Launch day! The Marshmallows of Serendib (and yes, the name was a deliberate echo of Arthur C. Clarke’s wonderful Fountains of Paradise) is now available for purchase. $3 for a baker’s dozen of Sri Lanka-inspired marshmallow recipes, plus a vegetarian variation (suitable more for making fluff than cut marshmallows), and a little story co-authored with Anand Whyte. (It’s on Amazon for your Kindle too!)
Thanks to Kat Tanaka Okopnik for the kitchen conversations, and to everyone who ordered and taste-tested sample marshmallows the last few months. I’m done with shipping out marshmallows now, but if you follow Kat, she’s gearing up to start shipping her own again soon, and you’ll get a generous dose of smart social justice commentary along with the foodie posts.
The tiny book ($3) is available in e-book formats (DOCX, PDF, MOBI, EPUB) now, and may be available as a paperback soon; I’m working on it. With color interior for the photographs, it’ll be a little pricey, though, so just be warned.
Table of contents at the link above, along with direct ordering from me. Enjoy!
I’d deem these barely acceptable. They taste right, if a bit dense and chewy, and they toast up. The biggest problem with them is that they’re quite sticky, so a huge pain to cut up into neat squares. Your best bet with them would be to abandon neatness, chop off pieces, and then toast them up over a fire, where you don’t care so much about the neat aspect. They brown beautifully, melt in your mouth afterwards, and I’m sure would be delectable in a s’more.
NOTE: The egg whites won’t be cooked, so you may want to use pasteurized egg whites for food safety.
NOTE 2: Recommend not trying to make these on a high-humidity or raining day, as the moisture in the air will affect setting properties.
(45 minutes + cooling time & 15 minutes powdering time, makes 36)
4 egg whites, divided
2 t. powdered agar-agar
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. water
powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
butter (for greasing the pan)
food coloring (optional)
chocolate chips (optional)
1. Place two egg whites in bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment); add agar-agar. Stir briefly to combine.
2. In a small saucepan (a bigger one will be heavy and hard to hold steadily at a later stage) combine water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, 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 12 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from heat; if it continues, it will swiftly turn into hard candy.
3. 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.
4. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 minutes. Add food coloring, if using for the whole batch, during this stage. (For bicolor marshmallows, you can pour half out, spreading flat. Then color remainder in mixer bowl and whip to mix, then pour out second half on top.). Add two more egg whites and whip another 3-4 minutes; volume should increase.
5. While it’s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan and dust with powdered sugar (you don’t need the sugar here for gelatin marshmallows, but the agar ones are stickier). Prepare an oiled spatula.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with oiled spatula.
7. Dust the top with enough of the powdered sugar to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
8. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut. As you’re cutting, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary. These are more perishable than gelatin marshmallows, due to the egg whites, so best used within a few days.
3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
2 T lime juice
1 T lime zest
1 T rosewater
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. pistachio extract
3/4 t. kosher salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 c. chopped pistachios
1/4 c. dried edible rose petals
powdered sugar, edible rose petals for decorating
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and honey; add the lime juice, lime zest, rosewater, vanilla, and pistachio extract. Add salt and mix, then add flour and mix on low until dough forms. Stir in pistachios and rose petals.
3. Turn out dough onto floured board and roll to 1/2″ thick. Cover in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. NOTE: Can be kept chilled at this point for several days, covered in plastic wrap, and then rolled, cut, and baked fresh for maximum scent and fresh taste on serving.
4. Remove from fridge and cut with cookie cutter (or roll into log and cut slices). Chill individual cookies again for 10 more minutes (to reduce spreading). Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet (I like the insulated ones for even baking).
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown, then remove to wire rack to cool.
6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and rose petals to decorate. Delicious with tea!
OPTIONAL: Some people like to use a royal icing on their shortbread at this stage, which I admit, may be even prettier, esp. sprinkled with additional rose petals and chopped cashews. But I tried it, and I feel that a sweet icing actually detracts from the subtly fragrant buttery glory of the shortbread. If you must, then try adding a teaspoon of lime juice to the icing, which will enhance the overall flavors.
Strawberries from the farm share, rhubarb from the garden, 1/2 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, bake @ 400 for 35-40 minutes. Happy 4th!
Made coconut flour keto ‘naan’, out of curiosity. It’s not naan, but it’s good! A little odd, and definitely soft — you have to be careful flipping it, or it will tear / mush. The texture isn’t really bread-like — closer to injera, maybe.
But I actually kind of love the sweetness of the coconut with a tangy pork curry. If you’re looking for a gluten-free (or higher-fiber) desi bread-like option, this is a good one; I might even make it again myself.