Category Archives: chocolate

Productivity (sort of.)

There is baking in this post, (it’s been far too long!) but since this does still remain a knitting blog, I’ll start off with the Ribby Cardi. I’m onto the 2nd front piece, fuelled by a sort of escape-velocity speed of knitting wherein I hope that if I knit fast enough I’ll still have enough red left for both the fronts and the buttonband. I think it’ll be okay. I think. But if I have to place a Knit Picks order and try to only order 1 ball of yarn? Shee-yeah, right, that’s likely to happen.

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Before I get to the baking, lemme tells ya about the food. The veggies this week have once again been met with my full force. The swiss chard subbed in for escarole in this skillet recipe, the butternut squash became this fantastically awesome pasta recipe which I’d forgotten about, the tomatoes got sliced up with some basil and vinaigrette, and some potatoes and carrots became this yummy soup. If I can stagger back to the kitchen this evening, more of the tomatoes will be turned into some pizza with olives. YUM. It’s a lot of cooking particularly on the weekend, these last few weeks, but it’s worth it to have leftovers for the rest of the week. There are sadly no pics of any of this – I don’t seem to have as much patience to stop and take pictures before devouring my dinner – but I’ll personally vouch for all of those recipes. MMM.

And I did say there was baking. Oh yes. I’ve started taking cupcake requests. My friend E who works in the same office as me on campus, requested something in chocolate-mint. This isn’t my favourite flavour combo, but I am a big fan of Junior Mints candies, so essentially I tried to approach this by trying to make a cupcake version of a Junior Mint. I think it worked. I can’t say that I’ve tasted one yet (waiting until after dinner), although I have tasted all of the constituent parts and those tasted darned good to me. Also, my sister and our friend C stopped by post-baking and there was a lot of this going on:

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Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes

I know this is horribly unseasonal – in the markets there are apples and pears and pumpkins for crying out loud! and I’m sitting here making chocolate mint cupcakes? – but hey, whatever. This prep will come in handy come the holiday season. For this adventure, I combined a sour cream chocolate cupcake recipe with a mint creme filling and a simple chocolate glaze. My sour cream chocolate cupcake recipe came from Cupcakes Year-Round, but this recipe is pretty close. I like the way it turned out, just smack dab between cake and brownie texture.

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For the mint creme filling, I started with 1 can sweetened condensed milk, added 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (add more in very small increments to increase the flavour), and kept on mixing in more powdered sugar until it got to a nice spoonable consistency. You fill the cupcakes by cutting a little cone shape out of each cupcake, slicing off the pointy end of the cone, spooning (or piping) in the filling in the little hole, and then putting the top back on. Now, it’s ready for glaze.

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For the glaze, I warmed 1 cup of heavy cream to just-bubbling, and poured over 200g of chopped dark chocolate. (Dark chocolate for that nice Junior-Minty flavour, mmm…) Let it stand for a few minutes and then stir it up until it’s a good drizzly consistency, but not so thick that it needs spreading. Drizzle it over the cupcake tops until smooth, then let stand. (it will harden up.) Garnish with some crushed up peppermint candies for easy identification purposes. Mmm.

So that pretty much brings me up to speed on the weekend. Miss Beatrice the cat has had a long hard weekend of defending the backyard against her evil arch nemesis, Skinny Orange Cat (as opposed to Fluffy Orange Cat), so she’s been a bit restless. I on the other hand, have some resting up to do before dinner begins. Off I go to clutch the knitting and pretend tomorrow isn’t Monday… ;)

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Filed under baking, chocolate, cooking, ribbi cardi

We interrupt your Sunday broadcast…

…for just a little bit of gratuitous food picspam.

Saturday was all about the kitchen, for me, and indulging in some new recipes. First, I assembled some S’mores Cupcakes:

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They are delicious – but very sweet. Tooth-brushing and flossing is very much required. The only thing I missed in the recipe was the sprinkling of graham crumbs, and I wish I’d had them (or crushed graham crackers), it would have completed the s’mores flavour. I suspect this recipe could be made vegan with a different chocolate cake recipe and an icing alternative – but sadly for the s’mores flavour it is hard to avoid the marshmallow.

(A propos of cupcakes, I suspect that this site may be my undoing.)

