Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lavender marshmallows

Lavender marshmallows

It seemed like a good idea – something delicate, almost ethereal. But it did not turn out as I expected...

Have you tried lavender marshmallows? I remember seeing a photo on a magazine, months ago, but there was no recipe – it was an ad from a bakery or something. I decided to use a vanilla marshmallow recipe from DH mag #36 adding the dried lavender instead of vanilla extract.

The marshmallow was actually quite good – delicious and fluffy. But the problem was biting into the lavender buds – they tasted sort of bitter. Maybe grinding them with the sugar before making the syrup would solve this problem – I would love to hear your opinion about it.

Lavender marshmallows

Lavender marshmallows
adapted from Donna Hay magazine

4 tablespoons powdered gelatin
1 cup (240ml) warm water
660g caster sugar
1 1/3 cups glucose syrup
2/3 cup water, extra
3 tablespoons dried edible lavender*
200g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
35g (about 3 tablespoons) corn starch

Place the gelatin and warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer, stir well to combine and set aside. Place the sugar, glucose and extra water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring for 5-6 minutes or until soft ball stage (115ºC/240ºF) on a sugar thermometer.
With the mixer running at high speed, gradually add the hot syrup to the gelatin mixture. Add the lavender and beat for 10 minutes or until thick and fluffy. Pour into a lightly greased 25x35cm (10x14in) baking dish lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with lightly greased non-stick baking paper and refrigerate overnight (I used regular baking paper and oiled it very well).
Place the icing sugar and corn starch in a bowl and stir to combine. Turn the marshmallow onto a surface lightly dusted with a little of the icing sugar mixture and carefully remove the paper. Cut into 5cm (2in) squares – to make cutting easier, dip the knife in boiling water and wipe dry between each incision.
Dust with remaining icing sugar mixture and store in an airtight container

Makes 25 - I halved the recipe above, used a 20cm (8in) square pan and got 36 smaller marshmallows

Lavender marshmallows


Anonymous said...

Hi Patrica. Happy New Year. I love marshmallows and I love lavender - what a perfect combination. But how to overcome the little buds. I was going to try making lavender truffles so I need to work around the problem too. will keep you posted if I come up with a solution.

RecipeGirl said...

They sure look pretty, but I know what you mean. I made something with lavender recently and I wasn't a big fan of eating the flowers. They tasted too perfumy to me. I do want to make homemade marshmallows though!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

They sound and look beautiful. I think grinding them with the sugar first would work.

itssewyou8 said...

Hi. So I have an idea. You know how people make vanilla sugar by adding left over vanilla bean pods to a jar of sugar and just letting it sit...What about trying that but instead use lavender? Here is a blog about vanilla sugar. - let me know how it turns out!


Mumsy said...

They look great with the lavender buds, but I know what you mean. I made some test cookies a few weeks ago and had the same problem. I think the suggestion about the lavender sugar could work. You could also let the lavender steep in the syrup for a bit and then bring it back up to temp before adding it to the egg whites.

Anonymous said...

You could also infuse the gelatin water with the lavender first by boiling water with the lavender buds, then straining them out and using your 1 cup to hydrate the gelatin.

Snooky doodle said...

these look so nice and sophisticated :)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I recently made lavender sugar by letting lavender buds sit in a jar of sugar, then sifting out the lavender after about a month. Maybe something like that would work here? Your marshmallows sure look dainty and delightful!

Anonymous said...

These marshmallows look very fluffy and I like any sweets flavored with lavender !
Sorry, can't help (I've never used lavender bud) but infusing them in the water can be an idea...

Anonymous said...

Your Lavender marshmallows are stunningly beautiful!

I know lavender sounded good to me too. But, every time I use them in a recipe, I hate it.

But, they are pretty to look at.

Peabody said...

They look pretty but yes, I must admit I would not be in favor of crunching on lavender buds.

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Wow! They look so pretty Patricia!

Manggy said...

Oh gosh, sorry I've never worked with lavender before, so I can't help :( At least you know you didn't mess up though :)

Anonymous said...

Looks beautiful!!!

Hmmm...about your dilemma, what if you infused the corn syrup? Chop the lavender and put in a cheesecloth sack (tied) while it's boiling. That's the only thing I can think of without having to eat the dried lavender. :)

Dragon said...

I'm sorry you were disappointed with the lavender. They really look good though.

ChichaJo said...

They look so pretty and dainty! I wish I could help but I've never cooked/baked with lavander before...I've been wanting to make my own marshmallows...will look over that issue again! :)

Erin said...

I've never been a fan of lavender, but I am a huge fan of homemade marshmallows after making a batch last year. Even if they didn't taste the best this time, they at least looked lovely.

Anonymous said...

