Ginger Crème Caramel

Ginger Crème Caramel – Candy Coated Culinista

Ginger fans need to try this Crème Caramel or as I call it flan from my Filipino friends.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: you will need to start 2 days ahead of time
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty level is: Easy; but time consuming

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
• 3 ¼ cups whole milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 ¾ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled send coarsely grated
• ½ vanilla pod, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 6 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Assembly
1. If you are infusing the custard with ginger, you will need to start this recipe two days in advance.
2. Place milk, cream, ginger and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium bowl or measuring cup and whisk to combine.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or ideal 24 hours, to infuse.
4. When you are ready to make the crème caramel preheat oven to 325°F.
5. Place baking dish in the oven to keep warm until needed as heating the dish will make it easier to coat it with the hot caramel.
6. Add 1 cup of the sugar to a large pan or skillet and place over medium heat.
7. Cook for about 5 minutes, resisting the urge to stir; but tilting and swirling the pan instead, until the sugar has melted and begins to brown around the edges.
8. Continue this process until the sugar has turned into a dark amber caramel.
9. Remove the hot baking dish from the oven and immediately pour the caramel using a kitchen towel to protect your hands from the hot dish.
10. Tilt the dish around so the caramel coats the entire base and rise halfway up the sides of the dish.
11. Place the dish in a deep baking pan and set aside for 15 minutes. The caramel doesn’t need to become rock hard; but it should be firm enough that pouring the custard over top doesn’t disturb it.
12. Boil some water and set aside.
13. Place eggs in a large bowl with the remaining 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract.
14. Whisk until smooth and then strain the infused milk-cream mixture into the eggs through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces and whisk the mixture until well combined; but not frothy.
15. Pour mixture into the caramel-coated dish and place the baking pan (with the crème caramel dish inside) in the oven.
16. Pour some recently boiled water into the baking pan so the water reaches halfway up the pan.
17. Bake for 90 minutes and the top of the caramel should be a golden brown, while the middle is still wobbly. However, a skewer inserted should come out clean.
18. The wobble will firm up in the firm; but cooking time can vary depending on dish size and the material it is made out of. So it could take up to 2 hours depending.
19. Remove baking pan from oven and carefully transfer the crème caramel to a wire rack.
20. Set aside and allow to completely cool and then cover with plastic wrap and keep in fridge overnight (or up to 3 days) to allow the caramel to pool and the custard to firm up.
21. If the custard part of the crème caramel is stuck to the sides of the dish, carefully run a small knife along the edges to release it.
22. Then place a large plate (larger than the baking dish to catch the caramel) and turn out, ensuring your holding the plate and baking dish firmly and flip quickly.
23. Slowly remove the baking dish to reveal.
24. Slice and serve.

Tips
• Use a 10” ceramic or glass baking dish with a fluted edge. A metal pan will work just as well as long as the base isn’t removable.
• You can skip the ginger infused custard if you are short on time. The custard will still require to be baked a day in advance though as the caramel needs to chill in the fridge overnight.
• Will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This turned out exactly like the recipe. The crème caramel was custardy and was perfectly infused with ginger. I have never made a crème caramel and have always stayed away when it was offered at a Filipino event. I had a little difficulty getting it to come out cleanly; but otherwise this was a simple dish. This really isn’t a consistency I enjoy to be honest and then there is the caramel aspect; but if you love crème caramel/flan I believe this one would be a great one to try. The ginger really adds another level to it.

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Apple Tarte Tartin with Creamy Caramel Sauce

Apple Tarte Tartin with Creamy Caramel Sauce – Candy Coated Culinista

A tarte tartin is a French dessert named after the hotel that served this as their signature dish. To me I entered making this dish with memories of my poorly maple-honey upside down cake. I am hoping for a decent caramel and a palatable dessert.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Donna Hay: Basics to Brilliance

Ingredients
Creamy Caramel

• ¾ cups heavy cream
• 1/3 cups unsalted butter
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
Apple Tarte Tatin
• 1 sheet store-bought all butter puff pastry, thawed
• ½ cup creamy caramel, plus extra to serve
• 3 granny smooth apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1 cm
• a few blueberries (optional)
• Vanilla ice-cream, to serve (optional)

