Updates from February, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • pixeltheatre 12:02 am on February 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Daring Bakers 16th Challenge: Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino 

    The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

    The recipe was perfectly timed for Valentine’s day – can’t beat chocolate cake and ice cream. This was one of the most straightforward challenges in a while, so it took no time to put together. I did encounter some problems with my baking ware, however. While shopping at Michael’s I came across some heart-shaped silicone cupcake molds, half-priced. I’ve never really baked with silicone before, but my own cupcake pan is looking pretty ratty, so I decided to give them a try. Looking on the net, I found out that, on certain occasions, baking times must be adjusted with silicone pans. It seems to take longer. Which would make sense considering silicone is also used for a lot of heat resistant products. The recipe called for a 20-25 minutes baking period, but that was for a 10 inch cake. Since I was making cupcakes, I decided to aim for the 25 minutes. (My oven is not the hottest either — I have to set it at 25F higher than the called-for temperature). I checked the cupcakes at the half-way mark, and they were still very runny. As the 20-minute mark approached, my mom called… I remembered the cupcakes when the buzzer went off. They looked fine at first, a little scorched on the side. But, after one bite, I knew I had a over-baked them. Still, with the help of some Krispys Chocolate Mint Candy ice cream, they were quite palatable. I look forward to trying this recipe again and, most importantly, the March Daring Bakers challenge.

    • Amy 6:16 pm on February 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      This looks great – I was given some silicone molds and have been scared to use them. Thanks for the tip about letting things bake a little longer. Unfortunately I am notorious for forgetting things in the oven…

    • Birdie 10:40 pm on March 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

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  • pixeltheatre 8:34 pm on February 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Krispys Mint Valentine Candy Ice Cream 

    The challenge with See’s Candies ‘ Krispys Mints® was to keep its crispiness and minty coolness intact. As with the Toffee-ettes ®, the Krispys Mints® were just right on their own.  This month’s Daring Bakers challenge involved an ice cream component. I thought the mint would be a nice add-on to the ice cream and to the main dessert for the challenge (to be posted on this blog on February 28. Stay tuned!) The results were quite nice. I simply used my regular crème anglaise recipe and added some crushed Krispys Mints to the mix.

    Krispys Mint Valentine Candy Ice Cream

    200 ml milk
    100 ml cream
    1/4 vanilla bean, cut, scraped
    3 egg yolks
    50 g sugar
    6 Krispys Mints, well crushed

    Infuse milk, cream w/ vanilla bean. Whisk yolks and sugar. Temper hot cream with egg mix. Return to boil. Stir on low hear until nappé. Strain and cool in an ice bath. Once cooled, pour custard into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions. I added the crushed Krispy Mints halfway through the final process.

    Eat on its own or served with your favorite dessert. 🙂

  • pixeltheatre 3:15 pm on February 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , cupcake, See's, Toffee-ettes   

    Toffee-ettes® mini chocolate Valentine’s candy cupcakes 

    As a fan of the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, I find it fascinating how chefs can incorporate one single ingredient into so many different dishes (trout ice cream, anyone?….)  So, when an email arrived from a representant of See’s Candies®, offering me a chance to develop other sweets using their own products, I jumped at the chance of playing mini Iron Chef!

    My challenge was to come up with a Valentine’s day treat using one of See’s many candy products. Unfortunately, See’s Candies ® shops are not in Canada, but they were happy to send me a couple of products of my choice. I looked through the site and it was a tough choice. In the end, I settled on See’s Toffee-ettes® and Dark Mint Krispys®.

    My next challenge was to find a recipe that used simple ingredients and was quick to prepare. I settled on the tried and true recipe for my cream cheese and chocolate mini-cupcakes. The chocolate batter is a cinch to put together and has a wonderful deep flavor. Add crushed Toffee-ettes® for texture and you’ve got a nice two-bite chocolaty-sweet and crunchy cupcake. Here’s the final recipe:

    Toffee-ettes® mini chocolate Valentine’s candy cupcake

    Preheat oven to 350F.

    Dry Ingredients:

    In a medium bowl, mix well together using a whisk:

    1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup cocoa
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt

    In a large measuring cup, or small bowl, mix together:

    1 cup cold water
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 Tbsp white vinegar
    1 tsp vanilla

    Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, whisk well until smooth. Crush approximately 10 Toffee-ettes® nuggets using a small processor. This should yield about one cup of crumble. Fold the crumble into the batter. Fill each cupcake liner to 3/4 full. Bake 16-18 minutes. Freezes well, and thaws in just a couple of minutes. Yields about 48 mini cupcakes.

    Toffee-ettes® make a versatile add-on to many baked goods. The only challenge would be to keep them around long enough. They’re addictive just on their own! Stay tuned for my take on the Dark Mint Krispys®.

    • markjohnhiemstra 3:37 pm on February 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, that looks good. I wonder how it would work out, as I’m in Canada, to replace the candy with some Crispy Crunch, or Smarties. I’ma try and see what happens.

    • pixeltheatre 4:00 pm on February 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply


      Almond Rocca would also work, and Ferro Rocher would also come close to the texture. A mixture of Skor bar and almonds would be another option. See’s Candy do ship to Canada. Thanks for posting!

    • Reverend Tex B. Acon 8:53 pm on March 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for providing more Bacon information to the World! Praise B!(acon)

    • Samuel L. 2:57 am on April 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

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  • pixeltheatre 10:27 pm on February 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bacon explosion, , sausages,   

    Bacon Explosion – Westcoast style 

    I came across this post this past week. The food blogosphere was abuzz with a recipe overloaded with pork, as in bacon and sausage. Dubbed the “Bacon Explosion“, it consisted of a mat of bacon stuffed with sausage meat and more bacon, and smoked. It just sounded too good not to try. Superbowl Sunday was right around the corner, a great time to do this while watching the game. I sent a copy of the recipe to my partner in grillin’ and smokin’. Over dinner that night I suggested we try it on Sunday. He looked at me and said: “You’re kidding, right?….” When I just smiled, he smiled and laughed. “Did you see how many calories there are in this thing?!…” “Yeah…. But we’ll just make a mini one. We’ve got to get our smoking muscles back in shape…” Besides, I thought, this gives me an excuse to shop at Oyama’s, my favorite charcuterie.

    Prep was simple enough. We used double-smoked bacon and Okanagan wine and herbs sausages. The rub (hot and spicy) came from the Char-Broil website. I used half paprika and half smoke paprika to give it an extra kick. We started the cold smoking (hickory chips) at 3:30, in the rain. By the time the game was finished (go Steelers!), we still hadn’t reached the right internal temperature, so we finished it in the oven. Being stuffed from the rest of the Superbowl spread, it was tough to force one more morsel of food down, but we did.  The taste was surprisingly not as greasy as I thought it would be. Might be interesting to see how slices of these will be, fried once more and served with eggs for breakfast… Stay tuned…

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