Saturday, April 9, 2011

improve the fluffernutter

My first Sunday theme... it's gotta be relaxed, yummy, comforting, cozy, renewing and life-affirming. Well, I may have gotten a little carried away on those last two. Anyway, I told you to be patient about the fluffernutter theme and... well... I think two days qualifies as patience enough in our instant gratification-enabled society. So, tomorrow's theme is the fluffernutter... but not just any fluffernutter... the new and improved fluffernutter... because if we are going to improve, specialize, analyze, and reinvent hamburgers, beer, grilled cheese, peanut butter, noodles, and even cereal... if we are going to take basic ingredients and make Crack Pie® (see David Chang's Momofuku's Milk Bar in NYC (momofuku >> Milk Bar))... then we can certainly take some baby steps towards a more interesting fluffernutter.

In considering where one could go with this theme, I pulled out a few possibilities and thus established my very own cast of fluffer characters. They appear below. Greet them with the warmth they deserve.

Man, here they are again! Already wanting more attention. I think we are onto something with this fluffernutter thing...

Ok, so just to complete the introductions: Harvest bread, Marcona almonds, Smjör Icelandic butter, Tiny Trapeze Confections Marshmallow creme, Marshmallows (from Whole Foods), Organic Nectars Chocagave, raw almond butter, sunflower seeds, pecan butter, dark chocolate peanut butter, nutty almond butter, sunflower butter, strawberries, brioche sandwich rolls, cacao nibs, coconut oil, and UliMana Maca Manna raw chocolate and agave spread. I think that's it. I may be forgetting someone but he will probably have a line or do something behind the scenes. Anyway, there are no small parts, only small nuts.

By the way, in case you didn't do your homework and figure out what the heck marshmallow is... well, I can help you with that... but for today only. In the future, do your homework! Geez, my 9th graders are more conscientious than that... usually... sometimes... once in a while?

So, marshmallow... I feel like it should be marshmellow first of all. That would be a better name. I don't know what mallow is, but I know what mellow feels like.

Okay I lied. I actually know what mallow is, but I only just learned. Turns out it is a marsh plant growing abundantly in tropical regions, but also native to parts of Europe such as anywhere from Denmark south. Used by the Romans for medicinal purposes or to decorate graves (which seems to me to suggest the medicinal properties aren't that reliable...), Pliny lauded its healing powers and the Egyptians made it into a candy with nuts intended to help sore throats. Then, finally the French (thank god!) just whipped it up with some egg whites and rose water and voilá! Our modern marshmallow confection was born. Here is a drawing of its ancestral cousins:

BUT, the best part of this digression into mallow history and sugar-coated nostalgia is this. Of the many other names for marshmallow are the following: mallards, schloss tea, cheeses, and (my favorite) mortification koot!!! I'm serious!!

Unfortunately, these aliases took me on another diversion to discover something I should already have known (being a small part German)... that schloss apparently means palace or stately home in German. Some also would define it as a castle, although the usual term for that is burg. However, schloss has other, less innocent, meanings. I do not intend for Tomorrow's Theme to get any dirtier than necessary (not unless I can't attract an audience on my interesting ideas alone... then I am going for all-out bawdy lasciviousness!!) Therefore, I recommend... or perhaps I recommend avoiding... going to and checking out the first definition for schloss. Or, as I said, maybe not... because then there will be no more experimenting with marshmallow... ever... for anyone.

I experimented with two variations on the classic this morning in anticipation of your interesting and even more creative take-offs.

Fluffernutter #1 a.k.a The Berry-licious Ambitious and Nutritious Fluffernutter Expeditious

Here are the steps I took to create this Franken-nutter (with photos of course... but remember that I am no food blogger...) This particular fluffernutter included the following cast:

** Berry Harvest bread studded with pecans, cranberries, apricots, figs, and candied ginger
** Coconut oil and really good Euro butter
** Pecan butter
** Strawberries
** Marcona almonds
** Cacao nibs
** marshmallow creme (and marshmallows)

1. Oil nonstick pan with coconut oil (to get an interesting tropical sort of flavor profile going... ohhhhh... check out the fact that I used the term "flavor profile"... we are doing seriously important work here.)

2. Cut strawberries, spread butter on bread, put one piece in pan and spread with pecan butter. (I recognize that was multiple steps within one step. I repeat, I am not a food blogger, nor a cookbook author.)


Berries on a cutting board.

Spread with pecan butter.
Almost forgot... sprinkle with chopped marcona almonds... and cacao nibs (not seen here)
3. Spread other piece of bread with marshmallow, sliced strawberries and whole marshmallows.

4. Smush (yes that is the technical term) pieces of bread together in pan.

5. Cook until well-browned and all ooey-gooey inside.

6. Cut (diagonally of course - it's so much cooler) and then serve... to yourself!!

Now, onto experiment numero dos. This one turned out MAD better, in my humble opinion. This one is OFF THE CHARTS RIDICULOUSLY GOOD, in my humbler opinion... and that is why it has been christened...

Fluffernutter #2 a.k.a. Lustschloss (the pleasure castle)... oh yeah...

** Dark chocolate peanut butter as Frisky Business
** Swiss brioche sandwich rolls as Sinderella
** Smjör Icelandic butter as On Golden Blonde
** Marshmallow creme as Earth Girls are Sleazy
** Chocagave as License to Thrill

1. Stick to intensely good butter for this one. I don't know how much "flavor profile" the coconut oil added. Some things are more trouble than they are worth. Some are not. Usually it is hard to tell the difference.

2. Now, I tell you in advance that the photos of this fluffer-nut-luster are not pretty... but pretty things aren't always the same as those full of substance...

3. The previous wasn't really a step, so this officially is. Cut brioche in half. (I even discarded a middle portion so it wouldn't be so bready.) Spread exterior sides of brioche with butter. Flip bread over. Spread one piece of bread with dark chocolate peanut butter and chopped dark chocolate almond bar. Spread other piece with marshmallow and drizzle with chocagave (or your favorite chocolate sauce.)

4. Smoosh pieces together and get them in the pan!!

5. Flip over when it is the right time. (I'm really trying to ignore how sexual this is all turning out to be.)

6. Take out of pan when brioche is all browned and (once again) ooey-gooey, melt-a-licious-luscious.


...-ously... ridicu-...

...-lously good!!!

The funny thing about all this is that I have food allergies which include wheat, gluten, corn, and dairy. Ha ha! Guess the lusty joke's on me. But I gave this to a friend and after he passed out, I concluded that it was worthy of fluffernutter god-like status.

... which reminds me... well, it actually doesn't remind me but I just remembered. I never got around to mentioning what marshmallow is these days. The Tiny Trapeze version that I bought includes the following ingredients: rice syrup, organic evaporated cane juice, water, egg whites, barley malt syrup, pure vanilla extract, xanthum gum, lactic acid, and kosher salt. The Kraft Fluff that most people are familiar with is made with: corn syrup, sugar syrup, vanilla flavor, and egg whites.

So, go forth on your Sunday and fluffernut!! And please share results.

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