Monday, June 30, 2014

#BurgerMonth: El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard is Sponsoring + Giveaway


Holy smokes it was a good mail day! When I heard that El Diablo Mustard was sponsoring #BurgerMonth, I was excited. We are a little mustard mad in my house. I mean, D has his own bottle of mustard that he will not share with anyone else; he even made a Spicy Carrot Cake - with mustard -  for Easter this year. I initially thought they were sending three mustards and asked if I could pick the three flavors I wanted. Then I found out that I was getting to sample all six flavors.* I think I might have squealed aloud.

You have the chance to get a set of mustards of your very own!


I received: Mango, Heat Meets Sweet; Roasted Chipotle, A Kick of the Southwest; Steakhouse, Hearty Flavor to Treat Your Tastebuds; Texas Chili, Don't Mess with Texas!; Jalapeno, Popping with Pepper Flavor; and Habanero, A Flavor Inferno for Daring Types.



 My mind is reeling with what I can do to really highlight these flavors. You'll definitely see these used in my #BurgerMonth post and then some. Stay tuned...


*Full Disclosure: I received 6 complimentary bottles of El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard for the purpose of reviewing the product. All comments are 100 % accurate and 100% my own.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sour Cream-Chocolate Layer Cake


The last cake I made for the Darth Gaber cake: Sour Cream Chocolate Layer cake. This made one 9"x13" rectangle and an 11" round.

Ingredients

  • 3 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1 C alkalized Dutch process cocoa powdered
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 4 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t organic hazelnut extract
  • 1 t organic chocolate extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 16 ounces organic sour cream

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your baking pans by lining them with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. When light and fluffy, mix in the sour cream, extracts, and eggs. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda until well-combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until firm to the touch. Cool completely on wire racks.

Lilikoi-Lemon Curd Ice Cream


We spend a lot of time dreaming up ice cream flavors. Great family pasttime, right? I think so.


Well, this afternoon the boys agreed on a passion fruit + lemon curd combination. It started off as a raspberry-lemon curd ice cream, but we had some passionfruits in our fruit basket. Done!

Ingredients
  • 2 fresh passionfruit (AKA lilikoi), halved
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T lemon curd
  • 1/4 C organic granulated sugar

Procedure
Scoop the pulp out of the passionfruit. Reserve the pod for serving. Place all of the ingredients in your ice cream maker and process according to your machine. Ours took about 40 minutes to come to a soft, gelato-like texture. Spoon ice cream into a container and freeze before serving. To serve, use a truffle scoop and place a mini scoop of ice cream into your passionfruit pod. Serve immediately.

(Tardy) Random Recipes: Sweet and Sour Radishes


February was my first month participating in a fun event - Random Recipes - that I discovered on Belleau Kitchen. I completely blitzed on the project last month, but decided to jump back in for June when we are celebrating the 40th month with a 40-40 combo - pick the 40th cookbook off your shelf and flip to the 40th page. Click for the details: here.

Okay, I failed again. I missed the posting deadline. Damn. I will get back in the Random Recipe saddle one of these months. But I made and posted anyway because this was such a fun, easy, and delicious recipe.

I got The Glass Pantry by Georgeanne Brennan. Wow! I completely forgot about that book. Thanks for reminding me that I owned it. In any case...it was book #40. Page #40: Sweet and Sour Radishes!

This post contains an affiliate link at the bottom - for the book.


Ingredients

  • 2 bunches organic radishes
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 2 T vinegar (I used a thyme-infused white wine vinegar)
  • 1 t wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 t organic granulated sugar
  • 2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T water


Procedure
Using the back of a wooden spoon or mallet, hit each radish just hard enough to split it open - but not hard enough to crush it. I bruised the heel of my hand; these suckers were crisp and hard!


Place the radishes in a shallow glass bowl and sprinkle them with salt. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.


In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, wine, sugar, sesame oil, and water. Pour the mixture over the radishes and let stand in the sauce for at least 20 minutes.

#SundaySupper: Savory Red, White, & Bleu Truffles {Independence Day Picnic}


Welcome to #SundaySupper's giant virtual picnic in preparation for U.S. Independence Day on July 4th and Canada Day on July 1st. I'd say that's grounds for a picnic, don't you? Years ago our city used to do festive parades. With budget cuts and all that...it is no more. But here are a few (old) photos of my mini-patriots from back in the day...



So, in the vein of red, white, and blue, I'm sharing a recipe for Savory Red, White, & Bleu Truffles. I got the idea from this week's hostess, Jane of Adventures in Dinner when she shared her Savory Truffles during a #BrunchWeek event this year; I had bookmarked them and adapted to make them Independence Day appropriate.


Ingredients


  • 1 C chevre, divided into two bowls
  • 1 T fresh blueberries, smashed
  • 1 T fresh raspberries, smashed
  • 2 T chopped fresh herbs (I used a mixture of parsley, dill, and mint), divided into two bowls
  • 1 T parmesan, grated
  • 1 T bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 1 t chili paste, halved
  • 1½ C chopped nuts (I used raw pistachios)

Procedure
Place 1/2 C chevre, blueberries, 1 T herbs, bleu cheese, and 1/2 t chili paste in one bowl. Place 1/2 C chevre, raspberries, 1 T herbs, parmesan, and 1/2 t chili paste in another bowl. Mix each bowl until well-incorporated. Roll teaspoon-sized mounds into balls. Roll in chopped nuts. I actually only rolled half of them in nuts - for the aesthetics of my serving tray - but we preferred them with nuts! Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Here's what the rest of the creative crew brought to the picnic table...
Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. 

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. 

