Posts Tagged ‘sugar’
Have you ever heard of hazelnut praline paste? I know I didn’t until a recipe I wanted to make called for it. When I looked into buying some, it definitely was not a inexpensive item to purchase. So I sought out ways to make my own and sure enough found a recipe out there on the internet. It’s kind of like making your own Nutella but without the chocolate. Some of you may be saying “No chocolate? Why bother ?” – I say, why not? Although I am not a chocoholic (unless it is paired with peanut butter), I still think that those who are would enjoy this spread. Afterall, it’s hazelnut praline ground into a spread! I am not sure there is any way to say no to that. And actually, I ended up using it in combination with chocolate in a recipe which will be shared tomorrow.
One year ago: Pumpkin Danish
HAZELNUT PRALINE PASTE
Makes approximately 1-1/2 cups
2 cups raw, whole hazelnuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp hazelnut or walnut oil
- Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper, set aside.
- Toast two cups of hazelnuts at 325 degrees until the skins have darkened and the hazelnuts are giving off a wonderful toasty smell. Then wrap them in a dishtowel and let them steam for about 10 minutes (don’t skip this step!)
- After steaming, use the dishtowel to remove the hazelnut skins.
- When the hazelnuts are skinned, mix 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a heavy saucepan. After you’ve stirred the sugar and water, leave on medium high heat, and DON’T TOUCH. After about 10 minutes, it will reach a lovely golden brown in its darkest part, and that’s when you add the hazelnuts. Immediately pour the hazelnut pralines onto prepared baking sheet.
- To make the praline butter, break the caramel into pieces that will fit into your food processor. Start running your food processor, and add the pieces of broken caramel one or two at a time, and process until they’re ground. The ground mixture will look like graham cracker crumbs, but keep processing. It will start to get smooth, like thick peanut butter. At this point add a teaspoon of kosher salt, and keep processing. Start adding oil. Add a tablespoon at a time, and process until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.
Source: Savour Fare
Boxed cake mix comes in handy for more things than just making cupcakes for a last minute party. Cake mix can also be used as the base of bars (such as the ones I posted yesterday), as an ingredient in pies, frosting, ice cream, and most popularly on my blog in different kinds of cake batter dips.
To use this homemade mix, I measured out 18.25 oz (about 2-1/2 cups) to use in place of a box of yellow cake mix indicated in yesterday’s bar recipe. And it worked great! Although I haven’t tried making an actual cake with it yet, at least I know it can work for recipes that call for it as one of their ingredients. I constantly have half-used boxes of cake mix from the creations that pop up in my kitchen.
This would likely also work to make gluten-free cake mixes since I know they make gluten-free all-purpose flour and cake flour. Just be sure to add some xanthan gum. To take it a step further, if you could find a lactose-free nonfat dry milk powder you could even make a lactose-free cake mix (using margarine instead of butter of course).
HOMEMADE YELLOW CAKE MIX
Makes 5 cups mix (equal to about 2 boxes of store bought mix)
2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut in 1/2-inch cubes and cold
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sugar, both flours, milk powder, baking powder and salt. Process for 15 seconds. Add the pieces of butter and lightly toss with a fork so they are coated with the flour mixture. Sprinkle the vanilla over the top. Pulse until the mixture is fine and crumbly, about 10 one-second pulses. Use immediately or store in an airtight bag or container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Note: For instructions on how to make an actual cake with this mix, please visit Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
Popcorn is everywhere. At the movies, sporting events, parties – you name it. Along with it’s frequency, it is no surprise that there are a variety of flavors to satisfy everyone’s cravings. G.H. Cretors has taken it a step further by introducing a sweet and salty combination of caramel corn and cheese corn in the same bag, called the Chicago Mix. (G.H. Cretors also makes Kettle Corn, Caramel Nut Crunch with fresh roasted cashews and almonds, as well as “Just the Cheese Corn” and “Just the Carmel Corn” for those who do not agree with the combination of sweet and salty.)
This new mix is made using a special, “mushroom” variety popping corn, contains only all-natural ingredients, is free of GMOs and certified Kosher. The caramel corn is made the old fashioned way: by hand, in copper kettles. Cane sugar, brown rice syrup (a non-GMO alternative to corn syrup with a lower glycemic impact) and real butter is heated over a flame and then stirred slowly by hand to develop its rich complex flavor and crunch. For the cheese corn, real cheddar cheese is melted in special kettles and then gently mixed with locally-grown, air-popped corn.
But the real question is, does it taste good? Cheesey popcorn is wonderful, as is caramel, but together? I wasn’t sure what I would think of this particular sweet and salty combo. When told that I would be sent the caramel and white cheddar popcorn separately in addition to the Chicago Mix, I was convinced that I would end up preferring it that way. But I am here to tell you that those segregated bags are just plain wrong. These two kinds of popcorn were meant to be together in one bag.
To continue the pairing of sweet and salty, I decided to make my own version using their Kettle Corn and adding my favorite sweet and salty combo ever – peanut butter and chocolate! We are only at week 2 of football season so I truly hope you are not tired of having your Saturdays filled with this pairing. I myself find it difficult to imagine ever growing tired of it. This popcorn involves a caramel-ly peanut butter coating with a drizzle of melted chocolate. You could even add in peanuts or miniature Reese’s cups.
Find out more about G.H Cretors on their Facebook page, and be sure to check out their current sweepstakes!
P.S. This week a #14 Ohio State plays at home vs. UCF.
One year ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatball Subs
PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE POPCORN
Makes 8 cups
8 cups plain popcorn (I used G.H. Cretors’ Kettle Corn)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- Place popcorn in a large bowl and line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a medium pan over medium heat, mix the honey and sugar and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 2 minutes or until slightly darker in color, then remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir vigorously until all the peanut butter is melted, then mix in the vanilla.
- Immediately pour the peanut butter caramel over the popcorn and stir until completely coated. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets and spread evenly. Using your hands (carefully) break apart the popcorn. This way there are individual kernels. Drizzle with melted chocolate and let sit until chocolate hardens.
Source: Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen.
Disclosure: I received bags of G.H. Cretors’ popped corn for free from Crier Communications. I was not compensated for this post. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
I hope that most of you are aware of the “shoes” video from several years ago, which I watched far too many times and friends and I still quote to this day. But did you know that the same guy also made a “muffins” video? It starts out all innocent then gets a little weird and takes a turn to the creepy side. Yet whenever I make muffins I always have it running through my head (followed by “OMG shoes”). Oh yea, did you catch that? I made you muffins that’s why I am talking about this random youtube video.
Thankfully these muffins contain no glass despite their sparkly nature on top. I promise those are just coarse granules of sugar . And their insides are definitely not filled with blood but with banana and miniature peanut butter cups! I wish that’s what my insides were made of. Then again with how many I’ve already eaten that may actually be the case.
“I’m baking muffins asbestos I can!” – Come on, admit it. That video is at least a little amusing.
One year ago: Orange Strawberry Banana Smoothie
BANANA PEANUT BUTTER CUP MUFFINS
Makes 12 muffins
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
4 Tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup 100% whole wheat flour
3/4 cup mini peanut butter cups
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas with melted butter and sugar. Mix well. Add the egg and beat well.
- Sprinkle in salt, baking soda and flour. Then, gently fold in miniature peanut butter cups. Be careful not to overmix!
- Divide amongst greased muffin tins and sprinkle tops with coarse white sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
Source: Adapted from Eat, Live, Run.
Disclosure: The mini peanut butter cups and sparkling course sugar came from a giveaway I won on The Heritage Cook.