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PongkyParty

What is PongkyParty?  Well it comes out of the PongkyPlate that I picked up in Chinatown in Toronto when Ethan and I met Melissa who was in town for a conference, for dinner.  Ethan and I did a little prop shopping in Chinatown before dinner and decided to bring Melissa the most ridiculous prop we could find. Well, there were many, many ridiculous props, but we kept finding ourselves back at the stack of pink plastic Pongky plates. So we bought one each and decided to use it for inspiration for a blog post at some point in the future.

Well that was two months ago and we have finally all found our inspiration. So, today, I present my PongkyPartyPost, inspired by the PongkyPlate.

The Pongky colours drove my thought process. For me, a dish inspired by this plate had to be sweet.  Crazy pinks and sweet?  I couldn’t get past the idea of making my own marshmallows, something I have been meaning to do for a while.  I had bookmarked Jun Belen’s recipe a few months ago and decided to change it up only in that I would be using ridiculous fluorescent colours that I had found whilst cleaning out the pantry instead of Jun’s beautiful natural beet red coloured powder.  There are very few foods I would use fluorescent pink colour in but marshmallows seemed an appropriate and natural home.

Jun’s post makes making marshmallows look so easy. I imagined it would be a breeze. Unfortunately, apparently I am not so gifted when it comes to making candies (though I *did* actually do a class last week in Paris called Les Secrets des Confiseries where hopefully I retained some of said secrets – and amusingly, we made marshmallows!) because I got in the biggest mess.

I halved the recipe but apart from that and the colour change, I followed it to a “T”.  I felt that beating the mixture for as long as it was recommended was way too long and instead of pouring the mixture into a pan, I found myself fighting with great masses of marshmallow blob. The colour was impossible to blend into the gooey mess but I did my best.  Was the PongkyDream about to be shattered?  I set the pan aside and crossed my fingers that it would still be ok.

When the time came to remove the mallow from the pan and cut the marshmallows into nice neat squares, well, shall we just say that there was nothing neat or square about it. At all. Check out my hands…

And the state of my countertop…

What I ended up doing was literally pulling the mixture out of the pan, cutting it into long-ish lengths and rolling it to better incorporate the colour. Then cutting it with scissors to make bite-sized pieces.  There are no photos of this process since 1. It wasn’t so much a process but a great big mess and 2. Who wants to see process photos of a failed attempt at something?

In the end, though, I feel I achieved Pongky-dom with my ridiculous sweets….

Right? I mean they TOTALLY match the plate, don’t they?

And I don’t know about you but I can totally see that little bear-type animal chowing down on one of the Pongkymallows..

The colours weren’t as neat as I would have liked but I am actually pretty happy with them, considering they are, in fact, a failed attempt.  And they tasted divine. Like a marshmallow is supposed to taste. Yes, it always surprises me when things turn out properly.  And since the taste and “mouth feel” (I HATE that term but can’t think of anything better) were both spot on, who cares if they’re a little ugly?

If you want to make your own marshmallows at home and make less of a mess, you can try Jun’s recipe.  Perhaps making the whole quantity is the trick to getting the timing right.  David Lebovitz also posted a fabulous “how-to” on making marshmallows recently with detailed notes and photos of each stage.  Note that neither Jun or David show a messy kitchen. Clearly they are way ahead of me in the marshmallow-making game!  In any case, it was fun and I will definitely be doing this again. I won’t let a marshmallow get the better of me!

Don’t forget to check out what Ethan and Melissa brought to the Party!

Keep up with me this summer in London, Paris, Alsace and Burgundy through my Summer 2011 Flickr set.

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81 Responses to PongkyParty

  1. Melissa@EyesBigger July 25, 2011 at 12:28 #

    hahahahahaha…. marshmallows! that’s too funny.

    I think they look great – like real marshmallows. And I said the little critter was a kitty but you are right, it’s a bear. I think. lol

  2. Lora July 25, 2011 at 12:51 #

    I love your marshmallow. I think they are fun and festive.

  3. Jessica July 25, 2011 at 13:11 #

    These are adorable! Colorful things make anyone happy and the plate DOES match the marshmallows perfectly.

  4. Kim - Liv Life July 25, 2011 at 13:22 #

    I’ve recently been reading more and more about making your own marshmallows, but after reading your post I’m really inspired to try!! My daughter would LOVE the colors you did, but I think I’m not going to tell her that it is an option…. I can’t even begin to imagine what my kitchen would look like if she did that!
    Love these, love the plate! Nicely done!!

  5. Steph@stephsbitebybite July 25, 2011 at 13:36 #

    The swirly colors are so fun! I bet the kids had a blast with this!

  6. Adora's Box July 25, 2011 at 14:02 #

    I don’t think Jun EVER gets messy. Actually, had you not shown the mess, the marshmallows were so nice and neat. Also very cool.

  7. Lauren at Keep It Sweet July 25, 2011 at 14:21 #

    Most fun looking marshmallows ever!

  8. Eliot July 25, 2011 at 14:41 #

    I LOVE these colors. What great inspiration.

  9. Anne July 25, 2011 at 15:05 #

    Beautiful first photo and colors on your marshmallows! They remind me of sand art or marbled wrapped paper.

  10. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family July 25, 2011 at 15:52 #

    These look very cool even if they made a gigantic mess.

  11. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts July 25, 2011 at 16:39 #

    So pretty with the colors – they totally match the plate! Had to be a great party!

  12. Evan Thomas July 25, 2011 at 16:43 #

    I never thought a marshmallow could be beautiful but you managed to make that happen!

