Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Little Bit of What I Do Every Day

These are a lot of the things I do at work every day. We have multiple banquets every day, and tea on Saturdays. Brunch is also a large event that happens every Sunday.

This is a typical set up for a banquet. Chocolate decadence cake with chantilly cream, blackberry and chocolate garnish. Raspberry glazed cheesecake with assorted berries.

My Take on the Twix

This is my version of the classic Twix candy bar. I added roasted almonds and sea salt to the top. The bar consists of a thick layer of shortbread, white & milk chocolate caramel, and a slick layer of dark chocolate. Before the chocolate sets, I liberally sprinkled on the chopped almonds & sea salt. Next time I would make the caramel with only white chocolate. I didn't have enough this time so I compensated with milk chocolate chips.
The resulting treat is a grown-up candy bar with delicious, deep flavors. I cut the bars into small triangles because they are very rich.

12 ounces Butter, room temperature
6 ounces Sugar
14 ounces Ap Flour
½ tsp Salt
1 cup Sugar
cup Heavy Cream
9 ounces White Chocolate, chopped
¼ tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
4 ounces Dark Chocolate
1 cup Toasted Chopped Almonds
1 tsp Fleur De Sel
1) Preheat oven to 350℉
2) Cream butter and sugar. Add flour and salt.
3) Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

1) Cook sugar using the wet sand method. Keep cream warm while cooking the sugar. Add the cream once you have reached the caramel stage.
2) Pour over the white chocolate, salt, and vanilla.

1) Pour the warm caramel over the cooled shortbread. Put this in the fridge until the caramel is completely cool and solidified.
2) Melt the dark chocolate over a double-boiler and spread over the caramel. Immediately sprinkle on the almonds and fleur de sel. Let set, then cut.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sugar & Spiced Nuts

I adapted this recipe from Joy the Baker's blog. The original called for fennel seeds but I am not a big fan. Instead, I opted to use fresh rosemary. The nuts are very simple to make and can be adapted to your liking! I loved the finished look of the nuts, glossy with caramel and studded with rosemary and hot pepper flakes. These are definitely going into my holiday packages this year!

Sugar & Spice Nuts

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon rosemary chopped very fine

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used sea salt)

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

a pinch cayenne

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw cashews

2 Tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix sugar, rosemary, salt, cayenne and pepper flakes in a medium sized bowl. Add the nuts and water and stir until coated. Pour onto the foil lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.

Bake the almonds for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir almonds around. Return to the oven and bake for another 17 minutes, checking and stirring the almonds 2 to 3 more times. Nuts will turn beautifully dark brown. Remove from the oven and separate with a fork. Cool and remove from the pan to a serving bowl or an airtight container for storage.