To Bennett, the spice drawer is a crazy adventure. He carefully takes the lid off each spice jar, smells it and says, “Ooooooh-woowwww!” like every one of them is the most amazing smell in the world. And he’s a toddler, so maybe it is. Finn and I used to play this game when he was about a year old too.
I remember being so tired all the time that year. Usually it happens the opposite way, right? Your first baby is supposed to be all mother’s clubs and DIYing and then your second takes the wind out of you. That was what I was told anyway. But I remember afternoons playing our spice cabinet game – me exhausted and him just ecstatic, and I’d be thinking, “craaaaaaaaaap… it’s 3pm, I need to get out of my PJs”.
But this time with Bennett, I’m just as into it as he is. And every spice I smell I think “Oooh! I really need to make something with this in it”. It’s probably the pregnancy hormones – I should tell you that my Voluspa Champagne Rose candle makes me want to eat it too (I might have pregnancy Pica).
My signature wedding cocktail was ‘Belle Lavande”, (Grey Goose Vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lavender syrup and soda water). And I guess my love affair with rose started with the Turkish delight my mum used to buy when I was a kid. If you’ve never tried florals in your food, consider rose your gateway fragrance.
Lately I’ve been craving rose and lavender again, so this week I made rose water marshmallows and lavender lemonade. After eating one of the marshmallows, Finn told our babysitter that he just wanted to “eat sugar all day, and every day”, like he didn’t understand why that wasn’t feasible. And don’t we all feel that way sometimes?
Here are the recipes…
ROSE WATER MARSHMALLOWS
If you are going to make marshmallows, you’ll need a candy thermometer. You don’t need a fancy or expensive candy thermometer. I’ve had mine for years. I like this style because I can attach it to the saucepan and it costs next to nothing.
I love Rosie Daykin’s homemade marshmallow recipe from the Butter Baked Goods Cookbook. I use a candy thermometer and heat the sugar and corn syrup mixture to 240 degrees (which is the “soft-ball stage” on the sugar temperature chart). I use about two teaspoons of vanilla instead of two tablespoons, and add rose syrup to make it rosy… :) I also add a couple of drops of red food coloring to make them pink.
This is the Easy Homemade Marshmallows recipe excerpted from Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin. My edits are in bold. Published with permission from Butter Baked Goods.
1 cup water
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
Rose Syrup (I use this)
Generous amount of icing sugar to coat the marshmallows, about 2 cups
You will need: 1 (9- × 9-inch) baking pan, buttered.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour in 1⁄2 cup of the water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Set aside to allow the gelatin to soak in.
In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1⁄2 cup of water. Bring to a rolling boil and using the candy thermometer, bring the mixture to 240 degrees. Remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer to low and mix the gelatin once or twice to combine it with the water. Slowly add the hot sugar mixture, pouring it gently down the side of the bowl, and continue to mix on low.
Be really careful at this point because the sugar mixture is smoking hot! It’s not a job for little ones.
Turn the mixer to high and continue to whip for 10 to 12 minutes until the marshmallow batter almost triples in size and becomes very thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to avoid the batter overflowing as it grows. Stop the mixer, add the vanilla, and then whip briefly to combine.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and use a spatula or bench scraper to spread it evenly in the pan. Work quickly, as the marshmallow becomes more difficult to manipulate as it sets.
Grease a sheet of plastic wrap with butter and lay it across the top of the marshmallow. Press down firmly on the plastic wrap, to seal it smoothly and tightly against the mixture.
Leave the marshmallow to set at room temperature for at least 3 hours or, even better, overnight. The marshmallow will be too sticky and soft to cut if you try too soon.
Sprinkle a work surface or cutting board with the icing sugar. Run a knife along the top edge of the pan to loosen the marshmallow slab. Invert the pan and flip the marshmallow out onto the counter or board. Scoop up handfuls of the icing sugar and rub all over the marshmallow slab.
Use a large knife to cut the slab into 1- × 1-inch squares. Roll each of the freshly cut marshmallow squares in the remaining icing sugar to coat them completely.
If you—and most of your kitchen—are speckled with marshmallow by the time you finish this recipe, fear not! It’s mostly sugar, so a little hot water and elbow grease will have things as good as new in no time.
Remember to substitute the vanilla for rose syrup!!
If like me, you are into eating your fragrances, do yourself a favor and check out Megan of the Hint of Vanilla blog’s Honey Lavender Macarons, Eva of Adventures in Cooking blog’s Salted Almond Flourless Chocolate Cake With Violets and the girls at A Beautiful Mess have created Rose-flavored Rock Candy. Thank you ABM, from the bottom of my heart.
You can really add the lavender syrup to anything. Lemonade is just what I was craving.
1 Cup of Lemon Juice
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
Lavender Syrup (I use this)
Combine sugar and water and cook over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool and add lemon juice. Add lavender syrup to taste.
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