Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Day 2 Candied Fruit

Here we are again, ready for day two?
The best part of the next 5 days is that it just a repeat of today. No mysteries here. Have your measuring cup, sugar and spatula handy. I want to also mention if you're using other sugar for this project like beet sugar or raw or even honey I'd love to hear about your results. I'll check in here in two days and see how it's going...feel free to post comments and questions.
Day 2
Remove or strain off your syrup and place it in a sauce pan. Heat and dissolve 1/4 c. of additional sugar to the syrup and cover your fruit with the syrup when it reaches a hard boil and all the sugar is dissolved. Cover again and leave for another 24 hours. Today's process will be repeated for days 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 (The next 5 days) Here's where you mark your calendar and take notes of your fruits changes.

  • Drain, Heat to a Simmer is what you want and make sure the sugar is dissolved each day.
  • Mark you calendar and journal. if you forget a day or got too's happened to me. I went to the next day with 1/4 c. because adding too much sugar at once takes longer to dissolve and absorb, which can cause sugar crystals...a different kind of candies fruit and not what we are going for. So I needed an extra day or I just went to the next set of days when I had to add more sugar. It worked out good.
Till Saturday...All the best

Monday, August 22, 2016

Day 1. Candied Fruit

Candied Fruit Recipes
One of those little niceties that goes on top of ice cream or even mashed into it. These look lovely enough to go on and i cakes. I'd posted this project in earlier post, but I wanted to let it go solo here because of it's versatility.  I hope you can give it a try.

Candy Ginger and Cherries

There are quite a few recipes for making candy fruit, but this project will take 14 days. I like the results. I can choose if I want the fruit glazed or crystallized looking. Believe, when i tell you...It's well worth the effort. I'm going to walk you thru making candied fruit in a cluster of  days. So let's get candy making.
You'll need. 
  • A calendar or journal to keep track of each days process. Personally, I like the journal type calendars, because I can take notes on how each fruit does through the candying process.
  • A sanitized needle for pricking berry type fruits.
  • 2  8 oz. canning jars with lids(depending on how many pounds of fruit you're candying)
  • Or a glass baking sheet one with a top would work nicely, but it's not necessary.
  • Medium sauce pan or skillet
  • Almost 3 c. Sugar for the whole process
  • Water to cover fruit at the start
  • Small saucer or bowl to keep fruit submerged.
  • A candy thermometer (help when gauging the hard boil)
  • A few spoons and spatula

Use only firm, unblemished fruit in this process and always wash fruit before hand. It will be necessary to prick each cranberry before the first step with a sanitized needle otherwise they will burst open in the cooking process and become mushy.

Candied Blueberries

Day 1.
In a sauce pan place your washed and needle pricked berries. Cover with just enough water to cover and set on a medium heat. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, not enough time to make the fruit mushy but enough time to break down the cell walls so your sugar will penetrate the berries easily over the next couple of weeks. Taking into consideration that you will cook these again in the near future. Remove the blueberries from the heat and strain setting the juice aside off the burner

For every one pound of fruit that you just cooked place 1 and 1/4 cup of liquid in a sauce pan. Heat to a boil and dissolve 3/4 cups of granular sugar. When completely dissolved pour this sugar mixture over the berries and set this aside.
*Note... if at all possible you should lay your fruit in a single layer on the baking sheet, for the sugar syrup. This allows the syrup to cover every piece of fruit.

If you're limited on kitchen space save the single layer technique for orange slices and fruit of that nature, but I used glass jars for blueberries and cherries. Since all fruits love to float this is the point where you weigh down your single layered fruit with a plate or a cookie sheet of a smaller size and your jarred fruits with a small bowl...I used parchment under the cup to push the fruit down even further. Leave your fruit to set at room temperature for 24 hours.

Fruit to try

Kiwi  only required half the process
Mango lovely and the syrup looks just like honey
Peach syrup taste way more heavenly than anything I've ever tasted on the grocery shelf. It just doesn't come close.
Blueberries Candy blueberries ... way better than grape jelly, which brings up the matter to candy grapes. I have to try it...

Golden Nugget...

Be sure to start your fruit at a gentle simmer...All fruit are not created equally and one fruit can become mushy quite quickly, than another would.  So gentleness and attentiveness is the key to achieving wonderful candies and syrup.

Our Next step is a cluster of make sure to use your journal for notes as well as keeping up with what step and day your on.

Can you imagine your fruits on top of chocolate cup cakes or cakes? I have more projects like this one, so like and subscribe to Chocolate Mondays to receive more of this type of recipe, to your in box once a month...
happy chocolate Monday to all

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Chocolate and lemon filled cookies recipe

Chocolate Cookies by Martha Stewart Magazine
I'm still on the hunt for the first chocolate cookie Martha aired on those first shows. It wasn't too sweet and I loved the ease and consistency of the dough. When I posted the original recipe I gleaned from her magazine, I said it was too sweet. This is my attempt to decrease the sugar to 1 c. and increased butter 1 ½ c.  They taste chocolaty and softer than the original. Very familiar taste, if you've ever had those cookies with the bear drawn out on the face of the cookie on the box? Yea, they taste like those.
I want them to be thicker so I may make another adjustment with the flour next the mean time I'm very happy how these turned out. I hope you get to try them...and the chocolate mint leaves with the lemon are a very sophisticated combination.

*Chocolate cookie Ingredients
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cups sugar, plus more for flattening cookies
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg

Cookie Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Into a medium-size bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture; continue add the flour mixture; continue beating until dough is well combined.
Use whatever sized ice cream scoop you want. Drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Place cookies in the oven until firm, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire racks to cool completely.

Lemon Butter Cream filling
2 c. sifted Confectioners sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) Whipped soften butter
1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. lemon juice

Filling Directions
Soften a stick of butter to room temperature and whip in a mixing bowl.
Combine the whipped butter with the sugar in a mixing bowl with a whisk or in a stand mixer on low.
Add the lemon juice a little at a time. It may not be necessary to use it all depending on the humidity and how the frosting consistency comes together for you. I like mine on the thicker side. You may like a stronger lemon flavor.

Place cream filling in a pastry bag fitted with a round or star tip and pipe about 1 Tablespoon filling onto the flat side of half the cookies. Top with another cookie and gently press on each to squeeze filling to edges. Filled cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days. Or placed in the fridge in a container.