Dark Chocolate Rosemary Bark

Dessert | March 20, 2017 | By

This ultra thin dark chocolate rosemary bark is loaded with sea salt, roasted almond pieces, and chopped fresh rosemary. 

Rosemary Bark- This ultra thin dark chocolate rosemary bark is loaded with sea salt, roasted almond pieces, and chopped fresh rosemary.

Rosemary Bark- This ultra thin dark chocolate rosemary bark is loaded with sea salt, roasted almond pieces, and chopped fresh rosemary.

Up until two weeks ago I had never had rosemary and chocolate together. Shame on me.
The other night at a church activity a friend of mine brought some dark chocolate rosemary bark to share. I looked at it and thought… rosemary, peanuts, salt… that sounds amazing. And it was. I LOVED the herby rosemary with the dark chocolate! I loved it so much that I had to recreate it.

I made a couple of tweaks, and am quite pleased with the results. I decided to go ultra thin for this bark, because I really wanted to let the toppings shine. Dark chocolate is really intense, so I didn’t want it to overpower the other ingredients. I also went with roasted and chopped almonds, because I just like almonds more than peanuts. I think this bark would be delicious with peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, you name it!

Rosemary Bark- This ultra thin dark chocolate rosemary bark is loaded with sea salt, roasted almond pieces, and chopped fresh rosemary.

The sea salt works really well to temper the sweetness and bring another dimension of flavor in. I’m all about sea salt on desserts, so I went to town with the salt. Does that sound gross to you? The thing I love about chocolate bark is that it is so adaptable. If you don’t want a lot of salt, then don’t put a lot of salt. I piled on allllll the toppings, but you can adjust the amounts to your taste.

This is a very simple treat, with a small ingredients list. Each ingredient really shines, so, make sure to use a quality dark chocolate! The dark chocolate is the base, and if you don’t have a good base, you won’t get as good of a final result. I used a 70% dark chocolate for my bark. Use the percentage that you like best.

So, now that I’ve tried rosemary, I’m wondering what other herbs I should try using in sweet applications. If you have any good suggestions, please let me know!

Rosemary Bark- This ultra thin dark chocolate rosemary bark is loaded with sea salt, roasted almond pieces, and chopped fresh rosemary.

Check out the video below for a quick tutorial!

Rosemary Bark- This ultra thin dark chocolate rosemary bark is loaded with sea salt, roasted almond pieces, and chopped fresh rosemary.
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Dark Chocolate Rosemary Bark

This ultra thin dark chocolate rosemary bark is loaded with sea salt, roasted almond pieces, and chopped fresh rosemary. 

Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 4 oz good quality dark chocolate I used 70% cacao
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 T fresh rosemary
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. Toast the almonds in a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes, until they give off a nice, toasty, nutty smell. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Chop into small pieces.

    Chop the rosemary. 

    Prepare a piece of parchment paper to pour the melted chocolate on (around 11"x17").

    Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave safe glass bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring well after each time, until most of the chocolate is melted. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted. Pour onto the parchment paper and use a flat icing spatula, or spatula to spread out until the chocolate is 2-3mm thick. Sprinkle sea salt, rosemary, and almonds over the chocolate. Press the toppings into the chocolate to set. Allow chocolate to completely cool and harden, then break into pieces. 

    Store in an airtight container, preferably in the refrigerator. 


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Strawberry Mochi (Daifuku)

Dessert | March 13, 2017 | By

Strawberry mochi, also known as ichigo (strawberry) daifuku, is a delicious Japanese mochi dessert. A whole strawberry is covered in a layer of red bean paste and wrapped in mochi. 

Strawbery Mochi (Daifuku)- a delicious Japanese mochi dessert. A whole strawberry is covered in a layer of red bean paste and wrapped in mochi.

Strawbery Mochi (Daifuku)- a delicious Japanese mochi dessert. A whole strawberry is covered in a layer of red bean paste and wrapped in mochi.

Fresh fruit desserts are the perfect way to start spring. I love strawberry mochi because it’s just so FRESH and JUICY. Truly. Mochi is amazing, but when you add a tangy, sweet, and juicy strawberry in the middle? Perfection.

So I’m calling it strawberry mochi here, because if I called it strawberry daifuku, people may not know what it is. Daifuku is mochi filled with red bean paste. So, daifuku is more specific than mochi. Strawberry mochi could technically just be strawberry wrapped in mochi with no red bean paste, or maybe even pink strawberry “flavored” mochi. Nope, gotta have the layer of red bean in there.

Strawbery Mochi (Daifuku)- a delicious Japanese mochi dessert. A whole strawberry is covered in a layer of red bean paste and wrapped in mochi.

Don’t be intimidated, these actually have a very easy ingredients list, and come together fairly quickly. Many recipes call for “shiratama-ko”, which I cannot always find at my local (non-Japanese) Asian store. I decided to make these with regular mochiko, which you can find at basically any Asian market, and they turned out amazing! I buy the white box with the blue star on the front. You’ll see it.

You’ll definitely impress and delight your friends with this fun mochi. Watch the tutorial below to see how easy it is!

Strawbery Mochi (Daifuku)- a delicious Japanese mochi dessert. A whole strawberry is covered in a layer of red bean paste and wrapped in mochi.
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Strawberry Mochi (Daifuku)

Strawbery Mochi, or strawberry daifuku, is a delicious Japanese dessert. A whole strawberry is covered in a layer of red bean paste and wrapped in mochi. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 mochi

Ingredients

  • 12 small to medium strawberries
  • 1 package red bean paste (koshian/smooth type) about 400 g
  • 1 cup mochiko
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/8 cup water
  • cornstarch/potato starch

Instructions

  1. Wash and pat dry the strawberries. Cut off the stems. Take a tablespoon or so of red bean paste, and wrap around the strawberry to fully cover. Using plastic wrap will make this easier and keep it from sticking to your hands. Wrap all of the strawberries and place in the refrigerator.

    Mix the mochiko and sugar in a large microwave safe bowl. Stir in the water and mix until fully combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for one minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Microwave for 30 second increments until mochi is smooth, thick, and pliable. See video above for visual. The amount of time may depend upon the microwave strength. For me I had to do it 4 times total. 

    On a clean work surface, sprinkle a generous amount of starch, and turn the mochi onto it. Put starch on your hands, to prevent sticking. Cut the mochi into twelve equal sized portions. Flatten the mochi into a circle, and place a red bean wrapped mochi tip down in the center of the mochi. Wrap the strawberry with the mochi, pinching the bottom closed. 

