white chocolate raspberry prosecco truffles

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What do you do when you end up not only with about five pounds of white chocolate (when you only needed about half a pound and also find white chocolate to be little better than eating crayons) but also with bottles of prosecco (when you don’t really drink, and if you did, prosecco would be one of the last things you’d reach for)?

callebaut

Too much white chocolate! And I was wrong. It wasn’t only 5 pounds but 5.5! Fuck! Incidentally I still have quite a lot of these and will make another batch of everyone’s favorite white chocolate macadamia cookies soon, even though my baking days are over… but as white chocolate goes, these are amazing. Thanks, Callebaut quality

You make white chocolate raspberry prosecco truffles. I saw a recipe online at the same time I was 1. stuck with these extraneous, and let’s face it, almost inappropriate amounts of ingredients, and 2. happened to be in a candy-making frenzy for handing over some homemade gifts to neighbors and people who stopped by in the post-holiday period.

So how did we get from there (see the oversized bag of white chocolate) to here (see below)? You can click the link above or follow the recipe below.

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White chocolate raspberry prosecco truffles
1 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup prosecco
red food coloring

2 cups white chocolate (for truffles)
2 cups white chocolate (for dipping/coating)

edible gold glitter

Mix in saucepan on medium, cook 3-4 minutes. Reduce to low. Add ½ cup prosecco. Simmer 2 minutes. Strain to remove seeds. Return to pan, add one drop red food color. Cook 10 minutes ( you should end up with about 1/2 cup of liquid).

Put 2 cups white chocolate chips in a bowl. Pour the cooked raspberry prosecco mixture over the chips. Let this sit 2 minutes, and then whisk until smooth.

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Put in freezer for an hour or two.

Remove from freezer and work quickly make 1 tablespoon-sized balls from the frozen mixture. Place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze again, at least an hour.

When nearly ready to finish, melt 2 cups of white chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave.

Using a toothpick, lift each frozen prosecco ball and dip in white chocolate and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Freeze 30 minutes.

Re-melt chocolate and put in piping bag. Remove toothpicks gently – 3 at a time, drizzle white choc over – and top each with edible gold glitter.

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One of them cracked open and this is how it looked inside (somehow I think it could be less grey-lavender colored but my luck with red food coloring is lacking.

I can’t tell you how these taste, though, because I sure as hell wasn’t going to eat blobs of white chocolate and prosecco-tinged raspberry goo!

Brown sugar caramels

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I wondered if using dark brown sugar would change caramel-making. Well, the making is the same. The results were slightly different but positive.

Here’s how to go about it:

Brown sugar caramels
1½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup or golden syrup
¼ cup water
1½ teaspoons vanilla
Sea salt to top, if desired

Lightly oil or spray an 8×8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper (the baking spray helps keep the parchment in place). Set aside.

Heat the cream, butter and salt in a small saucepan and heat together over medium-low heat until cream steams and butter is melted. (Or do the same in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on high in 30-second intervals until cream is hot and steamy and the butter is melted, stirring or swirling gently between microwave intervals.) Set aside.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot add the sugars, syrup and water. Whisk until thick and grainy. Clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pot, making sure the tip is submerged but not touching the bottom of the pot.

Turn the heat to medium. Without stirring, heat to 260 degrees F. Remove from heat, then slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Mixture will boil up so do this carefully.

Return to heat and, again without stirring, heat to 250 degrees. Turn off heat, quickly but gently whisk in the vanilla, and carefully pour into the prepared pan. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot, as this will have burned sugar that you do not want in your caramels.

Top caramels lightly with coarse sea salt, if desired. Allow to cool completely, at least 2-3 hours or, preferably, overnight. Cut into squares or rectangles and wrap each piece in waxed paper.

random brownies

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Putting together a bunch of wee packages of gifts and homemade candy and stuff, I find that I still have a bunch of baking-related ingredients on hand and want to rid myself of them. First I had the urge to make cinnamon rolls for the first time in about eight years (underway); I was in the midst of making candy for the first time since probably 2001 (?). Then I thought I should use some other stuff and made a random batch of brownies – no clue how they have turned out or how they taste since I don’t eat this stuff… this is why I work. Not for professional pride or a paycheck… but to feed fellow workers with sugar. Haha. Not really, but yeah, when I have taste tasters, I am always more willing and inspired to make things to test.

Meanwhile my house is heavily fragrant with cinnamon and vanilla. My hands, even after washing them a million times, carry the faint aroma of vanilla caramel.

Try your hand at brownies:

1/2 cup melted, unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 175C/350F

Mix melted butter and the two sugars.

Add in eggs, one at a time.

Add vegetable oil and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then add them to the wet mix in a few intervals. Don’t overstir.

Bake in a greased 8″x 8″ square pan for 25-30 minutes. I also added in some holiday red and green chocolate chips I had on hand. You can add nuts or sprinkles or chocolate chips or whatever strikes your fancy. Obviously – they’re your brownies.

attempt at vegan caramels

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I knew I would be making regular caramels, hit as I have been with this urge to make candy (rather than bake). But again, this experimental bent made me decide to make vegan caramels as well.

First of all, I needed to get a new candy thermometer. I lost mine somewhere in my many moves. I bought two. One is vastly superior to the other, I have now learned.

Vegan caramels use coconut milk instead of cream. They were also made in an entirely different way from regular caramels (which are generally made all in one pan).

Things came together rather the way I would expect.

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Here we go…

Vegan caramels
2 or so tablespoons of melted coconut oil, melted, plus more for cutting caramels
1 (16 ounce) can (about 2 cups) coconut milk
3⁄4 cup golden syrup or light corn syrup (I used golden syrup)
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 3⁄4 cups sugar
3⁄4 cup water

Line the bottom and sides of an 8″x8″ square baking dish with parchment and brush with coconut oil; set aside.

Combine the coconut milk, syrup and sea salt in a 4-quart (2L) saucepan. Heat over medium low, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes until mixture is warm and any coconut milk clumps are dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.

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In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and the water and stir until sugar is wet. On medium-high heat, let cook without stirring until the sugar is light amber in color and a candy thermometer reads 310°F/155°C. Immediately remove from heat and pour melted sugar into the coconut milk mixture. Do this with care: the mixture will bubble and splash rather violently.

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Return saucepan to medium-low heat, stirring continuously until all the caramel is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium high, stir continuously, and cook until caramel becomes quite thick and a candy thermometer reads 240°F.

Immediately remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan.

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Let cool completely and cut into 1″ squares. Brush your knife with melted coconut oil between cutting to avoid sticking. Wrap individually in wax paper squares. Store at room temperature.

Verdict…

Well, I think this needed to be cooked a bit longer (beyond the 240F mark). I tasted it, and it tastes quite the way you’d expect – like caramel but not quite (i.e., it’s still made from coconut milk not butter and cream). But it was just too ‘runny’ in trying to cut it up, making it stringy and impossible to cut or wrap in pieces. It was just shy of being where it needed to be in terms of its solidity and texture, so this is kind of a sad and unsuccessful attempt, even if I can see that it would work if left to cook a little bit longer… better luck next time.

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four fingers

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When I sent out my latest CD mixes (the physical CD ones) I enclosed with them the Norwegian version of KitKat. It almost does the Norwegian version, Kvikk Lunsj, a disservice to compare them. For people who like chocolate and KitKat, Kvikk Lunsj will probably change your mind and you’ll be a convert in no time. I am not sure why I made it my mission to proselytize. I don’t care for chocolate or KitKat and am not really invested in anything Norwegian, but I guess when there is something that is so clearly superior, and I can spread it around the world, I figure why not.

And I am not alone. Clearly the word’s out that Kvikk Lunsj’s four fingers can make part of a fist to beat the shit out of KitKat.