tropical spiced fruit salad with mangoes + mint

tropical spiced fruit salad with mangoes + mint | www.theclevercarrot.com

When I was pregnant with Dillon, I craved fruit like nobody’s business.

At the time, we were living in the city where there was an abundance of fruit & vegetable markets at my fingertips- I miss those days. I would peruse through all of the fruit, carefully eyeing my selection which was usually something tart and sweet, like mangoes. I was obsessed with them. I would even gnaw on the core trying to pry every last bit from the pit!

Honestly, who on earth can actually cut a mango without destroying it? Not me.

tropical spiced fruit salad with mangoes + mint | www.theclevercarrot.com

Anyway, I used make a lot of fruit salads. It was my craving fix.

This recipe was inspired by a colorful dish that my Aunt served at Easter. I’m using a variety of tropical fruit including mangoes, pineapple, and a random star fruit (because I’ve always wanted to do that). You can switch it up according to taste. The real star however, is all in the glaze; it’s kissed with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Unusual? Yes. Overpowering? No. There’s just enough to make you go, Oooo what’s in this? I also add honey and vanilla, and serve it nice and chilled.

These are the coveted Alphonso mangoes from India. I scored 4 of them for only $2! They’re in season now and they taste amazing.

tropical spiced fruit salad with mangoes + mint | www.theclevercarrot.comtropical spiced fruit salad with mangoes + mint | www.theclevercarrot.com

With Mother’s Day coming up, I find the timing of this post quite serendipitous and unexpected, if anything. Isn’t it funny how the universe works? Or maybe I’m just pregnant again… (kidding).

On  different note- the universe has also aligned me with Q Squared, a young design company based here in NYC. They gave me these pretty blue plates. Love? I do. You should feel these things… At first glance, I thought that they were porcelain. But shockingly they are 100% BPA free indoor/outdoor dinnerware. That means your kids can throw them on the ground and they won’t break (parents rejoice!) We will be working together over the next couple of months, so keep your eyes peeled for some pretty cool stuff. You can find this lovely collection here.

♥ Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!  ♥

Tips:

  • If you can find Alphonso mangoes, buy them! They are the sweetest, most delicious mangoes I’ve ever tasted. They do have a very short season, so if you can’t find them just use the regular ones instead.
  • To save on time, buy your pineapple already cored and sliced.

tropical spiced fruit salad with mangoes + mint
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Fruit
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • ½ pint of raspberries
  • 1 star fruit
Glaze
  • ¼ c. fresh orange juice
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
  • small pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean
Garnish
  • fresh mint
* Adjust the amounts according to your liking. If your fruit is a bit tart, you can add more honey to balance it out.
Instructions
  1. For the glaze, whisk the first 4 ingredients together until the honey is completely dissolved. Using a pairing knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With the back of the knife, scrape out the seeds and add to the bowl (with the pods). Whisk well.
  2. Peel, slice and chop all of the fruit.
  3. Add everything (except the raspberries) to a large bowl. Top with the glaze and toss gently to combine.
  4. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until nice and chilled.
  5. Right before serving, toss lightly. Garnish with raspberries and fresh mint leaves. *See note.
Notes
* It is best to add the raspberries right before serving so that they do not get crushed.

tropical spiced fruit salad with mangoes + mint | www.theclevercarrot.com

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free}

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrot

It’s a messy job, but totally worth it.

Before I dive into the world of marshmallows, it’s interesting to note that most recipes contain corn syrup and/or raw egg whites (it makes them soft and fluffy). The problem is, I’m not a fan of corn syrup and most people freak out about raw eggs. So, what is one to do?

Use evaporated milk.

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrot

Yes, it’s true. I’m not exactly sure what kind of magical powers it might posses… All I know is that evaporated milk makes the fluffiest marshmallows ever, without having to add any of the above ingredients. It’s the best kept secret.

Here’s another tip- your cooking tools are just as important as your ingredients. If you’re short on any of them, the process is going to be a little bit tricky. You will need the following (in this order):

  • Patience
  • Clutter free workspace
  • Stand mixer
  • Cooking spray
  • Non-stick 8×8 or 9×13 pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Candy thermometer
  • Rubber spatula
  • Sifter
  • Powdered sugar & cornstarch
  • Sharp knife, pizza wheel or kitchen scissors

And now, kindly prepare yourself for a fleet of snowy white photos with comprehensive instructions at the end of the post (I had to lure you in somehow- this is a long one!) Sunglasses are optional.

