Hye Thyme Cafe: Pomegranate Marshmallows

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pomegranate Marshmallows

OK, so it's apparently theme week here. I think this is my third or fourth pomegranate powder recipe. (As an aside, although I just made them two nights ago, I was requested to make the Pomegranate-Lemon Verrines again for dessert tonight.) I was hoping these were going to come out cotton-candy pink, but they barely have any pink in them at all. I was tempted to add a drop of food coloring, but I didn't bother - just so long as they taste pomegranatey. Yes, that's a word ... I swear!  ;)

1/2 c pomegranate powder
1/4 c cold water (x2)
1 1/2 packets (about 1 1/2 T) unflavored gelatin powder
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/2 t vanilla
confectioner's sugar for dusting

I didn't know this until recently, when I tried Ina Garten's Toasted Coconut Marshmallows, but marshmallows are so easy to make (assuming you have a stand mixer), it's ridiculous! Definitely worth making them from scratch if you have the time. It doesn't take long to make them, but you have to let them set overnight. I've definitely gotta try some homemade marshmallow rice krispie treats! Maybe with Nutella or caramel or something in them. Mmmmm... oh ya, the marshmallows ...

Pour the cold water into the bowl of your stand mixer, sprinkle the gelatin over that, and let it sit for a minute or so to absorb, then pour in the pom powder and whip to combine.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook on med-high, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches 240 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, just be sure to pull it off the heat at the first sign of color. If it cooks too long and caramelizes, you might end up with pomegranate taffy or something. ;)

With the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot syrup over the gelatin mixture, then add the vanilla. You're going to turn it up to high and just let it run for 15 minutes, but be sure to give it a minute on low first. I turned it right up, and you can see from the spray up the sides of my bowl that I probably should have waited a minute. Fortunately, it didn't spray the whole kitchen.

I was concerned at first, because it didn't look like it was doing anything, so I figured the pomegranate powder had thrown it off or something. It's kinda like waiting for egg whites to whip up. Nothing, nothing, nothing, then bam, there it is!

Prepare your pan by giving it a spray of Pam. I used an 8x8 shallow pyrex. Make sure to spray all the way up to the top. Using a rubber spatula, pour the marshmallow into your prepared pan and smooth over the top. Now comes the the hard part - the waiting! :(  Gotta let it set overnight.

Sorry, I tried to cut the glare.

I ran a thin spreader around the edge of the pan to release any spots that stuck, then inverted the pan onto my work surface. DON'T DO THAT!!! I had the carpet commercial dive across the room to catch the wine spill before it hits the floor moment in my head as I flipped the pan and realized these didn't have coconut on them like my first batch, so I should have sprinkled powdered sugar on my work surface first. Oops, too late!

I used a non-stick pizza wheel to cut it. That worked great. I just had to rinse and dry it once as I went along. I had cut my coconut marshmallows into squares, but I had it in my head that I wanted to do triangles with these, so I rolled the cutter on the diagonal over and over again to make small triangles. I was thinking I would dip one of the points in chocolate. I only ended up doing a few of them that way though. They tasted so good the way they were, I didn't want to mask the pomegranate flavor with the chocolate.

If they give you a hard time trying to separate them, just let them dry a little longer. Dust the cut edges with powdered sugar, tapping off any excess, and hide some so they don't all disappear at once!

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