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Strawberry marshmallows? You might surmise that the best way to make them would be to cook fresh berries or their juice to a concentrate and use the reduction to flavor the marshmallows. While that is very smart thinking, your marshmallows will taste more like strawberry jam than fresh strawberries and you will have done more work than necessary!
Chocolatiers and pastry chefs often use freeze-dried fruit powders as a source of pure, concentrated, fresh fruit flavor without artificial color or flavor. The powders are simply pulverized freeze-dried fruit (or vegetables, for that matter), which you can find in small packages in many supermarkets. If you crush the fruit pieces in a mortar or toss them into a food processor, you get fruit powder. (You can also buy the powder online.) (Note that dehydrated fruits—like the ones you'd snack on while hiking—won't work for this, since they aren't dry enough!)
Marshmallows made with freeze-dried fruit powder have the flavor and aroma of fresh berries. They are unusual and compelling enough to serve just as they are. But you could also dip them in chocolate, or make s'mores with them—perhaps with a layer of peanut butter? How about a parfait of marshmallows, whipped cream, and fresh berries? If you laced the whole thing with a little strawberry jam, you would get a triple strawberry flavor effect.
You could fill sandwich cookies, or reinvent rocky road ice cream by folding them into vanilla or strawberry ice cream with toasted almonds or roasted peanuts and homemade chocolate chunks. And imagine making the marshmallows with other fruit or even vegetable powders—I know you’re thinking about carrot marshmallows…
- 1/4 cup (28g) cornstarch
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg white (30 grams)
- 1/4 cup water
- 7 grams (1 envelope) gelatin (I used Knox)
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (165 g) granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (50g) corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (15g) freeze-dried strawberry slices, pulverized in a mortar or mini food processor and kept in a covered container until needed
Have you cooked with powdered fruit? What do you do with it? Share your ideas in the comments.