Saturday, August 13, 2011

Such a lovely day!

I love weddings.  Especially weddings that so totally reflect the personalities of the couple.  Especially when the couple has no idea what's in store for them, beyond saying "I do."

We went to my first ever "surprise wedding" today.  Our friends dearly wanted to marry, but honestly did not have the time or energy to plan such an event at this point in their lives.  Enter an amazing friend of the bride, who volunteered to take over all of the details, from the decor to the food to the invitations and other assorted details.  The brides dreams were discussed and a team was created to put feet to the plan.  I was honoured to be a part of that team.

The wedding would be a relatively simple afternoon tea affair, with lovely tea cups and saucers for each person to use for beverages and then take home.   The decorations were in pink, green and metallic grey, and wonderfully soft and beautiful.  The food was divided into three parts.  The main course, which was a dizzying assortment of crudites, fruits, dips, sandwiches, pastries, rolled treats, hot hors d'oeuvres and assorted other edibles.  The cake, as per the bride's dream, was really a 3 tiered structure, decorated in colourful cake pops.  Then there were the desserts.  Along with the pastries on the main table, there was a book shelf loaded with canisters and containers and bowls of candy.  Every colour of the rainbow.  And that's where I got to help out.

If you remember my post, Of Strawberries and Artichokes from this past June (click here), I made soft and fluffy strawberry marshmallows for this same friend's bridal shower.  It was decided then that I would make more as part of the surprise for her wedding.  Those who follow me on Twitter or are friends on Facebook read this week about me making up assorted flavours.  I started with peach, using the same recipe from June, but with fresh peach puree.  A little food colouring brought out that lovely peachy hue.  Then I made the strawberry ones (but with a brighter splash of colour).  Then I eyed some leftover coffee in the pot.  Hmmm, I wonder...  Can I substitute coffee for the fruit puree and still have the marshmallow turn out?  Indeed I could!  And here's how.

Crazy Easy Mocha Marshmallows

2 envelopes gelatin
1/2 cup cold coffee
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (for dusting)

Line a 20-cm (8-inch) square dish with plastic wrap and oil lightly.

In a large bowl, sift the sugar and cornstarch together. Set aside.

In a saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin on the coffee. Let soften for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Pour the coffee mixture, corn syrup and cocoa into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you could do it with a hand mixer, but your arm may fall off first).  Beat on high until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and forms stiff peaks, about 15 - 20 minutes, wiping the bowl occasionally with a
damp cold cloth to help remove the heat (I've found that a fan, aimed directly at the bowl, lessens the beating time considerably!). Spread evenly in the dish and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the icing sugar and remaining cocoa.  Lightly dust a clean surface with the icing sugar mixture. Unmould the marshmallow. Using a knife with a lightly oiled blade, cut the marshmallow into 4-cm (1 1/2-inch) squares. Roll each square in the icing sugar mixture in the bowl. Shake off any excess (a sieve works well for this). Place the marshmallows on the cookie sheet and let warm to room temperature. If necessary, roll a second time in the icing sugar mixture.

The marshmallows can be stored in a zip top bag for several days at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. I am seriously going to have to try making those marshmallows one day! ... Well, as soon as I find gelatin and corn syrup in this country...