Raspberry Magic Shell

One of my personal joys as a food blogger is linking up with brands that I actually love. In my earlier days – I’ll admit – I did the ol’ “I’ll accept this free product which I don’t really like and make a recipe with it in order to boost my exposure” thing. Hence quite a few recipes that made some of my friends scratch their heads. “I know you hate spicy foods, soooo…did you actually EAT that dish you made with the green sriracha?”

Those days are long gone. *phew* Cheers to autonomy! 😆

Recently, I linked up with the fine folks at GoodPop® out of Austin, Texas. Read more about them here! I love their products and I love their values, which you can read about HERE. I’d type out more, but they’ve already said it better on their website than I can.😉Long story short: They responsibly source their ingredients and partner with various non-profits to make this lil’ world of ours a little bit better. Being one of their Brand Ambassadors is truly fulfilling for me.

Plus, if you have their vegan organic Orange N’ Cream pop, you might keel over and die of happiness! But I hope you don’t, because you need to try their other flavors as well. HA!

Of course, I’ve been itching to try something fun with these pops. As I looked at the Cookies N’ Cream, I felt inspiration. It’s such wonderful blank palate!

Raspberry Magic Shell
Raspberry Magic Shell

I didn’t realize how easy it is to make magic shell until I investigated some more. I experimented a bit until I found the ratio of ingredients that worked for me. It would have been easy for me to just whip up a quick chocolate concoction, but, of course, I had to be extra.

Freeze-dried fruit is your friend here. You can order it online, though if you are near a Trader Joe’s, you will have your share of fruits to pick from. Raspberry called out to me.

This took me less than 10 minutes to make; I spent the most time grinding my raspberries in my mortar & pestle!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please be sure to tag #seeksatiation on Instagram so I can see your own version of this fruity goodness.

Raspberry Magic Shell
Raspberry Magic Shell

NOTE: I am a compensated Brand Ambassador for GoodPop® from June – August 2019, but all opinions are my own!

Raspberry Magic Shell
(Makes roughly 2 cups)

Ingredients:

– 1 & 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
– 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
– 1/2 cup freeze-dried raspberries, ground down to roughly 2 – 3 tablespoons
– Pinch of salt

Before We Get Started…

– You can use unrefined coconut oil, if you choose. I opted for refined for less of a prominent coconut flavor in the dip.

Directions:

1.) In a microwave-safe bowl, add white chocolate and coconut oil; melt for 30 seconds, then stir. Heat in 15 seconds increments and stir until combined and smooth; this entire process should not take more than 60 seconds. Conversely, white chocolate and coconut oil can be melted together in a double-boiler.

2.) With a mortar & pestle, grind raspberries until they resemble a fine powder. Conversely, blitz raspberries in a blender or food processor until it resembles a fine powder.

3.) Stir raspberry powder into chocolate and stir until uniform. Add salt and stir.

4.) Dip ice pop into mix and allow to harder, or spoon over ice cream or frozen dessert of choice.

5.) Leftovers can be saved in fridge in a microwave-safe container; to reuse, reheat until melted and stir until smooth.

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French Macarons with Strawberry Jam Buttercream – A Seemingly Dangerous Experiment

It’s been so long since I created a recipe specifically for this blog.

Hell, this isn’t really even my own recipe, so does it count? Haaa.

For me, in the battle of cooking vs. baking, I’ve always loved to cook because there is more flexibility in the process. Measure by eye, get creative with the spices, add a little more dry ingredient to offset higher moisture, et al.

Baking? That is SCIENCE.

While there are some baked recipes I’ve made by heart for years now where I can say, “Oh, a few shakes of salt is tantamount to 1/4 teaspoon. I’m good!”, there are some others recipes where the measurements need to be precise. That’s part of the reason I’m not much of a baker, and a huge reason why I avoided baking something I’ve wanted to try for a very long time: French macarons.

