January 25, 2012

Tangerine Cake Balls

The beginning of the Lunar New Year was Monday, so Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快樂! The great thing about Chinese New Year is of course the New Year's Eve feast. I love the fact that each dish has a double meaning meant to bring luck or fortune in the new year.

Tangerines are a must around the beginning of the new year because in Chinese the word for tangerine is a homophone for "luck": same sound, different spelling. Apparently it's even better if the tangerines still have their leaves as that adds the benefit of longevity as well. I personally associate tangerines with Chinese New Year because when I see that the tangerines on the trees in my backyard are ripe and ready to eat, I know that CNY is right around the corner.

This year, I thought that it would be fun to make a tangerine based dessert for CNY. The fact that tangerines are usually served whole didn't give me much flexibility, but I realized that this was the perfect time to work on my DforD Resolution #4. I used the zest and juice of my backyard tangerines to flavor a cake and some frosting and turned them into tangerine cake balls (cake pops without sticks), with leaves and all. A lucky dessert to start off the new lunar year!

January 17, 2012

Strawberry & Champagne Truffles

It's my first post of 2012! I really love the beginning of the new year since it's a good time to reflect on the past year while looking forward to the new one. Considering how much I love making lists and brainstorming plans, New Year's resolutions are always a must for me. This year, in addition to my personal goals, I decided that I'd come up with some blog specific resolutions as well.

2012 Diamonds for Dessert Resolutions
1) Blog Improvements (convert to metric, figure out yields, edit comments coding, add blog extras, etc..)
2) Add an About Me page w/FAQ!
3) Work on food styling & photography
4) Conquer Candy & Cake Pops (weaknesses of mine)
5) Work on answering e-mails more promptly

What's Coming Up on DforD in 2012?
1) Baking 101
2) The Hunger Games series (totally in love with the books, especially Catching Fire. So so excited for the movie!)
3) Literary Inspiration (ex. fairy tales, fantasy stories, nursery rhymes, my favorite novels & classics)
4) Fashion & Art
5) TV Shows I love (ex. Parks & Rec, Adventure Time, Pushing Daisies, childhood cartoons)
6) Superheroes (this year seems to be the year of superhero movies)

Now about today's recipe. These truffles were originally for NYE, but due to recipe complications I couldn't get this up until now (yeah... New Years resolution #4). But I figure with Valentine's Day coming up next month, now is still a good time to post this. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with chocolate, strawberries, and champagne? Below, I provide two different options for these truffles. They can be kept separate as strawberry truffles and champagne truffles, or you can combine them with one flavor in the center and the other on the outside. The second option takes some more time, but it's fun biting into one of them and having a surprise in the center.