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[Eds: Woot! 365Foods is very happy to welcome new guest bloggers to the fold: Ian and Kristen (some of you may remember Ian from a previous lesson in pastry making). There is a lot of ice cream on the list in June, and we knew we'd need some experts. Team IK (as we like to call them!) eat ice cream every single night, and the last time I peaked in their freezer there was at least 5 different tubs in there. We're in good hands! Here's their thoughts on Rocky Road... which they titled "Rocky Road comes to its sacred mecca!"]
The Rocky Road challenge was not a hard one for Ian and and I. Due to the fact that we are both ice cream addicts and crave/want/desire/lust for and eat it every evening after dinner, all we really had to due was change are usual brands. The idea of making it from scratch did cross my mind until I realized that this task was next to impossible if you do not own an ice cream maker. I must say it would have been nice to add my own personal ingredient ratios. So we did the next best thing and purchased the creme de la creme of ice cream Haagen dazs Extraas Rocky Road.
So the ice cream…..Rocky Road is a combination of chocolate ice cream with marshmallow swirls and toasted almonds. Haagen Dazs is the only brand we could find that still makes the stuff, the flavour combination is an old one that I must admit has been bowled over by many, many more exciting combinations. I know this because I have sampled quite a few of these lovely flavours.
The ice cream was velvety, creamy and rich, much like all of this brands ice cream flavours. There was ample amount of sticky marshmallow swirls and almonds through the chocolate ice cream and to look at my little ice cream bowl I was quite excited to dive in! As we made our way through our bowls both Ian and I agreed that the flavour combination was less than exciting. Maybe 60 years ago this was quite the bold move away from just plain old chocolate or vanilla but to keep up with the peanut butter chocolate bliss, triple chocolate, very berry, mango swirl, peach cobbler and,raspberry chocolate delight you have to offer the taste buds something to talk about!
The final vote was that Haagen Dazs Rocky Road is a good quality ice cream but the flavour combination lacks a little interest. Ian and I are ice cream fanatics and maybe harder to please than the lay person who only eats ice cream with cake or apple pie. Not that we wouldn’t do this too….of course we would.
Hope this answers all your questions, my lactose intolerant friend,
~Kristen & Ian
[Ed: returning to the pages of 365foods today is Miss Sarah, who tore herself away from the olympics and her new dachshund* to blog for us today!]
I’ve given a lot of thought to sticky buns over the past week. My ideal sticky bun has lots of nuts and caramel, is fresh and warm straight from the oven, with a sweeter dough. I think that’s what it would have anyway. Really, I come across sticky buns so rarely that I’m not that picky. My go-to, when I’m in Victoria, is definitely Bubby Rose’s Bakery on Cook Street. Because of the communal tables at that bakery though, if you order the sticky bun you need to perfect the *stink eye* so as to ward off any would-be ‘Oh that looks delicious, may I try” table mates.
I came across a delicious-sounding recipe for sticky buns on the Not So Humble Pie food blog. Written by a self-proclaimed “typical nerdy biological anthropologist turned stay at home mom and baker of sometimes strange goodies”, this blog has become my weekday lunchtime companion. I read it and dream of all the beautiful things Ms. Humble is making as I eat my mundane lunch of apple, yogourt and [insert leftovers from night before here]. Now, I am *not* a baker or a cook. I enjoy it, but I have no skill. When Ms. Humble posted her mother’s recipe for sticky buns though, I thought this was one I could attempt.
As I began making the sticky buns I had visions of delicious caramel and pecan-y goodness floating in my head. Yeah, didn’t quite turn out that way. Unfortunately that evening I learned you can’t boil butter and brown sugar to make caramel too far in advance. If you do this, say, after letting the dough rise the first time, you’ll have to wait another hour for it rise a second time and then your caramel sitting so nicely on the stove will separate. And then I learned that if you boil it again to try and get back that delicious brown sauce, it will just burn. And then I learned, perhaps most importantly of all, that you should NOT just ‘try and use it anyway’. Oh yes, I ruined what would have been an otherwise beautiful first attempt at sticky buns by being cheap and not using another 3/4 cup of butter and brown sugar each to whip up a new batch of caramel. Sigh. Live and learn. Live and learn.
Anyway, I would definitely make these sticky buns again with much better timing on the caramel preparation. The dough of the buns was delicious and I’m sure that caramel would have been had I not, well, we’ve already been through that. You’ll see a photo of Ms. Humble’s beautiful sticky buns on her blog, but here are a pic of my sad attempt:
*for the dog lovers:
Well it’s supposed to be cream-filled chocolates day. How cliché. I mean, it’s Valentine’s Day, right? Bah! Seriously. BAH. Just in case you weren’t sure about that, what I’m tryin’ to say is I did not bother making cream-filled chocolates. I don’t really even like chocolate so why would I have molds to make ‘em? Instead, I went out on a Valentine’s Day date with my honey to see Avatar, which I enjoyed immensely. We had a stellar debate on the way home about whether deceit is a dominant cultural characteristic in western society, tucked our little boy into bed, it’s late and now I’m supposed to make chocolates? Ha! See all this spilled milk? I’m not cryin’… (okay – I just thought I’d throw those in there in honor of National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day which was on the 11th, but we missed it. I am still hoping to read Eva’s brilliant commentary on the topic one day, but at least you can see my pictures). But read on friends, because I thought I would at least share something with you. Yep, you guessed it. How’d they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar? Check it out after you scroll through my artsy pictures of spilled milk.
Right. Caramel in the Caramilk bar. It’s this big ridiculous advertising campaign, but really, there’s no secret. Any Joe Blow Bernard Callebaut could tell you. It’s called a mould. Or mold, depending on whether you’re in Canada or the US. First, you heat the mould and pour chocolate into it. Give it a good shake around to coat the mold and get rid of bubbles before turning it upside down. Then when you cool the chocolate, it coats the mould evenly. After that, you turn the mold over and fill it with the caramel sauce, shake the air out, cool it to create a skin and then put some chocolate over it. There’s a machine at Cadbury’s that does it. If you go to this lovely link, you will see the whole thing set out with diagrams. It’s dope.
And that is all I have to say about that. Happy V-Day. I’m gonna go hiking with some friends and then we’re gonna potluck and not a one of us is going to buy into the Hallmark version of this day. xoxo B.
(p.s. if you wonder why sometimes I write “mold” and other times I write “mould”, it’s not that my spellcheck doesn’t work, I’m just a dually. Sometimes I say “zee” and other times I say “zed” and that’s just how I roll).