Distraction can be a beautiful (and tasty) thing. In a time when I should be focused on a thesis proposal and other projects for my graduate studies, I somehow gravitate to the kitchen in search of inspiration.
This week’s inspiration came from a new cookbook by Shauna Server called Marshmallow Madness. Filled with a seemingly endless variety of flavor combinations, this book celebrates the mighty marshmallow in a delightful and highly visual way. The cover is even padded – mimicking the feeling of soft gelatin pressed between my fingers. Server does a wonderful job organizing the preparation process in the simplest terms possible. Most, if not all, recipes are built upon a classic vanilla foundation. Additional flavors are either incorporated into the batter or added as part of the topping. Buttered rum, key lime and root beer float are just a few items that can be found in the book.
As part of a larger online event featuring 16 food bloggers located across the country, Quirk Books invited me to explore the world of marshmallow making using this book as a guide. I decided to build upon a strawberry recipe found on page 32. Server explained that raspberries can create a “radically different flavor” when used in place of strawberries. I decided to take the concept a step further by adding fresh lemon juice, a bit of lemon zest, and flaked coconut for texture. The result was a wildly tangy raspberry marshmallow with a delicate lemon undertone – reminding me of raspberry lemonade on a hot summer night.
Raspberry Lemonade Marshmallows with Coconut
Adapted from Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Server
½ cup raspberry puree (see note)
2 Tbl. cold water
2 Tbl. (2 packets) unflavored powdered gelatin
Whisk together the ingredients listed above in a small mixing bowl until well combined. Set aside for 10 minutes.
¾ cup sugar
½ cup (divided) light corn syrup
1/3 cup raspberry puree
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
pinch of salt
Stir together the sugar, ¼ cup corn syrup, raspberry puree, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt in a large saucepan over high heat. Boil until it reaches 240 degrees. Stir occasionally with a heatproof spatula to prevent the sides and bottom from burning.
Meanwhile, pour the remaining ¼ corn syrup in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Heat the bloom mixture in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until the gelatin has dissolved. Pour into the corn syrup. Set the mixer on low and keep it running.
Once the syrup has reached 240 degrees, remove the pan from the heat. Carefully pour the syrup into the bloom mixture with the whisk still set to low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for approximately 5 minutes. Switch the speed to high and beat for an additional 5-7 minutes. The mixture should triple in volume.
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup powder sugar
1/3 cup sweetened coconut
Just before the mixture is finished, add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Coat an 8X8 inch square cake pan with cooking spray. Scrape the marshmallow into the pan. Use an inverted spatula to smooth it into the corners. In a small bowl, toss the powder sugar and coconut together. Sprinkle over the top of the marshmallow evenly. Gently press the topping into the marshmallow. Cover and allow it to set for 6-8 hours.
When the marshmallows are set, use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the pan. Invert the slab onto a cutting board that had been dusted with powder sugar. Cut it into cubes and dust the exposed edges with powder sugar. Store covered and in a cool dry place.
Authors Note: Raspberry puree can be made by heating a defrosted 10 oz bag of frozen raspberries in a pan for 1-2 minutes. Blend the mixture and strain through a fine mesh sleeve. Discard the seeds and excess pulp.
Check out the Marshmallow Madness recap on Serious Eats.