Batter Licker

October 20, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 10 (chocolate cognac truffles)

Filed under: candy,dessert — Tags: , , , , , — Kristen @ 8:17 pm

** I wrote this 2 days before the wedding, thought I’d have time to type up the recipe before the wedding, was threatened by the blue screen of death on my laptop, Jay fixed it, and then (inevitably) got wrapped up in other pre-wedding matters. **

It’s almost 4 a.m., and I’m wide awake. I’ve been too excited about the wedding to sleep soundly. As a result, I’ve been running mostly on adrenaline since the sleepless nights began this past Sunday.

In my sleep-impaired state, I’ve decided to deviate from my original plan to share dessert bar recipes in the order that I make them. So I’m hopping ahead of part 8 (toffee) and part 9 (caramels – fleur de sel, and spiced bourbon), which I promise to share at a later time (most likely post-wedding; turns out I still have cookies to bake off, chickpeas to crisp up, and s’mores brownies to figure out … not to mention memorizing the vows I wrote and learning new moves so our first dance isn’t entirely awkward and reminiscent of junior high school slow dances).

Instead, I would like to share these chocolate cognac truffles, which are decadent but not too fussy – especially if you can rope someone into helping you form them into balls. It’s probably best to start with a more uniform selection of chocolate, but these truffles were admittedly an afterthought composed of leftover chocolate from other dessert bar projects. Hence the haphazard selection, including semi-sweet, bittersweet, and 100% chocolate.

The most important thing is to use chocolate you actually enjoy the taste of, which I made sure to do even if my particular combination was quite … diverse.

The second most important thing is to chop the chocolate into small, uniformly sized pieces. This helps ensure quick, even melting.

Beware that, when chopping chocolate, a mess is unavoidable. (more…)

September 28, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 3 (fudge)

It’s time for some more wedding dessert bar preparation. This time around, instead of baking, there will be candy-making.

[Queue the oooohs and aahhhs.]

Waiting … waiting … AHEM! … any minute now … What’s that? You already know how to make fudge? Fine. But won’t you be sad if you miss out on the quirky commentary, and additional tips and observations – like the fact that fudge freezes well for 3 months if tightly wrapped? Thought so.

Now that we’ve settled that … first, clean up that kitchen, little piggy! (I really let things go this week. Just wasn’t feeling the whole sponge-and-soap thing. Or even the at-least-soak-things-in-water thing. Pretty much a total mess all around. Good thing I didn’t get a good shot of the sink’s contents, much less the rest of the apartment.)

Now that I’ve cleaned everything up (mostly), it’s time to pull all the ingredients out and clutter the counter again. I’ve said it before and will repeat it every time I share a candy recipe, but you know that whole mis en place concept you hear all over cooking shows that normally is helpful but not entirely necessary? Yeah, it’s actually essential when making fudge or any other type of candy. Candy cooks up fast, especially towards the end when time is of the essence.

So open those bags and containers, and measure out those ingredients to lessen the chances of burnt candy tragedies. Seriously. I’ve done it. Multiple times. First world problem, perhaps, but I still cried.
(more…)

February 7, 2011

fudge with chopped macadamia nuts

Filed under: bars,candy,dessert — Tags: , , , — Kristen @ 10:38 am

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and all chocolate lovers – whether single and ready to mingle or happily committed – can appreciate this homemade fudge. Studded with chopped macademia nuts, this fudge is rich, chocolatey, and smooth with just a bit of crunch from the nuts. And it’s been a family hit for decades, although I recently opted to swap out traditional walnuts for macademia nuts. Then again, any of your favorite nuts will do.

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Like my pistachio and chocolate-topped toffee, fudge makes an always-devoured finger food dessert for dinner parties and a wonderful “just because law school left me with crippling debt while I also need to save up for my wedding” Christmas gifts “just because I love you enough to make you homemade candy” gifts to friends, family, and significant others. (more…)

February 2, 2011

toffee topped with bittersweet chocolate and pistachios

I have a confession to make. I’ve been holding out on you. I should be ashamed. It took me more than a year from my first blog post to actually share this recipe. Sure, there are quite a few toffee recipes available online anyway. But none of those are the one I’ve been making since I was old enough to reach a countertop. None of those are the recipe I attempted to make as a teenager only to get distracted, fail to stir the pot often enough, burn the toffee, and get a good screaming-at from my mother for wasting ingredients, among my other then-apparent inadequacies.

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And none of those were recipes that, despite such a traumatic experience, I continued to make again and again as I grew older, feeling inspired to become a life-long homemade candy gift-giver for holidays. In other words, this ain’t no Hershey’s Skor toffee bar, people. This is the good stuff. (more…)

December 20, 2010

chocolate ice cream with candy cane swirl

When the holidays rolled around during my childhood, the festive treat I looked forward to most was quite simple: a mug of hot cocoa with a candy cane in it. The candy cane would dangle into the warm, milk chocolaty liquid, slowly melting away. Some sips were more cocoa-intense, while others were gently infused with candy cane flavor, but the mug always seemed to empty sooner than I expected, leaving me anxious for the next evening’s drinkable dessert.

This ice cream is an ode to those candy cane hot cocoa-filled nights of my childhood, bringing that warm drink to a new, delightfully creamy and frozen level.

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Unlike the usual candy cane ice creams floating around there at this time of year, this one is not overloaded with peppermint, which seems to happen when the ice cream base is peppermint flavored or when chopped bits of candy cane are evenly distributed throughout the ice cream.

Instead, my version uses a chocolate ice cream base with a candy cane ribbon running through that base. (more…)

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