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Buttermilk Layer Cakes


Along with the Devil's Food Cake layers, I made a buttermilk cake for the Darth Gaber cake. This made one 9"x13" rectangle and an 11" round.

Ingredients

  • 2-3/4 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 2 stick butter, softened
  • 2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t organic hazelnut extract
  • 1 t organic chocolate extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 C buttermilk

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your baking pans by lining them with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. When light and fluffy, mix in the buttermilk, extracts, and eggs. Fold in the flour and baking soda until well-combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until firm to the touch. Cool completely on wire racks.

A Bunch of Cakes + Chocolate Frosting + Chocolate Fondant


I know the Darth Vader cake looked awesome, but it also tasted great! We refrained from telling the kids it was organic and whole wheat!

Here are the parts...click on the name to go to the recipe post.


Cake Architecture by Jake


When one of my best friends asked us if we'd make a Darth Vader-themed birthday dessert for her soon-to-be-five-year-old, I said, "No problem." I should have said: "Your kid is worth all the martial stress that will ensue from a project such as this!" And he is.

Suffice it to say: I am pretty fast and loose with my cooking; my husband insists from straight edges. So, I should stick to the baking and let Jake do all the cake architecture. Mental note for next time!

 
 
 
 



All done!

Devil's Food Cake

For Darth Gaber's birthday cake I needed a lot of cake. I just bake the layers; Jake's the cake architect. We started with these Devil's Food layers. This recipe made two 9"x13" rectangles + 1 bundt cake; you can easily halve or third the proportions as needed.


Ingredients makes two 9"x13" rectangles + 1 bundt cake

  • 9 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 4 C flour (I used a white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 18 T butter (2 sticks + 2 T), cubed
  • 2-1/4 C boiling water
  • 4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 9 T organic sour cream
  • 9 T buttermilk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 t organic hazelnut extract
  • 1 t organic chocolate extract

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your baking pans by lining them with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place the chocolate and the butter in a large saucepan. Heat until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, place the flour, baking soda, granulated sugar, sour cream, buttermilk, extracts, and eggs. Whisk to combine. Stir in the boiling water - carefully! Fold in the melted chocolate and butter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until firm to the touch. Cool completely on wire racks.

Simple Chocolate Frosting


This made a gob of frosting. We needed a lot - a lot! - to cover a Darth Vader cake. I actually made 2 batches of this recipe. Yikes...that was a lot of sugar. Hopefully our favorite five-year-old will love it!

Ingredients
  • 6 C organic powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3/4 to 1 C organic milk
  • 1 t organic chocolate extract

Procedure
Sift together sugar and cocoa. Set aside. Cream together the butter and organic chocolate extract. Add in 2 C of the sugar-cocoa mixture, then 2 T of milk. Mix and repeat until all of the sugar-cocoa has been added. If the frosting is too thick, thin it out with more milk. I ended up using about 1 C milk. Frost cooled cake immediately. Let set for about 20 minutes before serving.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Raspberry-Avocado Ice Cream

Another day, another batch of homemade ice cream...D requested raspberry. I had an avocado and wanted to try it in the ice cream. No one could tell, even after I told them. That just means I'll have to try a completely avocado ice cream soon.


Ingredients

  • 1 C organic heavy cream
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • juice from 1 organic lemon
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 C organic raspberries

Procedure
Place all of the ingredients into your ice cream maker and process according to your machine. Ours took about 40 minutes to come to a soft, gelato-like texture. Spoon ice cream into a container and freeze for 30-60 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant



I have only worked with fondant once before. Thankfully, my cousin Tiffany, AKA the Cake Whisperer!, gave me some pointers and sent me links to a recipe for homemade modeling chocolate and one for chocolate marshmallow fondant. Thanks, Tiff! Of course, I can't follow directions to save my life, so I took aspects of both recipes, and the first marshmallow fondant recipe I made, and created my own chocolate marshmallow fondant.

Ingredients makes three 5" rounds of fondant
  • 12 C minature marshmallows - loosely poured, not tightly packed
  • 12 C organic powdered sugar
  • 6 T water
  • 1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t organic hazelnut extract
  • 1 t organic chocolate extract
  • cornstarch for kneading
  • food coloring gel, optional (we made black!)
Procedure
Place the marshmallows and the water in a large saucepan. Cook, on low heat, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.


Stir the marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth. Stir in 8 C of the powdered sugar, the unsweetened cocoa powder, and extracts into the melted marshmallows.



Add in another 3 C of powdered sugar. Stir until it begins to incorporate and becomes impossible to stir anymore. It will be paste-like.


Scrape the marshmallow-sugar mixture out onto a table covered with parchment and dusted with powdered sugar. The mixture will be sticky and lumpy, with lots of sugar that has not yet been incorporated. Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the fondant mixture like dough, working the sugar into the marshmallow with your hands.


Continue to knead the fondant until it loses its stickiness. Add more sugar if necessary, but stop adding sugar once it is smooth. Too much sugar will make it stiff and difficult to work.


We needed it black. Darth Vader black, specifically. To add color...flatten your fondant into a round disc. Add your desired amount of coloring or flavoring to the center of the disc, and fold the disc over onto itself so that the color or flavor is enclosed in the center of the fondant ball. We worked in black food coloring gel until we got the shade we wanted.



Once the fondant is a smooth ball and all of the color is incorporated, it is ready to be used. You can now roll it out, shape it, or wrap it in cling wrap to use later. Well-wrapped fondant can be stored in a cool room or in the refrigerator, and needs to be kneaded until supple before later use.


You'll see this on a cake this weekend. Can't wait to fête our favorite Darth Vader-loving five-year-old.

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