Cath Kidston’s designs bring out the girly-girl in me. They are so sweet and pretty that they make me want to mind my manners, practice my ballet plies and brush my hair- 200 strokes a day.
Her “victoria rose” is just the most precious of them all. In fact it has been quite a turn around for me. A few years ago I would have scoffed at a rose thinking myself far too clever and sophisticated for such an “old-lady” flower. Now when I see a rose, or something vaguely shaped like a rose, I can’t help but think of a myriad of ways in which I might attach it to my person or objects I have lieing about my flat: objects that I formerly cherished but that have now suddenly become dull and dreary in their lack of an association with the flower.
Of course the best use of all for a Rose is in its application to confectionary. (Surely if something can be used to make a sweet this will have to be its best use of all). Since my new romance with Roses I can be constantly found ecstatically applying rose designs to biscuits and tossing Rose Water wildly about my kitchen. Ooh the delight!
So it comes as a suprise that it took a suggestion from a freind to make Rose Water marshmallows. Homemade marshmallows are just such fun. There is something very “sciency” about a candy themometer . And nothing quite boosts your worth in the eyes of others, I have found, than being able to conjure these little pillows out of air and sugar. I try not to let on just how easy it is.
Rosewater marshmallows: What a charming notion, no wonder they are now a dime a dozen in our shopping isles. I decided to add the pistachio brittle partially in attempt to make a more complex experience (the Rose hits you in a burst first followed a little later by the slightly more sophisticated flavour of the pistachio) and partially just to tone down the femininity. I like even the most insecure men to be able to enjoy my treats unabashedly. The Pistachio helps to butch things up a bit- although, lets face it, not much.
I made these using Alton Brown’s marshmallow recipe (no egg white to worry about) but with the addition of a fair amount of Rosewater. Its a tricky business getting the rose flavour just right, too much and your mallows will taste like soap and the elderly (the Rose has not yet entirely divorced itself from the old-lady aesthetic); too little and you will lose the flavour too quickly against the Pistachio. My strategy is to add a bit at a time and stop when the Rose flavour is just on the edge of being unpleasant. (A good strategy for living in general, I should think, is to always stop on the edge of unpleasantness).
As soon as I have coaxed the wilful marshmallow mixture into its tray (no small feat) I pop a shard of pistachio brittle (the internet is littered with recipes) in lines on top, so that when I cut the mixture into individual marshmallows each has a little crown of the britlle in more or less its centre (in my case usually less). Very proud and and very pretty!
Adding the Pistachio before the marshmallow sets means the Pistacthio Brittle will firmly attach itself to the marshmallow- making it one unified object of joy. A wedding to be celebrated- most certainly a good reason to wear a hat.
Next time I might try whizzing the brittle about in the blender and substituing the resulting “pistachio-brittle dust” for the marshmallow mix (icing sugar and cornflour) that usually goes on top of the marshmallows to combat the drawbacks to its lovely stickiness. Oh gosh, I’m clever -what a thought!
Thank-you Cath for bringing the Rose back into my life and thank-you fate for making me a girl.