were. How could you not want lavender, honey or vanilla flavored clouds of fluff? The sophisticated flavors worked well with their light and airy textures, and I couldn't stop thinking about how tasty they'd be as smores, or in a hot beverage, or in my mouth...again.
With that inspiration in mind, I was determined to make my own version. Only, it didn't go quite as smoothly as I had envisioned. Between beating the marshmallow mixture into a fluff and transferring it to a baking pan, I somehow managed to make a complete mess. And I don't mean flour all over the kitchen kind of disaster. This was much more serious where there were cobwebs and cobwebs of gooey, marshmallowy strings EVERYWHERE. In my hair, on the counter tops and floor, shirt, pants -- not to mention my hands, which were so covered in sticky goo that anything I touched (like the sink faucet to wash my hands in) became part of my cobwebbed mess.
What, this picture doesn't make you want to run out and make homemade marshmallows yourself? :P You know when you bite into a marshmallow, and your eager fingers accidentally touch the sticky center and become glued together for the rest of the night? That's exactly what this was like, only ten times worse because the entire marshmallow mixture was sticky...which meant that if you somehow ended up touching any of it, you were doomed. So lesson learned (the hard way): refrain from using your fingers to scrape/wipe off any stray batter!
However, despite the mess (and panic) that was created, I was able to regain composure and churn out a pretty respectable marshmallow given the hurricane my kitchen went through. :) Light, fluffy and delectably soft, they were exactly as I had envisioned if not better. I also dipped a couple of them in milk chocolate to mitigate the slight bitterness of the green tea, which turned out to be a fantastic idea. If only I had some graham crackers...
Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2008
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup cold water, divided
3 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t matcha green tea powder
Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil.
Coat foil lightly with nonstick spray. Pour 1/2 cup cold water into bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens and absorbs water, at least 15 minutes.
Combine 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over mediumlow heat until sugar dissolves, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat and bring syrup to boil. Boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes.
With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture in thin stream down side of bowl (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk, as it may splash). Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes. Add 2 t matcha green tea powder and beat to blend, about 30 seconds longer.
Scrape marshmallow mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top with wet spatula. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.
Stir cornstarch, powdered sugar and 1/2 t matcha green tea powder in small bowl to blend. Sift generous dusting of starch-sugar mixture onto work surface, forming rectangle slightly larger than 8x8 inches. Turn marshmallow slab out onto starch-sugar mixture; peel off foil. Sift more starch-sugar mixture over marshmallow slab. Coat large sharp knife (or cookie cutters) with nonstick spray. Cut marshmallows into squares or other shapes. Toss each in remaining starch-sugar mixture to coat. Transfer marshmallows to rack, shaking off excess mixture.