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrot

All of that for homemade marshmallows?!

Yes! They taste way better than store-bought and you have control over the quality of ingredients. Of course they’re a bit messy, and yes your fingers will get sticky- but the truth is, they’re a lot of fun to make. Once you have this basic recipe down you can add different extracts and toppings to make them your own. Follow these tips and you will have beautiful, fluffy marshmallows.

Tips:

  • Space is your friend. If your kitchen lacks counter space, move this project to a clean kitchen table. Position your stand mixer near an outlet, and set up all cooking tools and ingredients before you begin.
  • Prepare your pan right away. Marshmallows set very quickly, so be sure to have your pan prepped and ready to go. All pans need to be generously coated in cooking spray and lined with parchment paper. I recommend using something non-stick, but glass or metal will do.
  • Do I really need a candy thermometer? Yes. In order for your marshmallows to set properly, the milk and sugar must be heated to approximately 250 F. Regular thermometers only go up to 220 F. Don’t chance it.
  • Get to know your rubber spatula. This is the one and only tool that will get the fluff out of the bowl. Keep in mind, because marshmallows are very sticky you will not be able to scrape every last bit out of the bowl. You will not have a perfectly smooth finish to the top as well. This is all OK.
  • Powdered sugar & cornstarch… why both? Even though powdered sugar has a small amount of corn starch in it, additional cornstarch acts as a moisture barrier preventing the marshmallows from becoming sticky. Make sure to sift your mixture before coating the marshmallows (you don’t want any clumps!).

***And last but not least- because evaporated milk is a tan color, your mixture will initially be brown. Do not fret! After 10-15 minutes of mixing on high speed your marshmallows will become a soft, creamy white color. I was skeptical at first but it’s true.

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrot

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free}
 
Author:
Ingredients
Ingredients:
  • cooking spray
  • ½ c. water + ¼ c.
  • 3 tablespoons (3 packets) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 c. sugar
  • ½ c. evaporated milk
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ c. powdered sugar
  • ½ c. cornstarch
Cooking tools:
  • clutter free workspace
  • stand mixer
  • non-stick 8x8 or 9x13 pan*
  • parchment paper
  • candy thermometer*
  • rubber spatula
  • sifter
  • sharp knife, pizza wheel or kitchen scissors
*I recommend using a non-stick pan, but glass or metal will do. For thick marshmallows, use an 8x8 pan. For thinner marshmallows, use a 9x13 pan.
*In order for your marshmallows to set properly, the milk and sugar must be heated to approximately 250 F. Regular thermometers only go up to 220 F.
Instructions
  1. Generously coat the bottom and sides of your pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cut the parchment paper to fit the inside of your pan. You should have about 2 inches of overhang on each side. These will be your 'handles' for easy removal.
  3. Pour ½ cup water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the gelatin and allow to soften, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and ¼ cup water. Whisk over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 247- 250 F, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add the hot syrup to the gelatin mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.*See important note below.
  7. If using a vanilla bean, slice it in half lengthwise with a pairing knife. Scrape out the seeds using the blade of the knife. Add the seeds (or vanilla extract) to the bowl.
  8. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, fluffy, and tripled in volume, about 10-15 minutes. Your marshmallows will be a glossy, creamy white color.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, quickly scrape out the mixture into the prepared pan. Lightly coat your spatula with cooking spray and smooth out the surface. Marshmallows set very quickly, so you will need to work fast. Do not worry about getting every last bit of marshmallow out of the bowl or making the top perfectly smooth!
  10. Allow the mixture to set, uncovered (not refrigerated) for at least 8 hours- overnight.
  11. After the marshmallows have set, combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
  12. Spoon some of the mixture into a sifter, and sift over the top of the marshmallows and a cutting board.
  13. Using the parchment handles, remove the marshmallows from the pan and place onto your board.
  14. Dust a large chef's knife, pizza wheel, or kitchen scissors with the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture so that they do not stick to the marshmallows.
  15. Cut the marshmallows into 1-inch squares.
  16. Toss the marshmallows into the mixture to prevent sticking.
  17. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Notes
* Because evaporated milk is a tan color, your mixture will initially be brown. Do not fret- after 10-15 minutes of mixing on high speed, your marshmallows will become a soft, creamy white color.