Marshmallow Dessert with Raspberry Coulis
If like me, you sometimes run out of time but still want to serve quick and easy dessert, give this marshmallow treat a try. I melted marshmallows into a creamy fluff and mixed with mascarpone cheese. This recipe utilizes a great shortcut: a blend of lecithin, xanthan gum and lemon extract as a binder, but of course you could firm up the cream with a regular egg custard.
I also made a delicious coulis de framboises ("raspberry sauce" in English) to brighten both the flavor and presentation of the dessert. The raspberries I used tasted great but weren't that visually appealing anymore. Sauces are always a great way to make use of the fruits in your kitchen that may have lost some of their sex appeal.
The main reason I made this dessert is that I have been feeling bad for my husband Lulu, who's whining a bit about how healthy our meals have become. It took me probably 20 minutes tops to assemble this beautiful dessert, so we both win! He's got it tough, hasn't he?
Yields: 8 servings1 (17.6-ounce) package mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 (5.6-ounce) package fresh raspberries, plus extra for garnish
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups heavy cream, cold
6 ounces marshmallows, to taste
⅛ teaspoon salt
1¼ teaspoons xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons liquid lecithin
1½ tablespoons grapeseed oil (or any neutral oil)
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons raspberry extract (optional)
1 (7-ounce) package Italian pastry puffs, store-bought
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional), for garnish
For the raspberry coulis:
Using a paring knife, scrape and gather all the grains of the vanilla bean (see tips).
In a small non-reactive saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
Using a large mesh strainer, strain the raspberry pulp and discard the seeds. Allow to cool completely.
For the marshmallow filling:
In a small bowl, combine the xanthan gum, liquid lecithin and oil. Stir well. Flavor the mixture with lemon extract.
In a small saucepan, melt the marshmallows over medium-low heat until they turn a light amber color.
Whisk the mascarpone cheese to soften it. Add the marshmallow fluff and 3 tablespoons raspberry coulis, the xanthan gum and lecithin mixture, raspberry extract (if using) and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Whip the heavy cream (at a low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add salt.
Gently fold into the marshmallow mixture in stages. This is to make sure that the mascarpone cheese incorporates evenly (the light pink color should be uniform).
Place the marshmallow filling in a piping bag. Pipe or spoon a small layer into glass cups. Level the filling with a spatula. Cover the filling with a few teaspoons of raspberry coulis. Repeat by piping little mounds of filling and alternate with the coulis to create a swirl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.
When you're ready to serve, top the cups with a pastry puff, garnish with fresh raspberries and a dusting of powdered sugar (if using).
I didn't find it neessary to add more sugar because of the sweetness of the marshmallows.
After scraping the grains of vanilla, don't discard the remaining vanilla bean. Just place it in a jar and cover it with regular granulated sugar. Let it sit for a few weeks and you'll have a nice, fragrant vanilla sugar.
Xanthan gum is a fine powder used as a binder and emulsifier. If you look at the list of ingredients for salad dressings and ice cream at the supermarket, you'll find that they contain xanthan gum. I use it for texture and as an egg white substitute. You can find it online or in any specialty food store such as Whole Foods.
I use liquid lecithin (which I find very convenient) as an egg yolk substitute. You can also find this online or in any specialty food store like Whole Foods. Look for a (32-ounce) bottle, which is much easier to cook with than the capsules.
If you want to make the filling using regular eggs (instead of the xanthan gum and lecithin combination), check out my grilled pineapple mascarpone cream dessert.Published By: on July 25, 2012.