Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pumpkin Time Of Year - Pumpkin Truffles

Pumpkin Salted Dark Chocolate Truffles to be exact.  They are hand dipped and we are making a dozen. 

We have been enjoying pumpkin everything!  It is nice to take advantage of the unique flavours of Autumn while it lasts.

Start with a 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree' and a stick of butter (1/4 of a pound) that is at room temperature.  Blend this in a processor with the beans from one pod of vanilla and 1/4 cup of icing sugar.
  Make it as smooth as possible.


                      Place this in a container in the refrigerator overnight.

Make 12 little balls from heaping teaspoons of the filling.  Place back in the chiller for at least 20 minutes to firm them up.

Next is tempering chocolate to hand dip the pumpkin filling.  I can't take pictures and hand dip at the same time, so I will wait until I have a photographer to demo tempering and hand dipping, next time.  I used all I ever use - dark chocolate, this time however it had sea salt added.

I also didn't have little presentation cups to put the truffles in, I used homemade cups made with foil.

First I cup squares of foil and pressed the basic shape into a mini muffin tin.

Then, trim with decorative scissors. 


Place back into the mould to get it just how you want it.


Top with spiced pumpkin seeds, I got those at Trader Joe's.



I sampled one and can tell you, they have a wonderful pumpkin taste.




Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Cheesy Sort Of Hoppiness

I'm missing Blighty already!  I had to find a way to enjoy a favourite....Hereford Hop Cheese.  It is not available in my area, so this is the best I can do.

Here is a link to a Hereford Hop flashback:

I Want My Umami Cheese Platter

The hops were drying on the vine and smelling strongly of the hoppy aroma.  I plunked some off the vine, reserving some for a home brew, or two.

Next, they were stripped apart and whirled in a food processor.   

I looked for the strongest cheddar I could find at the store I was at.

I cut the cheese by accident....Oh, dear.  Try to not let yours break, if you should try this, but it isn't the end of the world.

Put some plastic wrap down on your chosen flat surface.  Sprinkle the hops to form a slightly larger shape than your cheese.

Place the cheese in the centre.

Sprinkle hops over the top.

Wrap the cheese tightly.  You can use parchment to wrap the cheese, if you would like.  Usually, I'm against wrapping cheese in cling film, but in this case it forms well, and retains the hop flavour.

I let mine set in the refrigerator for a week.  It is great served on a cheese platter, or I made a dish with it:

Prosciutto wrapped chicken, that I stuffed with the cheese and massaged kale.

  I then glazed the whole lot with a apple cider reduction.  It would be remiss to not sprinkle some of the grated cheese on top.

The bitterness of the hops toned down by the sweetness of the glaze paired well with a nice Zinfandel.

Monday, October 5, 2015

What A Load Of Cobblers!

Up the Apples and Pears Crisp/Crumble and Bourbon Peach Cobbler.  Ok, the first one isn't really a cobbler, but it fits the theme well enough.  It's no lie!

The crisp is named for the cockney rhyming slang "apples and pears" which means stairs.

My crisp has not only apples and pears, it also has Applejack to help warm it up even more.

From the website:

40% alc
Sizes: 750ml, 375ml, 50ml
Made from 100% home-grown apples. We carefully distill our fermented hard cider twice in small batches, resulting in a sweet distinctive spirit, both smooth and warming. Aged for 2 years in 50 gallon ex-bourbon casks, then finished in 15 gallons quarter casks, for additional color and barrel flavor.
More like a bourbon whiskey than a brandy, Cornelius Applejack is a fantastic gluten free alternative rye and bourbon. No charcoal filtration, no sugar and no additives. 100% apples.


                                        Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery


 Up the Apples and Pears Crisp/Crumble

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. f and have a 9 x 13 baking pan read.

10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
4 lrg. pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c. Applejack

sGently toss the fruit in your 9 x 13 pan and dust with flour, Sprinkle with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, again gently toss the fruit to coat. Set aside.


Make the topping by cutting the butter into the flour and sugar and blending it well. Pour the Applejack evenly over the top of the fruit.  Top the fruit evenly with the crumble topping.  Bake for 40 minutes.  It is best served with ice cream.

The next recipe has another warming quality from the bourbon added to it.

 From their website:
                                                Hudson Baby Bourbon 

Once our local farmers harvest and dry the corn grown for our Baby Bourbon, we grind it, add water and cook the mash for fermenting – creating a round flavor and balanced palate. Baby Bourbon is left to mature in our signature small charred new American oak barrels, giving it a uniquely rich amber color. Small barrels mean more wood contact, which accounts for its rich, oaky, smoky flavor profile. We never charcoal or chill filter our bourbon, giving you a full-flavor experience. You’ll also recognize subtle notes of vanilla and caramel. 


Bourbon Peach Cobbler

You know the drill preheat the oven to 350 deg. f and have a 9 x 13 baking pan ready.

2 cans peaches, drained, set the syrup from one can aside.
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/4 c. bourbon
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice

Place a stick of butter in the 9 x 13 and place in the oven until melted.  In the meantime, mix the spices with 1/2 sugar and set aside.  Mix the remaining sugar with the other dry ingredients.  Mix the milk with the 1 can worth of syrup and the bourbon.  Blend these mixtures together to form a batter. 

Place the peaches evenly in the pan and coat lightly with the butter.  Pour the batter over the peaches and sprinkle with the spiced sugar.  Bake for about 30 minutes until golden on top.  Pile with ice cream while cobbler is still hot!


This is a Pinerest, I did that!  I can recommend this delicious corn.

Mexican Street Corn On the Cob

We had a Iowa meets Mexico meal, Pork Tenderloin sandwiches and the said corn.