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Crunchy dark chocolate cookies with a layer of matcha icing and a light sprinkle of black lava salt. Not overly sweet, these flavors make a lovely pairing!

Flashback… I was maybe about 12 years old… I had decided to make a chocolate Valentine’s Day cake.  With the recipe before me, I began to gather the ingredients, but soon became puzzled as to why on Earth “salt” was an ingredient in a sweet chocolate cake.  Salt belongs on fries and in soups and all things savoury, so it couldn’t possibly belong in a cake.  Believing it was a misprint, I left it out.

GASP!

No big deal, however – the cake still turned out just fine and I didn’t miss that salt one single bit.

But, oh, the things I’ve learned since then!!  How silly was I!  When they say that

Salt makes everything taste better

they aren’t kidding.  Salt does make everything taste better, and not just your fries and savoury foods.  A bit of salt added to chocolate, or caramel, for example, expertly enhances the sweetness, making them taste extra, extra delicious.  How does it do it?  Well, I don’t really know; it’s quite scientific, actually, and has something to do with the ions in the salt happily suppressing bitter flavours.  Go figure!!

Magical salt.

The Salt Box, here in Australia, knows all about salt.  In fact, they have salts from all over the world available in their online shop and I think that is truly astonishing!  As you can imagine, I was very flattered when the good people from The Salt Box contacted me and offered a sampling of a few of their salts.

They kindly provided me with three different salts – Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, Smoked Applewood Salt and Sriracha Salt.  Mmmm… sriracha!  Sriracha makes everything taste better, too!

I’m going to start out with the Hawaiian Black Lava Salt today.  The Salt Box has this to say about their Black Lava Salt:

Introducing our Hawaiian Black Lava salt, a naturally derived Hawaiian sea salt which has been blended with activated charcoal derived from coconut shells. Its grain makes it easy to use and its presence known, but in a subtle way. Well, as subtle as you can be when you are as beautiful as this salt is.

They recommend this salt be paired with red meat, fish, potatoes, fruit and buttered popcorn, to name a few, but I’ve decided to pair it with something a bit sweeter.

Crunchy dark chocolate cookies… sweet matcha icing… yes, indeed, a touch of salt will work wonderfully here.

I’m just going to come right out and say it.  I love this salt.  It’s as black as the blackest night, and gave these cookies, which, admittedly, are not overly sweet to begin with, a gorgeous subtle hint of saltiness.  Even my 13-year-old daughter fell in love with them!

The original recipe comes from good old BraveTart.  I tweaked it by adding matcha to the filling and, of course, the addition of the Black Lava Salt.  The matcha flavor was not strong at all, which was slightly disappointing for me, but the cookies still tasted amazing.

The dark chocolate cookies themselves are thin, delicate and crunchy, just like a real Oreo.  The filling, while soft and creamy when first prepared, firms up quickly and sets, again, just like a real Oreo.  The overall recipe is easy to prepare, and relatively quick.  If you don’t have any matcha, or Black Lava Salt, on hand, then it is still worth making the recipe – just leave those two ingredients out, of course!

Hmm… now what can I make with the other salts I received?  Stay tuned to find out!

Remember, if you are in need of matcha, I highly recommend Matcha Me.  I used the Original Culinary Matcha in this recipe.  You can still receive your 20% discount when using my special code SWEETEST at checkout when shopping at Matcha Me!  Yay!

What would you make with Hawaiian Black Lava Salt?  Get some at The Salt Box and let me know!

