Recipes

Chocolate Candy Coating

Ever wanted to dip something in chocolate? However, normally when you do the chocolate oozes everywhere and makes a rather large mess on your fingers and clothes? Well, this recipe is for a hardening chocolate candy coating. It hardens due to the cocoa butter in the recipe and will stay that way even left out in room temperature (75 degrees).

Please enjoy!

Recipe:

Ingredients

30 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate

5 ounces of cocoa butter (Food Grade)

Instructions:

In double boiler, place the cocoa butter into the top part of the boiler. The water should be simmering in the bottom part of the boiler.

melted cocoa butter - Copy

Melt the cocoa butter at least halfway.  It takes longer to melt than the chocolate.

Next, add the chocolate chips.

melted chocolate - Copy

Stir until combined and everything is melted.

Now, you can begin the dipping of foods!

images for recipe

Caution: Product is hot.

For Cocoa Butter:

Sweet Tips – Pumpkin Pie Essence

The scent of spices floating in the air makes me think of autumn, thanksgiving and pumpkin pie!

In this episode, you will learn how to make a delicious Pumpkin Pie essence. This essence is more of a puree that has been condensed.  The puree can then be an ingredient in pumpkin pies, cakes, breads, cheesecakes, cookies and even frostings.

It could also be made into lotions, scrubs and a few other skin care products.

It is so easy to do and makes your house smell like the holidays!

Recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Essence

Ingredients in Order of Usage:

1 – 15 oz can of unsweetened pumpkin puree

1 ½ tsps. Ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

⅛ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp of finely ground sea salt

Directions on Pumpkin Pie Essence

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir constantly as you cook the mixture. You will want to reduce this mixture to about 1 ½ cups.  This mixture can burn, so again I say, stir constantly.

This will get you a very concentrate pumpkin pie flavoring.  It should be much darker than the original pumpkin puree.

For items used in this video

 

Sweet Tips – World’s Best Banana Bread

This is an instructional video on how to make the best Banana Bread. Simple, easy and delicious!

This uses the following Video’s instructions

List of Items used in Video

 

Banana Bread YouTube

Banana Bread:

Ingredients in Order of Usage:

  1. 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
  2. 1 tsp baking soda
  3. ½ tsp very fine table salt or ground up sea salt
  4. Liquefied Banana Mixture
  5. 8 Tbls of unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly.
  6. 2 Large eggs
  7. ¾ cups brown sugar, packed
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. Optional: ½ cup walnuts or pecans.

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Make sure to move the rack to the center.
  2. Prepare 1 9inch bread pan with non-stick cooking/baking spray.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Banana Mixture, butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Once this mixture is smooth, begin to slowly pour this mixture into the dry components. Do not over beat.  You should still see some streaks of flour.  This is fine, since the last step is to mix in the nuts if you choose to.
  5. Mix the nuts into the batter (optional).
  6. Now, place this batter into your prepared bread pan.
  7. You can bake as is, or decorate the top of the bread. If you choose to just bake as is, place the pan on a cookie sheet and place into a preheated oven of 350 degrees F. Bake for between 55 and 70 minutes.
  8. After 55 minutes begin to check the bread with an inserted toothpick every 5-10 minutes. You are looking to poke the center of the bread with a toothpick and have the toothpick come out of the break cleanly. Now, some people like to have a moister bread.  So, you can bring it out once the toothpick comes out mostly clean (but no liquid goop).  The bread will cook some while cooling.
  9. And then you are finished.

 

Optional: Decorating the top of the batter.

There are two ways you could do this.  With a brown sugar crumble top or sliced bananas.

In this recipe I will discuss the sliced banana method, since it looks pretty!

Ingredients you will need:

  1. 1 large banana slightly aged.
  2. Optional: ¼ cup Crushed walnuts or pecans.
  3. 2 tsps. of granulated or caster sugar

Directions.

  1. Slice up the banana. These should be angled cuts (see video).  They should be approximately ¼ an inch thick.
  2. Line the edges of the batter with the bananas (see video).
  3. Optionally, grind up the chosen nuts in a food processer or a spice grinder. Then place this across the top between the two lined banana rows.
  4. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of batter. Try to evenly distribute it.

 

 

5 Cooking Tips to Save or Boost Your Meals

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past few years, if you have anything else, please comment below!

If its bland, add Salt

You’ve added herbs, you’ve used excellent quality ingredients with a tasty and healthy oil.  Then you take a bite….and it doesn’t taste like anything.  Don’t be sad (yet), sometimes you need to wake up the taste buds by adding some salt.  I know salt has been vilified for the past few decades, but trust me, adding a bit of salt if you’re generally healthy is not going to hurt.  Try it before you do something more drastic (like ordering out).

Rock salt from Pakistan byu Hubertle https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2015-03-07_Pakistanisches,_sogenanntes_Himalaya-Salz_0399.jpg

Fat doesn’t evaporate, don’t just hope your sauce or meat will thicken…

If you saute something like chicken or ground beef, and you have a puddle of liquid sitting in your pan.  DO NOT just keep cooking hoping it will thicken into some sort of glaze.  It won’t.  You need to either pour out some of the fat or add something to make it thicken and stick like some sort of starch.  Yes, you might end up pouring out some seasoning (if you added it already), which means chances are, you’ll need to reseason it.  Next time cook first, add seasoning towards the end, but either way, it isn’t unfixable unless you overcook it….

 

Don’t be afraid to use heat

Sometimes, you’ll need to use high heat to keep food juicy.  For example, you want to make a steak stir fry like you might have at Benny Hanna.  If you cook at too low of a temperature, you end up with gray meat all the way through.

Typically what you really want, is brown on the outside, pink on the inside.  That is the ticket to juicy delicious meat (along with salt)!  In order to have that brown on the outside and pink on the inside, you need the meat on the outside to hit around 300 degrees (150 C) before the inside cooks, so you need the pan to be hot, then take the steak out QUICK.  Same thing with chicken.  Go to a chinese restaurant and watch the chef cook, they’ll cook at extreme temperatures often, and things come out delicious.  The key for that style is to chop the ingredients small enough that the insides cook enough even from a short time in the heat while the outsides caramelize.

Kelly B from Mandarin Restaurant https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flaming_wok_by_KellyB_in_Bountiful,_Utah.jpg

Don’t overcook your food

Look, I get it, some people just like their food more well done.  I could try to brow beat you into liking medium well, I could give you links to reports related to cancer and well done meat, but honestly, I don’t care. If you like well-done meat, that is fine, but don’t overcook it!   I know what you’re thinking, didn’t I just say that you shouldn’t be afraid to use heat?  High heat allows you to cook the outside before the inside gets overcooked, regardless if that seems contrary to each other.

Not overcooking your food means you should always stop cooking early, because you can always cook it more, but you can’t cook it less.  Heck, if you like your food well done, there are a variety of techniques like low and slow Texas style beef ribs that come out AMAZING.  If someone complains that you under-cooked their food, just toss it back in a pan at high temperature.  If someone complains that you overcooked their food….guess its time to order in.

If grill marks are so good, cover your food in them

Look, grill marks are delicious.  Crispy bits on your meat.  Stop trying to make them!  We get it, you leave the meat on the grill long enough, you have delicious lines.   You know whats better? An entire giant grill mark.  Move your meat on the grill to try and get the entire bottom to be caramelized.

Roger Mommaerts tuna steaks https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmommaerts/2950317729
Grill marks

Wikipedia

Grill Marks Only

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delmonico_steak#/media/File:Delmonico_steak.jpg by WmJR

Seared Steak, effectively grill marks all over!

 

 

Sweet Tips – Essence of Banana

In this episode of Sweet Tips, you will discover how to make Banana Essence and Banana Puree. The Essence is used for flavoring in puddings, pies, breads and sometimes just on its own. The puree is used in cakes and breads typically.thumbnail

Banana Flavoring Recipe:

Ingredients in Order of Usage:

  1. 6 Large Blackened Bananas

Directions for Banana Essence:

  1. If you had the bananas frozen (like I do), then defrost them a bit. Then unpeel and place all bananas in a microwave safe bowl.  Place plastic wrap of your choice on top of the bowl.  Cut a few slits in the plastic prior to placing in microwave.
  2. Now, microwave on high power for approximately 5 minutes. Now, each microwave is different, so what you are looking for are very soft bananas and a lot of juice at the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Once this occurs, remove the bananas from the bowl and place in a fine mesh strainer. Place the strainer over a bowl that is of proper size for the strainer. Allow the bananas to drip out as much fluid as possible. Once they stop dripping, I like to squish the bananas a bit more in cheese cloth to get more delicious fluid out (this is optional).
  4. Once you have about ½ to ¾ cups of banana liquid, you should place the fluid into a saucepan. Cook the liquid over medium-high until the liquid is reduced to ¼ cups (if using ½ cups raw banana fluid or ½ cups if using ¾ cups raw fluid). This should take 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning; however, do not cover.
  5. Remove the condensed banana liquid from the stove, place in a bowl.