I took the task to heart after seeing Mike Bakes NYC make it seem more approachable that other recipes I had come across. He explains the process in his blog in more layman’s terms, and I was, in turn, able to approach making it with less apprehension. And you KNOW I measured with a food scale to a T. I even out-Type A-ed myself here. HA!

Through trial and error, I saw how no one should expect to make that quintessential batch of French macarons on their first try. And if you have…what is your secret? PLEASE SHARE.

1.) When folding the mixture, I feared OVERfolding it and deflating it. I soon came to learn, after seeing my ratchet first batch of macarons, that I UNDERfolded – even though I truly thought I had already OVERfolded – due to utter paranoia. HA!

2.) As I made subsequent batches, the batter got worked in the pastry bag; after that, I started to yield the more quintessential-looking macarons, albeit not perfectly round. Some where oval, some where lop-sided circles, and some even got those pretty little feet on them after they baked!

3.) Some macarons had the dreaded “hollow tops”, while others didn’t. Again, I’m sure that had to do with the folding and baking process. As most ovens have their “hot spots”, there is that risk of over-baking. I baked them to the higher time – closer to 15 minutes than 13 – and I think I’ll try to cook them on the lower end next time to see the result.

French Macarons – They don’t always come out perfect on your first time attempting to bake them! No shame! Practice makes perfect.

I am glad I did this just to prove to myself, “YEAH! Allison, girl, you can make these if ya really wanna!” When all is said and done, it’s cheaper to buy the ingredients to make French macarons at home than it is to buy some at a store; thanks to getting my almond flour from a bulk bin at Whole Foods, I paid less than $10 for all of my ingredients which yielded about 3 dozen small macarons. Better than paying $10 for four macarons at most stores, if you’re LUCKY.

I used Mike Bakes NYC’s recipe for Red Velvet Macarons as a basis, obviously eliminating the cocoa and red food gel while creating my own simple strawberry buttercream to fill them with. Click on the link in the recipe section to follow along for his recipe, then swing back here for my simple Strawberry Buttercream recipe!

HAVE FAITH! Y’all can do this! And if you screw them all up, at least you’ll have some delicious misshapen macarons. It’s really win-win.

French Macarons with Strawberry Buttercream

French Macarons with Strawberry Buttercream

Macarons: Follow the link to the Mike Bakes NYC recipe!

Strawberry Jam Buttercream:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam

When macarons are completed per the linked recipe, whip all buttercream ingredients together with a hand blender until smooth. Pipe or spoon buttercream onto half of your macarons and sandwich them together with remaining macarons. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours to allow macarons to “mature” before consuming. Or eat them right away. You do you!

Chocolate-Bottomed Strawberry Fool

Was I a fool to think I could make mousse? (Heh…heh…heh…) Read on, friends. Read on.

Mousse will always make me think of my father. Ever the chocolate lover, I know I have mentioned multiple times in this blog how I’ve seen him make brownies at midnight many times in my 33 years. I’ve also seen him make his fair share of mousse, the light chocolaty fluff making its usual appearances around the Christmas season, topped with copious amounts of whipped cream.

If my dad’s a pro at it, surely the ability to make it is hereditary!

For a pink sexy Valentine’s Day theme – bolstered for my urge to eat a ton of strawberries during this chilly bleak winter season – the idea to create a strawberry mousse popped into my head. A little crunchy chocolate bottom would make for a nice treat as you dug closer to the bottom, I thought!

Well, I got the cream. I got the berries. I got the gelatin.

I got SCREWED. Ha!

Chocolate-Bottomed Strawberry Fool

So, mind you, having not made mousse before, nor having worked with gelatin outside of helping my dad make Strawberry Jell-O as a kid, I took to Google to find a strawberry mousse recipe. I found what I thought was a good one! I followed it to a T. The photos for this recipe looked luscious!

Apparently, 4 teaspoons of gelatin mixed with 2 tablespoons of water is not the ratio you want. Well, unless you want to pull something out of your fridge a few hours later that springs back at you like a marshmallow!

