It’s interesting how your love for a particular cuisine, dish or ingredient could develop throughout your life. You might have hated something being a child but have felt in love with that later on. I’ve known a few people would gobble up some food in their childhood but abhor it having grown up.
There is another story. You might not have thought about something in the past, but all of a sudden you
bumped into that gave it a try and started to love or if you’re lucky enough, to be obsessed. Exactly this happened to me a few years ago.
For the most of my life I hadn’t cared about lavender. Indeed, I didn’t have a chance to give it a try!
I definitely remember some lavender perfume and cosmetics being sold when I was a child, but that wasn’t the same thing, right? At least, I wasn’t that curious to bite a bar of soap.
Later on, when my passion for cooking and photography fully ignited, I saw a number of fabulous recipes which I would love to try but I couldn’t since I wasn’t able to find any lavender. Lavender?! I often wasn’t able to find any vanilla extract either.
I’ve got to confess – that was the major reason for coming to Canada. Kidding, though. It was only the second one. However, my craving for lavender was satisfied. First, I got some dry lavender seeds and then a precious bottle with lavender extract.
As that usually happens, I’ve had – surprise, surprise! – a kick on using lavender. In the last couple of years I’ve incorporated lavender in ice cream, sorbet (I’ve made lavender, chocolate – lavender, and lavender – mango sorbets), macarons, cookies, donuts, lemonade, truffles, and even in a salad dressing. And I’m not ready to stop yet!
This time I desperately needed to make lavender marshmallows since I had just a few remaining drops of my
magic elixir lavender extract (I still cannot find it in the stores – I’ve got to order it on the Internet). It was such a solemn momentum. I was so touched by that moment that I was about to cry.
Not only these marshmallows turned out super delicious, but they got the perfect texture (they had been the 3rd in a row by that time). Plus, they were fluffy, soft, with the delectable lavender flavor, basically as all marshmallows should look. And such a color, eh? They were just impeccable; kind of the perfect farewell to my lavender extract.
Do you love lavender folks and how do you use it? Inspire me!
- 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- 2/3 cup cold water, divided
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1,5 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 - 1 tablespoon lavender extract
- food coloring, optional
- 1/2 cup mixture of corn starch and powdered sugar or more if needed, for dusting
- cooking spray, for greasing
- In a small bowl combine the gelatin, vanilla extract, lavender extract, and 1/2 amount of the water. Set aside while preparing the syrup.
- In a large saucepan set up the thermometer. Combine the corn syrup, sugar, and the remaining water and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue cooking over medium heat until the thermometer reaches the "soft candy stage" or 238-240 degrees F. Immediately remove from heat.
- Working quickly, beat hot syrup into the gelatin mixture at slow speed.
- As soon as the syrup has incorporated, add the food coloring, if using, and increase speed to maximum. Beat until the mixture is thick (it should form gentle peaks), fluffy and glossy, for about 7-15 minutes.* While the mixture hasn't thickened yet, try and add more lavender extract, if necessary, continue beating.
- In a meanwhile, coat a baking pan (8x8 inch or larger) with the cooking spray. Generously dust the form with the mixture of the starch and sugar powdered.
- As soon as you have finished whipping the cream, pour it into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Dust the top with the additional starch. Let it stand for at least 3-4 hours, until firm to a touch. Remove from the pan and slice into desired size cubes (I used a pizza knife).
* Time could vary - having made a number of marshmallows by now, I took just 7-8 minutes for one while up to 15 for other. havocinthekitchen.com