Chocolate

how to: temper chocolate

February 9, 2015

valentines day means all. the. chocolate. 

actually, every day means all the chocolate. valentine’s day is just a socially acceptable outlet to gorge on brightly foil wrapped chocolates for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

seeing as how it lands on a saturday this year, you really can eat it all day long.

Adam and I have already decided our big valentine’s day plans. same agenda as last year: sushi order in + movie.

the best. 

i haven’t done much baking lately, but thought i would offer up a scrumptious and easy no-bake valentine treat for you and your sweet (or just you).

the first step is making tempered chocolate. tempering chocolate can be a real big pain. the chocolate can seize, and it can burn. no one is happy when all the chocolate is gone. 

i remember seeing this tip a long time ago, but had yet to try it. you can easily melt / temper chocolate in your food processor. the chocolate is heated up slowly by the friction and melted into a shiny chocolate liquid. 

now, if you don’t have the time you can easily melt chocolate in 1-minute intervals in the microwave, however this process is relatively painless and easy as well. in about 10 minutes the chocolate has returned to its deep silky liquid state. 

i used extra large dark chocolate chips, but you can also chop up a block of dark chocolate and add it to the food processor. 

stay tuned for what you do next for a no-bake valentine treat. 

 

chocolatecho
IMG_0760

tempered chocolate
tempered chocolate using a food processor
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup dark chocolate (chips, chopped block)
Instructions
  1. add dark chocolate to the food processor.
  2. process for 1-2 minutes, and scrape down bowl.
  3. continue process, scraping down bowl every 1-2 minutes for a total of 10 minutes.
  4. once chocolate forms a ball, slice it in half and continue until smooth chocolate forms.
  5. use in baking, frostings and more.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Juice

Cheers to the New Year {Juicing}

January 21, 2015

Happy New Year!

I realize this is a late post, seeing as how it’s basically February and there are Valentine’s Day items popping up everywhere on the shelves, however Adam and I just got back from Indonesia last week, so it feels as if January just began. Although, we were asleep for most of the first week (hello 15 hour time difference jet-lag).

Our trip was a crazy whirlwind for the first week – planes, trains and busses. Followed by a relaxed, food paradise for our last two weeks. I’ll be putting up a few Indonesia & Bali posts in the next week or two which will include where to stay, where to eat and what to see and do if you are planning a trip there. I’ve posted my Instagram travel diary pictures along the way too. 

Next to the gorgeous views and beaches of Bali, the food was the second best part of our trip. While we had to have bottled water at every restaurant, the second cheapest thing to drink (besides the $1.50 beer) was fresh pressed juices. For $3 you could get a huge glass of mixed juice. My favourite by far was called Mint Sensation, made with Pineapple Juice Lychee and Mint Leaf. Juice was available at every restaurant and coffee bar you visited. So, when we returned home I was still craving juices. 

In December I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of the Cold Press Juice Bible, which was great because I had only just opened my brand new juicer this past summer. Having had it over a year (I had won it),  I was flat out scared to try it. I think because I was under the impression that juicing involved a lot of rules. What to juice, when to juice it, what it meant to do a ‘juice cleanse.’ The Juice Bible breaks down the basics about juicing, including how to set up your at home juice bar, what type of tools you need, ingredients and of course what type of juicer meets your needs. The book also explains how to juice, how to store and keep your juice and the nutritional facts of juicing. 

The book includes 300 recipes, categorized by meal times and includes juice cleanses you may want to follow.

If your new years resolution included trying juicing, I recommend this recipes as a great beginning. It’s sweetened naturally to ease you into the world of juicing. I use the Breville Juice Fountain Elite. 

 

Morning Bracer
A delicious blend of juice to kick start your day.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 medium carrots
  2. 1 small beet
  3. 1 orange
  4. 1 tomato
  5. 1 tablespoon nut butter
  6. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  7. 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
  8. optional: 2 stalks celery or 5 collard green leaves
Instructions
  1. Add washed, prepped fruits and vegetables to your juicer per its instruction. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. It's best to drink your cold press juice within 20 minutes, or keep it well chilled before drinking.
Adapted from Cold Press Juice Bible
Adapted from Cold Press Juice Bible
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

 

 

Breakfast

Panettone French Toast

December 11, 2014

Each year growing up I looked forward to my favourite Italian Christmas treat – Panettone. A festive Italian sweet bread / cake studded with dried fruit and a hint of citrus. It’s one of my favourite memories of Christmas with my dads family. It signified the beginning of the holidays. We would only get to taste the sweet fluffy bread during the holidays – which meant that when I could get my hands on it I would easily devour 4 or 5 pieces. Unlike traditional Christmas fruit cakes, panettone is light and fluffy, with a hint of citrus and a sweet taste much like brioche. I’m not fond of fruitcake, unless it’s panettone.

As soon as I see the beautiful imported boxes of Panettone I get way too excited. I’ve even brought a panettone on an airplane to gift to someone  – yeah, I’m that person who brings a cake on a plane. 

We always did the big Italian Christmas Eve at my Nonnas – and you would always see the famous boxed panettone sitting on the counter waiting to be sliced for dessert. If we were lucky we might get some before dinner – but you wouldn’t want to spoil your appetite before the feast of seven fishes.

As a special treat we would add the faintest dust of icing sugar on top (though you really don’t need it). On Christmas morning my dad would slice the panettone at our house, and present it in star cut slices.

Now, as an adult I buy myself at least two panettone’ during the holidays. I may even buy another one to freeze for the future. While I love panettone on it’s own, I’ve also grown to love it as French toast for breakfast. It’s simply delicious – and easy to prep. I find it’s better than brioche because the bread is so airy light that the pieces of French toast are fluffy like a cloud even when cooked. It’s definitely a Christmas treat and would be an absolute favourite Christmas morning breakfast. Serve with a mimosa, maple syrup and fresh fruit.

T’is the season – so go ahead, eat panettone for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!

Panettone French Toast
A christmas twist on the traditional favourite - thick slices of sweet panettone dunked in a vanilla-egg mixture and cooked until crisp.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 thick slices Panettone per person
  2. 2 eggs per slice (4 eggs for two people)
  3. dash of vanilla
  4. dash of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Heat pan on medium heat with cooking spray/coconut oil/butter.
  2. In shallow baking dish whisk together eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Add thick slices of panettone, allowing it to soak on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Carefully lift slices out of baking dish and into pre-heated pan. The panettone can be quite 'mushy' at this stage, so I suggest lifting it with a spatula/egg flipper.
  5. Cook each side of the panettone for 3-4 minutes on medium-low. You want the outside to be crisp, and the inside to be cooked but not soggy.
  6. Serve with real maple syrup and fresh fruit.
Notes
  1. Best if eaten the same day.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/