I bought a full pound of decorticated cardamom seeds just for fabulous recipes such as this, as well as Finnish breads. I do love cardamom. And I love the ease of these marshmallows because I don't have to make up a batch of marshmallow syrup before hand. They come together in about an hour if you're familiar with the process, and taste like a lemon bar or lemon meringue pie in a tart little marshmallow package. Only slightly more exotic. My girls love these. Which actually kind of surprises me since they are pretty puckery and a slightly more adult taste I would think. But they loved the cinnamon mocha marshmallows too. Both fabulous flavors are creations of the wonderful Eileen Talanian. Go buy her book. NOW. It is so worth it.
Beautifully published and presented with lovely photographs, it makes a great coffee table book too. Although mine is quite obviously used often and not fit for the coffee table anymore. I discovered the book a little over a year ago after a long quest to find a corn free marshmallow recipe. Eileen simply makes her own invert syrup out of cane sugar. Problem solved. And in a much tastier way than corn syrup too. The marshmallows have a wonderful clean flavor with less gumminess and more pillowy softness than with corn syrup versions. And all that I have tried have been amazingly fabulous.
(This was a birthday party mix of vanilla, strawberry and honey lemon cardamom.) The strawberry ones tasted like fresh strawberry jam. Seriously yummy. But back to the flavor at hand. I'm passing this one on because it is a great flavor and takes less prep than some of the others. I love Eileen's method because for regular marshmallow batter, there is no drizzling hot syrup into a moving mixer. (That said, her marshmallow fluff, which does involve drizzling, is indescribably awesome.) Just mix the gelatin bloom into the cooked sugar syrup, dump it all in the stand mixer and let her go! From gelatin soup to marshmallow in 12 minutes or less. You will need a stand mixer if you value your arms. And you will need a candy thermometer. I cannot stress enough the need to calibrate your thermometer for candy making. Water boils at 212ºF, stick the thermometer in the boiling water and adjust your recipe temp accordingly. These honey based recipes turn out slightly softer than standard marshmallows so you could go a couple degrees higher if you wanted it more firm. Honey is also more hygroscopic, so they may tend to get sticky if you don't coat them well enough. I sometimes come back and do a second dusting and I toss a couple spoonfuls of coating into the storage bag or container. Don't want these lovelies sticking together now. Also, I would recommend remembering to zest your lemons before you juice them. Much easier that way. ☺ One last tip: honey boils up more than sugar syrup or corn syrup, so use a large enough pan. I use a 2 quart pan for a half batch. Nothing worse than a pan of boiling honey and sugar deciding to share half its contents with your burner after you put the lid on... ;)
Lemon, Honey and Cardamom Marshmallows
from Marshmallows Homemade Gourmet Treats by Eileen Talanian
For the bloom:
3 tbsp unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the base:
2 tbsp cardamom seeds (removed from the pods)
¼ cup water
½ cup strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup honey
1½ cups granulated cane sugar (I use organic evaporated cane sugar)
1 tbsp minced freshly grated lemon zest
Prepare a pan by coating it with nonstick spray, then wiping it lightly with a paper towel so that only a thin film of oil remains. (Your pan size will determine the thickness of marshmallow, if you want thicker squares, use a smaller pan; thinner marshmallows, a larger pan. I use an 8x8" pan for a half batch and they are about an inch and a half thick.)
Make the bloom. Place the gelatin in a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice until smooth. Set the bowl near the stove.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and toast the cardamom seeds for a minute or 2. Lightly crush them and put them into a tea ball.
Place the remaining base ingredients into a 4-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat, stirring gently to moisten the sugar. Bring the base to a boil and put the tea ball into the base, immersing the cardamom seeds. Turn off the heat. Cover the pan and let the spice steep in the base for 30 minutes.
Bring the base back to a boil. Cover the pan and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the cover, insert a candy thermometer, and cook the base until it reaches 240º F. Do not stir the mixture once the lid has been removed. Remove the tea ball and thermometer and gently stir the bloomed gelatin into the cooked base.
Pour the batter into the bowl of a stand mixer and gradually increase the speed to high, beating for 12 minutes. You can cover the mixer with a clean kitchen towel to avoid splattering hot liquid on yourself. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the zest.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth with a spatula or wet hand. Allow to cure for at least four hours or overnight, uncovered, at room temperature.
When you are ready to cut, lightly sprinkle your work surface with some of the coating mixture and ease the marshmallow slab away from the sides of the pan. Flip over gently, releasing onto the cutting surface.
Cut into square or other shapes, or use cookie cutters to cut the marshmallow into fancy shapes. Toss the cut marshmallows in the coating mix, shaking off any excess coating. (Use an oiled knife to cut. Sometimes after the first few cuts, you can let the knife dry with any residue on it and it will work better. You'll figure it out.)
Place the coated marshmallows in an airtight container, with wax paper between the layers, and leave a corner of the lid slightly ajar. The marshmallows will keep this way for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. (They also freeze fabulously. Just mind repeated thawing on the honey based marshmallows - add more coating to prevent sticking.)
1½ cups confectioner's sugar
cornstarch (I use tapioca or arrowroot. I don't recommend potato as it swells too much and affects the texture.)
Sift the sugar and starch together, or put them into a food processor and pulse until there are no lumps. Store the coating indefinitely in an airtight container.
Participating in Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist
Participating in Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist