Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentine Sweets

I decided to make heart shaped marshmallows for my Secret Pal for Valentine's Day but could not find my heart shaped cookie cutter, so I went to Walmart early yesterday morning. While there, I remembered that I needed gelatin, which took me into the baking department and I had a sudden urge to make truffles.

My friend Karen had given me some Fiori Di Sicilia for Christmas and I decided to use it in the truffles. The combination of citrus and vanilla with the deep chocolate was lovely and reminded me of Terry's Chocolate Orange. I adapted a Pioneer Woman recipe for the truffles to intensify the chocolate flavor.

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Chocolate Truffles with Fiori Di Sicilia

10 oz 60% cacao chocolate
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp Fiori Di Sicilia
8 ox light chocolate melts
Sea salt

Place chocolate in double boiler over simmering water. As it starts to melt, add evaporated milk and blend until the consistency of marshmallow cream. Remove from heat and add Fiori Di Sicilia. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hour but up to 24. Roll into balls and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 20 minutes. Melt chocolate and dip balls. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate.

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I sprinkled sea salt on half the recipe while the coating was still liquid.

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Packed and ready to go!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Drink A Bite to Eat at 10, 2, or 4

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Diet Dr. Pepper. I have reached a point in life, however, when I cannot drink it every day. But, at Christmas, I receive a bucket of my favorite beverage...cans and bottles in all sizes, and in the bottom was a four pack of old style glass bottles of regular Dr. Pepper.

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I pondered this for a while. I used one bottle to braise a pot roast. And then, I found a recipe for Dr. Pepper Cake.

Dr Pepper Cake
for the cake:
1½ cup Dr. Pepper soda
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1¼ cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk
For the Chocolate Topping
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
preheat oven to 350F and grease a 13x9 baking pan.
combine the dr pepper, oil, butter, and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat. bring to a simmer, mix well, and remove from heat.
add sugar, flour, and baking soda to the pan and mix well.
in a separate bowl, beat the eggs and buttermilk together. add a small amount of the hot batter to the egg mixture (a couple tablespoons) and mix well. then add the egg mixture to the batter and mix well.
pour into greased pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
while the cake is cooling, make the glaze.
combine the butter, cocoa powder, and milk together in a saucepan over medium heat.
when the butter is melted and the mixture is combined, whisk in the sugar, ½ cup at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth.
pour over the warm cake.

A couple of observations: 1)the process is much the same as other chocolate cakes I've made before, but the batter is thicker than I expected and 2)you can taste the Dr. Pepper!

Also, the frosting took more milk...but that could have been my fault.

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When all is said and done, it's a very moist, delicious chocolate cake.