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Showing posts from June, 2011

Creme de Menthe Truffles

I love mint chocolates.  :) Stacey's Dark Chocolate Créme de Menthe Truffle Ingredients: 8 oz cream, organic 2.5 oz glucose syrup 20 oz El Rey 61% dark chocolate couverture 2.5 tbs butter, organic 1 oz Créme de Menthe   liqueur Chocolate Flake Chopped El Rey white chocolate couverture Chopped Guittard mint chocolate chips I made these pretty much the same way as  my other truffles , but I hand stirred instead of using the immersion blender with whisk attachment.  I decided to make these a little bit more interesting to look at so I rolled them in chocolate flake and chopped white and mint chocolates.  Nummy...

Dark Chocolate Chambord Truffles

I had some cream I needed to use, so what better fate could it end up with than as part of a delicious truffle? :) Stacey's Dark Chocolate Chambord Truffle Ingredients: 8 oz cream, organic 2.5 oz glucose syrup 20 oz El Rey 61% dark chocolate couverture 2.5 tbs butter, organic 1 oz Chambord liqueur Chocolate Flake Turbinado Sugar, organic I made these pretty much the same way as my other truffles , but I hand stirred instead of using the immersion blender with whisk attachment.  And, I gave them the same treatment as my Scharffen-Berger Chocolate Truffles . I'm not as big of a fan of the El Rey dark chocolate - I think Guittard has richer flavors, but the El Rey behaves well, and is just fine in truffle form.  

Brown Velvet Cake

Okay, my first attempt at red velvet cake without using food coloring failed.  It ended up just looking like a light chocolate cake.  It tasted pretty good though.  More varied flavors than a regular chocolate cake since I tried to use some berries to bring out more red.  I forgot... berries tend to turn brown when you cook them. Stacey's Brown Velvet Cake Ingredients: The Light Chocolate Cake 2 1/3c unbleached white flour, organic 1/4c cornstarch 1.5c sugar, organic 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/4c Scharffen Berger cocoa powder 1/2c canola oil, organic 2 eggs, organic 1 1/2c buttermilk, heated with cooked beets 1c pureed strawberries and raspberries (frozen, thawed) 1 tsp white vinegar 2 - 9" round cake pans, lined with parchment paper The Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 2 packages cream cheese, organic 2 sticks butter, salted, organic 1 tbs vanilla bean paste 1/3c maple syrup 4c confectioners sugar First, the cake.  I preheated th

Chocolate Mint Cake

AKA my new favoritest cake ever.  I bulked up the recipe for  That Chocolate Cake (added a bit more of all the ingredients except for the eggs - probably 1/8 extra since I was using two 9" square pans instead of two 9" rounds). Cake came out pretty big though, so you probably don't have to bulk it up, and just have thinner layers. Stacey's Chocolate Mint "Favoritest Cake Ever" Ingredients: That Minty Chocolate Cake 2c + 2 tbs sugar, organic 1c unbleached white flour, organic 1c whole wheat flour, organic 2 tbs cornstarch 3/4c + 1 tbs Scharffen-Berger unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/8 tsp salt 1 3/4 tsp baking powder 1 3/4 tsp baking soda 2 eggs, organic 1/2c + 1 tbs sunflower oil, organic 1c + 2 tbs whole milk 1c + 2tbs boiling water 2 tsp peppermint extract That Amazing Mint Ganache Frosting  10 oz El Rey white chocolate couverture 16 oz heavy cream, organic 1 oz Creme de Menthe liqueur, green Few drops of peppermint oil Chopped white

Honey Citrus Cake (powdered milk)

I wanted to try out a recipe using powdered milk instead of real milk to see how it would come out. Stacey's Honey Citrus Cake (with powdered milk) Ingredients: 1/4c nonfat powdered milk 1.5c unbleached white flour, organic .5c whole wheat flour, organic 2 tbs cornstarch 3/4c sugar, organic 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 2 eggs 1/4c blood orange infused olive oil 1/4c nonfat yogurt, organic 1/4c key lime juice 1c hot water ~1/4c orange blossom honey 1 8x8" baking dish 1 loaf pan First I preheated the oven to 350F.  Then, I mixed all the dry ingredients together.  I put the lime juice in the water and microwaved it until it was fairly warm (about 135F according to my temperature gun ).  I mixed the other wet ingredients in another measuring cup and whisked it lightly with a fork.  I poured both containers of wet ingredients into the dry and stirred gently until combined with a silicone spatula.  It was too much batter for just the baking

Buttermilk Ginger Rum Cake

I had some leftover cream cheese frosting and some buttermilk from a cake I made this weekend, but haven't posted yet.  Thought I'd see if I could make another cake to put it on.  This is a lighter recipe than most cakes / muffins, so it tastes a little less heavy and more like a bread. Stacey's Buttermilk Ginger Rum Cake Ingredients: 2c unbleached white flour, organic 1/2c whole wheat flour, organic 1.5tbs cornstarch 3/4c sugar, organic 1tsp salt 1tsp baking powder 1tsp baking soda 2 eggs, organic 1/4c spiced rum 1/4c sunflower oil, organic (can use any kind of cooking oil) 1.5tbs fresh ginger 1/2c warm water 1.5c hot buttermilk (1%) 8x8" glass baking dish Loaf pan Stacey's Vanilla Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 2 pkgs cream cheese, organic (16 oz) 2 sticks butter, organic (8 oz) 1 tbs vanilla bean paste 1/3c maple syrup 4c confectioners sugar First I preheated the oven to 350F.  Then I combined all the dry ingredients in a b