    If you are not eating immediately, cover lightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. 


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Apply Jelly “Beer”

Dessert | March 6, 2017 | By

This non-alcoholic apply jelly “beer” is made with just a few simple ingredients and looks JUST. LIKE. BEER. It is easy, fun, and quick to make. 

Apple Jelly "Beer"- this non-alcoholic apply jelly "beer" is made with just a few simple ingredients and looks JUST. LIKE. BEER. It is easy, fun, and quick to make.

Apple Jelly "Beer"- this non-alcoholic apply jelly "beer" is made with just a few simple ingredients and looks JUST. LIKE. BEER. It is easy, fun, and quick to make.

Does this picture confuse you? Like, how is that spoon just hanging out in that beer? Oh, maybe it’s a photo of the spoon falling into the beer and they snapped the picture at the perfect moment?! Or… maybe you read the title and you already know that it’s just apple jelly that really looks like beer.

I was trying to think of what to post for St. Patrick’s Day. I feel like I should have at least one recipe for each holiday, but St. Patrick’s Day really stumped me. I don’t drink alcohol, and I don’t really like using too much food coloring. So, basically every recipe is out, unless I make a salad. That’s green!

I was explaining my predicament to a friend of mine, who said, “well… can you maybe do something that’s like, not actually beer? Like, fake beer? Haha.” And I thought, um… yeah … THEN I had an epiphany. Thanks friend, for the odd suggestion that was actually a great idea!

Apple Jelly "Beer"- this non-alcoholic apply jelly "beer" is made with just a few simple ingredients and looks JUST. LIKE. BEER. It is easy, fun, and quick to make.

A couple years ago, my mom was going to pull a prank on her co-worker. I don’t know the exact details, but it revolved around apply jelly that looked just like beer. Apparently she had seen it floating around some Japanese recipe sites.

I quickly googled it and found several recipes. It couldn’t be easier! Apple juice, gelatin, and some sugar if you want to sweeten it up a bit.

You want to make sure to use one of those “from concentrate” cheap apple juices that are clear, found in the non-refrigerated juice aisle. If you use the cloudy fresh squeezed stuff, it’ll taste great but it obviously would not get the beer look we are going for.

Apple Jelly "Beer"- this non-alcoholic apply jelly "beer" is made with just a few simple ingredients and looks JUST. LIKE. BEER. It is easy, fun, and quick to make.

So what will you make this for? A prank? Maybe you are going to give it to your kids on St. Patrick’s Day while you drink your Guinness? I’m sure there are mixed opinions on giving your kid something that looks like beer, but hey, I gave it to my four year old and she’s doing alright.

Check out the video below for a quick tutorial!

Apple Jelly "Beer"- this non-alcoholic apply jelly "beer" is made with just a few simple ingredients and looks JUST. LIKE. BEER. It is easy, fun, and quick to make.
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Apple Jelly "Beer"

This non-alcoholic apply jelly "beer" is made with just a few simple ingredients and looks JUST. LIKE. BEER. It is easy, fun, and quick to make. 

Ingredients

  • 500 ml clear apple juice chilled
  • 1 packet gelatin about 1 T
  • 1 T sugar optional

Instructions

  1. Prepare 2-3 glasses to pour apple jelly mixture into. The number of glasses you need will depend on their size. Try pouring the apple juice into the cups beforehand to see how many you will need. Account for foam at the top. 

    Pour about a quarter to half of a cup of the apple juice into a medium bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for a few minutes to bloom the gelatin. (optional: stir 1 T of sugar into the remaining apple juice) Heat the remaining apple juice until very hot, and pour over the bloomed gelatin. Mix gently with a whisk until melted. Nestle the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water, and stir gently until mixture has cooled down. Remove from the ice water bowl and whisk vigorously to create foam. You want about 2/5 of the mixture to be foam. Pour into cups and top with the foam. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to firm up. Do not cover with plastic wrap, as it will stick to the foam. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from: Cookpad

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Chocolate Covered Caramel Almonds

Dessert | February 23, 2017 | By

Roasted almonds are covered with a crunchy caramelized shell, dipped in milk chocolate, and dusted with cocoa powder. These chocolate covered caramel almonds are an addictive snack… you won’t be able to stop at one! 

Chocolate covered caramel almonds- roasted almonds are covered with a crunchy caramelized shell, dipped in milk chocolate, and dusted with cocoa powder.

Chocolate covered caramel almonds- roasted almonds are covered with a crunchy caramelized shell, dipped in milk chocolate, and dusted with cocoa powder.

These chocolate covered caramel almonds were supposed to make it onto the blog before Valentine’s. So, what happened? Basically, I have no one to blame but myself, and my disorganized ways. I based these off of a recipe from a cookbook that I have, but I made some changes that I wrote down on a little scrap of paper.

Well, I have two little kids and a baby, and little scraps of paper tend to end up with one of these three fates:

  1. Scribbled all over and then cut up by my kids.
  2. Accidentally thrown into the recycling bin when I do a quick cleanup.
  3. Falls to the floor and goes right into baby’s mouth.

It’s amazing how quickly my 9 month old can scoot over to any type of paper that falls to the floor. It’s her favorite food. I have to dig the pulp out from her clenched jaws.

Chocolate covered caramel almonds- roasted almonds are covered with a crunchy caramelized shell, dipped in milk chocolate, and dusted with cocoa powder.

Anyways, I lost the recipe right before I was going to write it up. I had the pictures taken and everything! And with this and that, I just didn’t get around to remaking them to double check the ingredient amounts. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this happen to me… so now I make sure to jot my notes down on my phone.

Last night I hosted a bookclub meeting at my place, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to remake these! They are roasty from the almonds, have a nice crunch from the caramelized sugar, and finish with a smooth chocolate coating and rich cocoa powder dusting.

These are so good, I can sit down with a bowl and eat an absurd amount before my husband walks over and says, wait, how many have you eaten?! Then I tell him to go away.

Chocolate covered caramel almonds- roasted almonds are covered with a crunchy caramelized shell, dipped in milk chocolate, and dusted with cocoa powder.

Anyways, these would’ve been a great Valentine’s treat, but let’s be real. They’re great any time.

Chocolate covered caramel almonds- roasted almonds are covered with a crunchy caramelized shell, dipped in milk chocolate, and dusted with cocoa powder.
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Chocolate Covered Caramel Almonds

Roasted almonds are covered with a crunchy caramelized shell, dipped in milk chocolate, and dusted with cocoa powder. These chocolate covered caramel almonds are an addictive snack, and you won't be able to stop at one! 

Course Dessert
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw almonds see note
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 T unsalted butter
  • 4 oz good quality milk chocolate I've used Baker's and Ghirardelli
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder or regular cocoa powder, see note

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place almonds on a baking sheet and roast for about 7 minutes. Keep an eye on the almonds to make sure they don't burn. The almonds are done when they have a nice roasty flavor and are slightly darkened. 

    Set out a silpat mat or parchment paper. When almonds are done roasting, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until it starts to simmer. Add the almonds and stir continuously. The sugar will eventually crystallize and become grainy and white. Keep stirring, and the sugar will melt again and start turning amber. The sugar will caramelize and turn a deep amber color. Make sure to watch carefully so you don't burn the sugar! Remove from heat, add the butter and stir to combine the butter fully with the sugar. Quickly spread the almonds out on the mat. Take a fork or chopsticks and separate the almonds from one another. Allow to cool. (For method two, below, cool the almonds in the fridge)

    Meanwhile, prep the chocolate for dipping. Place cocoa powder in a small container and set aside. Break chocolate into pieces and place in a double boiler. Alternately, place in a glass bowl over a saucepan with about an inch of water. Bring water to a low simmer, and place bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the bottom doesn't touch the water. Note: Do not let any water come in contact with the chocolate or else it will seize and be ruined. Stir the chocolate until completely melted.

    You can choose either method, below. 

    Method one- ice method: Place some ice in a large bowl. Place the almonds in a medium bowl and nestle over the ice. Pour about 1/4 of the chocolate over the almonds and stir until the almonds are covered and chocolate starts turning white-ish. Remove from ice and stir until chocolate is mostly solid. Return to ice and add another 1/4 of the chocolate. Repeat until chocolate is gone. If too much chocolate gets stuck to the bottom of the bowl, place over the saucepan with the hot water for a few seconds. The residual heat should be just enough to soften the chocolate at the bottom. Once the chocolate is solid, toss the almonds in the cocoa powder to coat. 

    Method two- easier/uglier method: Place refrigerator chilled almonds in a large bowl and pour the chocolate over them. Stir until fully coated.  Spread the almonds out over a silpat mat or parchment paper and place in the fridge to chill and harden. Once the chocolate has set, remove from fridge and toss in cocoa powder to coat.

    Method one tends to result in better looking shapes. Method two, at least for me, resulted in less uniform chocolate coverage, and flat spots. That being said, it's less work and is easier. They basically taste the same, so choose whichever method suits you. 

Recipe Notes

Using roasted almonds from the store will work, but roasting your own almonds will result in a deeper, more roasty flavor. 

Dutch process cocoa powder has a less bitter/intense flavor, and I prefer it for coating applications.

Adapted from Orange Page- 初めてのお菓子 cookbook

 

 

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Hawaiian Butter Mochi

Dessert | February 17, 2017 | By

Butter mochi is a classic Hawaiian treat made with coconut milk and mochiko (glutinous rice flour). All you have to do is mix and bake! 

Butter Mochi- a classic Hawaiian treat made with coconut milk and mochiko (glutinous rice flour).

Butter Mochi- a classic Hawaiian treat made with coconut milk and mochiko (glutinous rice flour).

Butter mochi was a great discovery for me when I “discovered” Hawaii via my now-husband. Butter mochi is another classic local style treat that is a hybrid of cultures. Now, don’t quote me on this, but I believe it’s a mix of Filipino bibingka and Japanese mochi.

I learned today that bibingka is made out of cassava, which I have never used or eaten before. But, the similarity is the coconut. While Japanese recipes don’t tend to use coconut, this butter mochi has an entire can of coconut milk in it! It kind of adds a slightly tropical hint to it.

Butter Mochi- a classic Hawaiian treat made with coconut milk and mochiko (glutinous rice flour).

This recipe is ridiculously easy. You barely even have to measure anything, because you just dump a can of this, a can of that, and a box of mochiko. ALL you have to do is mix, pour, bake, cut. SO easy and the result is so delicious! Fattening, yes, but delicious. And isn’t it okay to indulge sometimes?

This recipe makes a 9×13 inch pan full of butter mochi, so you’ll want to bring this to a potluck or at least have someone to share it with. I had my husband take most of it to work and it was a hit!

Butter Mochi- a classic Hawaiian treat made with coconut milk and mochiko (glutinous rice flour).Mmm, I just love the bouncy texture of mochi. I mean, it looks kind of like a piece of cake, but you bite in to it and… yum.

Some people like to add shredded coconut on the top of their butter mochi, but I like mine plain. Actually, wait… I’ve never had it with shredded coconut. Maybe I’ll try it next time! I bet it would be good…

Even if you aren’t a baker, you can definitely make this, so please give it a try!

Butter Mochi- a classic Hawaiian treat made with coconut milk and mochiko (glutinous rice flour).
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Hawaiian Butter Mochi

Butter Mochi- a classic Hawaiian treat made with coconut milk and mochiko (glutinous rice flour). All you have to do is mix and bake!

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 people

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter melted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 16 oz mochiko flour 1 box
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 oz
  • 1 can coconut milk 14 oz

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 9x13 inch pan.

    Mix the melted butter and sugar until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in vanilla. Pour in the mochiko and add the baking powder. Stir until mostly combined. Stir in the evaporated milk, stir in the coconut milk. When batter is totally smooth, pour into pan and bake for one hour. 

    Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Remove from pan and cut into pieces on a cutting board. 


Recipe Notes

Adapted from Hawaiian culture stories.

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“Chocolate Dipped Strawberry” Hi-Hat Cupcakes

Dessert | February 7, 2017 | By

“Chocolate dipped strawberry” hi-hat cupcakes- a play on the classic romantic treat, the buttercream uses freeze dried strawberries to get its beautiful pink hue and intense strawberry flavor. 

Chocolate dipped strawberry buttercream- a play on the classic romantic treat, this buttercream uses freeze dried strawberries to get its beautiful pink hue and intense strawberry flavor.

"Chocolate dipped strawberry" hi-hat cupcakes- a play on the classic romantic treat, the buttercream uses freeze dried strawberries to get its beautiful pink hue and intense strawberry flavor.

The first time I saw a hi-hat cupcake, on Pinterest, I fell in love. They are just so pretty and FUN! They kind of remind me of those dipped cones you can get at DQ. I’m usually not a fan of food coloring and artificial flavors, but for some reason I always find myself getting the cherry dipped cone at DQ. I hate myself during and after eating it, and yet it’s what I get every time. Such a mystery.

Well, this cupcake has neither artificial colors OR flavors. Yep, that vivid pink hue is au naturale, baby.

I got the idea to make this cupcake when I was trying to brainstorm fun Valentine’s day ideas. What’s more classic on Valentine’s day than chocolate covered strawberries? (Answer: Roses. But do we eat those? Exactly)

Chocolate dipped strawberry buttercream- a play on the classic romantic treat, this buttercream uses freeze dried strawberries to get its beautiful pink hue and intense strawberry flavor.

I made this great connection in my head. Chocolate dipped strawberries… chocolate dipped hi hat cupcakes… chocolate dipped strawberry buttercream hi hat cupcakes… Oh YES I was onto something! Seriously, I thought I was such a genius, and then I went to Pinterest and saw that, of course, someone had already done it. Oooooof course. I mean, are there any untried food ideas left in the world? I feel like we are all just tweaking and “adapting” each others’ recipes over and over.

BUT I took it a step past just regular hi-hat cupcakes because I wanted my buttercream to actually resemble a chocolate dipped strawberry. Because that’s just adorable. The outrageous (albeit awesome) amount of frosting on a regular hi-hat is like, 5 strawberries-worth. Mini cupcakes are the perfect size! Plus, you won’t feel overwhelmed. I mean, you can eat one and be done. Or you can eat 5 and be done. Whatever you want.

Chocolate dipped strawberry buttercream- a play on the classic romantic treat, this buttercream uses freeze dried strawberries to get its beautiful pink hue and intense strawberry flavor.

A few notes: 1. I’ve seen freeze dried sliced strawberries at Trader Joe’s and Target. 2. This buttercream is stiffer than your average swiss meringue, but that works well for dipping. Probably would not work as well for frosting a cake. 3. The mint is supposed to represent the stem, DID YOU CATCH THAT?! 4. Swiss meringue buttercream is a little more work but the taste makes it worth it! It’s less sweet than your normal American buttercream, which works well with the strawberry and the chocolate coating.

And also, here’s how big it is. Aww, so cute!

"Chocolate dipped strawberry" hi-hat cupcakes- a play on the classic romantic treat, the buttercream uses freeze dried strawberries to get its beautiful pink hue and intense strawberry flavor.

AND ALSO here’s my first video everrrrr how exciting.

"Chocolate dipped strawberry" hi-hat cupcakes- a play on the classic romantic treat, the buttercream uses freeze dried strawberries to get its beautiful pink hue and intense strawberry flavor.
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"Chocolate dipped strawberry" hi-hat cupcakes

"Chocolate dipped strawberry" hi-hat cupcakes- a play on the classic romantic treat, the buttercream uses freeze dried strawberries to get its beautiful pink hue and intense strawberry flavor. 

Course Dessert
Servings 36 mini cupcakes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa NOT "natural" cocoa
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t vanilla

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened, but still cool
  • 1 oz freeze dried strawberry slices

Chocolate coating

  • 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 5 t crisco optional
  • small mint leaves for garnish optional

Instructions

  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F. Line your mini muffin pan(s) with 36 mini cupcake liners. 

    In a small bowl, combine boiling water and cocoa powder and stir until smooth (again, make sure you are using dutch process cocoa). Allow to cool. 

    Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and the sugar. Add the egg, mix, scrape down the sides, and mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add the cocoa mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir in until smooth. 

    Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 of the way full (or equally amongst the 36). Bake for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to cool on a wire rack.

  2. Make the buttercream: Clean the bowl of your stand mixer, the whisk attachment, and a handheld whisk, to make sure there is absolutely no oil on them. In the bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set over a small saucepan with about an inch of simmering water (medium low heat), making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Whisk the mixture continuously until hot to the touch and no longer grainy. 

    Move the bowl back to the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment to whip the egg whites into a meringue. This will take several minutes. Once the bowl is completely cooled and the meringue is whipped up, fluffy, and glossy, stop the mixer and switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time until all the butter is incorporated.

    While your buttercream is whipping up, crush the strawberries into a powder. I do this by cutting a tiny hole in the top of the bag (if you bought a one ounce bag of strawberries) and using my hands or a rolling pin to crush to a fine powder. Make sure the hole is small, enough to get the air out but not big enough for the powder to come out of. 

    Warning: your buttercream may turn into a goopy separated mess, if the meringue and the butter are not at the same temperature. If it does, try mixing it for a little longer, cranking up the speed. If it doesn't come back together after a few minutes, try taking a couple spoonfuls out, place in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for a few seconds to melt it (don't make it too hot!). Drizzle the melted buttercream back in while whipping, and it should come back together!


  3. Frost: Using a large round tip, frost the cupcakes, piping the buttercream tall, to form a "strawberry" shape. Once the buttercream is piped, place the cupcakes in the fridge to firm up.

    Dip: Melt your chocolate and crisco (optional but makes for easier and smoother dipping) either in a double broiler or in the microwave. If you use the microwave, make sure to take it out every thirty seconds and stir, to prevent burning/scorching. Place melted chocolate in a container that is not too wide, and deep enough that you can dip your buttercream in it. Holding the cupcake by the base, dip the buttercream into the frosting, leaving a bit of pink showing around the base. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden completely. 

    Garnish with mint leaves to make the strawberry "stems"

Recipe Notes

Chocolate cupcake recipe adapted from: Joy of baking.
Feel free to use your favorite cupcake recipe!

 

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Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles (Nama Chocolates)

Dessert | February 3, 2017 | By

These cinnamon chocolate truffles are inspired by Japanese nama chocolates. A few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection. 

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles- inspired by Japanese nama chocolates, a few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection.

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles- inspired by Japanese nama chocolates, a few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection.

When Slofoodgroup asked me if I was interested in trying their products, I was beyond excited! I LOVE gourmet ingredients, and I am always up for the challenge of creating a recipe highlighting a special ingredient. It’s so much fun cooking up ideas in my head and then testing them out!

Slofoodgroup sent me some of their cinnamon quills and vanilla beans to try out. When I say cinnamon quills, I’m not talking about what you can find at your local grocery store. Those are Cassia and, well, suddenly I’m a cinnamon snob (okay okay, they are both good), but what they sent me were Ceylon cinnamon quills. Basically, according to some basic Google research, Ceylon is “true” cinnamon, and Cassia bark is similar, but not quite the same. Cassia got marketed as a cheaper cinnamon, but now it’s basically all there is in the USA, unless you go to a specialty store or buy online.

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles- inspired by Japanese nama chocolates, a few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection.

Cassia is strong, sweet and spicy, and it’s what you have in your cinnamon rolls. Ceylon is more delicate, sweeter, and has floral notes. When you use Ceylon, I would suggest going with more simple ingredients. Rather than throwing it in to compete against other spices, like in pumpkin or apple pies, I would use it with chocolates, vanilla, or other applications where its smooth flavor can really shine. By the way, I wanted to see what it tasted like, so I just flaked off a piece and ate it and… it was actually quite good just eating plain! Kind of crazy, but it has a natural sweetness and I found myself picking at the quill and eating bits and pieces of it.

I played around with different cinnamon ideas. When I looked up ideas for using cinnamon, I kept getting cinnamon rolls, snickerdoodles, apples, etc. etc. No no no no! Those are classic American dishes and yes they are good, but I wanted to make something that was… elegant. Something that really let the cinnamon stand out. And also, something that wasn’t so AUTUMN. I also wanted it to be an option for Valentine’s Day.

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles- inspired by Japanese nama chocolates, a few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection.

Chocolate was the only way to go. Once I decided on the chocolate route, it was pretty easy for me to decide on nama chocolate. It’s quite popular in Japan, and is simple to make and absolutely delicious. It’s basically what we in America call truffles, but it’s in squares, rather than balls. The basic nama chocolate recipe is just two ingredients. Cream and chocolate.

This recipe uses dark chocolate, which tends to work well with a 3:2 chocolate to cream ratio. Now, my next question was whether to use cinnamon powder mixed into the chocolate, or to infuse the cream with cinnamon. I decided to take the infusing route, because I wanted my chocolate to be absolutely silky smooth.

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles- inspired by Japanese nama chocolates, a few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection.

I also added vanilla to the cream, to add extra warmth. By the way, when I opened the package that the cinnamon and vanilla came in, the vanilla smell wafted out and it. was. divine. 

I really hope you’ll try these truffles/nama chocolate. The dark chocolate with the floral notes from both the ceylon cinnamon and vanilla bean made it so… I don’t know… just, “grown up”. It’s really something special, and if you love dark chocolate, I know you’ll love these.

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles- inspired by Japanese nama chocolates, a few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection.

Want to try out Ceylon cinnamon? Get some at slofoodgroup, and you won’t be disappointed!

If you really can’t get Ceylon, then try these out with your regular cinnamon quills. Try subbing in vanilla extract right before pouring into the baking dish, if you can’t get your hands on vanilla bean. I can’t say if it will be QUITE as good, but I think it’ll still taste delicious!

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles- inspired by Japanese nama chocolates, a few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection.
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Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles (nama chocolate)

These cinnamon chocolate truffles are inspired by Japanese nama chocolates. A few simple ingredients come together to make a truly spectacular confection. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz good quality dark chocolate I used 60% bittersweet Ghirardelli
  • 1 cup heavy cream you will be using 5.3 ounces of it
  • 6 in Ceylon cinnamon quills 2 three inch quills or 1 five inch quill plus another small piece
  • 1-2 vanilla beans split lengthwise
  • dutch process cocoa powder
  • ground cinnamon to taste

Instructions

  1. Line a 6x8" baking dish with parchment paper (or be lazy and use plastic wrap like I did). My baking dish said 6x8 but the bottom was closer to 5x7. The thickness of the final product will depend on how big the dish is, so be careful not to go too big! You can always double the recipe and use a bigger container. 

    Pour the heavy cream in a small saucepan with cinnamon quills and vanilla beans (split lengthwise). Heat over medium-low heat until simmering. Keep at a bare simmer for a few minutes, cover, and set aside to cool. 

  2. Cut the chocolate into shavings or small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Strain the cream (I squeezed the cream out of the cinnamon quills to get that extra cinnamon-y cream out) and measure out 5.3 ounces of it, to get the 3:2 ratio. Pour the 5.3 ounces over the chocolate shavings, and set aside the rest (you can add sugar and whip it, or add it to a drink perhaps?). Place the bowl on small saucepan with about an inch of water in it, and heat over medium-low heat. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Also, make sure that water doesn't get into the bowl of chocolate, or it will seize and be RUINED! Gently stir the chocolate and cream until it starts getting warm and the chocolate starts melting. Be careful not to let it get it too hot, or the chocolate will start to separate. Once most of the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and keep stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into the container, smooth the surface, and place in refrigerator to set. This can take several hours. 

  3. Remove the chocolate from the baking dish and place on cutting board. Cut the rounded edges off, and cut into squares. Toss in a mixture of cocoa powder and cinnamon powder. I grated my cinnamon quill on a microplane, and added to taste. I liked mine with lots of cinnamon! 

    Cover and store in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

Infused cream recipe adapted from: Amazing food made easy

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Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

Dessert | January 31, 2017 | By

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#Welchs #WelchsChia #CollectiveBias

This yogurt mousse is an easy, lightened up dessert, delicately sweetened with Welch’s Chia Strawberry Fruit Spread.

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse, sweetened with Welch's strawberry chia fruit spread

Today I’m sharing with you a lightened up dessert that you can feel pretty good about eating. I mean, it’s not totally guilt free. It’s not like, sweetened with dates, and vegan (it’s actually quite far from vegan. sorrynotsorry). But it is simply made with ingredients that you can feel good about.

Do you have any New Years resolutions? I totally forgot this year. I don’t know, I’ve been busy, I guess! I never keep them anyways, and I’m pretty sure I just say the same thing every year. Exercise more, eat healthier, lose baby weight. Same ol’ same ol’. Unfortunately, I eat a lot of sweet things. I blog about food though, and mostly desserts! What can I do?

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

I suppose one step is to at least occasionally introduce you to desserts that are a little more on the healthier side, right? So that’s what I’m doing today. I think this would actually be a good Valentine’s dessert for someone who wants to keep things lighter. The yogurt mousse is an off-white, sliiiiightly leaning towards pink, and the topping is red. Pink(ish… okay fine, off-white) and red. Perfect.

First, that red stuff that I so artfully placed on top of the mousse. It’s Welch’s chia strawberry fruit spread. It’s like jam but… it uses chia seeds (700 seeds per serving!) to get that “jam” consistency. Cool huh? Chia seeds are super good for you, so it’s kind of a cheater way to get some extra goodness in your diet. The ingredient list is pretty simple, without any GMO’s, preservatives, artificial stuff, or high fructose corn syrup. You can read all about it at Welch’s. It also comes in their classic concord grape!

