Eileen Talanian is an entrepreneurial pastry chef who has served on the Philadelphia chapter board of directors of both the American Institute of Wine and Food and Les Dames d'Escoffier International. She's a highly sought-after restaurant consultant, providing innovative dessert menu guidance to many upscale and quality-conscious restaurants and corporations. Also author of Chewy Cookies: America's Comfort Food, Eileen lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
In March 2008, expert pastry chef Eileen Talanian will introduce Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats (Gibbs Smith, Publisher, February, $16.95), an exciting 128- page book that demonstrates easy techniques and recipes to create homemade marshmallows in dozens of sweet and savory flavors. The book will feature over 125 recipes with step-by-step instructions ranging from the classic s'mores to the uncommonly delicious blood orange, rosemary and zinfandel fluff.
It's no secret that Americans love marshmallows—more than 90 million pounds are consumed each year. They are commonly enjoyed in ice cream, cookies, fudge, candy bars, and s'mores. However, marshmallows are gaining new cachet as an upscale gourmet treat. The best part is they are incredibly easy to make! The Washington Post notes: "Freshly made marshmallows are a popular sweet treat in upscale restaurants these days. Folks who encounter them are usually highly impressed having no idea that so long as a sturdy stand mixer is on hand, a home cook can easily prepare these simple candies." (August 1, 2007).
For those who think marshmallows are only a sweet treat, there are myriad savory recipes for meal accompaniments to dishes such as shrimp skewers, burgers, grilled chicken breasts and roasted pork tenderloins. Along with a variety of tantalizing recipes, Marshmallows supplies readers with helpful sections on ingredients, equipment, tips, techniques, a history of the marshmallow and more.
Recipes include flavors like raspberry crème de cassis, toasted coconut, lemon, honey and cardamom, chocolate ancho chile, chocolate-speckled banana fluff, confetti crispy rice treats, fluff and chocolate-dipped strawberries. In recent months, homemade marshmallows have been featured on Martha Stewart, Oprah, Food Network, Country Living, Chocolatier and Bon Appetit.
Espresso Marshmallow Fluff
Makes about 7 cups
Courtesy of Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats By Eileen Talanian
Espresso powder provides a deep, superb flavor here. This fluff goes well with any chocolate or vanilla dessert, and a dollop of hot chocolate is simply divine. It makes a wonderful frosting and is a delightful on ice cream too. The espresso is strong in this recipe, but if you like it stronger, you can increase the amount of espresso powder.
2 tablespoons espresso powder
2 tablespoons hot water
For the base:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup marshmallow syrup
2/3 cup granulated cane sugar
For the egg foam:
1/16 teaspoon salt
Mix the espresso and hot water in a small bowl until smooth and set the bowl near the mixer.
Place the base of ingredients in a heavy 2-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Cover and boil for 2 minutes, then uncover, insert a candy thermometer, and cook the base to 240 F. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for 3 or 4 minutes. Do not stir the mixture once the lid has been removed.
As soon as you put the lid on the base, start beating the whites and salt on medium speed with a stand mixer. They will become thick, fluffy, and opaque. When the base has slightly cooled, stir the espresso mixture into it and hen stream it into the egg whites with the motor running. When the base has been added, increase the speed to high and beat the fluff for 8 minutes. It will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.