Chocolate Nutty Buttercrunch

I think most people don't recognize there is a difference between buttercrunch and toffee.  I blame See's.  See's Victoria Toffee is actually buttercrunch, at least, according to  Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner , which says that toffee has to have milk proteins in it.  As a result, "real" toffee sticks to your teeth, which is why I love buttercrunch.  It's crunchy, sweet, and rich, but doesn't hurt my old lady sensitive teeth.  I started with a recipe from the book, scaled it back a bit, and then added nuts to the buttercrunch portion.  The book recipe says to put the nuts on the chocolate, but I thought it would give the nuts a better chance at staying crunchy if they were inside the candy. Stacey's Chocolate Nutty Buttercrunch Ingredients : 2 sticks (8 oz) salted butter, organic 1c sugar, organic 1.5 oz water 2 tsp vanilla bean paste ~1.5c mix of raw (untoasted) peanuts and pepitos (pumpkin s

Lesson Learned: Frozen Cream != Truffle Making

In case anyone was curious, I performed an experiment.  And failed... or succeeded since now I know what happens?  Anyway, I learned that you cannot use defrosted heavy cream to make truffles.  While making the truffles, the cream seemed a little separate-y after I boiled it, but the end result truffle mixture looked as beautiful and glossy as ever when I placed the plastic wrap on top to let it set last night.  Unfortunately, when I tried to roll them this morning, I ended up with this: There are tiny little spheres in the mixture.  At first I thought somehow the sugar from the chocolate had crystallized, and that maybe it would taste grainy.  But, strangely enough, these little spheres tasted like chocolate, and they melted in my mouth. The mixture tasted exactly as I had expected (I was making Maker's Mark Whiskey truffles), but the texture was just all off and too soft to be rolled. It actually is an interesting texture and would probably make for a nice unique frosting or s

Blueberry Cream Truffles

I made these a while ago, but I'm just getting around to posting the recipe now.  If you remember my Spring Boxes , they were in there. Stacey's Blueberry Cream Truffle Ingredients  5 oz cream Lemon zest from 1 lemon 2 oz glucose 34 oz white chocolate 4 oz lemon juice 1.2 oz freeze dried blueberries, powdered (1 bag tj's) Guittard 64% dark chocolate toasted chopped almonds These are made just like the Lemon Cream Truffles , but I ground up freeze dried blueberries with my mortar and pestle (like in the Strawberry Cream Crunchies recipe), and added that in with the truffle mixture at the same time as the cream and lemon juice. Once the truffles had set the next day, I used my   1-1/8" scooper   to scoop out truffle balls.   Then I rolled these in the palms of my hands until they were smooth. I prepared little piles of toasted almonds which I sliced. I tempered dark chocolate and then used my spiral dipping utensil  to dip the truffle balls into the d

Honey Ginger Citrus Cake

This was another creation stemming from the wonderful Flavor Bible . I can't even tell you how much I love this book.  I had some key limes, so I looked up limes to see what tastes good with them.  This is the recipe I came up with afterwards.  I also had a lovely orange blossom honey that I'd gotten from the Alemany Farmers' Market, so I wanted to use that too. Stacey's Honey Ginger Citrus Cake Ingredients: 1.5c unbleached white flour, organic 1/2c whole wheat flour, organic 3/4c sugar, organic 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1c almond milk 2 eggs, organic 1/4c blood orange infused olive oil (from Sigona's ) 1/4c nonfat plain yogurt, organic 1/4c key lime juice 1 tbs grated fresh ginger 2 tbs orange blossom honey (finishing touch) First, I preheated the oven to 350F and got out 2 glass loaf pans. I put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mixed.  I heated the almond milk in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until it was about 115F

Golden Beet Melange

Sometimes I like to try to make salty things. The Flavor Bible has been my best friend.  It lists out all the ingredients alphabetically, and all the other ingredients that go well with that listed ingredient.  Then, if you're like me and don't magically know what tastes good together, you can use this book to create things and cheat. Stacey's Golden Beet Melange Ingredients: 2 golden beets (large) 2 carrots 1 red potato (large) 1 yellow onion 2 tbs butter 1/4-1/3c fresh mint, sliced into thin strips salt & pepper to taste First I peeled the beets, carrots, and the potato.  I cut them all into 1 inch cubes and threw them all in 4-qt pot of boiling water with a dash of salt for 10 minutes.  Then I poured it into a colander to drain them. While that was boiling, I cut the onion in 1/2 and sliced across the grain lengthwise. I put the onions into a pan with the butter to caramelize it.  This took a bit of time - I had the drained beets, carrots and potatoes

Photo -> Pastel Drawing #2

Took this photo of a stray cat at a plant nursery in Tiburon.  Thought I'd try doing a reproduction of it with Prismacolor pastels.   Meh.  I always struggle with white colored things.  Makes it hard to highlight. 

Chocolate Dipped Maple Candied Walnuts

I wasn't very diligent about this recipe because I was sort of experimenting.  But, here's the gist of it. Stacey's Chocolate Dipped Maple Candied Walnuts ~3c walnuts ~1c sugar, organic ~1/3c brown sugar, organic ~1/3c maple syrup 1/2 stick salted butter, organic ~2-3tsp cinnamon (it was a quick dash from the costco container) ~1/2tsp nutmeg (I used a whole nutmeg and a spice rasp until it looked like enough) Chocolate for Dipping ~1/2lb to 1lb couverture El Rey chocolate (I didn't measure) So first I threw the walnuts in boiling water for about 5 minutes and drained them.  This helps take the bitterness off the skins.  I drained them and threw them into a pot where I had the rest of the ingredients (minus the chocolate) waiting. I stirred the nuts over a flame until they reached about 250F.  At this point, the sugar started crystallizing in a weird way so I figured it was because the nuts were still wet.  I decided to finish them in the oven.  I spread th