Showing posts with label candy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label candy. Show all posts

Friday, September 30, 2016

Yoda Matcha Truffles

Happy Star Wars Day Everyone! May the 4th be with you. I made Chewie Wookiee Cookies (from exactly 2 years ago) yesterday… and had them for breakfast this morning. Seriously, cookies for breakfast = win!

Anyway, aside from the Chewie Wookiee Cookies, I wanted to make another Star Wars-themed recipe for this year's Star Wars Day. I've been craving something with matcha for a while, so I thought Yoda Matcha Truffles would be perfect. Aside from both being green, I associate both matcha and Yoda with zen and wisdom, so a perfect match!

The recipe is fairly straightforward. What was challenging was melting chocolate in humid weather, definitely not one of my favorite things to do. I also thought about just mixing white chocolate with matcha powder for the outside coating, but it turned out pretty grainy and icky looking, so I went back to relying on candy coloring to get the green tint for the coating. Other than that, they turned out pretty well, perfect for Star Wars Day.

P.S. In case you were wondering why these truffles only have eyes… I tried adding a mouth to some of the truffles (an example above ^), and for some reason they looked really strange to me. As I was decorating the other truffles, it hit me. The one with mouths really reminded me of the Adventure Time goblins rather than Yoda. I decided to hold back on noses as well since that would have made them look even more goblin like ><! When you make them, it's up to you whether to put a mouth on or not :P.

Matcha Truffles
8 oz white chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 tsp matcha
pinch of salt

Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then add to melted white chocolate and mix. Sift the matcha (I used a mesh tea infuser), add to the white chocolate, and stir in until all blended. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool to room temperature. Chill mixture until set. Once the mixture is chilled, decorate as desired.

Makes 12 truffles.

Yoda Truffles
matcha truffle mixture
white chocolate, chopped
semisweet chocolate, chopped
yellow candy coloring
blue candy coloring
black nonpareils

Melt white chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Add yellow and blue candy coloring until you get an olive green. Spoon some green chocolate into a ziplock bag. Cut a bit off the corner of the plastic bag. Squeeze out some pointy small triangles of green chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper. These will be the ears. Chill in refrigerator until set.

Roll the matcha truffle mixture into 12 balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or plate. Slightly flatten them. Chill the balls in refrigerator until hard. Dip the truffles into the melted green chocolate, shaking off the excess chocolate, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place two black nonpareils for eyes and stick two of the ears (flat side facing up) into the sides of the truffle while the coating is still wet.

Dip the rest of the truffles. Place baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate coating is set. Melt the semisweet chocolate. Spoon into plastic bag. Snip off a small bit of a corner of the bag. Squeeze lines onto the ears and two arced wrinkles above the eyes. Let the chocolate set and they'll be ready to serve. Keep refrigerated if not ready to serve.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Apple Cider Caramels

Life has been busy and I haven't gotten to do as much baking as I've wanted these past few months! I've made a few older tried-but-true recipes (like Strawberry Cream Cake and Celebration Oreos) but I haven't had time to tinker with anything new. Slowly, I'm working baking and blogging back into my routine. Here's a recipe that I was going to post last October, but didn't get the chance to... but it's relevant again since fall is here :).

Last fall, I went apple picking for the first time, and it was awesome! I've always wanted to go apple picking, but this is the first time in my life I've lived less than an hour's drive away from an apple orchard. At the orchard, along with my fresh-off-the-tree apples, a dozen homemade apple cider donuts, and some garlic cheese curds, I picked up a bottle of apple cider specifically so I could try out this recipe. I'm very glad I did.

These caramels are amazing! They have a strong apple flavor with touch of cinnamon, like apple pie. I was very impressed by the apple flavor. There's the yummy butteriness and the occasional bite of sea salt that mellows out the sweetness. Straight out of the refrigerator, the texture is firm and chewy, but at room temperature, the texture is soft and sticky, adaptable to different people's preferences (I like them straight out of the fridge). And now I'm thinking about what other fruit flavored caramels I will make next :)… I definitely recommend you give this recipe a try!

Apple Cider Caramels
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

4 cups apple cider
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, cut up into 8 pieces
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Boil the apple cider over high heat until it reduces to 1/3-1/2 cup of liquid. (This took me 2 hours, but in the original recipe it took about 40 minutes, so I guess it definitely depends on the size of your pot. I used a normal saucepan.) 

While the apple cider is reducing, mix the sea salt and cinnamon together in a bowl; set aside for later. Spray a 8x8" square cake pan with nonstick spray and line it with two crisscrossing rectangles of parchment paper.

Once the cider is reduced, remove from heat. Add in the cream, butter, sugar, and brown sugar and stir. Return to heat and let boil until it reaches 252°F, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon/salt mixture. Pour the caramel into the prepared cake pan. Let sit until firm, about 2 hours. 

Remove the caramels from the pan by pulling on the edges of the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Oil your knife well (I sprayed mine with nonstick spray every few cuts). Cut into as many pieces as desired. Wrap the pieces in squares of wax or parchment paper. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Makes a lot (will update with a more exact number once I remake them this year!)

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