Everything But Books
Fun and more fun, but none of it relating to books (because I have another page for that)

October 28, 2012

Triple C: Candy Corn – Costumes, Cocktails and Cupcakes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — phoebe @ 1:25 am

This is my 3rd Halloween ever, as we don’t celebrate it in Australia. However, I am now surrounded with the spirit of Halloween and candy living in America! And who can’t go past good old Candy Corn. Here are three ways to incorporate Candy Corn into this years Halloween.

Candy Corn Cocktails

For the infused vodka:

  • 1/2 cup candy corn
  • 1 1/2 cups vodka

For the cordials:

  • 2 ounces orange liqueur
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 large egg white
  • Candy corn, for garnish

Directions

Infuse the vodka: Combine the candy corn and vodka in an airtight container; set aside for at least 3 hours, then strain.

Make the cordials: Add 4 ounces of the candy corn vodka, the orange liqueur, lemon juice and egg white to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain into 2 chilled martini glasses and garnish with candy corn.

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

Yellow and orange food coloring

Buttercream

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 tbsp milk

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

1. Pre-heat over to 350 and line mini cupcake baking tray.

2. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt

3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

4. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add flour mixture ? at a time, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat until no dry ingredients remain and all is mixed together well.

5. Divide the batter, one with a little less than half and put in orange food coloring. Add the yellow dye to the remaining mixture.

6. Divide the orange mixture evenly amongst the pan. Pipe the yellow batter onto the top, until each cup is ¾ full.

7. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

8. After cooling, turn them out so that the yellow is at the bottom.

9. Pipe cream onto the top to form the white portion of the candy corn.

Vanilla Butter Cream

1. Cream butter with an electric mixer until soft. Add vanilla and milk, then gradually blend in sugar until frosting reaches a fluffy, spreadable consistency.

If you have any Halloween inspired cupcakes or cocktails, be sure to send them on over.

October 2, 2012

Dipping into October.

Two delicious dip recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 8oz pack cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits

Instructions

1. Cream together cream cheese and butter.

2. Add sugars and vanilla.

3. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits until well combined.

4. Serve with Graham crackers.

S’mores Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow creme

Instructions

1. In a microwave proof bowl, microwave chocolate chips and condensed milk for 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally. Heat until all melted.

2. Pour into a pie dish. Drop marshmallow by tablespoons randomly over the chocolate mixture. Microwave on high for 30 seconds until the marshmallow is melted.

3. Immediately with a knife make swirls through the mixture to create a marbled appearance.

4. Dip with honey Graham crackers.

 

September 20, 2012

Sweet and Savory, French and Tasty!

The French people sure know how to eat wonderful foods, and with only 5 days till the Becoming Clementine release, we thought it was time for some French flair in our recipes. From cheese to chocolate here are 2 french inspired recipes to keep you wishing you were sitting right in Paris.

Baked Camembert with Garlic Bread

1 whole Camembert, in its box

1 clove of garlic, sliced

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

1tsp olive oil

 

Garlic Bread

1 small ciabatta loaf cut in half

1 tsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Remove any plastic packaging from the cheese and then return to box, leaving the life off.

3. Pierce the top of the cheese in several places and insert pieces of garlic and thyme into the slits.

4. Drizzle with olive oil and leaving cheese in the box. place into oven for 10mins or until center of cheese is melted.

5. FOR GARLIC BREAD: Drizzle cut side of bread with olive oil and place onto hot pan until toasted. Once toasted rub toasted side with garlic clove.

6. Serve camembert with garlic bread for dipping.

 

French Chocolate Bark

8oz semi sweet chocolate

8oz bittersweet chocolate

1 cup dried apricots

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup roasted cashews (also good with pistachios)

 

Instructions

1. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over water. Can melt in the microwave but be sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.

2. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a tray. Pour the melted chocolate onto the paper and using a rubber spatula, create a rough rectangle about 9×10 inches.

3. Sprinkle remaining ingredients all over.

4. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Cut into small rectangular bite sized pieces.

 

If you have any wonderful french recipes be sure to send them over to us!

 

September 13, 2012

The Best Flourless Chocolate Cake (because who doesn’t love chocolate!)

Myself and Lara over here at Team Jennifer are both gluten intolerant, but because we both still love our cake (especially chocolate cake) it was time to find a recipe that we could both eat. It is tried and tested and one that won’t let you down!

Ingredients

1 tspn instant coffee granules/powder

1 tspn hot water

100g butter

150g dark chocolate

1/2 tspn vanilla extract

4 large eggs at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

200g almond meal (ground almonds)

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.

2. Prepare cake tin, lining the bottom with baking paper.

3. Dissolve coffee with 1tsp of boiling water.

4. In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter, dark chocolate, dissolved coffee and vanilla. Once melted set aside.

5. Separate egg whites from yolks.

6. Using electric beaters or a whisk, beat whites with about half the sugar. Beat until peaks form.

7. In another bowl using electric beaters or fork, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar. Beat until light and creamy.

8. Fold the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture. Add to this the almond meal and mix until combined.

9. Fold in the egg whites, then pour into prepared tin.

10. Bake for 40mins and serve warm or cold with cream and strawberries.

 

If you have any delicious gluten free recipes let us know!

Cheese straws for every occasion (because who doesn’t love cheese?)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — jennifer @ 8:57 am

My dad was always cooking.  He could whip up shrimp bisque or Marchand di Vin for sixty people easily, and was always trying to teach me the right wine to go with beef Wellington.  This was lost on me because, as a teenager, all I wanted to eat were normal things like hamburgers and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese out of the box.  My father made his macaroni and cheese from scratch.  It took hours.  He even made the noodles by hand.

Dad died in 2002.  He was only sixty.  But I have his recipe book:  a fat brown binder with the recipes carefully typed out on over-sized index cards.  Here’s one of my favorites:

Dad’s Cheese Straws (yields about 20)

These crisp and mildly spicy twists of puff pastry have been our most popular “nosh” for years.  Arrange a basketful on the bar/table and watch them disappear.

Ingredients:

1 pound Puff Pastry

3/4 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  Roll out puff pastry dough into a rectangle 20 by 24 inches.  Sprinkle half of the Parmesan evenly over the dough and gently press cheese into the dough with rolling pin.

2.  Fold the dough in half crosswise, roll it out again to 20 by 24 inches, & sprinkle on remaining cheese.

3.  Using a sharp thin knife, cut the dough into 1/3-inch strips.  Take each strip by its ends and twist until evenly corkscrewed.  Lay the twists of dough on an ungreased baking sheet, arranged so they are just touching each other; this will prevent shrinking.

4. Set the baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven & bake until the straws are crisp, puffed and brown, 15-20 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 min., then cut apart with a sharp knife.  Finish cooking the straws on a rack, then store them in an airtight container or plastic bag until serving time.  They will stay fresh for about 1 week.