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Category Archives: candy

Chopped – Desserts!

We had so much fun doing our last “Chopped – Desserts” that we decided to do another one. Here is the idea of the “game”. We each give each other 3 ingredients and we have to create a dessert with them in just 30 minutes. It’s all a trust thing as we’re in different cities. We can add stuff but we have to use the 3 ingredients given. Here are the results of this week’s creativity:

Chef Karen: My 3 ingredients were: saltine crackers, hard candy (I chose Werther’s) and grape jelly.Chopped Desserts 001

I chose to chop the candies with my food processor and then I added the crackers to make a crust. I also added a bit of brown sugar to help the consistency.

In the meantime, I added 6 candies to whipping cream and brought it to a boil until the candies were melted and I had a nice caramel topping. I then poured the caramel onto the crust. My blast-chiller was down (I wish I had one!) so I put the crust in the frig to cool.

Chopped Desserts 003Next, I creamed some cream cheese with some cool whip and added the grape jelly to it.

Chopped Desserts 004I then poured the whole thing onto my caramel topped crust and zested an orange on the top for colour (My husband’s idea 🙂 )

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This whole dessert took 25 minutes. It was salty, yet sweet – one of my favourite combinations!

Chef Jonathan: My three ingredients were: hot dog buns, pretzels, and pineapple. I decided to make a Pineapple and toasted pain brûlée with a pineapple jus. I started by buttering the buns, then spreading a brown sugar mixture, consisting also of cinnamon and the crushed pretzels, onto the buns then broiled them in the oven. Next, I spread the same mixture onto the quartered pineapple, then brûléed them with a torch. Meanwhile, I made a pineapple jus by cooking the remaining pineapple and sugar, resulting with a nice, sweet jus. This all only took me about 20 minutes, and I was very happy with the outcome.

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Pencil Cake

Karen: I am NOT an artist. I am not a cake decorator; no patience…… So this project was a bit of a stretch for me. Thankfully, the directions were easy to follow and it helped. I managed to do things a bit differently than written (which I find I do most weeks). I added more than the suggested amount of food colouring to both frostings. I also didn’t use a microwave to melt the chocolate; I prefer a double broiler. I did find the shaping of the cake to be a bit of a challenge but nothing I couldn’t handle. I forgo using the green stripes because I couldn’t find any and used licorice, instead. I think this is a fun project that could be accomplished by kids with the help of an adult. What a fun first week of school treat!

Chef Jonathan: I was very excited to try this pencil cake to celebrate the start of school this week, although it was a bit of a challenge. I found that my loaf cakes were smaller than the ones in the magazine, so I adjusted my measurements accordingly. I found it a bit difficult to bevel the edges of the pencil, but I just kept shaving it off until level. I found the method of microwaving the chocolate in a plastic bag a bit unsafe, so I decided to use a double boiler. The other obstacle was attaching the chocolate tip to end of the cake, and shaving off enough to make it look believable as a pencil. I used a rainbow sour belt, instead of green, and I actually like it better. All in all, a great project if you have several hours to devote to it, and I also recommend it for a children’s project!

This recipe was found in the September 2011 issue of The Foodnetwork Magazine.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/how-to-make-a-pencil-cake/pictures/index.html

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Week #29 – Oreo Mint Chocolate Chip Freeze

Chef Jonathan: Love this recipe, it is great for cooling down on a hot summer day! It’s very easy, and it tastes amazing! I did make some adjustments though…..First, I crushed the oreo cookies in a food processor to make a crumb, then mixed that with  the melted butter and pressed into the bottom of a 9×9 in. greased pan. I then scooped out ice cream, let set for a minute, then spread evenly on top of the chocolate crumb crust. Next, I made a chocolate sauce, using semi-sweet chocolate, then I spread that over top (sense the theme yet?). I then piped rosettes of whipped cream and quartered oreos and placed them decoratively on top. I froze it for 2 hours, and voila!

                                                                                      

Karen:  We wanted to find a great cool recipe for the first long weekend of the summer.  We did just that!  If you like mint chocolate (which I do!), you’ll love this easy and cool recipe.

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly but made a few minor changes.  First of all, I smashed the 26 Oreos and then mixed them with melted butter.  I figured it might be easier to cut that way.  After I put them in the pan, I put it in the freezer while the ice cream softened, a bit.  If you don’t let it soften, it’s quite hard to work with.  Also, your Cool Whip should have a refrigerator consistency for easier spread-ability.  I layered the ice cream over the smashed cookies, then poured the chocolate topping over it.  I then added the Cool Whip and instead of broken pieces of Oreo cookie, I topped the whole thing with Mint Aero Bubbles (not sure you can get these in the US – I think they’re Canadian but use something minty and chocolatey.)

This recipe was a nice ending to an outdoor dinner on the deck.  I will make it, again.

*Note:  There will be 4 Oreo cookies left over…… Just a warning 🙂  If you decide not to use them on the top, you can easily add them in the beginning step to the 26…. OR just eat them!

Here is the website where we got the recipe with the instructions:

http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/ice-cream/oreo-mint-chocolate-chip-freeze.html?source=fork_fb_oreo_chocolate_freeze

 

Week # 11 – Salted Caramel Nut Brittle

Chef Jonathan’s Part:

I’m going to re-title my recipe for this week: Salted Caramel Not-So-Brittle. My one flaw this week was not having a proper candy thermometer to test the doneness of the caramel sauce. I was going purely on sight and this was not enough. Nevertheless, it still tasted amazing! I also used walnuts instead of macadamia nuts, and I sprinkled fleur de sel on top! Yum, this is the most delicious salt in the world. If you ever find it in a specialty store, buy it!

Karen’s part:

*Warning!* once this stuff has cooled, you will stand at the counter and eat the whole pan if you don’t have any self-control!

Macadamia nuts are my most favourite nut in the world.  That’s why I couldn’t pass up this recipe that I found in a grocery store holiday magazine/cookbook.  This brittle is easy to make and exceptional to eat.  My one recommendation is that you have a candy thermometer to use. And, that you wait the alloted time to take if off of the stove.  I made this candy twice.  The first time I was too anxious and it was a bit sticky the next day.  This time I waited the exact time and it’s perfect!

One other note:  I added more salt than 1 tsp.  Salted caramel and salted chocolate are my favourite snacks right now; the more the better in my book!  Other than that, I followed the recipe as written and I’m pretty sure it won’t last long and I’d better take some to work to give to my co-workers.

Enjoy!

The recipe:

“Salted Caramel Nut Brittle.” Inspired/Sobey’s Grocery Stores Fall 2011: 32. Inspired.ca. Web.