Assembly
Creamy Caramel

1. Place cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook, stirring with a metal spoon until combined.
4. Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring until temperature reaches 350°F using a candy thermometer and the mixture is a deep golden colour.
5. Remove from heat and working fast, add butter mixture in a thin steady stream, stirring to combine.
6. Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until caramel has thickened slightly.
7. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature.
Apple Tarte Tatin
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Using a small sharp knife, trim the pastry into a 30cm round and make a small cross incision in the centre.
3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Place the caramel in a 26cm round ovenproof non-stick frying pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
5. Add apples and cook for 5-6 minutes or until apples are just softened.
6. Remove from heat and top with pastry round.
7. Place the pan on an oven tray.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed.
9. Let cool slightly.
10. Turn out onto a lightly greased baking tray with parchment paper.
11. Bake for 5 more minutes or until apples are golden and caramelized.
12. Serve warm with ice cream and extra caramel if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was very happy that my caramel actually turned out; but man was it sweet. It had me wishing I had made a salted caramel to cut some of that sweet. However; this tasted much better then it looked and for a person who eats 90% with her eyes first this was a hard one for me. Once I got past the copious amount of caramel; which would be a draw for most but for me a person who never liked caramel overall it just tasted okay. I batched down the caramel recipe as I knew I didn’t need three and a half cups of caramel and I am still left with way too much for my liking. The puff pastry was crispy and flakey and the apples were cooked well. This dish isn’t a looker even with the pictures I saw online as my aid and next time I think I’ll double the puff pastry layers and add much less caramel.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Brookie

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Brookie - Candy Coated Culinista

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Brookie – Candy Coated Culinista

I found the most interesting baking pans the other day and I have now made my first ever brookie. What’s a brookie you ask its part brownie with a cookie in the centre.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 box of brownie mix, Duncan Hines Salted Caramel Brownie Mix
• 1 large egg
• 1/3 cup water
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 6 cookies

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly spray the brookie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Using an electric mixer empty the brownie mix and add the egg, water and oil.
4. Stir until just combined.
5. Pour in the salted caramel into the brownie mix and combine.
6. Pour brownie mix into the cavity just below the centre island edge.
7. Place cookie on island and then fill the remainder of the cavity with brownie mix.
8. Bake for 30 – 33 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then turn out and let continue to cool of a wire rack.
10. Serve upside down so you can see the cookie along with ice cream or coconut whipped cream.

Tips
• I only had to bake this for about 20 to 25 minutes and it was perfect. Keep watch on the brookie.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Decadent and very tasty. This was so simple to make and took no time at all. I of course found it sweet as I had no control as this is a box mix. My taste testers enjoyed them just the same but some also agreed for the most part about the sweetness. I enjoyed my brookie with a scoop of ice cream and could only eat half as this was one big brookie.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Brookie - Candy Coated Culinista

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Brookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Peanut Butter Cream Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

For Christmas dinner at the in-laws I departed from my usual desserts. Typically I make Christmas desserts, with candy canes, peppermint, pumpkin, chocolate, molasses or cranberries (those common Christmas flavours), but this year the in-law Christmas was on December 27th and I was tired and not feeling making an elaborate dessert. I decided to make only one dessert and hoped it would turn out and taste good. This quick and easy almost no bake dessert (only the pie crusts) is a light, fluffy and complimented a filling Christmas dinner.

Slightly altered From Joy the Baker – Homemade Decadence

Yield/Serving: 1- 9” pie & 2- mini pies
Prep Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
• ¾ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
• 1½ cups heavy cream
• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
• ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup smooth all-natural peanut butter
• Caramel drizzle
• Bittersweet chocolate drizzle
• Chopped peanuts
• 1½ cups heavy cream
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Assembly
Pie
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Have a 9” pie plate and two mini pie plates at the ready.
2. In a small bowl melt the butter in the microwave.
3. Using a large bowl pour in half of the melted butter in and mix the graham cracker crumbs until moist.
4. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of pie plate.
5. Using a medium bowl pour in half of the melted butter in and mix the chocolate cookie crumbs until moist.
6. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of two pie plates.
7. Bake the pie crusts in center of the oven, covered with aluminum foil, for 10 min and let cool.
8. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it holds soft peaks, 4 to 5 minutes and then transfer to a medium bowl.
9. In the same bowl of the electric mixer (you don’t have to rinse it out) using the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
10. Add the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract and beat well.
11. Add in the peanut butter until smooth.
12. Gently fold in a quarter of the whipped cream and then continue to gently fold in another quarter of the whipped cream. Add in the remaining whipped cream until the mixture is well incorporated but still fluffy.
13. Using a spatula spread the filling into the prepared crusts.
14. Refrigerate pie for at least 4 hours.
15. Once pie has chilled, melt caramel and bittersweet chocolate and drizzle over the pie using a fork and sprinkle peanuts over top.
Whipped Topping
16. Just before serving, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream and vanilla extract until it holds soft peaks, 4 to 5 minutes and top pies and serve.

Tips
• The pie will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
It was enjoyed by all and I was a fan of the light and creaminess of the pie. This was my first time ever having a cream pie, so I don’t have a comparison but I know I enjoyed this.

Mulled Cider Spice Caramels

Mulled Cider Spice Caramels - Candy Coated Culinista

Mulled Cider Spice Caramels – Candy Coated Culinista

I love the autumn and the smell of mulled apples, cider and those fall spices. Not to mention when the trees start to change it’s so beautiful. I went back to my culinary weak spot … confections and tried to make some caramels. Candies, confections, fudge are always a hit or miss for me and even when I repeat the same recipe on a different day my results always vary. Today I really wanted to make an autumn candy and I made caramels.

Attempt #1 (Toffee)
Altered from Table for Two blog

Yield/Serving: 64
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Cider Sauce
• 2 tsp mulling spices
• 1 ltr apple juice
• 5 apples (3- royal gala a 2 yellow delicious), chopped and cored
• 2 sticks cinnamon
Mulled Spice
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ½ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tsp ground mixed spice
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground ginger
Caramels
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 2 cups sugar
• 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
• ½ cup cider sauce
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 tsp mulled spice

Assembly
Cider Sauce
1. Using a large saucepan pour all ingredients in and boil on medium-high for 10 min.
2. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Let mixture cool in pot for a bit and then pour into a blender and blend.
4. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl.
5. Pour the mixture back into saucepan and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
6. The apples should be reduced down with a concentrated apple taste.
7. Pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge.
Mulled Spice
1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
2. Store in a spice jar.
Caramels
1. Lightly grease with cooking spray an 8”x8” and then line with parchment paper and let the paper hang over the pan.
2. Over high heat use a large non reactive pot and combine cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter and cider and bring mixture to a boil.
3. Do not stir and reduce temperature to medium-high heat.
4. Place a candy thermometer in the pot and allow the temperature to reached 248°F. (about 20-30 minutes)
5. Once the mixture has reached the temperature remove pot from heat and stir in the salt and apple spice.
6. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and let stand for 12-18 hours before cutting into 1” squares.
7. Run a very sharp knife under hot water until it warms up to the touch and the spray both sides with cooking spray and cut in a sawing motion.
8. Wrap in wax paper.

Attempt #2 (Caramel or Taffy)
My Own Recipe

Yield/Serving: 64
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Cider Sauce
• 2 tsp mulling spices
• 1 ltr apple juice
• 5 apples (3- royal gala a 2 yellow delicious), chopped and cored
• 2 sticks cinnamon
Mulled Spice
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ½ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tsp ground mixed spice
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground ginger
Caramels
• 2 ½ cups heavy cream
• 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• ¼ cup corn syrup
• ¼ cup water
• ½ cup cider sauce
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp mulled spice

