Zabane (Marshmallow Sauce)

Recipe contributed by Elizabeth Schwartz; photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  16 one-tablespoon servings (1 cup total)
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  45 minutes

Zabane (Marshmallow Sauce)

Elizabeth shared this version of zabane, a marshmallow sauce that traditionally graces Moroccan tables for an after-Passover feast called the Mimouna. It is sweet, thick, and candy-like. Elizabeth was served this by the spoonful. We think this version makes a tasty, dairy-free pairing as a dip with fruit skewers. It does not store well, however, and has to be eaten the day it’s made.

Ingredients

¾ cups (175 grams) sugar

¼ cup water, divided

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

⅛ teaspoon finely ground gum arabic or mastic (mastika), optional

1 jumbo egg white, at room temperature

⅛ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted, roasted almonds or walnuts, coarsely ground

Instructions

  1. Make a simple syrup: Heat the sugar and 3 tablespoons of the water in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves, about 12  to 15 minutes. Every few minutes, brush some of the remaining water on inside of the pot, on the sugar ring that will form as the sugar crystallizes. You can rub it gently and let some water drizzle down as you brush the ring. (Work carefully, as hot sugar makes a nasty burn.) Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and gum arabic, if using, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Combine the egg white and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or another large stainless steel mixing bowl. Set up a saucepan wide enough for the bowl to sit in without touching the bottom of the pan, and pour in about 1 inch of water. Sit the bowl on the pot and set the whole thing over low heat, taking care that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Bring to a boil. Whisk the egg whites with an electric hand mixer set at medium  speed or a whisk. Once the eggs begin to foam, increase the mixer speed or whip more vigorously as you gradually drizzle in the hot syrup.
  3. Continue to whip at a high speed (or vigorously, if by hand) for 16 to 18 minutes, until the foam is thick and stable, and forms very stiff peaks, Remove from the heat and whisk for 1 minute.
  4. Fold the almonds into the zabane mixture. Pour into a large, decorative bowl and serve.

Kitchen Tips

From Elizabeth:

  • Eat with a spoon (it’s hard to eat too much of this, so one bowl will go far).

From the Test Kitchen:

  • If you use a stand mixer bowl to make the egg whites, you can add the sugar syrup over the heat, and then quickly move it to your stand mixer a fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk for about 10 minutes until it forms marshmallow-like, stiff peaks. It is quite laborious to do it by hand, and does not get quite as much volume, but it works!

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