Black Lava-Salted Matcha Oreos
 
Crunchy dark chocolate cookies with a layer of matcha icing and a light sprinkle of black lava salt. Not overly sweet, these flavors make a lovely pairing!
Author: Jamieanne | BraveTart
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20 sandwiched cookies
Ingredients
  • For the cookies:
  • 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (55g) golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ slightly rounded teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 165g plain flour
  • 35g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • For the filling:
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 1 slightly rounded teaspoon matcha powder (optional)
  • Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the cookies: Place butter, sugar, golden syrup, baking soda, salt, and coconut extract (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to combine, then increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, pausing to scrape the bowl as necessary.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. It will seem dry and mealy at first, but continue mixing to form a smooth dough. Turn the mixer off, remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use your hands to knead the dough against the side of the bowl to form a smooth ball (I removed the dough and simply kneaded it with my hands in mid-air!).
  3. Divide the dough in half and flatten into disks. Use immediately or wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 1 week; soften cold dough 30 minutes at room temperature, then knead on a bare surface until pliable and smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced).
  5. Roll one portion of the dough out between two sheets of baking paper to 3mm thick. Cut out rounds using a 5cm (approximately) cookie cutter (I stamped my rounds with a cookie stamp after cutting).
  6. Note that I needed to differ from the recipe here. The raw dough was too soft to transfer from my cutting area to the baking sheet. I needed to chill the dough in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before I could transfer the cut dough without it becoming misshapen.
  7. Arrange the cut rounds of dough on a baking paper-lined baking sheet, leaving approximately 1cm between cookies. Gather the scraps, knead, re-roll, and cut as before. Repeat with all the remaining dough. Keep in mind, you may need to chill the rolled dough before cutting if you find it is too soft.
  8. Bake until the cookies are firm and dry, about 10-15 minutes (careful not to over-bake, as they are thin and can burn easily). Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling. Fill immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.
  9. For the filling: Before making the filling, flip half the chocolate cookies upside down so they can be filled immediately after preparing the filling, as it will quickly set. Keep the other half in reserve.
  10. Sift together the icing sugar and matcha powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  11. Place butter in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Melt completely and bring to a simmer, stirring with a heat-resistant spatula, while butter hisses and pops. If the butter starts to brown, reduce heat to low. Continue cooking and stirring until butter falls silent, then strain into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  12. Add vanilla and salt, followed by the icing sugar mixture. Mix on low to combine, then increase speed to medium and beat until creamy and soft, about 5 minutes.
  13. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.3mm (approximately) tip and immediately pipe the filling onto the upside down cookies. This icing will set very quickly, so you cannot make it in advance! Use approximately 1 tablespoon per cookie, sprinkle over a few flakes of the black lava salt and immediately top with a reserved cookie, gently squashing it down against the filling until it reaches the edges.
  14. Let the cookies set for about 30 minutes before enjoying. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, 1 month in the refrigerator, or 3 months in the freezer. Let chilled cookies come to room temperature before serving.
Notes
The yield of this recipe depends on the size of cookie cutter you use; obviously smaller cutters will make more cookies, but you'll also need to lower the baking time for smaller cookies. I used a 5.5cm cutter, baked them for 11 minutes and got about 2 dozen sandwiched cookies.

I was all out of golden syrup so I substituted with malt syrup.
3.4.3177

 

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Sweetest Kitchen by Jamieanne - 1y ago

A unique twist to the traditional tiramisu, this matcha tiramisu is layered with matcha mascarpone cream and matcha-soaked sponge fingers. No raw eggs!

If you haven’t ever tried matcha before, I’m really not sure where you’ve been for your entire life!  Matcha is one of my favorite ingredients to cook and bake with, as well as just simply to drink as a tea, latte or milkshake.

SCROLL DOWN FOR A SPECIAL 20% DISCOUNT CODE FROM MATCHA ME!

Matcha, which is just stone-ground green tea leaves, is a lovely pastel green and has a taste which I find quite hard to describe; it’s very earthy and pairs so well with foods like berries and chocolate.

The health benefits of this powdered green tea are many…

  • boosts metabolism
  • detoxifies
  • calms the mind
  • enhances mood
  • strengthens the immune system

A cup of matcha is the perfect alternative to coffee for your afternoon pick-me-up, as well.  It has less caffeine than your average cup of coffee, but since matcha contains brain-boosting amino acids, it’ll still increase your mood and focus (without the caffeine-related side effects!).

So, yeah, you really gotta get yourself some matcha!

Matcha Me, based in Melbourne, Australia, recently contacted me about trying out their matcha – yes, please! – and giving them a shout-out on my blog.  No problem!  I thought I’d also try out a recipe I’ve had in mind for ages but just never got around to making…

Matcha tiramisu!  The layers in this are just stunning!

Let me talk about the layers…

Firstly, we have matcha-soaked sponge fingers.  I cut the fingers into the shape of the glass and soaked the shapes in a dark-green matcha bath, which is made of matcha powder, hot water and sugar.  I stuffed the first layer of sponge fingers down into the bottom of the glass.

For the next two layers, I whipped up a bowl full of mascarpone and thickened cream (no raw eggs in this recipe) and divided the mixture into two.  One half I left plain; the other half I added a sort of matcha syrup to.

Then, all that’s left to do is layer the plain mascarpone cream and matcha mascarpone cream into the glass… place in another layer of matcha-soaked sponge fingers, and finally one more plain mascarpone cream and matcha mascarpone cream.

Place into the refrigerator to set for a while.  Just before serving, add a dusting of matcha powder to the top.  Done!

Oh… but what is that on top of my matcha tiramisu?  It’s black sesame praline!  This is an amazing salty-sweet experience and adds a tiny bit of crunch to this otherwise soft and creamy dessert.  It’s super easy to make and I highly recommend the addition.

