Tuesday 20 December 2022

Advent 2022 - Fast Tracking #24


 Today's Challenge: Fast from... all dairy products.

Today has come slightly unstuck from my planned no-dairy menu on account of other things going on and too much other stuff in the kitchen to juggle so although breakfast and tea time complied with the no-dairy rule, lunch was non-existent and supper almost complied but not quite - the spiced, split yellow pea soup was entirely dairy-free but the bread wasn't. I had quite a lot of whey to use up which I often use to mix my bread doughs and rather than throw it out, it went in my granary rolls, I'm afraid.

tea with unsweetened soya milk
bottled morello cherries
sourdough crackers


black tea
panforte di Siena

spiced split yellow pea soup made as per my recipe here 
granary rolls
clementines, pears and homemade vanilla marshmallows*

*These are a seasonal joy that make lovely gifts to bag up and give away and even people who think they don't like marshmallows, love them. You do need a free-standing mixer to make them as you need to pour the boiling sugar syrup onto whisked egg whites, while the whisk is whisking, if you see what I mean, so a hands-free set-up makes things much easier (and safer). 

In the absence of a free-standing mixer, you need to commandeer someone to lend an extra pair of hands to whisk while you pour, or vice versa. It's just not possible to manage the operation safely as a one-person band otherwise. Having said that, they're straightforward to make and the homemade version knocks the spots off any commercial marshmallows I've ever tasted. I use the basic vanilla marshmallow recipe in Genevieve Taylor's Marshmallow Magic which, I've found, works reliably every time. 

It's a little bit wasteful to cut out specific shapes because unlike biscuit dough which you can reroll, you can't do that with the set marshmallow mixture. But it is a nice touch to cut them into Christmassy shapes, if you're giving them away, as I shall be doing with half of these, and it's not exactly a penance to eat up the irregular and ungainly off-cuts, or add them to the top of hot chocolate, at home.  

If you are going to cut them into shapes, my advice, for what it is worth, is to stick to simple outlines and avoid anything too small and intricate as the marshmallow mixture tends to cut with slightly blurred edges and also to adhere to the cutter so something uncomplicated works best. 

And it helps to dust the cutter with some of the dusting mixture of icing sugar mixed with cornflour, between each cut. 

E x

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