It’s pretty rare that I get to bake elaborate and ridiculously fun things in the kitchen, so when Christmas comes, I like to go big…really big. I had some leftover trees and a skiing Santa from the year’s snow-globe wreaths, so for our annual Christmas party, I made a ginormous ski slope cake bordered with a gingerbread cityscape and little candy house cupcakes! I spread the baking out over a week to make it less stressful and it came out just how I had envisioned it…equal parts kitschy, homey and magical. Continue reading
Tag Archives: chocolate
When your little brother and his fiancée ask you and your dad to make their wedding cake, you say “of course”, but when they ask if you can make THREE, you choke a little, then smile and still say “of course”. They insisted that they wanted something simple and rustic, but when you have to make cake for 150 people in a rented home kitchen, things will always get a little interesting. We had made three cakes for our wedding as well with only a few hitches, but we rented an industrial refrigerator for them and bought vanilla buttercream instead of making it ourselves (a huge time and money saver!). These two crazy kooks wanted flavored buttercreams and one carrot cake, so everything was made from scratch in many, many batches. Continue reading
Truffles are the easiest candy to make at home, they are basically composed of only two ingredients and you can flavor them in a million different ways…which makes them the best Christmas gift EVER!
Since truffles are mostly just heavy cream and chocolate, you can either pre-infuse the cream with flavors by using a steeping method (whole ingredients left in hot cream for 30 minutes and then strained out) or you can add flavorings or liqueurs to the melted mix.
The basic ratio for the simplest truffle is 1 cup of heavy cream to 1 pound of chocolate (a mix of bittersweet and semisweet). The basic method is this: heat the cream to boiling, remove it from the heat for 30 seconds and then pour it over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add a tablespoon of dark brewed coffee and a little vanilla to heighten the chocolate flavor. Let sit at room temperature until firm, scoop and form into balls and roll in cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
I decided to make 3 “truffles” this year as my Christmas gift using the steeping method…although one is really just a classic peanut butter ball! After successfully making a delicious Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream this summer by steeping the cream with buttered cinnamon toast croutons, I thought, “why not try this same technique with pretzels?” The resulting “Pretzel Truffle” is subtle, but delicious, while the other “Holiday Spice Truffle” is punchy and perfect with every one of my favorite flavors this season. How you can make your own truffles and my recipes from this year after the jump! Continue reading