October 22, 2015

Apple Cider Caramels

Life has been busy and I haven't gotten to do as much baking as I've wanted these past few months! I've made a few older tried-but-true recipes (like Strawberry Cream Cake and Celebration Oreos) but I haven't had time to tinker with anything new. Slowly, I'm working baking and blogging back into my routine. Here's a recipe that I was going to post last October, but didn't get the chance to... but it's relevant again since fall is here :).

Last fall, I went apple picking for the first time, and it was awesome! I've always wanted to go apple picking, but this is the first time in my life I've lived less than an hour's drive away from an apple orchard. At the orchard, along with my fresh-off-the-tree apples, a dozen homemade apple cider donuts, and some garlic cheese curds, I picked up a bottle of apple cider specifically so I could try out this recipe. I'm very glad I did.

These caramels are amazing! They have a strong apple flavor with touch of cinnamon, like apple pie. I was very impressed by the apple flavor. There's the yummy butteriness and the occasional bite of sea salt that mellows out the sweetness. Straight out of the refrigerator, the texture is firm and chewy, but at room temperature, the texture is soft and sticky, adaptable to different people's preferences (I like them straight out of the fridge). And now I'm thinking about what other fruit flavored caramels I will make next :)… I definitely recommend you give this recipe a try!

October 18, 2015

Painting with Chocolate

New fall-themed post coming up later this week. Finally, right? In the meantime, enjoy this video on chocolate sculpture where they recreate Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring in chocolate! So lovely.

Seriously, painting with chocolate (think of the possibilities). Now I want to get my hands on some cocoa paints to try this out for a future project!

May 04, 2015

Yoda Matcha Truffles

Happy Star Wars Day Everyone! May the 4th be with you. I made Chewie Wookiee Cookies (from exactly 2 years ago) yesterday… and had them for breakfast this morning. Seriously, cookies for breakfast = win!

Anyway, aside from the Chewie Wookiee Cookies, I wanted to make another Star Wars-themed recipe for this year's Star Wars Day. I've been craving something with matcha for a while, so I thought Yoda Matcha Truffles would be perfect. Aside from both being green, I associate both matcha and Yoda with zen and wisdom, so a perfect match!

The recipe is fairly straightforward. What was challenging was melting chocolate in humid weather, definitely not one of my favorite things to do. I also thought about just mixing white chocolate with matcha powder for the outside coating, but it turned out pretty grainy and icky looking, so I went back to relying on candy coloring to get the green tint for the coating. Other than that, they turned out pretty well, perfect for Star Wars Day.

P.S. In case you were wondering why these truffles only have eyes… I tried adding a mouth to some of the truffles (an example above ^), and for some reason they looked really strange to me. As I was decorating the other truffles, it hit me. The one with mouths really reminded me of the Adventure Time goblins rather than Yoda. I decided to hold back on noses as well since that would have made them look even more goblin like ><! When you make them, it's up to you whether to put a mouth on or not :P.

January 19, 2015

Homemade Marshmallows

I'm back (finally)! So, my third year of medical school has ended up a lot busier than I planned, and I haven't gotten much baking done. But I think I've got my time management down and I'm going to try to work baking and blogging back into my regular schedule. Plus, over winter break, I did some holiday baking, so I have some of that to share as well.

Today I have my go-to recipe for homemade marshmallows. I'm quite surprised that I've never shared it here before. For the most part, I try to share recipes that use minimal equipment, but this recipe requires a stand mixer due to safety (sorry), so maybe that's the reason. Anyway, if you've never made homemade marshmallows, I definitely recommend it. They turn out soft and fluffy and they just taste better than store-bought marshmallows. I have another recipe for flavored marshmallows that I'll share in a few weeks, but this recipe makes wonderful vanilla marshmallows, the perfect addition for s'mores and hot cocoa.

Usually, when I make these for everyday eating, I'll just cut them up into squares, but for my holiday baking this year, I wanted something more festive. So I decided to make them look like snowmen. I halved the recipe so they'd be thinner and easier to cut into circles. Then I gave them faces with royal icing leftover from decorating gingerbread cookies. I also added a touch of cinnamon to the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture used to powder the outside of the marshmallows to make them extra festive. No matter squares or snowmen, they're still equally delicious.