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

This mousse has no extra added sugar (note: there’s sugar in the spread), and it’s rather lightly sweetened. If you have a sweet tooth, just spoon a little more of the spread on top, to taste. Disclaimer though… it’s not low fat. It has cream in it, and I personally used full fat Greek yogurt in it. You can sub a lower fat Greek yogurt, but you gotta keep the cream.

Can I tell you something though? I don’t think high fat dairy products are necessarily bad for you. In moderation. I mean, I feel good about giving this to my kids, because I give them 2% or whole milk (per pediatrician instruction) and I always give them full fat Greek yogurt!

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

It’s such a light fluffy dessert that I actually found myself eating it for breakfast. I mean, follow along here…if you can have jam on toast of breakfast, and you can have yogurt with granola, then why can’t you have yogurt mousse that’s only sweetened with jam/fruit spread? RIGHT? Genius.

By the way, I picked up the chia spread at Walmart. It’s in the Jelly, PB, ketchup aisle. You know the one. I think I might go back and get the chia grape when I run out of the grape jelly I have in the fridge. Honestly, it’s about the baby steps when it comes to eating healthier. Grape spread with a bunch of chia seeds is an upgrade from just grape jelly. HEY! I’m fulfilling my New Years resolutions that I didn’t even make this year. Woohoo!

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

How’s this for an artsy little picture? My husband was helping me take pictures and he said, “Oooh! Why don’t we do one where… The spoon is vertical”. And there you have it, folks. Vertical spoon. What do you think? Totally artsy and cool? Or so awkward looking?

Anyways, I hope you will give this yogurt mousse a try! Feel free to mix it up by using other flavors as well! It’s quite versatile! And as I mentioned before, you can also switch up the fat contents of the dairy products (except the cream, cream is cream and you can’t whip milk). Have fun, I won’t tell anyone that you ate it for dessert and then breakfast the next morning!

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse, sweetened with Welch's chia strawberry fruit spread
Print

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

This yogurt mousse is an easy, lightened up dessert, delicately sweetened with Welch's Chia Strawberry Spread.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 200 ml Greek yogurt I used full fat
  • 50 ml milk I used 1%
  • 100 ml whipping cream
  • 3 T Welch's chia strawberry fruit spread or jam of your choice
  • 2 T cold water
  • 1.5 t gelatin
  • mint for garnish
  • Welch's chia strawberry fruit spread/jam of choice for topping

Instructions

  1. Bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it over the cold water in a small container. Set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and the chia spread and heat until hot, but not simmering. Add the bloomed gelatin and stir in to melt. If milk gets separated/curdled, don't worry, it won't affect the final outcome. Set aside to cool down.

  2. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the yogurt, and add the milk/chia spread mixture (should no longer be hot to the touch). Stir until fully combined, and ladle into individual containers. Cool in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

  3. Before serving, spoon some extra chia spread on top, to taste, and garnish with mint. 

 

 

 

 

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Maui- Top 5 local sweets you HAVE to try

Dessert | January 24, 2017 | By

Maui- Top 5 local sweets you HAVE to try

Can’t make it to Maui anytime soon? Tide yourself over with my Chocolate Haupia Pie, Pumpkin Mochi, or Mochiko Chicken recipes!

Ahhh, Maui. Beautiful paradise. At the beginning of January, my husband, kids and I went to visit family in Maui. While we were there, I decided to contact and visit my favorite places to get sweets! I also got to go to a couple of new places, based on recommendations from local friends and family. THESE are the places you need to go to get your sweet fix on Maui!

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Soft and fluffy ice plus delicious house made syrups equals perfection.

Hands down, this is the best shave ice you can get on Maui (I’d say the world, but I haven’t actually tried shave ice all around the world, so, you know…). I had my first Ululani shave ice experience about 5 years ago, and my world was changed. Never again could I enjoy shave ice that was icy. It needed to be fluffy. No more store bought syrup after I tasted their handmade recipes. Really, it’s their fault that I’m such a shave ice snob now. By the way, don’t go calling it shaveD ice, or people will know you’re a tourist! Shave ice, guys. Shave ice.

So what makes Ululani’s so special? I got to speak with David Yamashiro who, with his wife Ululani, turned a small side business into a shave ice empire! He told me about several things that make them stand out. First, their ice- soft and fluffy… not icy, not crunchy, just… fluffy! It’s unlike any snow cone you can get on the mainland, I promise.

Second, the syrups. Now, I’m not really a fan of store bought fruit syrups, and this is where Ululani’s really shines. They hand make all of their syrups, and many of their fruit flavors are made with fresh fruit puree. As a matter of fact, their mango syrup is 33% pureed mango, wow! Their goal when they first opened shop is to make “every flavor exceptional” and, my favorite, they wanted their flavors to be “punch-you-in-the-mouth”.

Haleakala, Sunset beach (back left), and their new “crackseed” line (right)

The third thing that makes Ululani’s special, is their commitment to customer satisfaction. “If we heard it once, we make note of it, if we heard it twice, we addressed it… Everything that we do is based on feedback.” Over the course of eight years on Maui, they have tweaked, improved, and perfected the art of shave ice. By the way, the reason there are holes in the ice? Well, it’s to help the syrup reach alllll of the ice. Something they started doing after feedback about the bottom ice not having flavor. Like I said, perfecting their trade.

Oh, and can I say one more awesome thing that I learned from David during my visit? They use Roselani ice cream at the bottom of their shave ice (ice cream on the bottom is typical for Hawaiian style shave ice. Optional, but why wouldn’t you???) but there are three tiers of quality that Roselani sells: economy, premium, and gourmet. Guess which one Ululani’s uses? Yup, the gourmet. And their mochi topping is fresh from Maui Specialty Chocolates (more on that below)! Mmm, quality ingredients=amazing end product!

By the way, we tried the Haleakala (leche, coconut) topped with toasted coconut, the Sunset beach (mango, guava, passion orange), my personal go-to combo of almond, lychee, melona with a snow-cap and topped with mochi, and we got a sneak peak at their new flavors from the “crackseed store” line (li hing mui, pickled mango, wet lemon peel). The last one is all about local flavors and is so unique. I’ve never tasted shave ice like that, and it was delicious! As a matter of fact, they were all amazing!

Tasaka Guri Guri

Gail (right) and her cousin Kelly (left). Guri Guri is 100% family owned and operated!