Directions for Banana Puree

  1. Place the bananas into the same bowl as the liquid banana essence and mash the two up to re-introduce the bananas to the liquid.  This can be done with a potato masher or fork.
  2. You should do this until the mixer is smooth.

Comments:

The darker the banana is; the more fructose (fruit sugar) it has. This means it is sweeter, and will release more liquid.

A list of items that were used in the making of this video:
Banana Essence and Bread List

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

This is a video on how to assemble a beautiful Boston Cream Pie.

Directions on:

Putting the Cake Together

  1. Place Plastic wrap on the cake turntable.
  2. Place foil on a cake circle.
  3. Place this on the turntable.
  4. Place the first cooled cake onto the cake circle.
  5. Whip the cooled custard up slightly to make smooth again.
  6. Using a spoon, scoop the custard onto the cake.
  7. Spread the custard until smooth on cake.
  8. Place the second cake on top of the custard.
  9. Squish down slightly.
  10. Now, pour the ganache over the top.
  11. Using a spatula spread the ganache so that it slightly drips down the sides the cake and is smooth on top.
  12. Place cake in Refrigerator to set the ganache.
  13. After Ganache seems still to touch, take cake out, cut up and serve.

For a complete list of items used in video: Amazon List

For Video on Custard Making: Making Custard
For Video on Cake Making: Making Cake
For Video on Ganache Making: Making Ganache

For Full recipes for the Boston Cream Pie, please click below:
Custard: Full Custard Recipe
Cake: Full Cake Recipe
Ganache: Full Ganache Recipe

 

Sweet Tips – Making Ganache

Ganache

Recipe

Ganache

This is a frosting/topping that can be used on cakes, ice cream, cupcakes, pies, the list never ends!!

        Ingredients in Order of Usage:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

  1. Place chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl with a cover.
  2. In a small saucepan, place the cream over medium heat.
  3. Let the milk simmer but not boil.
  4. Pour the milk over the chocolate chips and cover for 5 minutes.
  5. Add butter to the chocolate and milk.
  6. Stir the mixture until smooth.
  7. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.

For hardware you may need to pick up, go here: Amazon List

Please leave comments below!

 

Making Custard

headercustard

List of Amazon Items Seen In Video

Custard Filling

Needs to be prepared the day before the assembly of the cake.  This allows it to be completely cooled; as well as, set.

   Ingredients in Order of Usage:

      Egg Mixture Section:

      6 egg yolks

      ½ cup milk (Whole Milk)

½ cup sugar

      1⁄3 cup cornstarch

  1. In a metal bowl, either whisk these ingredients together manually or with the whisk attachment for a standing mixer.
  2. Set this mixture aside for the next section.

      Tempering Section:

      1 ¾ cup milk (Whole Milk)

      ¼ cup sugar

      2 tsps Vanilla (extra strength, Madagascar Bourbon, etc.)

      Egg Mixture

      1 tbsp. salted butter

  1. Prepare the bottom half of the double boiler with ¾ inch of water that is simmering.
  2. Place the top half of the double boiler on top of the simmering water section.
  3. Put the milk, sugar and vanilla into the top section of the double boiler.
  4. Whisk these ingredients well.
  5. Cook for 5 ½ minutes. DO NOT let the milk boil.
  6. Add egg mixture slowly to the milk mixture. Whisking as you do.
  7. Continue to whisk for approximately 4-5 minutes.
  8. The custard should thicken and begin to bubble around the edges of the pan.
  9. Once this occurs, remove from heat and whisk in butter until butter has melted.
  10. Place the custard in a bowl, place plastic wrap onto the top of the custard.
  11. Refrigerate until ready to place into a cake. (no more than 24 hours)