One of my favourite treats that are sold around Easter time are chocolate covered marshmallows, which are usually shaped in the form of an egg. I wanted to make marshmallow eggs this year but didn’t have time enough, however I know how to go about it now so that I can do it next time. (I detail how to do this later in the post.)
These marshmallows are made with my basic recipe and as soon as the marshmallow has thickened, it sets fairly quickly unlike marshmallows made with refined sugar and corn syrup (there’s a scientific reason, I know, but I won’t get into it here) so it’s important to not overwork it otherwise it sets as it’s being whipped and you won’t be able to mold it; essentially marshmallow fluff. (This, however, I found is easily rectified by simply putting the marshmallow mass into a pot and gently heating it while stirring until it starts to melt. Once there, pour into the pan and allow it to reset.)
To coat the marshmallows in chocolate, you must temper the chocolate. Over the years I have read several texts, including blogs, about tempering chocolate but I only just learned how with the instructions from Roald Dahl’s Even More Revolting Recipes, which, for me, best described how to do it in a straightforward manner. I was well pleased with this accomplishment, especially as this was my very first time to temper chocolate!
For Japan, I made paper cranes and matcha green tea marshmallows.
Green tea is a large part of Japanese culture. There are several types of green tea based on how the leaves are grown such as climate, growing period, etc. that ultimately affects the cup of tea brewed and how it is used; for example, matcha is traditionally used in and prepared for tea ceremony. Matcha is also a popular ice cream flavour.
Because of the matcha powder, these marshmallows are more on the side of bittersweet. The green tea flavour would pair beautifully with white chocolate, an idea if you can have dairy and sugar. I’ve yet to see a dairy-free white chocolate, let alone sugar-free.
If you like marshmallows but don’t enjoy their often toothachingly sweet aspect, these could be for you. (My previous marshmallows are far less sweet than store-bought and most recipes, but some people’s tastebuds are more fine-tuned to sweetness than others; not to mention personal preferences.)
Crunchy meringues. Something magical happens while glossy peaks of meringue slowly dry out in the heat of the oven that makes the cookie give way with a crunch before dissolving into sweet nothingness on your tongue. This perfection eluded me for ages until some three or so weeks ago when I shared with you crispy crunchy meringues.
Since then, I’ve been asked about other possibilities that include making these with agave nectar instead of honey as well as flavourings and variants such as chocolate chip. (We’ll get to that soon; I’m working on it.)
For purposes of making meringue SCD, I found that it’s best to make Italian meringue in which a hot syrup is added to softly whipped egg whites and beaten till stiff. It’s choice for those who are following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or are avoiding refined sugar in general and use honey as a sweetener.
I’ve tried making meringue with honey in its natural state and have not had exactly satisfactory results with it as honey is a humectant, which means that it holds moisture. Honey is also heavier than whipped egg whites and it would make it difficult to sufficiently fold it in without fear of deflating the egg whites.
In my recipe, the meringue is made with a hot syrup using just honey and water and pouring that into soft peak egg whites, beating until stiff. Italian meringue is similar to candy making, specifically marshmallows, so it is more involved and needs precision. Despite being more involved, however, its execution is easy.