Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sriracha Whiskey Candy.... What Valentine's Day should be

I can’t think of a more ridiculous holiday outside of Valentine’s Day. Do we really need a reminder to tell the people in our lives that we love them?

Nope. Let’s just call this what it is:  an excuse to make your significant other feel totally obligated to spend money on you, or an excuse to go out & bitch with your friends about how tough it is to be single. The solution in both of these cases always includes alcohol.

This recipe to me includes everything that Valentine’s Day should be (or really, any day of the year for that matter): something a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, and always a little bit drunk.

The next time you are looking to spice things up with your sweetie, give these a whirl (in the kitchen… not the bedroom. Get your mind out of the gutter! Or don’t… the gutter can be fun).

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!

1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup corn starch
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
2 tbsp whiskey

In a large heavy bottom saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a slow boil on medium heat. Insert your candy thermometer into the pan. Let the sugar caramelize up to 300. This will take quite a few minutes. Stir occasionally with a large spoon (wear an oven-mit, hot sugar is NOT to be messed with! It will seriously burn right through your skin should it splatter). As you wait, grease your mini cupcake tin with nonstick spray (or any small candy molds you may want to use for this is just fine).

Once the thermometer reads 300, turn off the heat. Stir in the sriracha and whiskey one tablespoon at a time; be VERY careful as it will boil immediately. Wear the oven-mit as stirring and stand back. Stir everything until bubbles disappear and it becomes a smooth caramel. Pour the caramel into the prepared mini tins or molds and set in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Once the caramel has cooled down and set a little, remove them from the refrigerator and using a small knife, remove each candy and place onto wax paper. While the candy is still a little malleable, insert toothpicks or small lollipop sticks halfway into the center. Leave out to harden, or in the refrigerator overnight. Wrap in wax paper or cling wrap, and enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bloody Beet Chocolate Cake. Happy Valentine's Day Lovers!

This one is for all you lovebirds! Fear not, I have the perfect answer to all your Valentine's Day gift giving worries. Don't to the cupcake bakery at the last minute to scrounge up the last 3 dried out cupcakes they have left. Don't order expensive artisan truffles (although they are quite delicious and will score you some major points in the sack!) and panic about them being delivered in time for Valentine's Day and definitely DON'T be sending your beau a freakish looking, squishy teddy bear at her workplace. They have to show their face at the office again the next day, don't ruin it for em!

Instead, go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of Beets. Yes. I said Beets. That's the star ingredient in this moist, fudgey awesomely chocolatey Chocolate Cake. And NO, it does not taste like Beets. It tastes like the most intense Chocolate Cake you have ever eaten or fed anyone! And your lover will love you for making it for them, not only because its delicious or because you were 'so sweet to bake me something', but also because this beauty will be easy on the calorie counter as well!. No eggs or butter in this one!

I added coffee and cinnamon to my cake and also a healthy fistful of rainbow sprinkles. Gotta Gay-up a treat for my girl!

Here's how you do it. You can send me fan mail, roses and/or those expensive artisan truffles, to thank me. Teddy Bears will be turned away at the door. Now go forth and bake and get ready to reap the benefits in private :)

Oh, and don't forget to get her flowers :)

2 beets (boiled and peeled)
1 cup soy milk OR Vanilla Yogurt

3/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp instant coffee powder
¼ tsp Cinnamon
pinch salt
¼ cup Rainbow sprinkles (optional)

How to
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Puree beets in a blender by adding a little bit of water. Measure 1/2 of this puree and set aside for the cake.
- I used a silicon cake pan, you can use which pan you have handy, make sure you grease and line it well. You can even make cupcakes with this batter!
- In a large bowl, whisk together soy milk (or vanilla yogurt), sugar, oil, vanilla extract, beet puree.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a separate bowl) add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, instant coffee powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
- Next add the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter is achieved.
- Pour batter into your prepared baking device and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it passes the cake tester.
- Cool completely. Once cooled you can serve it as it, with a dusting of coffee/cocoa powder or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!