Posts tagged ‘food’

July 2, 2012

As promised: Dark Chocolate + Orange Cake Pops

by Jillian Douglas

Mmmm.

Mmmmhmm.

The combination of dark chocolate + orange interests my taste buds quite a lot. There’s just something so contrasting but balanced about pairing the nutty, rich flavor of chocolate with this light citrus fruit. As I hinted at in this post, cake pops are not my passion. But I do think if you’re going to bother with the fad, you might consider this recipe I concocted with the help of a few friends…

Dark Chocolate + Orange Cake Pops

Ingredients:

16 oz. Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Chips

1 Orange

1 Box of Cake Mix (with other ingredients it calls for, such as oil, water, or eggs, made as a cake, cooled)

1 Can of Chocolate Frosting

1-2 tsps of Orange Extract

Now I am in no way a cake pop guru, so if you know a better way to make them, by all means, go for it. But this is how I did it:

1. Crumble the cake into smithereens. Be aggressive. Be. Be. Agressive.

2. In a large bowl, heap the cake on the frosting and add a few teaspoons of orange extract (to be honest, this was such a long time ago, that I do not recall how many teaspoons I used. But I do know that I followed what was on the bottle, and it came out quite, quite delicious).

4. Mix, mix, mix.

5. Now would be a good time to experiment with chilling this mixture to make it a little firmer. I didn’t have the time, so I went ahead and rolled them up into balls.

6. Zest up some orange peel (we didn’t have a zester tool so my cutie just minced it up like a pro). Melt the chocolate in a pot on the stove.

7. Stick lollipop sticks into those cake batter babies and plop into the chocolate, spooning chocolate all around it for good coverage.

8. Dip the tip of your newly formed cake pop into the orange zest and place on a plate (or in a handy dandy cake pop holder or piece of foam) and refrigerate until stable.

Yum yum yum!

April 15, 2012

Maple Sugaring

by Jillian Douglas

It was not my intention to neglect you, oh blog! Life has the uncanny habit of swallowing me whole at times.Don’t worry though, it spat me back out. It’s good to be back! I have many posts floating through my head, ready to land in the crisp screen of a blog post.

First up is fun with maple syrup making!

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Mid-March I went to my dear friend’s house and had a great time with her family and another friend, watching the maple syrup process and making maple cream candies with them. They only have 3 sugar maple trees, each tapped twice, but this apparently creates a substantial amount of sap, which is then boiled down to syrup.

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This process interests me a lot! I love handgrown and homemade things. Collecting sap for syrup-making is on my list of Dreamy To-Do’s, along with beekeeping, canning homemade salsa, and sewing my own clothes.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera when I went over (sigh), so I only have photos of the delicious syrup they gave me. Which we consumed it in a week. (hah!)

We also made chocolate-covered maple cream candies! They were so easy but delicious (and I discovered a new chocolate pair that I adore… Nate didn’t like it especially, but I loved it. Even more than chocolate + bacon…).

Simply melt chocolate chips in the microwave, then dollop a bit into paper candy wrappers. This makes a bottom for the candy (it will appear similar to a Reese’s peanut butter cup later). Then place that in the freezer until the chocolate is stiff while you mold your maple cream into little balls (my friend’s dad had made the maple cream by simply heating maple syrup. I didn’t catch how to do that, but here’s a recipe elsewhere. He apparently did it a little longer than usual to make the consistency thicker and moldable, and placed that in the freezer to stiffen a bit as well). Place the maple cream balls in the cups with the chocolate bottoms and pour more chocolate on top to seal the deal. Place them once more in the freezer for a bit. Enjoy!

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So here’s a quick list of

Things I Learned on This Adventure:

1. It takes 32 gallons of sap to create… (get this)… 1 gallon of syrup.

Is that not crazy? I am surprised people still even do this; it requires so much patience. But then again, I can understand how they fall in love with the process.

2. Maple cream is really just maple syrup (with a tiny bit of butter) boiled more to create the thicker consistency. I thought for sure there was some dairy yum in it… but nope!

3. This year, because of the unusual weather, the maple sugaring season was much more successful and earlier than usual. When tappers would normally begin in February, they started in January (remember when we had those crazy summer days when it should’ve been frigid? Those triggered the sap).

