Matcha Marshmallows

(Those are tea leaves, in case you were wondering...)
Can I start off by saying how difficult it is to photograph marshmallows? Especially for a novice photographer with a point-and-shoot camera?  And even especially when photographing light-colored-almost-white marshmallows?  I bet you can't even tell these are matcha (green tea) flavored... but I promise, they are. My friend, whom I made these for, can attest to the fact that these marshmallows have a slight green hue to them.  Even though the color is light, the flavor of the green tea comes through nicely to balance out the sugary goodness of the marshmallow without being bitter or overbearing.  

I was pleasantly surprised at how firm and chewy (but still fluffy) these were compared to my first rendezvous with homemade marshmallows! In hindsight, I probably should have chosen a basic recipe to work off with for my first try - those were a lot more moist and sticky due to the extra strawberry swirl.  It was definitely beginner's luck that I was even able to cut them and have enough good ones to photograph!  I highly recommend dusting the pan with a cornstarch-powdered sugar mixture - it helps tremendously in getting the marshmallows out of the pan once they're set.  Although, I understand why the swirled recipe does not include this step - the powder would cover up the pretty swirls.  

(yes, that's another cute cupcake liner from the cupcake social, did you enter the giveaway yet?)
If you're looking to try your hand at homemade marshmallows, I recommend starting with this recipe (or one similar to it) - just substitute the 2 teaspoons of matcha powder for vanilla extract or another extract/powder to your liking!  The possibilities are endless - I'm already thinking of different flavors to try, and maybe even trying the swirled one again using this recipe... now that's an idea!

Matcha Marshmallows
Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2008 via For Two, Please

[Print Recipe] 

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup cold water, divided
3 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder

1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t matcha green tea powder

Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil.  Lightly coat with non-stick spray.

Pour 1/2 cup cold water into bowl of mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens and absorbs water, about  15 minutes.

Combine 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.  Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat and bring syrup to boil. Boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes.

With mixer on low speed, carefully pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture in a slow, thin stream down side of bowl (taking care not to pour syrup onto whisk, as it may splash). Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 10-15 minutes. Add the 2 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder and beat just to blend, about 30 seconds more.

Pour marshmallow mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top with a wet spatula. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until set, about 4 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea to blend.  Generously sift starch-sugar mixture onto work surface.  Turn marshmallow out onto dusted surface; peel off foil. Sift more starch-sugar mixture over marshmallow. Coat large sharp knife (or cookie cutters) with nonstick spray. Cut marshmallows into squares or other shapes. Toss each in remaining starch-sugar mixture to coat.  Shake off excess powder.

Marshmallows can be layered between sheets of parchment paper and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.