Archive for May, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows!

Yes, you can make these!

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

Springy, Fluffy Marshmallows (from
Adapted from Gourmet, December 1998

Makes about 96 1-inch cubed marshmallows

About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar (cane sugar worked just fine)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract or maybe even some food coloring for tinting)

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer.

In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out. Sift 1/4 cup confectioner sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.

Do ahead: Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.

Sake and Sushi

Sake – Hot or Cold?

When you are at your favorite sushi restaurant and the question is asked Sake? Hot or Cold? Do you know how to answer?  I didn’t.  However I have discovered more information on Sake than you may ever need, but next time you are in your favorite sushi restaurant ( local reviews coming!) you will know how to answer!

The taste of Japanese “sake”  made warm or hot,  will become deeper, and the taste differs from that of  “sake” consumed at room temperature. Also, as the temperature  increases, the effect of the alcohol also increases, and the taste becomes drier. Warm or hot “sake” is ideal for food flavored with soy sauce such as “sushi”.  As a generality warm “sake” is suited to cold and plain foods, and hot “sake” is suited to dishes and foods made with a lot of oil and fat.

For a quick “Sake” and “Sushi” dinner at home,  pick up your favorite take out “Sushi” and pick up a bottle of my favorite “sake” Hakutsuru Sake. Warm the “sake” in hot water. The time standard for the best warm or hot “sake” is made with boiled water of about 98 degrees C (208 degrees F). Leave the “sake” in the bottle in the hot water for about 2 to 2.5 minutes, then serve!

MoJoe’s Trailside Coffeehouse

MoJoe’s Trailside Coffeehouse

An interesting coffee house, upscale for Damascus, Virginia and surprisingly busy. If you want a really good Latte  then this is the place to go.  MoJoes’s Mochas are better than Starbucks. You may also enjoy the Iced Coffee or Tea and the Fruit Smoothies are fresh.   The food can be hit or miss, but the Gypsy Toast is always delicious.

Mojoe’s Trailside Coffeehouse
331 Douglas Drive
Damascus, VA 24236
(276) 475-5505