4. I have awesome friends who I need to hang out with much more.

February 20, 2012

Chocolate + Water + A Little Furiousity = An Extraordinarily Scrumptious Dish of Yummy

by Jillian Douglas

The Best and Easiest Chocolate Mousse Recipe Ever

“As a chef, you’re always taught that water is an enemy of chocolate.”

Oh, right.

I knew that.

“This is nonsense. I’m going to show you with this recipe that that doesn’t hold true.”

WHAT?! Ridiculous!

Anyways, maybe you should just watch it for yourselves:

Evening Dream

And being so inspired, I called Boyfriend up and insisted on us partaking this wild culinary adventure of whisking up some mousse. At first we were really confused about the ratio of water to chocolate (what I had found was in the metric system) but then Boyfriend summoned up his magical math skills (scary) and figured out that for 2 3.5 oz. Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate bars with 60% cacao, we needed a little more than half a cup of water.

And you know what? It came out beautifully! Because there’s only 2 ingredients and the majority of the mixture is chocolate, the mousse tasted so rich and dark and awesome. Seriously.

So I thought I’d write out the recipe for you. I also (later) found this recipe that could be useful, too.

Simply Mousse

1. Fill a large bowl with a layer of ice and place another smaller bowl on top and set to the side.

2. Break up the chocolate with a knife so it melts faster.

3. Melt the chocolate in the water in a pan on the stove. Don’t take too long, you don’t want to cook it; just heat it up.

4. Quickly pour the chocolate into the bowl over the ice and whisk furiously. It took us pretty much a whole eternity, or maybe 10 minutes, which is a wicked long time to whisk furiously, even if you’re really furious and in to it (rarr!). In fact, it took so long we almost gave up. But then I saw how it looked the slightest bit thicker… so we kept to it… and it kept thickening! By the time it became mousse I was yelling “BABE, IT’S MOUSSE! IT’S MOUSSE!” but he was so furious, I don’t think he noticed and whisked a bit longer and made it a little grainy. Butnevermindthat’sokay. It was still really, really, stuff-your-face-as-fast-as-you-can scrumptious. (Apparently at that point, you could remelt it and whisk again, so say these people).

5. Try it at this point, and if it’s too bitter (60% cocoa is ridiculously dark, even for me. And the original recipe called for 70%!), you are allowed to add some powdered sugar (but only if you’re good).

So anyways, fancy it up a bit if you so desire with some blueberries, raspberries, mint or orange extract, etc. The great thing about this stuff is that it looks pretty fancy all by itself. Look at ‘choo, makin’ your own mousse. Fancy schmancy. Also, it tastes way great if stuck in the freezer to cool down for a while.

Let me know if any of you dare to test your furiousity!

Top image by Cafe Fernando. Bottom image by Ghirardelli Chocolates.

November 20, 2011

last weekend

by adandelionchild

First I would like to just thank Jill for holding down the fort single-handedly here on JJ&Good for the past few weeks while school has gotten outrageously out of control for me. Besides class and going to work on the weekends at my rad job, life has been pretty uneventful save for last weekend. On Thursday my brother and I drove to Rockland County to surprise my sister Sheila for her birthday. We stayed for the weekend with her, her husband Grames and their two children, Gobbles and Peanut.

the chubby cherubs themselves

Grames made all the arrangements for us to come down. He also got Sheila tickets to the new ABC show The Chew (she met Clinton Kelly and Chef Michael Symon!), which is a recent obsession of my sisters and mine. Grames does a lot of stuff like that. He’s pretty cool I guess.

Anyways, here is what our weekend looked like:

the inevitably unflattering driving photo

HUGSHUGSHUGS. “I can’t believe you’re here!” HUGSHUGSHUGS.

fish tacos which incidentally gave me a mild case of food poisoning

losing to the boys in cranium.

going to work with sheila

ikea. the container store. west elm. taco bell.

the Brooklyn Flea! Sheila got this vintage camera.
groovy antiques, top shelf art, clothing, and gourmet food booths.

s’mac. I tried the parisienne. so, so yummy.

rice to riches. have you heard of this place? it was my first time there and….i’m hooked.

we TRIED to make homemade candy bars…

We had a great time and it was so much fun going into Brooklyn but the best part was just getting to spend time with my amazing sister and her husband. They are both incredible people and it was wonderful being able to be there to celebrate her birthday with her.

P.S. get excited people because JJ&Good will soon be featuring a guest post by one of our lovely friends. stayed tuned to see who!