Thursday, July 29, 2010

S'more please!

So I'm on cake break but there are still good things coming out of the kitchen. Last week my in laws were visiting from TX. My Mother in law is allergic to dairy products, so we take caution in planning the menu any time we are all together. You'd be surprised at how much dairy lurks in products you wouldn't expect. I take it as a challenge and always get very excited when we can find really yummy recipes that she can eat!

Our favorite concoction from this visit was S'mores made in the oven. Instead of chocolate, we substituted Nutella! YUM.

Honey Maid Graham Crackers
Kraft Jet Puff Marshmallows

I spread a thin layer of Nutella onto the cracker and topped with a marshmallow. I placed them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 350 until the Marshmallow began to spread out. Then I set the oven to broil until the tops were golden brown.

My father in law then asked for just a toasted marshmallow. A simple request if we were 'round the campfire... but how to oblige from the oven? Foil? A-ha!

A cupcake liner did the trick!

We also tried with honey peanut butter and enjoyed a different twist. All in all a small non dairy victory to add to the treat list!

S'more please!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fondant I - Take 2

Sweet Wise offered the Fondant I class again through groupon recently so I went ahead and bought it for my husband's birthday. He loved the taste of the fondant and gumpaste before so I thought it would be a great excuse to recap my learning. It was either take the class again and have someone coach me through it or spend the same amount or more on the supplies to try it myself. I chose the easy way out. Coach me! Hold my little hand and walk me through it!

One problem... the class is centered around learning to make bow loops. I was hesitant that I could make a bow cake look manly. I pondered earthy color schemes... maybe I could just sneak in my own design while the teacher wasn't looking? Think, think, think!

When we arrived I dug through the gel colors and found a brown and ivory color. I thought that combo could do the trick.

I had a different teacher at this class and while most of it was a review from my first class, I picked up a few more tricks which will come in handy should I ever attempt it on my own! :)

The finished product...

Fondant I - Take 2 ... and that's a wrap.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Snap, Krackle, Choc!

By now you know, I don't do plain well. So, when I decided to take rice krispy treats to a little get together, I couldn't help grabbing the mini chocolate chips out of the pantry.

Unfortunately as I was putting the mixture together I realized a little to late that I shouldn't have added the chocolate chips in as early as I did. Not what I had envisioned posting for you all. I imagined a two inch tall square of blond marshmallowy goodness with a few chocolate chips sprinkled in to perfection. Instead... It looked like I made them from Choco Krispies. I was pretty bummed. But I had spared a few chips and sprinkled them in on top.

I wanted straight edges. I had prepared it in a glass pyrex dish with the round edges. So, as I started cutting away the rounded edges I thought, I'll just sample a small piece to make sure it tastes good. And I'll just sample the other corner. And Ill just have a little of this side too. And, I'm sick. :)

Luckily, I pawned them off on my friends and wasn't forced to sample any more. Last I heard one family ate 8! So, even though I considered it an aesthetic flop... the taste was Snap, Krackle, Choc!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Croissant de Chocolate'

We rented the movie "It's Complicated" last night. I had been reluctant to watch it but after several people insisted it was hilarious, I caved. While it was extremely laughable at times, I knew I should've trusted my instincts and skipped it.

One thing I did like was that Jane (played by Meryl Streep) owns an amazing bakery. It's a small part of the story line but it was a highlight for me. *Now that I think of it... kind of funny considering Meryl's recent role in Julie & Julia. I wonder if she is a foodie in real life?... back to my story.*

When she and Adam (played by Steve Martin) are on a date she makes him Chocolate Croissants. I imagined that would mean the dough would be chocolate. To my delight they made quite a fun evening preparing dough with a pasta machine and rolling two small pieces of chocolate inside. GENIUS! They share warm croissants over coffee and conversation as pictured below:

I knew it was my one good take away from the film!

Tonight some friends of ours came over. I thought it was the perfect time to test my own version out! Let me make one thing very clear. I would LOVE to learn how to make pastries like a professional. I simply have no idea how nor do I have the proper equipment to attempt it. Thankfully, Pillsbury cans solutions for inept bakers like me!

I wasn't exactly sure what type of chocolate would work. It seemed to be rolled in the movie... but I just cut chocolate squares in half and placed them long ways end to end. I did 1/2 of the croissants with Lindt dark cacoa and 1/2 with Cadbury milk chocolate.

I placed chocolate along the edge of the dough:

I rolled them and baked as directed. 11 minutes later:

I really wasn't sure how the chocolate would react. Would it be a runny mess or would it caramelize? The first cut revealed the ooey gooey beauty within:

The flaky, buttery layers were an amazing contrast with the rich chocolate ribbon. Brings a smile to my face and makes my tastebuds water just recounting the wondrous anatomy!

I liked both versions... but my favorite was the milk chocolate. It was such a creamy texture:

Je t'aime un petite Croissant de Chocolate'

(That's my imaginatory French phrase meaning: I love you little chocolate croissant! Yes, I know... almost as bad as adding "-o" to a word to make it sound Spanish. Bear with me!)