You’ll just need black sesame seeds, some sugar, glucose syrup, water and butter.  You’ll melt the sugar, syrup, water and butter together, then stir in the sesame seeds, pour onto a baking tray and bake the mixture until it is golden.  Cool completely (mine had a bit of excess oiliness that I wiped off) and break into shards, then place in a ziploc bag (or similar) and bash with a rolling pin until the shards become little crumbs.

It’s really tasty!  And what a unique twist to the traditional tiramisu!

Okay… now how about this matcha from Matcha Me?  Would I recommend it?  Oh, most definitely!  I’m really happy with it – everything about it is perfect!  Aside from the lovely greenness of the powder, the amazing aroma and the excellent taste, what I am most happy about is its dissolvibility (is that a word!?)!!  I’ve tried several other matcha powders in recent years and I have found that a lot of them just don’t dissolve very well and leave clumps, even with a good deal of whisking power (I began to think I was just doing something wrong!).  Not Matcha Me’s matcha, though – it dissolved completely in the hot water and I was super impressed!

Are you ready to get your matcha fix?  I know you totally are, so the lovely folks at Matcha Me are offering all my readers a special 20% discount code!  Yay!  All you need to do is fill your cart in the online shop and at checkout, enter the code SWEETEST to receive your discount. 

I cannot wait to make some more delicious matcha-things with this matcha, so if you love matcha as much as I do, keep your eyes peeled for more recipes featuring this gorgeous powdered green tea here on the blog!

Tell me, have you tried matcha before?  What’s your favorite way to enjoy it?

Matcha Tiramisu
 
A unique twist to the traditional tiramisu, this matcha tiramisu is layered with matcha mascarpone cream and matcha-soaked sponge fingers. No raw eggs!
Author: Jamieanne
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 3-6 glasses
Ingredients
  • Matcha soaking syrup:
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons matcha, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 10 sponge fingers (approximately)
  • Mascarpone cream:
  • 1 tablespoon matcha, sifted
  • ¼ cup (60ml) hot water
  • 1 cup (230g) mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250ml) thickened cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • Black sesame praline:
  • 25g glucose syrup, or light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) water
  • 65g unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 50g toasted black sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Matcha soaking syrup: Whisk hot water, matcha and sugar together until matcha is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Mascarpone cream: Whisk together hot water and matcha until matcha is dissolved. Allow to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk mascarpone until creamy and smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together thickened cream and sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; don't over-whisk or the whipped cream will turn grainy.
  5. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone in 2 additions until smooth. Divide the mascarpone cream in half. To one half, add the cooled matcha mixtutre and very gently stir until combined.
  6. To assemble: Cut sponge fingers to fit the shape of your serving glasses (see notes below about serving glass sizes). Dip the fingers for your first layer into the matcha soaking syrup, making sure they're completely soaked on all sides. Stuff them into the bottom of the serving glasses.
  7. On top of the matcha-soaked fingers, add a layer of plain mascarpone cream and flatten the top with the back of a small spoon. Next, add a layer of the matcha mascarpone cream and flatten the top.
  8. Repeat above assembly steps one more time to fill the glass to the top.
  9. Repeat above steps for the remaining serving glasses.
  10. Transfer the filled serving glasses to the refrigerator until ready to serve, or for at least 2 hours.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the black sesame praline.
  12. Black sesame praline: Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  13. In a small saucepan, combine glucose syrup, water, butter and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter has melted, stirring occasionally.
  14. Add sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame seeds. Pour the mixture onto the prepared pan and tilt the pan slightly to spread the mixture out.
  15. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar mixture is boiling and has turned a golden amber colour.
  16. Cool completely. Break into shards and place into a ziploc bag. With a rolling pin, or wooden spoon, crack the shards in the bag into little crumbs. Keep in the bag until ready to serve.
  17. Just before serving, dust the tops of the tiramisu with sifted matcha powder (place a spoonful of matcha into a sieve and gently shake the sieve over the glasses) and scatter the black sesame praline on top.
Notes
A note on serving glasses: I used 350ml glasses and got just under 3 of them full. The serving is just too big, however, so I'd recommend going with about 250ml glasses; you should get 4-6 glasses full.

Inspiration from Pretty. Simple. Sweet., Del's Cooking Twist and The Little Epicurian.
3.4.3177

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Sweetest Kitchen by Jamieanne - 1y ago

This chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo crust is for serious chocolate lovers only! Easy to make and no water bath required – yay!

Friends, I would love to introduce you to the ONLY chocolate cheesecake recipe you will ever need.

And I am so serious about this that the above sentence deserved a paragraph all to itself!  The original recipe comes from the beautiful blog, Also the Crumbs Please; the pictures of Sabine’s chocolate cheesecake are stunning and, obviously, the cheesecake itself looks simply to-die-for.