Then there was dinner. Salad Nicoise and Dave Liebermann’s Foccacias with caramelized onions. MMM.

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Oh yeah, and I finally sewed up the straps on that Honeymoon Cami as well… ;)

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It’s simple but comfy and perfect for this time of year. As with the first Honeymoon Cami I did a year ago, I added about 2 inches of length before starting the waist shaping decreases and it sits much more suitably on me than the original pattern length would. it took just over 4 balls of Luna overall for the 36″ size.

And now, to get back to that nightie and conquer the lace edging…And find people to help me eat up 2 dozen cupcakes… ;) Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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Filed under baking, chocolate, cooking, finished object, summer knitting

For Your Information

Did you know that Hershey has a Special Dark flavour of Hershey’s Kisses? And that they have 3g of dietary fibre per serving? I did not know this. I think I am going to have to go looking for some Hershey’s Kisses. (I am still mourning the fact that the Cherry Cordial ones were only a limited edition. I wonder if the Vanilla Creme ones are available in my area…)

The elbow is starting to twitch again, so I might have to slow the knitting down again this weekend, pooh. But here is an obligatory progress shot of Poppy anyhow:

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Have a great weekend!

 

 

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Filed under chocolate, poppy

It’s Monday already?

I did manage to do one or two non-knitting things this weekend, including another foray into baking – this time, my first attempt at chocolate eclairs. I just keep thinking about the eclairs we used to get at a bakery in the neighbourhood where I grew up…These aren’t quite the same, but they’ll do:

(Mmmm….)

While searching online for recipes I was also shocked and amazed at the number of recipes that tell you to use Cool Whip in the filling. Ugh. ::shudder:: Anyway, I used this pastry recipe and this frosting recipe and used regular whipped cream for the filling. The choux pastry was surprisingly easy, and after that it was just a matter of getting out the mixer to whip things. I think this may actually have been easier than baking cookies.

I also put in more effort on the Kitchen Sink sweater, and have started the back portion of the raglan decreases:

(Everything But the Kitchen Sink sweater, zipping along at lightning speed)

Once I finish the body I think I will pause on this and go back to my socks for a bit. I’m noticing that, even though I’m still keeping the colours pretty random, I do feel myself reaching for yarns in the same kinds of order – I tend to reach for the same purple yarn after a particular red yarn, that sort of thing – and I figure I’ll give myself a creative breather after doing so much so quickly.

Onwards to Monday…

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Filed under chocolate, everything but the kitchen sink

Finally

I have some prancing to do…

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(Finished Baudelaires – large size, made with Fortissima Socka on 2.75mm DPNs)

These babies have been lingering on the needles for three months, taunting me with their unfinishedness from the bottom of the knitting basket. Despite all my knitting, I haven’t had a Finished Object in over a month, and my sanity couldn’t take it any more. I sat down yesterday and finished them. Ta da!

If you were here in person, I would probably be pointing out to you where all the mistakes are. “See, here’s where the heel is crooked, and where the toe is wonky, and where I made stupid mistakes all over the lace pattern…” But I don’t mind one bit. These are my first completed toe-up socks, with a heel flap no less, and I knew when I went into it that I was choosing this pattern as a skill-building project. To heck with perfection. I learned one version of a toe-up heel flap, I learned two toe-up cast-ons (Figure 8, which I don’t like as well, and the square toe, which I do like), a new lace pattern, the sewn bind-off, and more things about short rows. The modest intimidation factor of these things was, ultimately, what kept me from finishing them so quickly, but I’m glad I did it. I would knit these again.

(Baudelaires – slightly blurry still life with Hershey’s Kisses)

Have you seen these new Cherry Cordial Hershey’s Kisses? Damn. I am going to have to get me some more of these, I tell you what. You know the sweet, gooey, pink pasty stuff that sits in the bottom centre of a chocolate-covered cherry? Well, they took that crack yummy stuff and put it in the centre of a chocolate kiss. Mmmmmnnnngggghhhhmmmm. This may be the best thing since I discovered dark chocolate Milky Way bars in the States. Excuse me, I think I need to be alone with the bag for a moment…

But one last glimpse at the socks first. ;)

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Filed under baudelaire, chocolate, finished object: socks, socks