They do look lovely and I need an excuse to make marshmallows again! I think though that the best solution is the crystallize the lavender. You know cook in simple syrup and let dry. The lavender would taste better and you'd still be able to see it rather than having to grind it and lose the beauty. Good luck!

kickpleat said...

i've thrown in lavender with berries to make a puree, but would have no idea how to make a better lavender marshmallo. they do look lovely, but maybe as other suggested making lavender sugar. good luck because i think they'd be worth making again!

Lydia said...

What an excellent idea! I would certainly use the lavender flowers in the sugar syrup and strain them out before it gets too hot, or let them steep in some grain alcohol for a couple weeks, strain and use as you would any other flavoring extract. I made lavender caramels for the holidays this year and found the lavender flowers too pungent as well, especially for something so light and delicate in flavor to begin with.

Ian said...

I'd suggest trying to make a lavender simple syrup.

Try this: Bring your sugar and water up to a boil, then turn off the heat. Throw in your lavender, let it steep for about 5 minutes, strain and then add the syrup and continue as normal.

It works for making drinks and I'm sure it'd work for these too.

Anonymous said...

Those sound wonderful, I love floral flavors and marshmallow seems like a great vehicle for them.

To join in on the lavender/syrup discussion, I actually have lavender syrup (and violet and rose) made by Monin. The syrup is meant for things like cocktails but I've used it to flavor frostings and cakes, when I wouldn't want any little bits in the dessert. Making your own is also a great idea, and that way would be as strong or subtle as you like.

pam said...

I'm sorry the lavender didn't work for you, but they are so beautiful!

Sarah said...

Lavender marshmallows do sound pretty heavenly. I bet grinding up the lavender buds would help. Let us know if you figure it out!

Anonymous said...

I love homemade marshmallows!

I gave them out at Christmas with homemade cocoa, and people said "you can make marshmallows from scratch?"

The Duo Dishes said...

Well that's too bad that the lavender buds messed it up a bit. We'd suggest infusing the sugar with the lavender. It'll be a bit more subtle, but it should be something you can taste.

Emily said...

Tastespotting! Wheee!

These look lovely. I guess I would grind them up next time. They look pretty though.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Happy new year, dear Syrie! Helen, from Tartelette, has a beautiful lavender truffle recipe - she infuses the cream with lavender then strain it. Hope it works for you!

RecipeGirl, try these with the vanilla, I think you'll like them!

Amanda, I'll be trying that!

Kirsten, thank you for stopping by! I do that with vanilla and it works wonderfully.
Thank you!

Lindsey, really? I made madeleines once and the flowers were fine there.
Oh, and this marshmallow recipe doesn't call for egg whites, isn't it great?
Tks, darling!

Anonymous, great idea, tks!

Natalie, thank you, sweetie!

Lynn, I'll be trying that, you bet!
Thank you!

Vanille, it's a great recipe, I'm the one who spoiled it. :S

Chuck, thank you for visiting and commenting!

Pea, I knew you would understand.

Mark, it's a recipe by Donna Hay - her recipes never disappoint!

Joy, thank you for your suggestion!

Dragon, thank you!

Joey, that issue is packed with gorgeous holiday treats!

Erin, the recipe is a keeper, I can tell you that. I'll just use other flavors next time.
Thank you!

Anonymous, I highly recommend this recipe - it's really easy and there are no egg whites. Just use vanilla and you are good to go!
Tks for stopping by!

Kickpleat, I'll keep you posted, sweetie! Tks!

Lydia, you are so right, my friend. Those little things can get you pretty hard, can't they?

Ian, fabulous idea! Thank you so much for sharing!

Anna, the lavender syrup sounds perfect and I'll be trying it! Tks!

Pam, thank you, darling!

Sarah, I will let you know, for sure!

Biz319, if they only know how easy they are... :D
Tks for stopping by!

Duo Dishes, that is a fantastic idea. Thank you!

Emily, thank you, dear!

Nic said...

I love that second photo, your marshmellows look perfect, all soft and pillowy!

Anonymous said...

Your marshmellows look so good! I am saving this recipe to make with my daughter one day. Yum!

ChefMattrock said...

I have been making lavender marshmallows for a while. For this volume of marshmallows I would recommend 1/2 tsp of lavender buds. Crush them thoroughly in a fine morter and pestle, and add for the last minute of the boil of the sugars.

Any stronger and I found they taste like soap.

Cynthia said...

Homemade marshmellows, gosh that sounds like such a treat.

Anonymous said...

I agree that crushing the lavender florets would be extremely helpful in reducing the fact that you are biting into the "flowers". In regards to cooking with lavender, make sure you are getting an english variety when cooking with lavender. If you are getting a "Grosso", otherwise known as a french lavender, it's extremely bitter in flavouring. If you grow your own lavender, try to get a Melissa (white flower) it's nice and sweet. Otherwise, for such a small recipe use a very small amount. Typically you only use a teaspoon in any recipe. I want to make these now!

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