Im working on my ‘Forage to Fork’ cookbook with more enthusiasm than ever! However i ve already got faaaaar too many recipes for each months of the year – my brain is still running on very high speed each every time im in a new green environment. I keep seeing something unknown with great potential as an ingredient again and again.
Or the process can be reverse – i have a great recipe with ‘normal’ (lets say shop bought) ingredients and when my brain jumps i just decide to turn the dish into something wild… this is the case with my marshmallow recipe. Well partly at least. I do have a banging’ great secret recipe – without using any egg – but with a massive amount of gelatin. So i ve decided to create my vegan marshmellow using alternative gelling agents to keep it vegan/or at least vegetarian (as i do like to use honey). And because i have plenty of friends who would love to dig in it but staying away from gelatin. And i love making my friends happy.
Checked a couple of websites and blogs – tried some of their stuff and was trying to mix and match with the things i wanted to achiveve and flavours i wanted to catch. Also needed some trials to see how are my seeweed setting agents will work out – decided to use agar and gellan.
And i wanted to add proper flavour. Not just some drops of extracts, or fake flavouring – but real purees and colors. And what foraged stuff i can add? Lets think… and focus on the ingredients you already have according to your recipe. Sugar. And sugar. And some more sugar. Which means you already have a nice overly sweet thing going on. Better trying to balance this out – so finding something real nice and sharp to make your sweets joyful and delicious. Like blackberries. Sloe. Sharp cooking apples. Yes. Yes and yes. Keep the rosehip and hawthorn for sweet ketchup and bbq sauce. Get on with the sharpest you can find – and puree it down. This is gonna be your special ingredient to your ‘wild’ marshmellow.
tipp: there is always a solution to cheat a bit if needed – if you dont have fruits sharp enough – just sprinke them with a pinch of citric acid – will do the job.
So my first attempt was with foraged blackberries (and the last will be sloe). Cooked them with a splash of water for a (couple of minutes and blend them – finally strain the seeds out.
1tsp cream of tartar
300g honey (or golden syrup for vegan version)
1 tbsp agar
1 tsp gellan
salt, vanilla to taste
store: cornstarch and icing sugar dust
Im using aquafaba instead of egg – its a liquid what covers your chickpeas or beans in a can. They cook the legumes innit so the liquid becomes ‘its flavourless juice’ packed with good protein – make it magical and very ‘whippable’. I tried chickpeas and beans before – both are good to use, try the one with simply water not brine. Place this is the standing mixer with your tsp of tartar (this will help to whipp and gives a shine but dont commit suicide if you dont have it in your kitchen cupboard). Start to whipp – its not like egg – very hard to ‘overwhipp’ so doesnt need that much attention. Whipp it for about 10 minutes – make sure its superfluffy.
Meantime put the rest of your ingredients in a small pan, whisk it properly so the seaweed powders dissolve and turn on the heat medium. Carefully boil it up, keep it bubbling slowly about 3 minutes. Keep whisking as the syrup or honey will caramelize and eventually burn.
Turn the speed of your standing whisk slower and carefully pour your boiling syrup in the fluffy aquafaba. Now its time to work fast. Turn the machine fast and make sure the liquid whisked in properly to your ‘meringue’ – even in the bottom of the bowl. This is important so you spread your agar and gellan (and your flavours of course) evenly in the foam making sure it will set nicely and wont melt in any stage of the cooling process.
Done. Dont let it cool down in the bowl, after 1-2 minutes whisking get a spatula and pour the mixture into a tray which covered with cling film and the cling film is oiled a bit. Its important so you can be able to take out your marshmellow to portion out without ripping into pieces – dont forget its a sticky little thing. Oil makes it easier to handle – not too much though.
After its cooled down in the fridge (or cheeky freezer) – portion it out and pop each cubes into a tray dusted with a mix of cornstarch and icing sugar (ratio is 1:1). You can enjoy them straigh away – or leave them for a couple of hours in a warm place to dry out a bit (dehydrator or oven) for a more ‘marshmellow’y texture.
tipp: i blended some freeze-dried berry powder with my cornstarch n icing mix for more flavour and making it even more sexier. If you want u can add a bit of food coloring in the pan with your syrup in – no judgement here just very pretty looking great vegan or vegetarian marshmellows. They even burn beautifully on a BBQ :P