COME ON. JEEEEEEZ.

Well, after that disappointment – that’s recipe development for ya – I decided to make a Strawberry Fool instead of trying mousse again. Folding strawberry puree into whipped cream is more my style anyways. Simple. Easy.

I’ll save mousse-making for another time, once I am over this trauma…

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers. 😘

Chocolate-Bottomed Strawberry Fool

JOIN IN ON THE VIRTUAL PARTY! Check out the links below for some Valentine’s Day-theme goodies from a troop of wonderful fellow bloggers. Follow along on Instagram with #galentinesday and thanks to The Sweet Nerd for organizing! 

1.) Earl Grey Frosted Brownies by Madeline Hall
2.) Red Velvet Whoopie Pies by What Should I Make For…
3.) Chocolate Wine Cake by The Sweet Nerd
4.) Pink Grapefruit & Thyme Shortbread Hearts by The Beach House Kitchen
5.) Blood Orange Margarita Sorbet by Beyone Mere Sustenance
6.) Vanilla Rose Shortbread Cookies by Seasons and Suppers
7.) Chocolate Panna Cotta with Raspberry Compote by Ciao Chow Bambina
8.) Horchata Latte Cheesecake Meg Is Well
9.) Chocolate Coffee Layer Cake by Katherine In Brooklyn
10.) Chocolate Topped Seed & Nut Bars by This Brown Kitchen

Chocolate-Bottomed Strawberry Fool
(Makes 4 [roughly] 4 oz. servings)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Bottom:
– 16 Oreo cookies (or any chocolate sandwich cookie brand)
– 1 tablespoon melted butter or refined coconut oil

Strawberry Fool:
– 2 cups strawberries, rinsed and hulled
– 2 cups heavy whipping cream
– 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

1.) Place cookies inside of a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin until finely broken. Mix crumbs with butter or coconut oil until well combined. Spoon a heaping tablespoon on the mixture into the bottom of a small serving dish and lightly press down to set. Set aside.

2.) Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.

4.) In large (preferably chilled metal) bowl, whip together cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the pureed strawberry mixture and slowly incorporate; do not overmix and allow the mixture to remain light and airy!

5.) Carefully spoon or pipe whipped cream into chocolate-bottomed serving dishes. Eat immediately or refrigerate for no more than 4 hours; mixture can deflate and become somewhat soupy if not eaten quickly.

Smoked Chili Maple Affogato

Smoked Chili Maple Affogato

Any true New Yorker eats ice cream year round – have you seen the insane amount of delicious artisanal shops around this city?! – and eating it at home is absolutely no different. In fact, I purposely don’t keep ice cream in my freezer because I know I’ll eat it.

I know, I know. That entire preceding paragraph was entirely nonsensical in a bevy of ways. Let us count them…

There are very few ways I take coffee – I’ve documented them well in my social media accounts – but caffeine and I are not friends. That caffeine buzz gives me the shakes times 1,000! It ain’t a pretty picture. However, at times, we can be cordial.

Every now and then, I do enjoy a dazzling affogato, espresso poured over vanilla ice cream, for the layman. The shock of the hot drink marries well with the smooth, cold, creamy ice cream below it.

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Smoked Chili Maple Affogato

I say, if you’re going to go hard, go all of the way. I’m a seeker of new flavor combinations, and I felt inspired to make this twist on affogato when I laid my eyes upon a bottle of Merquén Infused Maple Syrup from Runamok Maple. Merquén, a smoked chili pepper native to Chile, is delicious in this blend, the smoke hitting your mouth first before the slow heat files in.

This is definitely a nice treat at the end of a long day. Hell, this might even make its way to your holiday dessert table if you’re feeling unique and adventurous!

NOTE: Runamok Maple generously gifted me this bottle for review purposes. Thank you! Please support small business! Please visit their website and check out their amazing line of syrups!