Located in the non-descript Maui mall (not to be confused with the Kaahumanu mall), Tasaka Guri Guri is a place I have to visit every time I visit Maui, no exceptions. I got to speak with Gail, who is the great granddaughter of the founder of Maui’s Guri Guri. Guri Guri has been around for over 100 years (!!!!!!) and they’ve somehow managed to keep their recipe a family secret! As a matter of fact, she and her sister are the only ones (besides a retired uncle) who know the secret recipe. How cool is that?

So what is Guri Guri? Well, that’s hard to explain. It’s kind of sherbet-y, but it’s not sherbet because there is dairy in it. It’s not ice cream… “you just gotta try it”, says Gail. And when you try it, make sure you try at least a scoop of each. Although, you’ll probably wish you got the four scoop.

Super scooping technique. So fast, the camera could barely catch it.

There are two flavors. Just two. Strawberry and pineapple. “Have you guys ever thought of expanding the number of flavors?”, a question I’m surely not the first to ask. But, “we just like to keep things simple”. Fair enough. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?

By the way, my mom came to Maui for my wedding, and she tried Guri Guri and loved it (obviously), and tried to recreate it at home. The result? Less than stellar. “We see people put their recipes in local cookbooks and things? And we look at it and it’s like, no… not even close”. So if you see a recipe online that says it’s JUST LIKE GURI GURI!!! Well, sorry, it’s probably not. Only Gail and her sister can make Guri Guri so just stop trying and come back to Maui if you want some more.

Anyways, you really have to try this Maui classic.

Maui Specialty Chocolates

Their most popular item, peanut butter milk chocolate mochi, with their chocolate ganache mochi (my personal favorite)

I had been eating Maui Specialty Chocolates since the first time I visited Maui back in 2009… I just didn’t know it. All I knew was that there was peanut butter chocolate mochi and it was delicious. Any mochi lovers out there? You HAVE to go eat the mochi at Maui Specialty Chocolates. While I was in there taking some pictures, a few customers walk in and one of the guys said, “Dude, the mochi here is SO soft, you have to try it.” Which basically sums it all up.

I talked to Tony, who started Maui Specialty Chocolates with his wife Valerie. Although, as he told me, “She does it all. She just makes me work here”. Hehe. They’ve been in business for 27 years, and their recipes and chocolate blends (top secret, by the way) are all created by Valerie. She went to the Culinary Institute of America, so she has a solid background in sweets making.

This is how they started. She’d make chocolates for holiday gifting and people would keep coming back asking her if they could get an extra box to give to so-and-so, or… maybe just for themselves. And the business started because, and I quote, “they’d say, you should sell it! And so hey, let’s sell it”. So beautifully simple, I love it.

Their new Himalayan salted dark chocolate was also delish!

They started selling mochi about 10-11 years ago, and it’s since become their most popular item. The secret to success? The sooooft mochi. It’s so soft, and then there’s crunchy peanut butter chocolate inside, or if you get the chocolate ganache, then… well, there’s chocolate ganache inside (bonus! The chocolate ganache one is wrapped in chocolate mochi!).

Something they want people to know? Well, they make everything themselves, and they ONLY sell it at the store. Don’t try to find it off-island, and don’t think you can find it at a local grocery store. Nope, you have to go to the store. So exclusive! And make sure to go early! When I was there right at opening, there were several customers coming in and buying multiple boxes of the mochi. First come first served!

Oh, and remember the mochi topping at Ululani’s that I mentioned? Made fresh every morning by Maui Specialty Chocolates.

I love this quote on their About Us, “the goal of Maui Specialty Chocolates has never been to sell the most chocolates but to make the best chocolates possible using the finest chocolates and freshest ingredients”. It’s so refreshing when businesses truly focus on quality over making money. You can really feel the love and passion these two have for their shop.

Maui Pie

Mango strawberry pie is their best selling dessert pie!

Now here’s an inspiring story. A girl grows up in a pie shop. Okay that sounds weird. What I’m saying is that her parents owned a pie shop and she spent a lot of time there. She grows up and thinks, I don’t want to do what my parents did. I’m going to do my own thing… so she goes into the corporate scene, realizes the corporate grind sucks, and comes back to… you guessed it, baking pies!

Maui Pie was opened about a year and a half ago, in July 2015 by Kellee and Ryan. They are both from Michigan, but always loved, loved, LOVED Maui. They visited several times over the course of 10 years, and always felt so sad when they had to leave. When they got married, two and half years ago, they decided, yeah, let’s move to Maui. So, 6 months later, they were in Maui, and 6 months after that? Maui Pie was opened.

I mean, everyone has dreams, but how many people just get up and go DO what they want to do? I think it’s awesome! They’re still new but are quickly growing, and feel confident that they have now staked their place in Maui. They love being active in their community, and are always looking for ways to give back. I mean, these guys are so super nice, I’m really glad I got to chat with Kellee! I felt personally inspired to go after my dreams!

Lilikoi cream pie on the left, their best selling chicken pot pie on the right. Both amazing.

Anyways, back to the food. Their most popular sweet pie is their mango strawberry. And yes, it was delicious. I also tried their lilikoi (passion fruit) cream pie. Like key-lime, but better. Their pies are “grandma-approved” and don’t use any preservatives, fillers, gels, etc. Basically their pillars are sugar, butter, flour. Good, good, good. I am generally not a huge fan of pie crusts, but the crusts on Maui Pie pies completely changed my mind. If pie crust were always that good, well, I’d be eating pies a lot more.

Need something savory to balance the sweet? Their most popular item in the store is actually their chicken pot pie. And yes, I tried that too and it was delicious. Flaky flaky crust.

My sister-in-law told me I just had to try Maui Pie out, and I’m so glad I did! By the way, my lifelong dream is to just get up and move to Japan. On our drive home I told my husband, “can we be like Maui Pie and just get up and move to Japan, please?” But apparently it’s not that easy. So he says… we’ll see.

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

Their famous banana cream pie! The outdoor seating area was so cute!

When I asked for recommendations of where I should go eat, I kept hearing that I needed to check out Leoda’s and try their cream pie. So, even though I’m not a huge banana cream pie fan, I had to give it a try (guess who is now a banana cream pie fan? This girl). It’s on the way to Lahaina, so it would be a great place to stop by if you are going to do a day trip out there.

Leoda’s just celebrated their 5th year in business, but the company that owns it has been in Maui for a long time. They started off with Old Lahaina Luau 30 years ago and have since added Aloha Mixed Plate, Star Noodle (we went there for dinner… get the brussel sprouts. TRUST ME), and then Leoda’s. Leoda is actually the mother of one of the owners, and she grew up in Olowalu, which is where the shop is located. So basically, the shop is a homage to her. Cool huh?