Now, I’m not a huuuuge cheesecake fan, but throw in some chocolate and I’m sold!  What also sold me is the fact that this is a very easy cheesecake to make and does not require a water bath.  Perfect!

The crust is just your normal Oreo cookie crumbs crust, with a little bit of cocoa powder mixed in.  The filling is made with cream cheese (of course!), sugar, cocoa powder, high quality melted chocolate, a few eggs, whipping cream, a little salt and vanilla; all you need to do for this, is just mix these ingredients together (don’t over-mix though or you’ll incorporate too much air, which can cause cracks while baking) and pour the filling into the crust.

Pop it into the oven, bake for around an hour, or until the top is set and there’s still a slight wobble to the cake.

Waiting for this cake to cool is excruciating.  I let mine set overnight in the refrigerator.  How the cake made it through the night and into the next day unscathed is completely beyond me!

Sabine’s cheesecake looked spectacular, and I wanted to try to re-create that pillowy mound of whipped cream topped with chocolate shards.  I did an okay job, I think!

But what’s most beautiful about this chocolate cheesecake is how it looks inside.

Oh my goodness, SWOON!!!  Doesn’t that look incredible!  So thick and creamy and CHOCOLATY!

Let me tell you that is, hands down, the best cheesecake recipe EVER.  It is the most heavenly, yet also the most sinful!, thing I have ever tasted.

A little slice of this cake goes a long way, so I happily shared with my friends.  What did they have to say about it?  They totally agreed with me – best chocolate cheesecake in the world!

But don’t take our word for it.  If you’re ready to be transported to your own corner of heaven, then make this recipe TODAY!  And be sure to visit Also the Crumbs Please and let Sabine know that she is the goddess of chocolate cheesecake!

Chocolate Cheesecake
 
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
1 hour
Total time
1 hour 15 mins
 
This chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo crust is for serious chocolate lovers only! Easy to make and no water bath required - yay!
Author: Sabine at Also the Crumbs Please
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16 slices
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 25 (275g) Oreo cookies, crushed into fine crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • For the filling:
  • 4 packages (907g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1½ cups (300g) granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¾ cups (315g) semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 5 large eggs
  • ⅓ (80ml) cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350f/175c. Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. For the crust: Stir together Oreo crumbs, melted butter and cocoa powder until thoroughly combined and all the crumbs are moistened. Tip into the prepared pan and press the crumbs firmly around the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Place in the freezer while preparing the filling.
  3. For the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder together until smooth and no lumps remain. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the heavy whipping cream, salt and vanilla extract and mix until just combined and smooth. Be careful not to over-mix!
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and spread the top out evenly. Place a sheet of baking paper underneath the pan to catch any drips in the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes until the outer edges are puffed up and the top is just set. The middle of the cheesecake should still wobble just slightly like a thick pudding when it is done. Be careful not to over-bake!
  5. Turn the oven off, and leaving the oven door slightly ajar, let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely at room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight (I let mine set overnight and it was absolutely perfect the next day, so I'd recommend overnight).
  7. If there are any leftovers (yeah, right!!), they can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for around 3 days.
Notes
Should you be wondering how to crush your Oreos, a food processor is the quickest and easiest.

For my Australian readers, heavy whipping cream is the same as thickened cream.
3.4.3177

 

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Put down your thermometer and eggs because this marshmallow recipe doesn’t need them! Super easy to make and soft, fluffy marshmallows every time!

I really love to make food for people.  Not only do I enjoy the actual process of baking and cooking, I also enjoy seeing people’s reactions when they taste what I’ve made.  Big smiles, yummy sounds, licking the plate clean!  It’s a lot of fun!

The three best compliments I’ve ever gotten have stuck in my mind and they me smile every time I think of them…

  • I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes once for a family friend who was visiting and he liked them so much that he was scraping the tiny bits of cake from the cupcake liner!
  • Just a couple of weeks ago, I made an amazing chocolate cheesecake and gave a big slice to a friend.  She took it home, left it on her kitchen counter.  When she came back to the kitchen, the cheesecake was gone – her two boys had eaten the entire slice.  What’s so amazing about this is that her boys normally wouldn’t even dream of eating cheesecake!
  • One of my friends who has sampled almost everything I’ve made told me recently that she likes it all so much, she couldn’t decide which was the best.  She said, while sampling one of my espresso marshmallows (recipe below), “I keep saying that every new thing you make is the best you’ve made so far, but I think this marshmallow is the best!”!
  • Oh, and here’s a bonus compliment – there’s also my daughter who told me she thinks I have magical powers that make everything that I create in the kitchen taste amazing!

