Derek Dammann's honey marshmallows

It looks like a cookbook, and there are over 100 recipes in it, but True North is just as much a cookbook as it is a travel book and Derek Dammann's culinary guide to Canada. If you were at all iffy about what Canadian food is, this book will be eye opening, as the Montreal chef  provides insights and personal stories about the people, food and experiences from different regions in the vast country.

Here, he shares his recipe for honey marshmallows, using Thierry Trigaux in eastern Quebec, a slightly salty honey with a hint of saffron that's made from the pollen of wild seashore plants. He recommends using that single-variety artisanal honey (like thyme, clover, lavender) you may have in our cupboards.

3 egg whites
1½ cups sugar
3/4 cup artisanal honey
5 tbsp glucose
1/2 cup water
10 sheets gelatin
icing sugar
Bee pollen or maple sugar, to garnish

Spray a 10-inch (25 cm) square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Combine the sugar, honey, glucose and water in a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 230°F (110°C).

Meanwhile, soften or “bloom” the gelatin in a bowl of ice water for 5 to 10 minutes, then gently squeeze out the excess water.

When the sugar syrup reaches 230°F (110°C), beat the egg whites on medium speed until you have soft peaks. As soon as the syrup reaches 240°F (116°C), with the mixer running, slowly pour the syrup into the whites, avoiding the beater as much as you can. Increase the speed to high and add the bloomed gelatin. Continue to beat at high speed until the mixture is cool to the touch, increases in volume and starts to thicken, 12 to 15 minutes.

Immediately scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a damp spatula, dust lightly with icing sugar and cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature overnight.

Heavily dust a cutting board with icing sugar and tip the marshmallow onto it. Using a knife sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and spraying the knife between cuts, slice into desired shapes. Gently toss or roll each marshmallow in icing sugar to coat, and garnish with either the bee pollen or maple sugar.

Makes 36 to 48 marshmallows