The number one thing you should know about Leoda’s? 90%… yes NINETY percent of their ingredients are sourced on Maui. I mean, Maui is a tiny little island. I don’t know how they do it, but apparently they do, so, great! Locally sourced means fresh, in season, and delicious! As an example, their sauerkraut is made in store using local Kula cabbage. They tinkered with the recipe for 3 months to perfect it. It’s amazing what can happen when chefs are given the freedom to experiment, be creative, and really work out recipes, to bring the very best product to us, the customers!

Loved the interior of this shop, too!

Leoda’s most popular sweet item is their banana cream pie, which is what everyone was telling me I needed to try. However, the staff favorite is, hands-down, the key lime pie. So, I tried both. Which one is better? Well, what are you in the mood for? Light, fluffy, creamy banana cream pie? Or tart, rich, smooth key lime? I don’t know, they were both amazing. I’d recommend getting both.

While you’re at it? Get their Reuben sandwich. I didn’t have the opportunity to try it, because of some time constraints, but I was just dying over the description of it. They make their corned beef in house by brining it for three days and smoking it. They make their own sauerkraut and thousand island dressing (which is 100x better than the stuff you can get at the store). And apparently it’s ah-mazing. I don’t doubt it at all.

I really liked the feel of Leoda’s. The interior is really cute, and it would be a great place to have lunch, and of course, pie!

 

So there you have it, my top 5 recommendations for Maui sweets! Do you have any favorites that aren’t mentioned here? Let me know below in the comments!

 

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Chocolate Stovetop Cake with Pomegranate Cream

Dessert | January 19, 2017 | By

This stovetop cake with pomegranate cream is easy to make and you don’t need an oven! Chocolate and pomegranate come together to make a rich but fresh dessert.

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream

So I just came back from a trip to Maui to visit my husband’s family. I haven’t posted in TWO WEEKS! Which I guess isn’t that long, but by the end of the trip I was itching to get back into the kitchen and make something.

The day I got back from Maui, I went to the store to restock the kitchen and came across some pomegranate arils. I usually am not a huge pomegranate eater since they are a tad expensive (especially when they are just the arils), but something stopped me from walking away that day. I thought, I just flew for almost an entire day with three little kids, so I should treat myself. So into the basket they went. And then I added a container of pomegranate juice, because I had a dessert idea brewing in my mind…

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream

Aren’t pomegranate arils just beautiful? I knew I wanted to pair that rich ruby color with chocolate, to make a perfect Valentine’s day dessert… although this could work any time of the year. I mean, fruit and chocolate. Can’t go wrong.

This cake is extra special because it’s made SANS OVEN! So, yes, basically it’s kind of sort of a pancake cake, but, not really. It’s a cake, and it’s made in a pan, but it doesn’t have the texture, bite, or flavor of a pancake. It’s much better!

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream

It’s easy to make. You mix up the batter, and then you cut out a parchment paper to fit in the bottom of your skillet (I used my 9 inch). You heat it over medium low, pour some batter, throw on the lid, and let it cook through. Peel off, repeat. I used the one piece of paper for all my layers. Then, to make it pretty, I used my big round cookie cutter. It’s a little over 5 inches in diameter, so actually, it’s probably not for cookies… I wonder what it’s for?

You can choose to make your cake whatever diameter you want. Just make sure you pour bigger than the diameter of the round cutter you are using. Smaller diameter means more layers and a taller cake. Don’t get too crazy or you’ll get the leaning tower of cake!

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream
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Chocolate Stovetop Cake with Pomegranate Cream

This stovetop cake is easy to make and you don't need an oven! Chocolate and pomegranate come together to make a rich but fresh dessert.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 90 g cake flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 100 g sugar
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 2 T milk
  • 1/2 t vanilla optional
  • Parchment paper
  • Large round (cookie) cutter 5 inch diameter, or whatever size you want to use

Pomegranate Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T powdered sugar
  • 1 cup 100% pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 t vanilla or 1/2 t, to taste
  • 1 T cold water optional
  • 1 t gelatin optional
  • pomegranate arils for garnish

Instructions

  1. Take one cup of pomegranate juice and heat in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Allow to simmer away until it reduces to about 1/4 cup. Place in a container and allow to cool while making the cake.

  2. Place eggs in warm-hot water bath while you measure out your other ingredients. Sift together the cake flour and cocoa powder. Combine milk with butter and melt. Crack warm eggs into large mixing bowl and beat with hand mixer until slightly frothy. Add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy and tripled-quadrupled in size. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the eggs and fold in. Add 1/3 of the butter mixture and fold in. Repeat until all the ingredients are combined. If adding vanilla, add with the last bit of butter. 

  3. Heat a 9-inch (or whatever size you are using) skillet over medium low heat. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the skillet and place on the skillet while heating. Using a ladle, scoop the batter onto the parchment paper and use the bottom of the ladle to spread it out a little. The batter should be about 5mm in thickness. Make sure your diameter is larger than the diameter of the round cutter you will be using to cut it. Place lid on skillet and cook through. This should take anywhere from a couple of minutes to 6 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when poked in the middle and doesn't stick to your finger. Using tongs, remove the parchment paper and peel the cake off and set aside. Repeat with the remaining batter. Using the round cutter, cut out the circle and discard (read: eat) the outer scraps. Set aside. 

  4. Place 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and add the powdered sugar. Whip the cream until medium peaks form. Add the reduced pomegranate syrup and vanilla, and whip until stiff peaks form. Make sure not to overwhip, or your cream will start turning into butter and won't be smooth and shiny.

    Optional: For a firmer cream that tastes the same, sprinkle 1 t of gelatin over 1 T of cold water and allow to bloom for a few minutes, while initially whipping the cream. When you add the pomegranate syrup, heat the gelatin in the microwave for about 5 seconds. Watch closely. You want it to melt, but not boil! While whipping the cream and pomegranate, drizzle in the melted gelatin. This will result in a cream that will hold up better to multiple layers, and won't gush out the sides when slicing the cake. 

  5. Spread a layer of pomegranate cream over each layer of cake and stack. The amount you use per layer will depend on the diameter of cake. On the top layer, add some more cream, and garnish with pomegranate arils. Refrigerate to set the cream.

Recipe Notes

Stovetop cake idea from Orange Page Cookbook- はじめてのお菓子

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