I tried making Crystallized Mint today, from the Eleven Madison Park cookbook. It's the same technique as in MCaH.
Strange that I did used to be able to successfully do this, about 10 years ago, but now with the Glad wrap--which I swear seems to be made thinner than it used to be??--it also melts through. I tried 1200 W at 100%, 80%, 50% settings. Maybe a 10%-30% power level could help, but I gave up...
What DID work, to an approximation, was silicone baking mats. I put one silpat directly on the microwave glass. I did the oiled mint leaves, then overlaid another piece of silicone (I only had a Stasher silicon bag so I put that over the 8 tiny leaves).
Then I had to microwave repeatedly 80%, 30 s at a time, for about 3 minutes? Multiple times. It was nearly all nice and crispy, but a few bigger leaves tended to have some moisture near the stem.
For the crystallized mint the fine grain sugar seemed enough to deal with the residual water.
After some re-reading, some ideas I'd like to throw out there for anyone interested:
- Use only heavy-weight commercial microwaveable plastic wrap
- Use a inverter microwave, to get true fractional % power levels, many microwaves are now inverter but my old one is not
Meanwhile the silpat sandwich does work. I also forget, there are other ways to make crispy herb leaves so in absence of the right plastic wrap and/or microwave, maybe one has to make it the normal (more tedious) way by dehydrating or frying the leaves.