Tag Archives: dessert

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

WTF (What the Food!) Cool Whip Edition

Cool Whip is definitely an element of food-culture that does not travel well from North America to Europe. It is essentially a long-life artificial whipped cream that can be frozen and defrosted without altering its texture.  According to a Wired Magazine piece on Cool Whip, it is double the price of whipped cream and contains mostly water, air, sugar, wax and condom lubricant (brings a whole new meaning to dessert topping).  Dig in!

Cool Whip

Ease 5/5 – Open, insert spoon, plop onto pie.  None of that painstaking, time consuming, calorie burning whisking to slow down dessert.

Colour 4/5 – Not white, like whipped cream would be, more like an off-white.  Somewhat like vanilla ice-cream, not offensive, but kind of odd.

Texture 3/5 – I know that this is whipped.  Your mouth can feel that this is whipped.  Unfortunately all of this aeration doesn’t result in something that is creamy or nice on the tongue; it feels like a dense, stabilised foam – which, I think, is a pretty damned accurate description.  Doesn’t really melt in your mouth but rather collapses.

Flavour 4/5 – It tastes sweet.  It doesn’t really have much beyond that.  High fructose corn syrup, palm kernel oil and coconut oil are the main ingredients – I haven’t eaten enough palm kernel oil to know it when I taste it, so who knows.

Resemblance to packaging 1/5 – You fail, Kraft.  Unless you were to whip the container’s contents (which you’re not going to, because it defeats the purpose of a ready whipped topping) and dispense from a piping bag, you are never going to get Cool Whip to look like the packaging.

In my vast experience with Cool Whip I have never really given much thought to the actual ingredients until today.  I see the appeal, it’s pre-made and sweet, it comes in lower calorie versions, it would have been a house-wife’s dream in the 60’s, but do you really want to eat something that is full of chemicals and delivers a sub-par gastronomical experience for the sake of saving 5 minutes of whisking and the hassle of washing up?  If so, to each their own, but I will always choose real whipped cream.  Every time.

– Ryan

Important questions

Triple-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  Yum.

Triple-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum.

Does the pound of carrots in the cake mitigate the pound of cream cheese in the frosting?  Discuss.

Recipe after the jump.

– Anna Continue reading

Best. Cookies. Ever.

Ridiculously good cookies

Ridiculously good cookies

I realize this may be a bit of a controversial claim, but I’m fairly confident that these are the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.  They get slightly crispy at the edges but stay nice and chewy in the middle.  The sea salt means they aren’t overly sweet, particularly if you use high quality dark chocolate.

But don’t take my word for it: try them for yourself.  Recipe after the jump. 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