It's been a while since my last post, but I've finally gotten a bit of time off for Easter vacation, and I'm taking advantage by trying out lots of recipes and ideas. I also don't have to get up at 5:30 morning to do it, which is just wonderful.
I was excited to make some Easter food while I had the free time, so I started scouring the internet, and particularly Pinterest for inspiration, and inspiration is exactly what I found. It was hard to narrow down my choices, but I managed to pick two pins to try out in this month's Easter PinterTest baking special. These recipes can also be super fun to make with your kids!
The first PinterTest I attempted was for mini egg easter cake, which originally comes from Sainsbury's Magazine.
Sainsbury's beautiful cake is a combination of sponge cake, shortening-based icing, chocolate topping and chocolate mini eggs. You can find their recipes and instructions on how to make your own cake here.
Instead of copying their recipe, though, I decided to make my own version of their lovely cake, which you can see below.
I replaced their sponge cake with a plain vanilla cake, baked in layers. Instead of shortening-based icing, I made real buttercream with vanilla flavouring, which you can make by beating 250 g of butter and 500 -600 g powdered sugar and vanilla (or other flavour of choice) until light and fluffy.
The topping is a dark chocolate ganache, which is made with equal parts of cream and chocolate. Finely chop chocolate and add to a bowl. Heat cream to the boiling point, then pour over your chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt and whisk together. Use as a topping, or refrigerate and roll spoonfuls in cocoa powder for homemade truffles!
I cooked down equal portions of strawberry and rhubarb (from frozen) with just a tablespoon of sugar, and a bit of lemon juice. I then blended it smooth, and cooked a bit of potato flour into the mixture until it was thick, and allowed the mixture to cool. I wanted this mixture to be really tart to cut through all the fat and sweetness of this cake.
I used mini marcipan eggs, which are super popular in Denmark, and added the fabulous sparkle of edible gold glitter to the top. The speckling on the cake is a mix of kirsch alcohol and cocoa powder, splashed on with a clean fan brush.
And there you have it! Remember that practice makes perfect, and cake decorating is an art form. My cake isn't nearly as pretty as the one found at Sainsbury's, but it packed a punch with flavouring.
Find the vanilla cake recipe I used below.
Vanilla cake recipe
Woven Bread Basket
No I don't mean a basket for my bread. I mean a basket MADE of bread. The next PinterTest is made using a simple bread dough, some aluminum foil, and a glass bowl to create a lovely little edible Easter basket.
Basket weaving is challenging enough, but you should really try it out with bread dough!
Ok, so mine didn't quite turn out like the one above, but the instructions were a bit confusing, and I'm just so crap at weaving. Hey, I tried!
As you can see, I made a basket...sort of. It was a bit thin, and crooked because the dough stretched out while trying to weave it, but I really liked it regardless. I could see myself making a much larger version for thanksgiving rolls. Of course, as I stated earlier in this post, practice makes perfect. If you want to make your own bread basket, try out the recipe below, and check out Wonderful DIY for instructions for this and other great projects.
Basic Bread Recipe
Thanks for joining me for this Easter PinterTest special. If you enjoyed this post, and would like to see more like it, feel free to leave a message below or find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as QuiteChefy.
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I hope you all have a wonderful Easter holiday, and if you don't celebrate Easter, then just have a wonderful week!
Until next time, lovelies, stay chefy!
Happy Halloween everyone! I LOVE Halloween, but it's just not quite as big in Denmark as it is back home in Canada. I miss the endless halloween tv specials and my parents'giant inflatable lawn pumpkin. I was really excited to try out some spooky holiday recipes, and once I stumbled upon these "blood spatter sugar cookies" by Annie's Eats on Pinterest, I knew I just had to test them out!.
Just look at those cookies! Simple, elegant and perfectly gruesome. Don't they just scream Dexter? Everyone's favourite blood splatter analyst/serial killer/lumberjack. Sure, these cookies look great on Pinterest, but can they be recreated?
First things first. Sugar cookies. These deceptively simple cookies can be kind of tricky with the amount of butter needed, but the following recipe works wonderfully for rolling, cutting shapes and won't get too puffy when baked.
Rolled Sugar Cookies
Cream together sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Stir into dough and knead until smooth. Cover dough and chill for minimum one hour. This dough can be made in advance and chilled overnight.
When you roll out the dough, take small portions at a time and be patient. Flour your work surface well, roll out dough to approximately a 0.5 cm thick and cut out your shapes. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F (no fan assist) and bake 6-8 minutes. They should be cooked but pale.
Splattering the Cookies
After the cookies are baked and cooled, they're flooded with plain white royal icing and left to dry overnight.
Royal icing is a glaze made from pasteurized egg whites, icing sugar and lemon juice or flavouring like vanilla. It can be made as a paste that can be piped, or thinned to flood sugar cookies, which dries matte and hard. You can see a YouTube tutorial on how to flood sugar cookies below.
Save the leftover white icing after you're done flooding, and cover well. You'll use the leftover icing for "blood splatters". Thin the icing out with red food dye until it turns blood red. Tape up some paper or plastic to protect your work area and with a clean paintbrush or fork, fling the thinned red icing over your cookies until they're bloody enough for your liking. My workspace looked like a murder scene!
The Finished Product
Here are my gory, Dexter-inspired cookies! They look and taste wonderful. I made plain circle cookies, and bloody murder bunnies because I didn't have any halloween shapes on hand.
I love everything about these cookies, but if there's one thing I need to warn about it's about making the "blood". As you can see, my colour was a little bit too light. It didn't look completely like blood, and that's because I ran out of food colouring!! It takes a LOT of dye to make white icing blood red, and my portion of white was too large to start with. So start with a couple tablespoons of royal icing, thinned out. For best results, use a gel or powder colour. They're more concentrated in colour than the liquid stuff, so it's easier to control the runniness of your icing.
The most important thing is that you have fun with it!
If you like my PinterTest series and want to read more, then catch up on my previous posts here. Feel free to comment or send me a message with ideas for future PinterTests here, or you can find me on Facebook and Twitter as QuiteChefy.
Until next time, Stay Chefy!
It's that time of year again. Fall has different meanings for different people, but in the past few years, it's meant the introduction of Pumpkin Spice everything. When Starbucks decided to develop its Pumpkin Spice Latte back in 2003, the craze took off, and they couldn't keep up with the demand. Since then, there have been a slew of pumpkin-themed treats hitting the market in the past few years: chips, cookies, marshmallows, coffee creamer and even chocolates. M&Ms even hopped onto the pumpkin spice bandwagon with pumpkin spice M&Ms, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Speaking of bandwagons, hey there! I'll admit, I'm a sucker for pumpkin-flavoured things, but that's because I moved to another country and I really only get pumpkin once a year when I make pies, and a can of puree costs about $20. I think Starbucks is fine and everything, but a single coffee here costs well over $10. So when I was looking though Pinterest for decorating ideas for Thanksgiving and saw "Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Latte", I knew that I had to try it!
The original recipe, found at thrivinghomeblog.com, states that the recipe served approximately 15 people and filled the home with a warm, vanilla-cinnamon-pumpkiny aroma with no syrups or fake flavours added. Sounds tasty enough. Let's find out, shall we?
Making Potato Stock
Start by washing and drying the potatoes. Cut a line down the middle of the potato about a centimeter or so, but don't cut the potato in half. Next, toss your potatoes in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake them at 220°C (425°F) for 25 minutes. When the potatoes are done, place them into a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them sit at room temperature, and set your timer for 2 hours. Read a book, catch up on that show you like, or take a nap. It'll be a while..
Strain the potato stock through a fine sieve. Cover stock and chill in the fridge until ready to use. Unfortunately, the potatoes themselves were all soggy, so I had to throw them out.
Make a Potato Gel
When you're ready to spend an entire day drying chips in the oven, take 2 cups of your stock (about 500 ml) and whisk in 4 tablespoons of potato starch. Cook on medium heat and bring to a boil, until your mixture turns to a gel. Remember to keep whisking the starch as soon as it's added to the stock, or you'll end up with a lump at the bottom of your pot..
The next step can be done a couple different ways. The creator of the recipe simply spread the goop out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. The mixture should be no thicker than 3mm thick. When dried, he broke the starch sheet into irregular shapes resembling glass shards to be fried.
Instructable contributor Imnopeas claims to have "improved the recipe" simply by adding the gel to a squeeze bottle to squirt out perfect potato chip shapes. This same person also stated in the beginning of the instructional post that "potato chips are boring". Excuse me, what?. Madness! Do what feels right. I had tons of gel, so I used both methods. I did one sheet with oblong goo, and one with total goo coverage.
Dry. Dry. Dry.
The gel needs to completely dehydrate in the oven. The creator states that they should be in the oven at 57°C (135°F) for 2 hours until completely dry. Instructables, however, states that they should dry for 8-10 hours or overnight. The chips I made certainly weren't dry in two hours and still had the consistency of rubbery Jell-O. For me, it took a good 5 hours to get the chips completely dry to peel them from the paper.
Fry Those Babies Up
After an eternity, you can finally fry your chips. Bring oil up to 175°C (350°F). Fry your chips until clear and crispy, and drain on paper towl. There's a teensy problem with the chips being clear, though. You can't see them in the oil, and it results in a lot of fishing around. Use a basket if you can, else giggle to yourself as your snack dissapears in the oil. After a dusting of salt, enjoy your rediculous time-consuming snack!! Yum!
These glass chips are undeniably fun and could add a touch of new age elegance and the modernity of molecular gastronomy. These chips are cool. But are they worth it?
Well yes and no. Unless you have someone to seriously impress, or have a couple days on your hands just to babysit potato goo, which many of us don't, then these chips aren't really worth the effort. Sure, they're crispy and salty and taste slightly of potato, but they lack that satisfying feeling you get from eating chips, still with 100% guilt. It's more like eating a salty piece of plastic, where the texture reminded me of gelatine sheets.
My first attempts to fry these chips actually was a failure. The gel wasn't quite dry enough and the oil was a bit too hot, resulting in glass that bubbled and puffed up. To be honest, the "failure chips" have a better crunch, flavour, and texture than the "good" chips.
The final word on these chips is that they would look really great to wow at a party or atop a beautiful plate of food as garnish, but as a viable snack, which these were never meant to be, I wouldn't bother. Even as garnish, the glass chips are a bit extreme, and time consuming. I worked two days on finishing them. Now I can say I've tried it, and it certainly works as shown, but now I just want to relax on the sofa with a good movie eating real potato chips.
Welcome to the July PinterTest (yes I'm a bit late), where I take Pinterest images, and try to recreate them to see if they're as easy as they look, or are completely hopeless projects.
There are few things better than the wonderful scent of bread fresh out of the oven, and I'm always on the lookout for great, new bread ideas. That's why when I saw the "bread cones" on Pinterest, I just knew I had to try it out.
The forms are made by reusing paper and thin cardboard lying around the home to roll a cone shape (as seen below). The paper is then wrapped in aluminum foil, which keeps the harmful ink from getting into your bread, prevents the paper from burning, and keeps the bread from sticking, providing you grease the foil well before use. You can see the full instructions on Wonderful DIY.
I used a straightforward dough recipe with a low yeast content so it doesn't get absolutely huge in the oven. The finished product tasted really wonderful. like a great bread with lots of crust. I chose, as you can see, to top my bread with an egg wash and sesame seeds.
For filling in the fluffy, crispy cones, I made a chicken salad flavoured with onion, celery, apple and touch of curry and cayenne pepper. Some fresh lettuce and crispy bacon (of course!), and we had ourselves a tasty little sandwich.
While the bread cones are whimsical, adorable, and totally delicious, the only criticism I have for them is that they aren't exactly what I would call practical. I made fairly large cone molds, but there just wasn't much room inside for filling, and the very bottom of the cone is a lump of solid bread. So if you like your sandwich with a large bread to filling ratio, this is definitely up your alley. We just put a generous spoonful of filling, some extra salad, and a bit of bacon on the side, too, because, well....bacon!
I think these are absolutely fantastic to mix up the sandwich game and makes for fun presentation. They would also be a great project for the kids!
If I were to make them again, though, I'd try to make the cone a bit wider, especially at the bottom so a bit more filling can fit inside.
If you'd like to try these recipes for yourself, you can find the links below:
If you have any ideas or suggestions for a monthly PinterTest recipe, please leave a comment below, or feel free to contact me personally. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I LOVE Pinterest. I'm not ashamed...at least not that much.
It's just so easy to find great ideas and inspiration, not to mention recipes for all the fantastic-looking food. We've all been there. Looking at the Food & Drink section for just a couple minutes, when suddenly your stomach growls so ferociously that neighbours run for cover and small frightened children start to cry.
I pin so much food on Pinterest, that it'd take me a second lifetime to try it all out, and not all recipes found there are necessarily good. Some are even disasterous! I've decided to share some of the recipes I've tried out for myself, and share my experience with you! Welcome to Quite Chefy Pintertest!
When I saw this layered mousse cake on Pinterest, I just knew I had to try it, and since I was working at culinary school at the time, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity.
The recipe is well laid out and easy to follow with a convenient print option. The serving size seems like a lot, but trust me, this is a big, heavy cake with a lot of rich ingredients. Just as a warning: it's also a bit pricey to make with all the chocolate and cream involved. This cake is about decadence, and it's meant to make you feel so good yet so bad at the exact same time....and then you eat two pieces.
Here is a slice (just before the inhaling happened). And in case you're thinking "that chocolate mousse looks a bit dense" you would be right. I had some really new students working with me who asked to help, and I let them make that layer of my cake. They followed the directions wrong and made a ganache-type layer instead of a mousse. It may have been dense, but still tasted great! Oh well, even if I was a little sad, we learn from our mistakes.
Success!! Delicious, butt-fattening success. Despite my own errors, this is one super sexy cake.
Final thoughts: The cake IS super sweet, so some form of tartness is required. My supervisor didn't want to pay for fresh raspberries, so I improvised and made a tart raspberry gel layer from frozen berries on the top instead of ganache.
I also recommend you let this cake sit in the fridge for a day or so to let the flavours blend together. The first day, the vanilla/white chocolate layer, for me, was a bit overpowering.
As stated previously, this cake can be a bit pricey with all the chocolate and cream. Since the cake has so much chocolate, you should probably use a slightly better quality chocolate for the best flavour results.
If you want to try this recipe for yourself, it can be found on Elizabeth LaBau's blog, Sugar Hero
Hey there! My name is Lea, and I'm a Canadian Culinary student trying to survive chef life in Denmark. I want to share my journey, and some great food and experiences with others. I believe that anyone can be quite chefy!