Vegetarian Marshmallows with Agar-Agar & Egg White

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.

(45 minutes + cooling time & 15 minutes powdering time, makes 44)

2 egg whites
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)
sprinkles (optional)

1. Separate two eggs and place egg white 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.)

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.

OPTIONAL: Dip in melted chocolate chips (melt in microwave on 50% power for a few minutes, in 30 second bursts, stirring in between); lay on wax paper and add sprinkles over the top; let dry 10-20 minutes. (In humid, warm climates, you may want to refrigerate to aid drying.)

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Honeyed Pistachio, Rosewater, & Lime Shortbread


(makes two dozen large cookies)

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. 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.

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Broccoli-Cheddar Sous Vide Egg Bites

Another sous vide egg bite experiment, pretty good. This was mostly using up farm share stuff in the fridge — garlic scapes, zucchini, broccoli, plus eggs and cheddar. Could’ve used a little more zing, maybe more black pepper, though Kat recommended just eating it with hot sauce. Maybe a little cream cheese too, so it sets a little fluffier.
 
But good, will likely make again, next time in 4 oz., straight-sided canning jars so that I can un-mold them easily and have it pre-portioned to an amount I’m likely to want to eat. Thought eating it with a spoon wasn’t hard, and you could just stick it back in the fridge for a day without any negative consequences, I think.

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Keto ‘Naan’

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.

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Sri Lankan Spinach-Egg Sous Vide, take one

First try at a Sri Lankan-style sous vide egg dish was not fabulous. Spinach, scallions, cumin and mustard seed, chili powder and salt, sautéed in a little ghee. I tried to make it lactose-free / paleo vegetarian, but without cheese or heavy cream, the eggs set a little hard — I mean, they’re fine, but they don’t have the delectable fluffiness that I want for sous vide eggs. If you’re avoiding dairy, I’m not sure what you should add to get that texture — coconut cream might be your best bet? I’m not sure.
 
Next time I try it, though, I’m going to just add some heavy cream, which I’m pretty sure is how many restaurants get such delectable saag paneer. 🙂 Also, more salt (without the cheese, I under-salted this), and maybe ground cumin and mustard instead of seeds, to maximize the creamy texture. I have a lot of eggs cooked right now, so it might be a week or two before I get back to this…  
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Sous Vide Ham-and-Cheese Eggs

A is for Anovo sous vide eggs. This worked really well.  Make as if for omelette, put in canning jar, submerge and cook @ 172F for one hour.

 

Yum — this is a straight ham-and-cheddar that I’m hoping the kids will like. Didn’t really measure!

 

Made three other varieties too. I think this is going to become a weekend staple, prepping for the week; have ordered some 4 oz. jars because the assortment I had on hand were all bigger.  I’m going to work on developing a Sri Lankan-ish recipe for it.

This is a good base recipe, if you want an actual recipe.

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Desi-Spiced Carrot Bread

Our farmshare is producing quite a lot of carrots at the moment, so I’ve turned to quick bread. The nice thing about it is that you can make a double or even quadruple batch, and it takes just about as long to make, and then you have lots to freeze for a hungry day or give away. This quick bread is a pretty healthy option for breakfast or to tuck into a kids’ lunchbox, though I’ll note that my kids did complain about the cranberries. Know your audience, and skip or substitute as desired!

I really love it with a limey glaze; I think the tartness is the perfect complement to the sweetness of the bread. But you can certainly leave the lime juice out if you prefer.

1 c. shredded carrots (easiest in food processor)
2 large eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 c. grated coconut (not sweetened!)
1/2 c. chopped cashews (roasted/salted is fine)
1/2 c. dried cranberries (I like the tartness, but sultanas would be more traditional for desi flavors, and really, any dried fruit would do
1/4 c. chopped crystallized ginger
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 brown sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. fine salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. nutmeg

Glaze (optional):
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 T whole-milk yogurt
1-2 T lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking pan with Baker’s Joy (or butter and flour the pan). You can use various pans: mini-muffin, muffin, mini-loaf, loaf; just adjust the timing appropriately.

2. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, eggs, oil, yogurt / sour cream, coconut, cashews, dried fruit, ginger, and vanilla.

3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

4. Add dry to wet and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. (Don’t beat too long or too vigorously.)

5. Pour the batter into the pan(s) and bake at 350 until done (test with toothpick):

Mini-muffins: 15 minutes
Muffins or mini loaves: 20-25 minutes
Loaf pan: 45-55 minutes

6. Turn onto a rack and let cool.

 

7. Glaze (optional): stir together the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the top of the bread. Enjoy!

(Once cooled, may be frozen for up to six months.)

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Spiced Coffee Marshmallows

 3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. strong coffee
1/2 t. ground cardamom
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. water
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
butter (for greasing the pan)
powdered (confectioner’s) sugar (about 1/2 c.)
1. Empty gelatin packets into bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment), with coffee, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. 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, both sugars, 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 8 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.
 
5. While it’s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan. Prepare an oiled spatula.
 
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with the oiled spatula.  (Decorate if desired.)
 
7. Dust the top with enough of the powdered sugar to lightly cover and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
 
8. Turn onto a board, cut into squares and dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.
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Chai Marshmallows

   Strong milky black tea steeped with cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, accented with the bite of candied ginger, blended into a honeyed marshmallow.
 
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. milky chai (see chai recipe)
1/2 c. water
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
butter (for greasing the pan)
2 T candied ginger, chopped fine
powdered (confectioner’s) sugar (about 1/2 c.)
1-2 T powdered cinnamon for topping
 
1. Empty gelatin packets into bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment), with chai. 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, both sugars, honey, 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 8 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.
5. While it’s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan. Prepare an oiled spatula.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with the oiled spatula. Stir in chopped candied ginger.
7. Dust the top with enough of the powdered sugar to lightly cover and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
8. Turn onto a board, cut into squares and dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.
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