Posts Tagged 'gold'

Favorite Shots: Vitamins & Protein, Baby

I started taking a multi vitamin again.

Love,

L

Pipe Dream #97: To Raise Beautiful Chocolate Children – Whisky Truffles

Making candy is like raising a child. You’ve got to put a lot of love into it, you don’t always know what you’re doing, and sometimes you just have to cross your fingers and hope that things turn out. I say that like I  know anything about raising children. I’ve heard that is what raising children is like. Hi, Mom.

I pretty much faked my way through this recipe. It was 2 in the morning, I was making truffles for about 200 people, and I was distracted by the help. The recipe you will find below is lovely–I didn’t follow it. I added more chocolate (and whisky) to the ganache than I should have, I spent ages forming the not-so-excellent balls, and I dipped the truffles in more chocolate rather than coating them with nuts or cocoa.

Dipping the truffles turned out to be a challenge. In the first, perfect truffle you can see above and below, we managed a beautiful little chocolate swirl tail because the chocolate was at just the right temperature. (Never you mind the chocolate-encrusted fingernails–all of this was very sanitary. :]) Also, can I say that metallic food spray is the best? It makes everything better.

For the majority though, the chocolate was not quite at the right temp, so…

We birthed little baby birds. They were perfect.

Crossing my fingers,

L

Chocolate Whisky Truffles

Adapted pretty heavily from Joy of Baking

16 ounces (454 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons whisky (cognac, brandy, Grand Marnier, kirsch, or rum would work also)

Place 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. (If the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, place in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or over a saucepan of simmering water, just until melted.) If desired, add the liqueur. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight). I think I added more chocolate than I should have, making the ganache firm up a little too well. If you make your ganache correctly, follow the next steps to the tee. If you mess up, you’ll have to scrunch the chocolate together with your fingers. 

Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, a small ice cream scoop, a melon baller, or a small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating (or dip in melted chocolate) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 30 small truffles.

How To Illuminate Your Mind And Bakes

Back when my family got Netflix, we went through a period where we watched all three seasons of Cake Boss in about 3 weeks. (I’ve talked about this before, and made some of the prettiest cupcakes ever.) It was pretty legit. One of the coolest things on that show is how they make everything look so real. They use all kinds of things to achieve different special effects: edible ink, fondant, gum paste. But one of the prettiest things they use is luster dust. My mind was illuminated. I had never seen anything of the kind. It is kind of like loose glitter eyeshadow, really sparkly and brushable. I’ve never tried putting it on my face, but that’s only because it is kind of spendy.

Because this stuff actually costs money, I was a tad miffed when I knocked a significant amount on the floor. I was concerned enough that I spend a good five minutes sweeping it up and putting it back in its minute jar. When it was done, my body was showing the strain; I looked like I had just gotten off a shift at Pier One during the Christmas rush (slightly  pop-eyed, jumping at small movements and full of glitter), but I was soothed. Most of the powder was back in its place.

I bought the color SUPER GOLD with which to test my abilities. I thought it was a bit more yellowy than I would have liked. Perfect for, like, fake pirate gold, not apples, but it was still neat.

You can either brush the dust on dry or mix it with a little vinegar or vodka. Whatever you have on hand is cool. You just need some edible liquid that is going to evaporate pretty quickly leaving the dust behind. Brushing luster dust on dry results in a sheer shimmer, while brushing on wet dust gives you a thicker coat.

A little bit of the vodka went a long way. I didn’t exactly look up how much I was supposed to put in, so it was kind of a guessing game. The paste was tricky because as soon as I thought I had the right consistency for brushing, the vodka would evaporate and I would be left with gummy chunks. Remind me never to say ‘gummy chunks’ again. Anyway, it is pretty much trial and error; I’ll be better next time. To brush it on, I actually did use an eyeshadow brush. Ahem. It’s not like anyone was going to eat this, yeah?

See how funky it looks? I had to put on a couple coats without brushing off the stuff I had already put on. It took forever.

But! It does end up looking like this. I sprinkled some dry dust on the berries and flourless chocolate torte for effect. I think it would be super neat to paint luster dust on frosted sugar cookies or fondant. Let me know if you try it! I would love to see what you can do.

Sometimes I don’t tell people they have unintentional glitter on their faces because I like it so much,

L

Pipe Dream #36: To Be Like Willy Wonka – Sea Anemone Cupcakes

I think I’ve told you before about my family’s newfound Netflix craze. My parents had never had cable before, so getting Netflix was kind of a big deal.

You get no…You get NO…YOU GET NO COMM-ER-CIALS. Name that movie musical.

There were entire seasons of all these old cable shows uploaded on Netflix. People had been raving for years about shows like Stargate SG-1 and Deadliest Catch while we lived on in blissful ignorance, content with the standard network television offerings. I don’t regret this; it was probably good that we weren’t exposed to more media. And I particularly do not regret never seeing Spongebob Squarepants (that was such a great sentence). Sew annoying. I know I just probably lost about 50 percent of my subscribers, but I have to be honest about Spongebob.

Anyway, Cake Boss is the first show my family ever got addicted to on Netflix. Everyone would sit for a couple hours (that’s four episodes!) every day until we finished every season. The lobster pastries! The fondant! The Italian family drama! It is irresistible.

Weirdly, I don’t think we watched it because we’re so into baking or anything. It’s more the idea that the massive, realistic cakes the bakery makes are totally edible. It’s like every kid’s ultimate dream come true: that Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory would be a real place. Who didn’t want to eat those edible daffodil teacups while singing strangely atonal phrases about abstract ideas?

These cupcakes turned out to be Valastro-esque kind of by accident. They started out looking like this:

Cute, yeah? I am really happy about the little golden balls I bought to put on the top which may or may not be illegal in some states, but not Europe! so I’m not going to worry. But I felt the needed something more…

So I dyed some extra frosting and added leetle decorations.

In their little aqua holder, I thought they looked particularly like little sea creatures, hence sea anemone cupcakes. Edible anemones!

And I was pretty happy with them. It felt like the most creative thing I’d done in forever.

Try using a combination of piping tips to decorate your next cupcakes. It’s easy, and the presentation is impressive.

“Nil deperandum, dear lady. Across the desert lies the promised land. Goodbye, Mrs. Gloop. Adieu! Auf wiedersehen. Gesundheit. Farewell,”

L

P.S. I used a one-bowl chocolate cake recipe, and the really good piping frosting I found. Bonus, I filled these babies with some leftover peanut butter cream cheese frosting. Divine.


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