Speaking of marshmallows, though, brings me to the recipe I’m sharing with you today.  Last year, I sampled a few marshmallow recipes, all of which required candy thermometers and/or eggs.  The resulting marshmallows were… okay… but not spectacular.  Then I came across a recipe that didn’t need thermometers or eggs – wow, what!?

I had to give it a go, although I was skeptical.  The recipe was so simple that anyone could master it (although you wouldn’t want to let your kids help with the cooking bit, as the boiling sugar is very hot).

First, you’ll need to sprinkle some gelatin over cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  While the gelatin is soaking, add water, sugar, salt and corn/glucose syrup to a pan and bring to the boil over high heat.  Simply boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat.  Turn the mixer on low to break up the gelatin, then while the mixer is running, slowly pour in the hot sugar in a gentle stream against the side of the bowl.  When it’s all in, turn the mixer to high and whisk for 10-12 minutes (scrape down the sides if necessary).  Add in the vanilla and whisk briefly to thoroughly mix it through.

Pour the marshmallow “batter” into a 9×9-inch tin greased with butter, place a sheet of butter-greased plastic wrap on top and leave to set for 3 hours at least, or preferably overnight.  Then slice ’em up!

This part is so fun, but be prepared to be covered in icing sugar by the time you’re done! Haha!

Look at these gorgeous, fluffy marshmallows!!  They actually look like clouds!  I am so in love these!

I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times (maybe 6 or 7? I’ve lost count!) and it has never failed.  I have to say, I think this super easy recipe makes better marshmallows than the ones that use a candy thermometer and eggs, and even better than the ones you buy at the store.

These vanilla marshmallows are…

  • basically fool-proof
  • so easy to make
  • so soft
  • so bouncy
  • so fluffy
  • so pretty
  • perfect for s’mores
  • lovely in hot chocolate

You’ve just got to make them!

Oh, I almost forgot!  There are some flavor variations, as well.  The original recipe lists instructions for switching up the plain vanilla for coconut, raspberry, mint, coffee and cinnamon.

So far, I’ve tried the coffee ones… I used my Nespresso machine to extract 1 cup of espresso (that’s a lot of capsules, but I love Nespresso coffee; of course, you can just use instant espresso, instead) for this recipe variation, then I drizzled the sliced marshmallows with dark chocolate.  These were really tasty, and the ones that my friend absolutely loved.  I passed out a lot of these to my friends at school pick-up time one afternoon and everyone raved about them!

I’ve also tried the raspberry ones… these are flavored with raspberry jam, which I noted makes the marshmallows extra sweet.  The jam isn’t enough, however, to make these marshmallows taste much like raspberry.  Pureed raspberries are also not enough.  The jam will not turn the “batter” pink, so if you want pink, you’ll need to add food coloring (I did for these photos).  For a stronger raspberry flavor, you’ll need some raspberry flavoring, instead, I think.

But they sure are pretty!

And the last variation I’ve tried is the mint, which I don’t have pictures of (apart from this one on Instagram).  These turned out nicely, and I had swirled some dark chocolate onto the top of the marshmallow “batter” just after I poured it into the pan which made it look very pretty.  I plan on making these again for a new post, but I’m going to switch out the mint flavoring for a chocolate-mint flavoring.

I will get around to trying the other flavor variations eventually; I’ll let you know when I do!  A friend requested a jaffa (chocolate-orange) flavor, so I’ll be experimenting with that soon, too.

These marshmallows can be used to make s’mores and you can also use them in hot chocolate.  They’d be great for parties, and imagine how wonderful they would be all prettily packaged up for a gift!

What will you do with your marshmallows? And what flavor are you going to make first?

I think the plain vanilla ones are my favorite!

Super Easy Egg-Free Marshmallows
 
Put down your thermometer and eggs because this marshmallow recipe doesn't need them! Super easy to make and soft, fluffy marshmallows every time!
Author: Rosie Daykin from Butter Baked Goods
Serves: 64 1x1-inch marshmallows
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 3 envelopes (21g) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup, or glucose syrup
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • about 2 cups icing sugar, to coat marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9-inch (22cm) square baking pan with butter and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour in 1⁄2 cup of the water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Set aside to allow the gelatin to soak in.
  3. In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the sugar, corn syrup/glucose syrup, salt and remaining 1⁄2 cup of water. Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  4. Turn the mixer on low and mix the gelatin once or twice to combine it with the water. Slowly add the hot sugar mixture, pouring it gently down the side of the bowl, and continue to mix on low.
  5. NOTE : Be really careful at this point because the sugar mixture is smoking hot!
  6. When all the hot sugar mixture has been added, turn the mixer to high and continue to whisk for 10 to 12 minutes until the marshmallow batter almost triples in size and becomes very thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently, if necessary, to avoid the batter overflowing as it grows. Stop the mixer, add the vanilla, and then whisk briefly to combine.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and use a spatula or bench scraper to spread it evenly in the pan. Work quickly, as the marshmallow becomes more difficult to manipulate as it sets.
  8. Grease a sheet of plastic wrap with butter and lay it across the top of the marshmallow. Press down firmly on the plastic wrap, to seal it smoothly and tightly against the mixture.
  9. Leave the marshmallow to set at room temperature for at least 3 hours or, even better, overnight (I've always let mine set overnight). The marshmallow will be too sticky and soft to cut if you try too soon.
  10. Sprinkle a work surface or cutting board with the icing sugar. Run a knife along the top edge of the pan to loosen the marsh­mallow slab. Invert the pan and flip the marshmallow out onto the counter or board. Scoop up handfuls of the icing sugar and rub all over the marshmallow.
  11. Use a large, sharp knife to cut the slab into 1- × 1-inch squares (you may need to wash the knife off a few times to keep getting clean cuts). Roll each of the freshly cut marshmallow squares in the remaining icing sugar to coat them completely.
Notes
Flavor variations:

COFFEE MARSHMALLOWS
Add 1⁄2 cup of strongly brewed coffee or espresso instead of the water in Step 1, and add another 1⁄2 cup of the coffee/espresso instead of the water in Step 2.

RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOWS
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm 1⁄4 cup raspberry jam until it becomes runny, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Place a fine sieve over a small bowl and pour the warm jam through the sieve to catch any seeds and create a puree. Add the puree and one drop of red food coloring at Step 4 of the recipe, after the 10-12 minutes whisking time. Note, I was using liquid food coloring and I needed much more than one drop for the marshmallows to turn pink! Also, in my opinion, the jam did not flavor the marshmallows enough to give a noticeable raspberry flavor; might try using raspberry flavoring instead.
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These no-bake chocolate peanut butter cup donuts require just 7 simple ingredients and can easily be adapted for vegans!

Where can I even begin with these donuts?  They’re kind of leaving me speechless.

You like donuts, right?  And chocolate?  And peanut butter?  If you answered yes (and I presume you did, otherwise you wouldn’t even be here right now), then you are about to be transported to donut heaven.

These date- and nut-based donuts are a delightful and decadent treat, especially with a homemade chocolate peanut butter cup on top.  Wow.

The recipe is quite easy and requires just 7 ingredients.  The most time-consuming part of assembling these beauties will be shaping the donuts and making the peanut butter cups, but in all honesty, you can skip the peanut butter cups if you like (but don’t!).

Personally, I think these closely resemble a cake donut, both in texture and taste.  And speaking of taste… even better than a real chocolate peanut butter cup.  I’m not even joking.

A quickish recipe run-down (it’s a bit long, but takes a few extra words to explain!)…

  • Finely chop a big handful of dates in a food processor. Toss in some almonds and cashews and process until finely chopped.  Then pour in an insane amount of (natural) peanut butter and process until combined and the “dough” sticks together (if you want to sweeten the dough slightly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon maple syrup; this is optional).  If the dough isn’t sticking/seems too dry, add in a bit more peanut butter.  Stir through some chopped dark chocolate.
  • Scoop out the dough and fill the holes of two greased (with a small amount of coconut oil, or butter) donut baking pans about halfway up. Freeze (15 minutes) or refrigerate (30 minutes) until firm.
  • Meanwhile, make the peanut butter cups – melt chocolate and pour it into mini cupcake liners (placed in a mini cupcake pan, of course), freeze until set (10-15 minutes).  Stir together a few tablespoons of peanut butter and sifted icing sugar, then spoon this into the set chocolate cups.  Pour over a little bit more chocolate to cover the peanut butter filling and freeze again until set (15-20 minutes).  Unwrap them when they’re all done.
  • Hm… now I suppose you have two choices here.  When the donut dough is firm enough, you can tip it out and shape it into smaller, thinner donuts… or you could do what I did and mold the dough from both donut pans into one huge donut (just kind of gently smash the two flat sides together and pinch around the inside and outside edges, then smooth the pinched bits down).  Oh, and here’s a tip – some of the dough wouldn’t tip out of the pan, I noticed, in which case, if you give it a little twist with your fingertips, it’ll help loosen it up.  Or, maybe dipping the bottom of the pans into warm water would melt the coconut oil/butter which should help the dough slide out.
  • Either way you go with the donuts, freeze them again.  You’ll need to have them quite firm to dip them into the melted chocolate so that they won’t fall apart.
  • FINALLY, melt some chocolate, carefully dip in the tops of the donuts and set aside for the chocolate to set.  If you like, scoop some of the chocolate into a ziploc bag, snip off a small bit of the corner and drizzle some chocolate on top of the donuts.  And, to stick the peanut butter cups on top, cut them straight from the freezer with a super sharp knife (if they’re at room temp, you’ll just squash them rather than slice them) into four pieces, and put a small dab of melted chocolate on the side of the cup that you want to sit on the donut; the melted chocolate will act like glue and hold it on.
  • By the way, you’re going to have a bit of leftover donut dough.  Originally, I was going to scale it down for the official recipe on this post, but then I realized that you can’t make donuts and not have donut holes, soooo…. just roll up the remaining dough and dip them in chocolate, too!  Ta-da!  Instant donut holes!  Haha!

Just to give you options here, for in case you don’t have donut baking pans…

  • If you really want the donut shape, you could pat the dough into a big, thick circle and cut out rounds with a cookie cutter, then use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the middle.  You’d just need to shape it into a more roundish donut-shape on the edges.
  • Just skip the donut shape altogether and make bars.
  • Roll the dough into balls, dip the balls into the melted chocolate and you’ve got healthyish chocolate peanut butter cup truffles!

By the way, you can make these completely raw and vegan by using the appropriate ingredients.  You can also make your own peanut butter and chocolate, if you prefer… I didn’t quite want to go all out myself (after all, I’m not vegan!) so the donuts in my photos are coated with my favorite absolutely not-vegan chocolate!

Remember how I said the texture of the donuts reminds me of real cake?  Look at these crumbs…

Totally stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth peanut buttery goodness!

You’re going to want to make these no-bake chocolate peanut butter cup donuts for the perfect grab-n-go snack; they’d be great for a pick-me-up in the afternoon at work (and just think, you’d be the envy of all your co-workers!)!

Enjoy!

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Donuts
 
These no-bake chocolate peanut butter cup donuts require just 7 simple ingredients and can easily be adapted for vegans!
Author: Jamieanne
Serves: 6-12 donuts
Ingredients
  • For the donuts:
  • 100g medjool dates, pitted
  • 100g almonds
  • 100g cashews
  • 190g natural peanut butter
  • ½-1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional
  • 70g dark chocolate, chopped into little chunks
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • For the peanut butter cups:
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
Instructions
  1. Process dates in a food processor until finely chopped and they start to form a ball. Add the almonds and cashews and process until finely chopped and thoroughly combined with the dates. Pour in the peanut butter and maple syrup (if using), then process until completely combined and a dough has formed that will hold its shape. If the dough seems too dry or crumbly, add in a little more peanut butter. Stir through the 70g of chopped chocolate.
  2. Grease two donut baking pans/molds with a little bit of coconut oil (or butter) and press dough about halfway up the donut molds. Press firmly! Place the pans in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up.
  3. Note, you're going to have leftovers; you can roll the remaining dough into "donut holes" and dip in chocolate later!
  4. Meanwhile, start making the peanut butter cups. Melt the 150g chopped dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (don't let any water get in the chocolate!), stirring occasionally. Line a mini cupcake baking pan with 9-10 mini cupcake liners. When chocolate is melted, place 1 teaspoon of the chocolate in the liners and, using a small spoon, smear the chocolate up the sides of the liners (not quite all the way to the top, though). Freeze for 15 minutes until set. Set the remaining chocolate aside.
  5. Make the peanut butter filling by stirring together the peanut butter and icing sugar until combined. Place a slightly-rounded teaspoon of the peanut butter filling into the chocolate cups and smooth the top down.
  6. Lastly, pour another 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter filling and spread it out to completely cover the tops. Freeze until set, about 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, gently invert the donut pans to remove the dough. If the donuts are having trouble coming out, you can either dip the bottom of the pans into warm water to warm up the coconut oil/butter, which should help the dough slide out... or try to give the dough a little twist with your fingertips to loosen the dough from the pan, which worked for me.
  8. Here, you can either choose to leave the donuts as they are, and just shape the flat sides to be more round (you'll have 12 smallish donuts), or you can mold the donut halves together as I did (you'll 6 huge donuts). To do this, place two donuts, flat sides together, and gently squash together (but not too hard!). Pinch the seams together along the outside, and inside of the donut hole, then smooth over the pinched seams with your fingers. Freeze the shaped donuts again to firm up, about 20-30 minutes - you'll need them to be very firm to dip into the chocolate without falling apart.
  9. Meanwhile, unwrap the peanut butter cups and carefully slice them with a sharp knife into 4 pieces (do this when they're straight from the freezer, otherwise they'll just squash when you try to cut them at room temp). Set aside.
  10. Melt the 200g chopped chocolate (you can use the same bowl that you used for the peanut butter cups). Taking the donuts from the freezer one at a time (so that they'll stay very cold and firm), dip the tops in the melted chocolate and set aside for the chocolate to set.
  11. If you'd like to drizzle over some chocolate, as I did, spoon some of the remaining melted chocolate into a ziploc bag, or similar, snip off a small bit of the corner and once the chocolate on the donuts has set, drizzle over the chocolate from the bag.
  12. To attach the peanut butter cup slices to the tops of the donuts, place a dab of melted chocolate on one side of the peanut butter cup and place that side on top of the donut; the melted chocolate will set and be like a glue to hold the peanut butter cup slice on top.
  13. Store in the refrigerator for about a week; will probably keep in the freezer for longer!
Notes
* To make this recipe completely raw and vegan, use appropriate ingredients! You can also make your own peanut butter and chocolate, if you prefer.

* This recipe was inspired by Rawberry Fields!
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Blueberry muffin French toast is made with slices of blueberry muffins and topped with fresh fruit for an easy, yet decadent, breakfast or brunch!

I don’t know about you, but I love French toast. It’s the ultimate breakfast for lazy, slow mornings and it’s so easy to make.  Do you have a favorite French toast recipe?  Favorite toppings?

Have you ever thought about using blueberry muffin slices instead of bread slices in your favorite French toast recipe?

These are just your ordinary store-bought jumbo blueberry muffins.  You could use your own muffin recipe, but be sure you make jumbo-sized muffins.  And when your muffins are a day or two old, you can turn them into something beautiful.

You’ll start by slicing the muffins vertically.  Yes, I know, a lot of of other muffin French toast recipes slice the muffins horizontally, but I like the shape of the vertical slices and I think you get a more hearty slice by going vertical.

Next, whip up your French toast soaking mixture.  This is a combination of eggs, whole milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract.  Dip those muffin slices in, let them soak for a few seconds (the muffins will fall apart easier and quicker than a slice of bread when soaked, so just a few seconds is sufficient) on both sides and then fry them up.

Wow.

I topped mine with strawberries and bananas and a sprinkling of white chocolate flakes.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be French toast without maple syrup, am I right?  So I added a tiny dollop of that, too!

Perfect!

This happened to be my lunch on the day I made and photographed this recipe, but I still had 6 slices leftover.  I decided to package up 4 of those slices into 4 of my little paper plate boxes and decorate the slices just like in these photos to share with my friends at school pickup time.  This is a traditional thing for me to do, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may recall seeing photos of the packaged food I take to school pickup to share.

So, what did they think of it?  They loved it, of course!  And why wouldn’t they?  This blueberry muffin French toast is:

  • easy and quick to make
  • uses basic pantry ingredients
  • perfect for lazy mornings and brunch
  • decadent
  • easily customizable
  • beautifully presented
  • the perfect amount of sweetness
  • a delicious way to get a serve of healthy fruit!?  Haha!

I totally know what you’re making for breakfast tomorrow now, but the question is, what toppings are you going to choose?

Blueberry Muffin French Toast
 
Blueberry muffin French toast is made with slices of blueberry muffins and topped with fresh fruit for an easy, yet decadent, breakfast or brunch!
Author: Jamieanne
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 jumbo blueberry muffins, 1-2 days old
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • unsalted butter, to fry
  • fresh fruit, to serve
  • white chocolate, to serve, optional
  • maple syrup, to serve, optional
Instructions
  1. Slice muffins vertically by cutting a thin slice off the rounded edges on opposite sides (you can eat these thin slices, or discard), then slice the remaining chunk of muffin down the middle so you get two thick slices. You'll end up with 8 slices in total. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until thoroughly combined; transfer mixture to a shallow dish. Place 4 of the muffin slices into the egg mixture, leave for about 5-10 seconds, then flip the slices over to coat the other side for another 5-10 seconds. Transfer the slices to a plate.
  3. Heat a frying pan (one wide enough to cook 4 slices at a time) over medium heat with about a tablespoon of butter (add about a teaspoon of flavorless oil to keep the butter from turning too brown, if you like). When the butter is melted, smear it around the pan with a spatula and very carefully place the coated muffin slices in the pan. Cook until golden, about 4-5 minutes, then carefully flip the slices over and cook again until golden. When finished, I usually stand the slices up on their edges and lightly cook the sides as well. Remove from the frying pan and set aside on a clean plate.
  4. Repeat the dipping and cooking procedure with the remaining 4 muffin slices. Whisk in some more cinnamon and nutmeg if the egg-mixture looks a bit bare. You should have only just enough mixture to coat the remaining slices; turn the slices on their sides, if necessary, to coat the entire slice and soak up all the mixture.
  5. To serve, stack 2 slices on top of each other, top with fresh fruit and grate over some white chocolate with a fine grater. Finally, add a small glug of maple syrup. Serve immediately and enjoy!!
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