Mulled Apple Cider, Honey, & Jaggery Marshmallows

Cider marshmallow experiments. I made my mulled apple cider marshmallows with corn syrup and white sugar first, per usual, but for the second batch, I tried swapping those ingredients for honey and jaggery.

The honey makes the syrup boil up much higher, so you do need to use a bigger pot, or be extra careful watching the temp, or you’re likely to have it boil over. And the honey/jaggery version gave a stickier marshmallow, needing to be tossed in powdered sugar a second time. But I like this version better, with more complexity to the flavors.

I would still like a little more brightness of apple; the mulling concentrates and changes the flavor. Maybe adding a little apple extract next time? Hmm…

4 c. apple cider

4 sticks cinnamon

12 cloves

3 packages unflavored gelatin

1 c. jaggery (or dark brown sugar)

1/2 c. honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

butter (for greasing the pan)

cinnamon powder for dusting (a few T)

powdered (confectioner’s) sugar (about 1/2 c.)

  1. MAKE MULLED CIDER: In a small pot on the stove, heat cider with cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and simmer 10 minutes or so. Remove 1 c. for marshmallows, sieving out any whole spices; drink whatever remains. (Can be done in advance.) If you simmer for longer, the flavor concentrates more; you can simmer it all the way down to 1 c. if you like, but it’ll take quite a long time.
  2. Empty gelatin packets into bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment), with 1/2 c. of the mulled cider. Stir briefly to combine.
  3. In a small saucepan (a bigger one will be heavy and hard to hold steadily at a later stage) combine the other 1/2 c. of mulled cider, jaggery, honey, and salt. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees if you have a candy thermometer), approximately 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from heat; if it continues, it will swiftly turn into hard candy.
  4. Turn mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. (Be very careful with the sugar syrup, as it is scaldingly hot and will burn you badly if it gets on your skin.) Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high.
  5. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 minutes. Add food color if desired.
  6. While it’s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan. Prepare an oiled spatula. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with the oiled spatula.
  7. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and dust the top with enough of the powdered sugar to lightly cover. Reserve the rest of the powdered sugar for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  8. Turn onto a board, cut into squares, and dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.

So Good, So Easy

I looked at a bunch of recipes with herbs and other seasonings, but in the end, I just used olive oil, salt, and pepper on the roast, and it was perfect.

Preheat oven to 375F, cut up red onion, carrots, gold potatoes, toss with seasonings and oil, pat dry Cornish hens and season the same way, roast for about 1 hr 15 minutes. If they’re not browned enough by that point, bump the temperature to 425F for five minutes or so at the end. So good, so easy. Dinner for four.

Worth the Extra Step

This is the last of Kevin’s birthday meal kits from Girl and Goatceries, their SE Asian green beans. I’ve never used meal kits before — they’re pretty pricey, but on the other hand, they do seem like a great way to teach someone how to cook (or to remind yourself how to cook).

Taking some of the labor out of things like cleaning and prepping the green beans, or out of shopping for groceries, etc., makes it easier to actually get through a recipe. And their pre-made sauce was certainly convenient.

This one called for me to blanch the green beans, and I admit, I might normally skip that and go straight to sautéing, because it seems a little more fussy than I want to bother with. But y’know, if you blanch the green beans, you do get a lovely bright crispness to them.

So okay, when I have the time and energy, it’s probably worth that extra step. 🙂

Now I’m thinking about what I’d put together in a Sri Lankan meal kit, if there were such a thing….

Girl and Goatceries Elotes Kit

This is the Girl and Goatceries elotes kit. It is yummy. Yes, I could get most of the components separately on my own, but they do have an interesting house-made sauce that comes with, and some nights, you just want someone to put it together for you…

Just grill the par-boiled corn for a minute or two (stovetop grill pan makes it easy), and assemble: kewpie mayo, cheese, cilantro, lime, Yucatan sauce. Adding a little cayenne wouldn’t hurt either.

Like a Freight Train

I made up little packets of apology postcards and stickers to go out with these book / curry powder orders. Sorry they took a few weeks longer than normal, folks. The semester fell on me like a freight train, but I’m getting up now. Whew.

Isn’t This Lovely?

Isn’t this lovely? One of the people we gave away a cookbook to left me a bouquet of flowers on the porch!

Totally unnecessary — that book was paid for by another generous soul. But that’s not going to keep me from enjoying the flowers. I think I’m going to take them up to Kavi’s school-at-home desk tomorrow, so she can enjoy them for this week of e-learning.

(I would give Anand a bouquet for his school desk too, but the odds are very high that he would knock it over and spill water everywhere. He has a nice succulent, though, in a Pokemon-themed Bulbusaur planter.)

Toasting

So much toasted coriander. So much toasted cumin. (I’m out of cumin now, need to make a run to Pete’s sometime soon. Can I bike that far? I think so. The real question is, when is the store nice and empty….?)

The Scent Is Divine

Toasting a big batch of spices for homemade Sri Lankan curry powder tonight. (We dark-roast our spices before grinding.) I think my favorite part is when the fennel starts to toast up, that nutty licorice scent is divine. 🙂

Kavi Helped Make Me a Logo!

I think it looks pretty good! I could put this on a sticker that I’d use to seal a marshmallow package, or on a business card.

The colors are taken from Feast — we’re not wedded to them, but will probably go with something along these lines. Though could be convinced otherwise, maybe.

We’ve taken design as far as we can go, so keeping these basic elements, what might we do to improve it?

(Kavi says you should be nice to her in your critique. Feel free to be mean to me, though. Right now we are debating whether it’s tilted a little to the right or not. I think it is. :-))