Potluck Prepwork

Next Saturday we’re having a potluck again, and I wanted to do something fancy-schmancy. I figured out what I want to do – open face ham sammiches with sweet potato sauce and brown butter and sage marshmallows. Because I can’t seem to make anything that doesn’t have a little bit of weird in it. It seems to be my trademark.

Today I made the marshmallows, because they’re not all that hard, and can be made way ahead because they’re pretty much pure sugar. The recipe is straight from the Brave Tart blog. I admire this woman because she makes everything from scratch because it’s better that way – that includes sprinkles. She’s genius. Read her blog.
I only made half a batch, because even I couldn’t imagine eating that much, and I’m not sure how my co-workers will take them. I’ve only licked the bowl (they have to refrigerate overnight before they become real marshmallows… le sigh.) but they are strangely amazing. There’s a touch of salt, smell of fall, and not remotely as  stupid sweet as you might think. THIS IS NOT LIKE A STORE-BOUGHT MARSHMALLOW. That can’t really be over-emphasized.

This is actually the recipe that made me think about thick slices of salty ham, crusty bread, bitter greens, and a dob of sweet potato goo. Frilly toothpicks are obviously going to be required to hold these stacks together, with the marshmallows just under the frills.

No step is hard, nothing is demanding. Just make sure you have a thermometer. And a scale. But you should have those things anyway.

Here’s what my stuff looked like.

This is just gelatin in some water, in the bowl of the stand mixer. It gets to wait while I do everything else.

This is the sugars and sage bubbling away getting. I sort of wish I had pounded the sage tinier with my mortar. That’s my candy thermometer on the side of the pot. Gotta wait for 240 degrees. Then wait until it cools down to 210 – or the gelatin won’t set right after you mix it together.

While the syrup was cooling, I browned the butter. On low heat, just melt, then let the milk solids gently brown until the butter browns lightly and smells even better than just melted butter. Because it’s browned.

This is close to the end of the mixing. The syrup was mixed in with the gelatin until it was over doubled in size. Then the butter was slowly added. You can see some of the tasty browned bits on the side of the bowl there.

Poured. Powdered. And now it’s setting in my fridge and I’m not allowed to touch it until tomorrow.






~ by jesstracey on September 14, 2012.

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