Tag Archives: chocolate

3-booze cupcakes

Another win for the Smitten Kitchen!  You probably know I’m a big fan of cooking with booze, so I’ve been wanting to try these for months.  They’re a lot of effort, but well worth it, I promise!

Bailey's, whiskey, and Guinness, oh my!

The cake is made with Guinness and sour cream, and is incredibly moist.  They’re then filled with a chocolate and whiskey (or other poison of your choice) ganache, and iced with a Bailey’s buttercream frosting.

I almost had a disaster when I split the ganache quite badly, but the internet helped me rescue it. Seriously, what did people do before Google?  Apparently the temperature of the ganache is key because it has to emulsify (the fat in the chocolate has to mix with the water in the cream, more details here). Mine was too hot, so I saved it by putting the bowl over another bowl filled with ice water and continuing to stir.  I think the result was more truffle-like than a ganache should be, but my test subjects all really enjoyed the extra-chocolatey surprise in the middle.

If you’re in the mood for a booze-tastic dessert, the recipe is here.

– Anna

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YUM!

From flickr user longhorndave under Creative Commons licence

I feel slightly bad posting about these because I’m not sure you can get them in London.  But if you find yourself in Argentina, keep an eye out for Havanna Alfajores – they’re a thick layer of dulce de leche sandwiched between two very fluffy, cake-like cookies, covered in dark chocolate.  Seriously good.  I suspect the rest of the ones I was given are not long for this world.

– Anna

WTF (What the Food) Straws Edition

Apparently North American children are unable to drink milk unless it is flavoured, but what do you do when your fat child is bored of drinking chocolate milk?  Not to worry, Oreo sippers and Sip-Ahh straws will come to the rescue for your picky-porker.

I had my sister (and chocolate milk connoisseur), help me with this edition of WTF and we came to a consensus regarding the new fad for milk-flavouring straws.

This is also a good opportunity to point out that in Canadia milk comes in bags.  This is weird to a lot of people, but I don’t remember it ever being different – it’s also pretty green since you cut down packaging.

Oreo Sippers and Sip-Ahh Straws

Ease 3.5/5 – In theory this should be easy, you pour milk into a glass and drink it through a straw.  In practice there is a major flaw with each product: Oreo sippers are so wide that it’s like drinking out of a snorkel – this leads to the unpleasant experience of having milk forcefully hit you in the back of the throat – delicious.  Sip-Ahh straws, on the other hand, are too narrow and the chocolate beads become clumped together, requiring you to apply the sucking power of a Dyson hoover in order to get a drop of chocolate milk.

Colour 4/5 – Not much to say here – the Oreo Sippers are black and white – the Sip-Ahhs could be darker… they looked a little too chalky.

Texture 3/5 – The Oreos Sippers do not hold up well in milk.  After a couple of minutes they are soft and pretty gross to eat.

Smacked in the back of the throat by poorly flavoured milk

Flavour 2/5 – On both accounts flavour is lacking greatly.  Sip-Ahhs fail to turn the milk chocolaty and Oreo Straws don’t taste like much of anything until you bite into them – if you do this before they sit in the milk for more than a minute then you’re in luck: but that’s not what they’re intended for… if i want to eat an Oreo I would grab a cookie, but dammit I wanted Oreo-flavoured milk through a cookie straw! My sister’s critique: ‘Both of these taste like crap’.

Resemblance to packaging 4/5 – Oreos fair very well, but where is the pole-dancing cow from the Sip-Ahhs package?

These straws represent everything that is wrong with children today.  Enough said.

Chocolate toffee cookies

Under Creative Commons licence from Flickr user jwalsh

I’ve already crowned a chocolate chip cookie “Best cookie ever“, so we’ll have to file these under “Most ridiculous cookie ever”.  The recipe makes about 2 dozen large cookies, but only has half a cup of flour it.  Chocolate, brown sugar, and eggs provide most of the bulk.

The recipe is American and calls for 5 chopped Heath bars, which are made by Hersheys and therefore are not available over here in Cadbury land.  They are supposedly sold as Skor bars over here, but in my extensive searches I’ve not turned those up.  Instead, I experiment with different candy each time I make them.  I’ve used Cadbury Eclairs, milk chocolate bars with little toffee chunks, chopped soft Werthers, chocolate-coated toffee balls, and so on.  A word of warning – chopping caramel is difficult, and gives me a massive blister each time.  But…soooooo worth it.

Recipe after the jump.  You’re welcome.  Continue reading

Experimental seafood night IV

They wouldn't win any beauty contests

They wouldn't win any beauty contests

Success! The dessert pretzels have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The original plan of tidy little packages of pretzel dough wrapped around a bit of chocolate went out the window even as we were rolling out the dough when someone said “potsticker”. So after rolling it all out, we cut out circles using a big glass, put a piece of chocolate in the center of each, folded and crimped the edges to seal.

Kira takes out her aggression on the pretzel dough

Kira takes out her aggression on the pretzel dough

To be honest, we were sure this wouldn’t work. The dumplings were ugly, barely holding together, and rising fast. It was funny, and we could eat the chocolate either way so failure was ok. But when the test pretzel came out and we gathered around to taste it – it tasted like pretzel! We made pretzel!

Sacrificial first pretzel (stick) goes in

Sacrificial first pretzel (stick) goes in

It worked!  Our first batch, fresh out of the oven.

It worked! Our first batch, fresh out of the oven.

We’re all a bit giddy with our triumph. Or maybe it’s just a sugar rush. We don’t know what kind of chocolate is in each treat, so we keep eating, trying to find them all. I had my heart set on the snickers, but as Anna said, “I think nougat doesn’t pretzel well.” Bizarrely it sort of evaporates.

The face of giddy triumph

The face of giddy triumph

Twix are tasty though.

Pretzel recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.

-Eve and Anna

Experimental seafood night III

Sea bass in miso marinade

Sea bass in miso marinade

The fish was excellent (note to self: find more things to do with miso), though the meal was marred by my ill considered spinach side. Sauteed with a little bit of ginger and a bit of miso would have been great, but there was more than a little ginger, and too much garlic. Ah well. Fish was still great.

Dinner!

Dinner!

Five minutes later...

Five minutes later...

And now it’s on to the pretzels! Though they aren’t exactly pretzels. While we strenuously object to using ‘pretzel’ as a verb, we were nonetheless inspired by this recipe for pretzeled eggs. Except this being dessert, we’re pretzeling chocolate. A smorgasbord of chocolate and candy bars. We’re very excited.

Off to pretzel now. Wish us luck!

-Eve and Anna