Spring is in the air. As the white dots of cherry blossoms flutter through the sky, it’s hard not to notice the green leaves popping up and the warm days turning into longer nights. Warm weather means spring and spring means Easter.
This year Easter eggs get a fresh face with inspiration from the herb garden and what could be better for your bunny basket then home-made chamomile marshmallows?
These sweet, soothing treats are easy to make and sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. And take a cue from the kitchen for this year’s eggs. Try using different teas instead of dyes; raspberry, black and green teas lend subtle, organic tones to the eggs. Parsley, thyme and dill make the perfect addition to these earthy Easter eggs. With home-made treats this handsome and tasty, Easter will finally shed off the neon eggs and bright yellow marshmallows and bloom into something naturally beautiful.
120g egg whites
50g granulated sugar
950g granulated sugar
2 bags chamomile tea
45g gelatin sheets
1. In a small pot, bring water to boil. Add tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour tea into bowl. Place this bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and let cool completely.
2. Place the 950g of sugar in a heavy bottom medium sauce pot. Add enough warm water so that the sugar is a quicksand consistency, mixing the water into the sugar completely and avoiding sugar on the walls of the pot. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Put the gelatin into the cold tea water, adding each sheet one at a time so all the sheets are completely submerged in water(this helps make sure the entire sheet of gelatin absorbs enough water).
3. Turn the sugar pot on medium high heat. Turn the mixer of medium high speed and mix until the whites are frothy. Slowly rain in the 50g of sugar into the whites while the sugar cooks to 120 degrees Celsius.
4. Once the whites begin to look shiny and the sugar is cooked to 120 Celsius, put the gelatin into the sugar syrup and mix until all the gelatin is dissolved. Stream the sugar/gelatin/tea into the whites and turn mixer to high.
5. Mix on high until the meringue triples in volume and becomes shiny and thick.
6. Pour onto a half sheet tray lined with a sil pat.
7. Let marshmallows sit for 30 minutes. Loosely cover the top with potato starch. Let sit for 30 minutes. Cut around edges of tray using a sharp knife and invert the marshmallows onto counter top. Cover the other side with potato starch.
8. Let sit for one hour. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the marshmallow, wiping the knife with hot water each time you use it. Cut the marshmallows into square pieces. Coat the pieces in potato starch so that all sides are coated and shake the remaining starch off marshmallows.
9. Store in an air tight container. If not using that day, store in freezer for up to one month.
Herb Decopaged Easter Eggs
1 dozen eggs
2 bags tea; your choice raspberry, green or black work well as dyes
Selection of herbs including flat leaf parsley, thyme, rosemary and dill
Decopage glue such as modge podge
Small foam paintbrush
1. Fill heavy bottom pot with water and place eggs in one layer on the bottom. Turn heat onto high and bring to boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to low and let cook for one minute. Turn heat off and cover pot, let sit for ten minutes. over medium heat. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water.
2. Bring one quart of water to boil and let tea bags steep until dark color is achieved.
3. Place some of the eggs in the tea water and let sit until desired color is achieved. Cool in ice water.
4. When the eggs are cool, dry them completely. Remove herbs from stems, picking out desired leaves for decoupage.
5. Place a thin layer of glue down on the area you wish to apply herbs. Gently place herb and push down. Allow to dry completely- using a turned over egg cartons works well as a drying holder.
6. Once herb is attached and glue is dry, cover the entire front side of egg with glue .
7. Allow to dry completely.
8. Arrange eggs in Easter Basket for a beautiful table center piece.