Monday, December 1, 2014

Honeyed Cardamom Marshmallows with Pistachios


My first experience making marshmallows was just over a year ago when I was reviewing a cookbook entitled The Artisan Marshmallow. I made some absolutely amazing Honey and Peanut Butter Swirl Marshmallows.


I always have a stash of eggs whites in my freezer. Whenever I make something that uses only egg yolk, I save the whites in my freezer to use for things like making angel food cake, macarons, and in this case marshmallows.


Although I was easily tempted to make the Honey and Peanut Butter Swirl Marshmallows again, I decided this time to try the Honeyed Cardamom Marshmallows with Pistachios. The flavor profile is reminiscent of Middle Eastern pastries and I had some really special honey that I thought would be perfect for this recipe.


One of my best friends lives in Philadephia and last year she got me this really adorable set of honey from a local apiary in New Jersey called Tassot Apiaries.


There are three precious little glass jars filled with honey in a wooden box, nailed together and then bound with hemp and finally stamped with a wax seal. It's so precious, I can't get over it! I almost didn't even want to open them because they are just so darn cute to look at!


The set includes a jar each of wildflower honey, buckwheat honey, and blueberry honey. I definitely plan to repurpose the jars after I've used all the honey.

Marshmallow is set and ready to cut!

For this particular marshmallow recipe, I thought the floral aspects of the wildflower honey would be best suited. The honey itself is sooooo delicious and flavorful, it just goes to show how much better it is to get honey from a local apiary than a supermarket. There's really no comparison in quality.


Now onto the marshmallows... they are incredible! I'm not gonna lie, they may be even better than the peanut butter ones! These marshmallows are a lot less sweet than you would expect considering how much sugar and honey they contain. Truthfully, they taste pretty light. The honey offers wonderful flavor along with the fragrant cardamom (one of my favorite spices).


For added texture and even more flavor, these lovely marshmallows are finally rolled in some chopped toasted pistachios. This adds a bit of crunch to these delicately soft marshmallows, and it also takes the flavor to a whole other level.


These marshmallows are truly outstanding. I love the Middle Eastern-inspired flavor profile using some of my absolute favorite ingredients. 'Tis the season to make treats to share with your neighbors and friends. Most people make cookies or even fudge, but if you're looking for a really unique contribution to your holiday table, these gorgeous marshmallows are perfect!


Honeyed Cardamom Marshmallows with Pistachios
Makes about 40 large marshmallows
(Adapted from The Artisan Marshmallow)

400 g (14 oz/1 3/4 cups) caster (superfine) sugar (I used granulated, but weighed it in grams vs volume)
150 g (5 1/2 oz) honey
2 tablespoons powdered gelatin
70 g (2 1/2 oz/2 large) egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
110 g (3 3/4 oz/3/4 cup) shelled pistachio nuts, lightly toasted, chopped (you may need a little extra)

Coating:
2 tablespoons icing (confectioners') sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)

Lightly spray a 9 by 13-inch baking tin with oil, line the base and two long sides with non-stick baking paper and lightly spray the paper with oil.

Combine 345 g (12 oz/1 1/2 cups) of the sugar, the honey and 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water in a medium, deep heavy-based saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and simmer, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 127 degrees C (260 degrees F) on a sugar thermometer (this is the upper end of the hard-ball stage). Watch it carefully, as the syrup has a tendency to bubble up.

Meanwhile, slowly sprinkle the gelatin over 160 ml (5 1/4 fl oz/2/3 cup) cold water in a shallow microwave-safe bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds on High (100%), or until the gelatin has dissolved.

When the sugar syrup reaches 115 degrees C (239 degrees F), whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on medium speed. When frothy, increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining sugar, whisking until thick and glossy. Keep the mixer running on medium speed.

When the sugar syrup reaches 127 degree C (260 degrees F), turn off the heat and allow the bubbles to subside.

Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and gradually pour the gelatin mixture down the inside of the bowl in a thin, steady stream. Add the hot sugar syrup in the same manner. Increase the speed to high and whisk until the mixture is very thick and holds its shape, about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on your mixer. The outside of the bowl should almost be at room temperature.

Use the spatula to scrape the marshmallow mixture into the prepared tin and gently smooth the surface. Stand for 2 to 3 hours, until set.

Meanwhile, to make the coating, sift the icing sugar and cornflour together.

Dust the top of the marshmallow with some of the coating and turn out onto a clean surface. Dust the bottom with more coating. Use a large knife sprayed with oil to cut the marshmallow into pieces (if you cut 8 rows crosswise and 5 rows lengthwise you'll have exactly 40 squares). Roll the sticky sides of each piece of marshmallow in the chopped nuts.

Keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

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