|I'm also in love with my Cherry tea towel from Wheel and Barrow.|
|Can I have this muffin please?|
I know there are lots of photo's here, but I just couldn't resist some of them - jewels of colour all around me, bountiful nature. This is a photo collage of sorts, of whats been happening in my kitchen. We will get to the recipe for today .....
|Heirloom beetroot from the garden, ready for roasting for salad - to take to neighbourhood lunch and cricket yesterday|
|Had a gorgeous day with my cousin Joanne on Saturday - she bought her nectarines (that she has grown I might add) and we made jam and chutney|
|Dairy Free Strawberry and Peach Trifle in the making for neighbourhood lunch - with the Almond Custard Cream|
The recipe for the trifle? A more sophisticated version than this, as I made the agar strawberry jelly - for agar jelly see here (I cooked 500gm fresh strawberries with 1 cup water, strained to get 2 cups strawberry juice, sugar to taste, 1 1/4 teaspoons agar powder). And, lots of Chambourd.
Right, which brings us to today, and the recipe. Diamond (on my facebook page) asked if I was posting any treats. Hmmm, I thought, yes I should. And I've settled on Marshmallow. When I was in Melbourne this year, dining at one of my favourite places PM24, we were served a strawberry marshmallow - oh, insanely good - slightly tart, soft - heaven. This is my first attempt at that - it's not quite there, but it's a work in progress. This doesn't quite capture what I was after - lots of colour, fresh, slightly tart strawberry flavour, wild pink colour, but it's good. I'm in the mood for marshmallow - it's a light treat, and fun for the kids (once made). I based the recipe on the Miette version, but used more wholesome sweetening - the Billingtons Golden Castor Sugar (less refined) and a Brown Rice Syrup (in Australia I use the Spiral brand) rather than Light Corn Syrup - the brown rice syrup works fabulously. Oh, fresh strawberry puree and high quality gelatine, from healthy animals. As another thought, you could try using some of the dehydrated berry powder - available from Burch and Purchase (in Melbourne, lucky you if you live in Melbourne!!) both to add to the marshmallow and add to the coating mixture.
Thank you all for sharing this year with me - I have met some amazing people - like you. One of the clear messages that came out of meeting you all was that many of you feel isolated, as you try to provide real, sustainable and good food for yourself and your family. Though this path is gaining momentum, it can seem lonely at times. But know there are many of you, all across the world - each caring enough to keep on this path and how important this is. The other issue was that of time - our 2011 /12 lives are becoming quite crazy - Christmas can certainly be even busier. I hope you find some time to breathe and sigh, and that joy and peace can find a space in your home.
STRAWBERRY MARSHMALLOW - gluten free
There are a couple of critical points here - firstly, I found I needed a fairly large pot for the sugar mixture - too small and it will boil over. Secondly, remember this is boiling syrup - be very careful it does not spill - it will burn badly, especially as it is so sticky. Keep the kids away until the marshmallow is set. I've used a very fiddly snowflake - some of those edges look a bit wonky !! Once set the mix is very pliable though, and great for kids. it will be much easier with a simpler shape such as a star. You will also need a candy thermometer.
fresh, ripe strawberries, green leaves removed
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar ( I used the Billingtons Golden Icing Sugar)
2 tablespoons (20ml tablespoon) gelatine
80 ml strawberry puree
100 ml water
335gm golden castor sugar
100 ml brown rice syrup
3 large egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
Blend enough ripe strawberries that when put through a sieve (discard the seeds) to give you 80 ml
Sieve the cornstarch and icing sugar into a bowl and mix together. Lightly oil ( I used macadamia, but a similar light tasting oil is fine) a 20 x 30cm cake tin and dust it with a small amount of the cornstarch and icing sugar mixture. Set aside.
Add the strawberry puree to a small bowl and stir in the gelatine. Leave to soften.
In a good size saucepan combine the castor sugar, water and brown rice syrup. Do not stir now, or anytime during the process. Place on a low - medium heat, and when it looks like the sugar is beginning to melt, you can increase the heat a little. If you see little crystals of sugar around the edge of the pot, use a pastry brush dipped in waster to wash them back into the mixture. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan - you want it to reach 119c.
Fit your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and cream of tartar, and when the sugar mixture reaches 110c, begin to whisk slowly. When the it reaches 119c, the egg whites should be nicely whipped, though sometimes this last stage 110 - 119 can take some time. Immediately remove the syrup from the heat and whisk in the strawberry mixture, whisking until no lumps remain.
Carefully drizzle the sugar syrup into the egg whites - low to medium speed. If you were using the dehydrated berry powder, I would add that also. When all of the syrup has been added, add the vanilla paste, extract and salt, and increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and is thick. Don't get a shock when the mixture looks like it has deflated when you've added all the syrup, and be prepared for the whipping after this to take a considerable amount of time - easily 10 minutes if not more. It should look like this....
|Ready to pour into the tray to set|
Using a spatula, pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover and place in fridge to set for at least 12 hours. Using a lightly oiled knife (or dust the knife in the coating mix) cut the marshmallows as desired, or lightly oil a cookie cutter (or dredge it well in the coating mix). The mix is quite pliable and will pull out of the cutter easily. Dust the cut edges with the cornstarch and sugar mixture. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.