Assembly
Cider Sauce
1. Using a large saucepan pour all ingredients in and boil on medium-high for 10 min.
2. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Let mixture cool in pot for a bit and then pour into a blender and blend.
4. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl.
5. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
6. The apple should be reduced down with a concentrated apple taste.
7. Pour into a mason jar. Store in the fridge.
Mulled Spice
1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
2. Store in a spice jar.
Caramels
1. Lightly grease with cooking spray an 8”x8” and then line with parchment paper and let the paper hang over the pan.
2. Over medium heat use a medium non reactive pot combine cream, butter and salt until butter melts and remove from the heat.
3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and cider sauce in a large non reactive pot over medium high heat and stir sugar until it is evenly moistened.
4. Place a candy thermometer in the pot and do not stir the sugar any more.
5. Let the sugar syrup come to a boil without stirring and let it reach around 250°F.
6. At 250°F, whisk in cream and butter mixture slowly as the mixture will increase in size.
7. Stop whisking once all the cream mixture is well incorporated and allow the temperature to reach 245°F to 250°F once again without stirring.
8. At 250°F stir in the vanilla extract and the mulled spice into the caramel.
9. Immediately pour caramel into the pan. (Don’t scrape out any leftover bits in the pot as it the burnt bits you don’t want in your caramel.)
10. Let the caramel set out of the way overnight.
11. Cut the caramels and wrap in wax paper the next morning.

Tips
• Apple syrup reduction can be used immediately or stored in the fridge indefinitely.
• Caramels will keep for two weeks
• Keep an eye on the caramel the temperature increase rapidly and you can go from caramel to a burnt caramel really fast.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Attempt number one came out too hard and to not be wasteful I used the hard caramels as toffee and put them into my signature cookie Date Night . I followed the recipe exactly in regards to the actual caramel recipe, but I changed the mulled spice & and cider sauce recipe to suit my taste and palette more. I preferred to make my cider sauce as I wanted to use pure apple and not a store-bought cider. Other than that the caramel recipes and portions where the exact same and yet my caramel were quite tough.
Attempt number two was much softer and more of a soft caramel or taffy consistency which I found to be easier on my teeth. I added more cream, butter and this consistently was better for me. I will probably make this one more time to get that perfect mix of soft and chewy.

Date Night Cookies – My Signature Cookie

Date Night Cookies - Candy Coated Culinista

Date Night Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

I have a signature cookie! My signature cookie came about because I had a lot of ingredients I wanted to use up and a failed caramel recipe to re-purpose. It was my first attempt making caramel and the outer edges became caramel but the interior was too hard. I renamed my caramel to toffee and chopped up some pieces for my new cookie, along with some pretzels hanging around and taking up my precious cupboard space. Today I decided to get creative and here is my signature cookie.

Yield/Serving: approx. 18 cookies
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 225g (8 oz) dark chocolate 70% cocoa
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter
• 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 2 eggs
• ¾ cups turbinado sugar
• 2 tsp vanilla extract try another one (pear??)
• ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
• ½ cup creamy peanut butter
• ¼ cups powdered sugar
• 1¼ cup pretzel pieces
• ½ cup toffee bits

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3. Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl and let cool.
4. In a separate large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
5. In a medium sized bowl beat the eggs, sugars and vanilla until fluffy, by hand.
6. Slowly add in the melted chocolate mix and then slowly add the flour mixture until just combined.
7. Fold in the chocolate chips, peanut butter, powdered sugar, pretzels and toffee.
8. Scoop into balls and place on the parchment paper,
9. Bake for 8-9 minutes on the center of the rack in two batches.
10. Let cool on a wire rack.

Tips
• Place pretzels in a baggie and crush with a rolling pin.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These were great and looked like an actual cookie without me following someone else’s recipe. I also like that I didn’t have to bring out the mixer, sometimes I really just don’t want to get that thing out. I was hoping my first cookie creation would have been a non –chocolate cookie, as I am not fond of chocolate, but I am now realizing I make a great chocolate cookie. It was rich, flavourful and I could detect all the ingredients I put in.

Guinness Cake with Caramel Bailey’s Black Currant Buttercream

Guinness Cake with Caramel Bailey's Black Currant Buttercream - Candy Coated Culinista

Guinness Cake with Caramel Bailey’s Black Currant Buttercream – Candy Coated Culinista

The recipe is a year overdue. I had hopes of making this a year ago for my Irish fella (Mr. C.); but once again time got away from me and next thing you know the snow has melted and I missed St. Patrick’s Day entirely. Well that’s not happening this year, we still have tons of snow and I made my Guinness Cake. See my picture here for the cooking club.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: Cupcakes 15 – 20 min, Cake – 35-40 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Cake
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter
• 60g chopped good quality 70% cacao dark chocolate, chopped
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup Guinness
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 large egg
Frosting
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 3 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
• 4 tbsp Caramel Bailey’s
• 2 tbsp black currant jam

Assembly
Cake
1. Grease one 6” round cake pan with cooking spray and place 3 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate. (Stop the microwave at 30 second intervals and stir as to not burn the chocolate).
3. Once chocolate has melted, stir in sugar and remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
4. Whisk in Guinness along with vanilla extract until smooth.
5. Beat in egg until combined and then whisk in dry ingredients until smooth.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan until almost full, about ¾ of the way and bake for 10-15 min for the cupcakes and 30-40 minutes for the cake, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan until completely cooled, and then transfer to cake plate and frost.

Frosting
1. Using an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment cream butter on high until light and fluffy.
2. Add Bailey’s Caramel Cream and beat until combined.
3. Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time until well combined.
4. Add in the jam and combine.
5. Transfer frosting to a piping bag, and pipe along the top of the cake.
6. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tips
• Remove all fruit bits from the jam before putting into the batter, or it will clog the piping bag.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
“The cake that you made is ammmaazzing! It’s rich and complex. I could taste the Bailey’s. I’ve never had Guinness so not sure if the taste came out, but the blend of everything is so nice. The icing goes perfectly.”

My thoughts
I overcooked the cupcakes by 4 minutes, but the inside was still moist. My only problem was the cupcake top pulled away from the cupcake wrapper when peeled. When I put the extra into the cupcake wrappers I totally forget that the cupcakes would be finished faster as I had no intention of making cupcakes. The cake centre was still a little sunken in the middle, but I will figure that out next time. This was the first time my cake actually rose as my cupcakes tend to stay on the flatter side unless I use the box mix and C.C. it up. The Cake came out moist and had a shiny look to it once it came out of the pan and it smelt like Guinness to me. It turned out so well I surprised myself; but that wasn’t my only goal I had to try to properly pipe a cake for the first time and that worked also…another shocker. Until this post I hadn’t actually put a piping bag together. I have one I bought and never used (made of a lined cloth, but it just didn’t seem right), so with some new supplies I quickly googled how to fastening the tips to the bag and I was off. I couldn’t believe how well this turned out. It makes my cake decorating on the pink ombre cake look like a child did it. I know it looked bad when I did it but looking at it now it really did look childish. Now I can say I am a teenager in my decorating skills and I look forward to growing up into an adult someday. I was hoping for the buttercream to have a more berry flavour, but I was afraid to keep adding the jam as this was my first buttercream frosting from scratch. Next time I will add more jam and some purple food colouring to give it the extra oomph. Bottom line this was my best cake yet. Over all I had a great experience and am so stoked to do another cake. Mr. C. & I enjoyed the cupcakes and I gave away my cake to a friend.

Guinness Cake with Caramel Bailey's Black Currant Buttercream - Candy Coated Culinista

Guinness Cake with Caramel Bailey’s Black Currant Buttercream – Candy Coated Culinista

Guinness Cake with Caramel Bailey's Black Currant Buttercream - Candy Coated Culinista

Guinness Cake with Caramel Bailey’s Black Currant Buttercream – Candy Coated Culinista

Caramel Gluten-Free Brownies

Caramel Gluten-Free Brownies - Candy Coated Culinista

Caramel Gluten-Free Brownies – Candy Coated Culinista

Less fat, more fibre, gluten-free and this is all going to taste good right? It seemed to me like a lot to ask of a little brownie and furthermore I don’t believe it! As is my usual process I made this once per the recipe and the second time I experimented. To my surprise this turned out so well that I couldn’t believe all that was promised was achieved. View my photo in the cooking club gallery here.

Altered From Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 9
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 40-45 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
• 2 cups ground almonds
• 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 4 egg whites
• 2 tsp vanilla
• Confectioner’s sugar, to dust
• 1/3 cup caramel, to drizzle

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper and let the paper hang over the pan.
3. In a large bowl whisk sugar, ground almond, cocoa and salt until combined. (Don’t Over mix)
4. Pour batter into pan.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
6. Lift brownies out of pan using the parchment paper and let cool completely on a wire rack.
7. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.
8. Pour caramel into a small microwave safe bowl and microwave for 10 seconds and drizzle over brownies.
9. Serve and enjoy right away.

Tips
• Serve with a glass of milk, ice cream or whipped cream.
• Look for a caramel sauce that doesn’t have a high sugar content or make your own.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The piece Mr. C. and I shared fresh out of the oven tasted delicious. It was sweet, rich, dense, and scrumptious and the caramel added an extra complexity, but not adding any sweetness. I would suggest eating these immediately as the shelf life is very limited. The first batch I made was decent the next morning, but the second time I made it the brownies firmed up much faster. They where rock hard, and when I say rock hard I mean they could be weapons, a sock filled with these brownies or baker brownie throwing stars. Mr. C. said “It’s the lack of Gluten that made it get hard so fast” This made me crack up. I will make this one more time with the remaining ground almonds I have and see if the third time I can lengthen the shelf life.

**Upon further research I probably over mixed this batter. The first time I did this recipe I hand mixed in a bowl vs. the second time I used the electric mixer. Also all baking is an exact science where proper measurements must be used. I have a feeling in gluten-free baking you must be extra precise, and with my approach of experimenting by adding a dash or this and more of that, I may have added a little too much of an ingredient and spoiled the recipe. Gluten-Free baking is quite finicky I gather and I have barely started my adventures into it, but these mistakes will only help me get better.

Caramel Gluten-Free Brownies - Candy Coated Culinista

Caramel Gluten-Free Brownies – Candy Coated Culinista

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted Caramel Ice Cream - Candy Coated Culinista

Salted Caramel Ice Cream – Candy Coated Culinista

I need to learn how to make ice cream from scratch before Christmas dinner at the in-laws…

From Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones from Bi-Rite Creamery

Special Equipment: Ice Cream Machine
Yield/Serving: 4 cups (about 1000 ml)
Shelf Life: 1 week
Cook Time: See your manufacturer’s instructions
Chilling Time: 2 hrs, or overnight

Ingredients
Ice Cream
• 1 ¾ cups heavy cream, at room temperature
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• ¾ cup 1% or 2% milk
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 5 large egg yolks

Assembly
1. Set the cream by the stove so it’s on hand when you need it. Measure out ½ cup of the sugar and set the stove; you’ll use this for the caramel (the rest will go in with the yolks). Put 2 tablespoons of the sugar for the caramel in a heavy nonreactive saucepan and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the sugar is melted around the edges and starts to turn amber in places (about 2 minutes), stir the mixture gently and add another 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan.
2. Continue to add what remains of the ½ cup of sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring frequently and allowing most of the sugar to melt before you add more. Watch carefully as the sugar darkens, stirring gently to help it melt evenly.
3. When the caramel becomes a dark mahogany colour, remove the pan from the heat and immediately but slowly pour the cream into the pan. (The mixture will steam and bubble up, so wear oven mitts and be careful to avoid splatters and steam burns.) When the bubbling subsides, gently stir to completely blend the cream into the caramel. If you have lumps of hardened caramel in your pan, simply put the pan over lower heat and stir until the caramel is melted.
Makes the Base
4. Once the caramel is completely smooth, stir in the milk along with the salt and put the pan over medium-heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
5. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in the remaining ¼ cup sugar set aside.
6. Carefully scoop out about ½ cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another ½ cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heat proof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
7. Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
8. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice water-bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Freeze the Ice Cream
9. When the base is completely chilled, freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Mr. C. liked this all except the salt. He thought there was too much salt in the salted caramel ice cream. If I make this again I will alter this.

My thoughts
This actually tasted like ice cream; which totally surprised me. Looking at it in the container I wasn’t so sure but it came out. It’s tasted creamier and richer than the store bought variety.

Pistachio Dark Chocolate Soufflé

Pistachio Dark Chocolate Soufflé - Candy Coated Culinista

Pistachio Dark Chocolate Soufflé – Candy Coated Culinista

“Please don’t sink! Please don’t sink!” is what I have been thinking since I knew I was going to be making a soufflés for the cooking challenge. The word Soufflé much like many other French foods I want to try sound so daunting. (I’m thinking of my first attempt at macarons: Lemony Letdown Frosted Flakes Macaron.) All I can see when I think soufflé is what happens on TV shows. A woman working tirelessly to make her precious soufflé; the kitchen and the woman is in utter disarray while she has her guest in the other room waiting for dessert. She opens the oven with wide eyes only to have the thing deflate the moment it comes out of the oven…and cue the canned laughter. This will not be happening to me…. I hope. I do have back up eggs and chocolate just in case to be safe. See my picture here in the gallery.

Altered from Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 6 – ½ cup Ramekins
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 10-12 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Soufflé
• 1tsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 5 tbsp granulated sugar
• 200g good quality 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped
• 1/3 cup 35% cream
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 eggs, separated
• 3 egg whites
• 1/3 cup pistachio’s finely ground.
• ¼ tsp Maldon sea salt (optional)
Bailey’s Caramel Cream
• ½ cup 35%cream
• 2 tbsp Bailey’s Caramel liqueur

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter the inside of 6 ramekins that hold about ½ cup each. Dust with 2 tbsp sugar, tilting cups to coat evenly, then tap out any excess sugar. Arrange ramekins on a large baking sheet.
2. Fill a medium saucepan with about 1” of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-low. Combine chocolate, 1/3 cup cream and vanilla in a large heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan, covering saucepan completely. Stir often until chocolate is melted, about 3 to 4 min. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
3. Beat 6 egg whites in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on high, until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 min. Gradually beat in the remaining 3 tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 min. Set aside. Using same electric mixer (no need to wash beaters), beat 3 egg yolks in a medium bowl until pale and thickened, about 3 min. Stir ½ cup chocolate mixture into yolks. Fold in remaining chocolate mixture and ground pistachio’s until blended. Gently fold in remaining whites. Pour or ladle mixture into prepared ramekins until full.
4. Bake in centre of oven until soufflés are puffed and tops are firm to the touch, 10 to 12 min. Sprinkle with salt.
5. Beat ½ cup cream until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. Beat in liqueur. Serve with soufflés.

Tips
• Whatever size ramekins you use, just ensure you fill it to the top.
• Add some pistachio’s on top of the caramel cream.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Mr. C. said “the soufflé was excellent and it had a very airy feel to it but thick at the same time. The chocolate was very rich and as you got the bottom of the soufflé it felt like you were getting a sponge cake which was really tasty.

My thoughts
For a person who doesn’t eat or like milk or dark chocolate, I really enjoyed this. It was light, airy and decadent. I am used to ramekins that are one cup sized and when I made this recipe the first time, I didn’t realize that it wouldn’t puff up to a cup size. Then and there I decided to make this a second time. I remembered that on an episode of Masterchef the pressure test was soufflé; and the ramekins were filled right to the top, so I went back and did it again. (It’s funny what the mind remembers, and retrieves when needed.) My second attempt was much better and the centre was perfect. When I saw my first attempt I was like this is okay and tasty, but me being the perfectionist I wanted to try it again and get that sense of accomplishment and completion, and I did. Sure I wasted 1 dozen eggs and 4 packages of expensive dark chocolate but you know what, it felt so good seeing my second attempt and knowing I can do this no problem that I didn’t care about the waste. Mr. C. still ate my first batch of “soufflé cakes” as they were still edible. Now I can check the dreaded soufflé off my list and accept my next challenge with no regrets.

Dark Chocolate Soufflé - Candy Coated Culinista

Dark Chocolate Soufflé – Candy Coated Culinista

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