As I previously mentioned, these past few months a few classmates and I have been working with the Sweet Virginia Foundation, helping prevent the decline of honey bees. Although I’m self regeious enough to claim I do community service, the project doubled as both an ego boost and class assignment. All of which culminated in this video. Don’t worry, it’s only four minutes, and has a lot of cute kids (if you’re into that…) so watch it and hopefully learn something. But also feel free to mute my section as apparently on camera I develop a speak impediment/ lisp.
After much anticipation we ended up coming in second place in the video competition. As this is famed chef Jose Andre’s restaurant, the price was a tasting menu at his restaurant Jaleo. The meal was beyond generous, consisting of everything from cava sangria to croquettes served in a glass shoe (maybe a questionable choice). I have to admit that when I first tried the food I found the flavor profiles to be a little singular, mainly consisting of acid or oil. However, in reflection I truly believe that they were not one dementional at all, and rather completely authentic. I’ve been so brain washed by the food industry that if every plate doesn’t have every flavor note, bitter, salty, sweet, acidic, topped up with notable umami, that the dish is simple. However, there is always something to be said for tradition, and the integrity of culture and ingredients, which was tangible in each bite. So thank you, Jose, for a fabulous meal and even better class.
Junior year of high school I became a chocolate of the month member of Godiva. This
exclusive free membership gives everyone the opportunity to sample a truffle on the house once a month. I am proud to say that after 5 years of membership I have never missed a month, or ever actually purchased something from Godiva. I have even stopped feeling awkward when they hand me my free sample and ask “is that all for you today?”
This raspberry white chocolate brownie is inspired by one of my monthly truffles. Maybe one day I will actually buy something from the store, but in the mean time I will continue to indulge in my membership and make imitation brownies.
I followed my favorite brownie recipe and added 1 bar of chopped white chocolate and half a bag of frozen raspberries.
Freshman year of high school I was baking and accidentally poured boiling caramel on myself. I still have the scar to prove it, and although I considered including pictures in my post, I’ll spare everyone the gory details. Ever since then I swore off desserts with caramel (which it turns out is a large variety). But I found a recipe from the Pioneer Woman that has ended my boycott and saved the surface area of my arm. So if anyone else is scared of caramel this is definitely the recipe to try. Because it is so easy (and safe) I have been adding caramel to everything. My new obsession is what prompted this peanut butter fudge. Top this peanut butter fudge with salted caramel and Oreos, and you’ve got the ultimate
artery clogging crowd pleasing dessert.
My imitation of commercialized products continues with peanut butter cups. I loved making my own Reese’s cups because I felt like I could health-ify them; which in my book simply means switching the milk chocolate for dark chocolate. With this simple ingredient upgrade I feel justified popping those candies like pills. After all, dark chocolate is heart healthy, right? Find the recipe here.
As of lately I’ve been desperately missing France. I miss the beautiful patesseries filled with more Madeleines then you could dream of and Sunday falafel trips. I even miss the questionabley smelling metro cars (looking at you RER B) and the crowds of tourists outside of Notre Dame.
The best part about being back is that I can finally cook everything I ate (although I will not be trying to recreate our drunken gyro experiences). This week I made French silk pies. Although this isn’t a French dessert, I wanted to try out the miniature spring form pans I got at Dehillerin. Dehillerin was Julia Child’s favorite kitchen store in Paris, and hasn’t changed an ounce since she was last there.
Dehillerin is famous in part because they don’t post the prices on the items. Instead you have to look up the bar code in huge books. This detered me from checking the cost, and before I knew it I was 50 euros deep in miniature pie tins. Pretty good strategy to make bank on people too lazy to flip through a catelog.
Anyways back to the pie. This pie is indulgent, fairly simple and (depending on the sweet tooth of your guests) a crowd pleaser. It was also the perfect way to try out my spring form pans. I’m pretty sure miniature baked goods are on the level of puppies or babies, cuteness wise.
So I am back from Paris. So much abvilliance with this statement. Right now I am currently feeling a little bit resentful towards Paris because I just went to the dentist. After never having a cavity in my life, I found out today that I have six cavities. SIX. I still am in a state of shock. I mean I have a baking blog, I thought I was used to eating mass amount of sugar. Apparently not.
Even despite this bad news, I won’t quit my sweet tooth addiction, and instead I will just up my daily flossing (from NEVER to sometimes). I am so thrilled to be able to use a functioning oven again and have been planning baking projects for months. I started with salted peanut butter brownies from Love and Olive Oil. The intensely rich, dark, fudgy brownies are perfectly balanced by fluffy sweet frosting and flavorful salt flakes. Unfortunately for my teeth these are highly addictive, so once you start going expect to eat 3 or 4.