  13. Mr. Neil July 25, 2011 at 17:23 #

    Thank GOD you didn’t take process photos with *my* camera, with all that mess! ;-)

  14. Liz July 25, 2011 at 17:44 #

    Wow! I’ve made marshmallows before, and I was lucky to be able to cut them into little cubes. You’ve made them into art! Great job~

  15. Ethan July 25, 2011 at 18:09 #

    It’s funny to think back on that day as it was the first day we met in person, everything was just seamless:)
    That was a great pongky day!
    Lovin’ the interpretation of the plate!

  16. Lindsey@Lindselicious July 25, 2011 at 18:31 #

    I love how colorful these are. I’ve always wanted to make marshmallows from scratch, but looking at those pics, i might have to wait till i get a bigger kitchen. LOL!

  17. sippitysup July 25, 2011 at 19:09 #

    I don’t know which is prettier the marshmallows or that hand. GREG

  18. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen July 25, 2011 at 20:13 #

    Those look like they were a lot of fun to make! I always like getting my hands dirty and having fun in the kitchen.

  19. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction July 25, 2011 at 20:36 #

    Very festive marshmallows!

  20. Paula - bell'alimento July 25, 2011 at 20:39 #

    I think they’re beautiful! Such fun!

  21. Vicki @ WITK July 25, 2011 at 20:55 #

    You did such a great job with these, they’re so fun! My kitchen always looks like a big mess whenever I make marshmallows too :)

  22. Ann July 25, 2011 at 22:25 #

    Those are absolutely incredible! Like soft, puffy, fireworks!

  23. Jun Belen July 25, 2011 at 22:38 #

    Ann’s right, Mardi. They look like soft and puffy fireworks! Love, love the splash of color in each marshmallow!

  24. Tracey@Tangled Noodle July 25, 2011 at 22:52 #

    I don’t know how you could possibly characterize these as “a failed attempt” – they look fun & fabulous! 8-)

  25. SMITH BITES July 26, 2011 at 09:46 #

    you are fearless Mardi – bravo!

  26. Kate@Diethood July 26, 2011 at 10:28 #

    These are gorgeous! I want to sit down and pop all of ‘em in my mouth at once!

  27. penny aka jeroxie July 26, 2011 at 10:38 #

    I always wanted to make marshmallows at least once. Love the colours. for a moment, I thought they were cake pops!

  28. K A B L O O E Y July 26, 2011 at 13:55 #

    When I saw the picture, I thought you bought those beautiful marshmallows at a fancy shop. Seriously: the swirling colors look like handmade paper and are absolutely gorgeous. I never would have known they represented a failed attempt at anything.

  29. Elizabeth of AsianinAmericamag July 26, 2011 at 14:34 #

    What a cute post! It’s the first time I’ve heard of a Pongky, and a party at that! How creative. But I’ve read Jun Belen’s post on Marshmallow making and he’s fantastic at making it seem easy. I love marshmallows and I love your post on this one! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Heidi @ Food Doodles July 26, 2011 at 15:07 #

    Those look so cool! I love this, even if they are horribly messy :D

  31. Happy When Not Hungry July 26, 2011 at 21:04 #

    These marshmallows look so beautiful! Nice job :-)

  32. Lisa (This Little Piggy) July 26, 2011 at 22:49 #

    What an apt addition to the Pongky party!

  33. thatssoron July 27, 2011 at 00:04 #

    wow, so colourful. Its reminds me of that colourful powder festival in india

  34. Lindsey July 27, 2011 at 03:40 #

    Totally impressed by the marshmellows and not at all surprised by the plate! Oh the things that exist…..

  35. Jill@MadAboutMacarons.com July 27, 2011 at 09:56 #

    I wouldn’t have it any other way. We want the marshmallows with the mess. Looks too much fun!

  36. Dawn July 27, 2011 at 10:13 #

    They are adorable. I love the story. You guys are too much fun!

  37. Stephanie - The Travel Chica July 27, 2011 at 18:26 #

    Those are so pretty! Even if they taste exactly the same as store-bought, I would rather eat these.

  38. Ali July 28, 2011 at 22:26 #

    “Mouth feel”: Try “texture”. :P

    These are absolutely adorable! I can’t imagine making homemade marshmallows as anything but a harrowing, sticky, accident-filled adventure, so I say you did an excellent job!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite July 29, 2011 at 01:48 #

      Hmmm, yes, in this case, it’s not so much the texture though.. Tough one. And yes, incredibly messy but so delicious!

  39. mathviking August 1, 2011 at 04:58 #

    Next time – to avoid the mess….

    Yes – you need to beat the marshmallows for a very long time.

    And, I line the pan with aluminum foil and then spray with non-stick spray. Then, I can flip the marshmallow slab on to the cutting board to cut. I do sprinkling of powdered sugar (some places recommend corn starch) on the cutting board before the flip. Then a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top of the mallows. Should work…. and if the foil sticks, it’s a bit of mess but you can usually slice or peel it off without a lot of trouble.

    A little bit of peppermint extract (seriously…. just a little) with some red food coloring makes for a nice holiday mallow.

    Hope that helps!

  40. Paula August 4, 2011 at 16:15 #

    Not only did you achieve Ponkydom making these, you are the queen of Ponkydom! I love them.

  41. Russell at Chasing Delicious August 5, 2011 at 22:09 #

    These marshmallows look awesome! I was going to make them today for my s’more ice cream but I decided against it. Now I’m regretting that decision.

  42. Megan's Cookin' August 17, 2011 at 11:50 #

    What fum marshmallows! I’m off to check out the rest.

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