– – – –

Smoked Chili Maple Affogato
(Serves 3)

Ingredients:
– 1 pint vanilla ice cream or gelato; you’ll only need 3 scoops!
– 2 ounces hot espresso or dark roast coffee
– 2 teaspoons Merquén-Infused Maple Syrup

Before We Get Started…

– If you can’t get this specific maple syrup, add a small dash of chili powder of choice to 2 teaspoons maple syrup. Taste before adding to espresso!

– Chill serving bowls before adding ice cream, if you prefer! I highly suggest it.

– If you do not prefer to make your own espresso or coffee, do what I did: go to the cafe around the corner and buy one. Ha! Shortcuts are your friend, y’all. (Thank you, Darling Coffee!)

Directions:

1.) Place one scoop of ice cream into three shallow serving bowls.

2.) Make espresso or coffee or buy your own. (Please see Before We Get Started…) Add in maple syrup. Mix thoroughly.

3.) Slowly pour (roughly; eyeball it!) .75 oz of espresso / maple syrup mixture over each scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with a little more of that maple syrup, if preferred! Enjoy immediately!

 

Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze

I have a major culinary quest in life.

I am trying to perfect the perfect donut glaze.

I just can’t get it!

I’m talking about good thick glazes like the kind you’d get on a donut from Underwest Donuts, Doughnut Plant, The Doughnut Project, or any of the top notch donut spots in NYC.

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For me, I am a baked donut gal when I’m at home; I’d love to make some yeasty fried donuts, but I am so attached to my donut pan! Cake donuts don’t take glazes as well as fried donuts, due to their porousness. It’ll go on thick, but seemingly sink in. Not to say I mind that extra sugary goodness leaching into my treats…

😏

I was a pretty basic glaze girl for a while – I’d mix confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk for my main base – but that doesn’t do as well with the cake donuts, as aforementioned. It certainly glazes them, but I wanted something to really coat them. I’ve been experimenting with other ingredients, such as butter and condensed sweetened milk. I’ve been finding that butter may be that trick up my sleeve I’ve been waiting for! I’ve found this glaze works better with cake donuts, and I’ve started to get that consistency I’m working towards; not perfect, but it’s progress.

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As I continue to tinker, I must say I’m satisfied with how this matcha glaze came out. I wish I could have gotten a more even coating for these photos – the dilemma of the food blogger – but all that matters to me is that they taste great, and the chocolate and matcha make for a cozy and slightly earthy match. It’s a great donut for the autumn when apple cider donut penetration is getting the best of you. Ha!

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NOTE: This recipe is part of a contest for Kiss Me Organics! PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO VOTE for me in their contest for best matcha-based recipe! Spread the word! Thank you to Kiss Me Organics and Pure Taste for the complimentary matcha and the opportunity to develop this awesome recipe!

Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze
(Makes 6 donuts)

Donuts:

– 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
– 1 large egg
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Matcha Glaze:

– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
– 2 teaspoons matcha tea powder, leveled off (I used Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Matcha)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
– 3 tablespoons milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Before We Get Started…

– When glazing donuts, set a cooling rack over a piece of scrap paper, parchment paper, cookie sheet, et al, to catch any glaze drips for an easier clean-up!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the inside of the donut pan’s cavities. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir / fold to combine.

3.) Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized seal-top plastic bag; if using plastic bag, cut off small corner to pipe out mixture. Evenly pipe mixture into cavities of donut pan.

4.) Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove donuts from pan and allow to continue cooling on cooling rack.

5.) Once donuts are room temperature, melt butter and allow to cool slightly, 2 – 3 minutes. Add matcha and vanilla and mix until combined. Place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add in butter matcha mixture and stir to combine. Add in milk, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until combined. Carefully dip one side of a donut into the glaze and place on cooling rack to drip dry, glaze side up. Allow glaze to set and dry for at least 30 minutes.