Monday, July 23, 2018

CHOCOLATE NOUGAT CAKE: Retro Recipe

Love this Retro Recipe for Betty Crocker's "New Method" Chocolate Nougat Cake.  

Rich, moist, chocolately...with nuts all through.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

PENUCHE FUDGE aka Brown Sugar Fudge, Creamy Praline Fudge & New England Fudge: National Penuche Fudge Day

Today is Penuche Fudge Day. This tasty fudge is sometimes called Penuche Fudge, sometimes Brown Sugar Fudge, Creamy Praline Fudge, New England Fudge, and even Sucre a la Creme (in Canada)! Whatever you call it, it's fabulous.

Historically, Penuche Fudge has been attributed to New England (New England Fudge) as well as some places in the South (Creamy Praline), but there are many variations in nearly every part of the world. Milk is usually boiled down to thick fudge and brown sugar is then added to it to create the distinctive butterscotch taste. The dish is very similar to Mexican Cajeta which is also a kind of sweetened thickened goat’s milk with the same dull brown color of penuche. There are also many Indian versions of the same dish using thickened milk called as peda or milk fudge burfi. The only difference between the different regional variations is the thickness of the eventual dish. Cajeta is liquidy and can be used a as a spread, while penuche is semi-soft like a fudge and pedas or milk burfis are stiffer. But the basic ingredients in the penuche fudge recipe and preparation process are the same. Dulce du leche is another very popular version where condensed milk is thickened with hours of cooking resulting in a thick paste. Different versions of this dish are very popular all over Latin America and France even though they are given different names.

O.K. I meant to mention that there's no chocolate in Penuche Fudge. So if you want Chocolate Fudge, check out my National Fudge Day Recipe Round-Up!

Penuche Fudge

Ingredients
4 cups brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups chopped pecans

Directions
Combine brown sugar, cream, and butter in medium saucepan. Stir until dissolved. Heat to between 234 and 240 degrees F.
Remove from heat and stir until mixture loses its gloss (or process in food processor 30 seconds) Quickly stir in vanilla and nuts and spread into 9x9 inch dish.
Chill before cutting into squares.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Easy 4-Ingredient Avocado Truffles

A few days ago I posted a recipe for Zucchini Brownies. In keeping with the healthy veggie and chocolate theme, here's a recipe for Easy 4-Ingredient Avocado Truffles. You'll love the smooth creamy texture of these truffles--and you'll be getting your healthy fats and antioxidants. Basically, you'll be using only four ingredients: dark chocolate, avocado, salt, and cocoa, so these truffles will be low in sugar and high in antioxidants. They're also gluten-free and vegan. And, FYI: you won't taste the avocado, but it will provide the creaminess.

EASY 4-INGREDIENT AVOCADO TRUFFLES

Ingredients
4 ounces 70% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons pureed avocado
Pinch of sea salt
1/8 unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
Melt chocolate in double boiler over pot of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in avocado and salt. Mixture will thicken to frosting-like texture.
Cover and chill bowl until ganache thickens, about 25 minutes. Using melon baller, scoop out small measure of ganache and roll in hands to smooth out into balls. If balls don't form, refrigerate ganache for 30 minutes more.
Put cocoa powder in small bowl, then roll each of truffle balls in cocoa powder to coat.
Store in cool location or in airtight container in the refrigerator.


Friday, July 20, 2018

CHOCOLATE TOOTSIE ROLL POPS: National Lollipop Day

Today is National Lollipop Day. It should come as no surprise that my favorite lollipop when I was growing up was a Chocolate Tootsie Roll Pop.

I loved licking the hard outside to get to the chewy center. At some point, I used to chomp on the lollipop to make that crunchy hard candy shell combine in my mouth with the chewy tootsie roll center.

The Tootsie Roll Pop official website says that the Tootsie Roll Pop was the first lollipop providing an embedded candy "prize." That's exactly what it was...a prize! I can still taste it. Of course I only wanted a chocolate tootsie roll pop because what goes better with chocolate than more chocolate. And, don't forget the sticks. They were always great to chew on even after all traces of 'chocolate' were gone.

History of the Tootsie Roll Pop:  

Tootsie Roll Pops were invented in 1930 by Brandon Perry, an employee of The Sweets Company of America or in another history, by an employee named Luke Weisgram who was experimenting with new products, or in another story an employee named Tom Medric. