Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cake Break

I needed a break from cake so lately I've been making non-cakey treats

I forgot to take a picture of it, but I made White Chocolate and Macadamia Rocky Road squares. It's funny because what originally inspired me to make these squares was the picture of them on the original recipe site, but mine weren't quite as pretty. I made a few tweaks to the original recipe.  I toasted the macadamia nuts and pistachios (or “smishsmashios” as I like to call them) in the oven first to enhance their nuttiness. Instead of dried cranberries, I used dried cherries that I snipped in half with kitchen scissors. I also used unsweetened coconut because that’s what I had on hand.

The only problem I had with this recipe was the proportion of white chocolate to the other ingredients. I used chocolate chips rather than baking chocolate, which was probably the wrong thing to do. I think it needs about one-third more white chocolate chips (so 180g + 60g = 240 g) in order to get it to set up right.

(I always call pistachios "smishsmashios" because it reminds me of the Ghost of Christmas Present/Willie the Giant in Mickey’s Christmas Carol who can’t pronounce pistachios.)

Still in keeping with my Cake Break, for my birthday supper tonight, which is to celebrate my birthday tomorrow on November 25th, I made two types of brownies: Oreo brownies and chocolate chip cookie dough brownies.

For the Oreo brownies, I mixed some chopped Oreos into the brownie batter. Once the brownies were baked and cooled, I made half a recipe of Wilton's vanilla icing (the same one I always use for cake decorating) and mixed in chopped up Oreos. After spreading the Oreo frosting onto the brownies, I pressed a few pieces of cookie into the top.

And here are the cookie dough brownies.

These are just regular brownies with walnuts that, after they cooled, were frosted with a chocolate chip cookie dough frosting, which was made according to this recipe.  I used half vegetable shortening and half butter, regular sized chocolate chips, and I doubled the vanilla.

I used brownie mixes rather than make them from scratch. I find that the boxed brownies mixes always give the best results. I’ve tried several brownie recipes from scratch and they never turn out right.

And finally, because I didn’t want a total Cake Break, I made birthday cake fudge, also known as cake batter fudge.

It gets its name from the fact that it uses boxed cake mix in the recipe. I followed this recipe but I added an extra bit of milk (about 2 tablespoons) and a half teaspoon of clear vanilla extract.

I didn’t think I could find a new favourite fudge recipe but cake batter fudge totally takes the cake. No, let me rephrase that: It takes the cake and the fudge. All of it! It takes all the cake, all the fudge, and everything there is and ever was times infinity it's so good.

I think the only way to improve upon it would be to add gumdrops to make….GUMDROP CAKE FUDGE! Oh, man. That’s the sort of dangerousness that comes from thinking. I'm going to stop that now before I get myself into trouble.

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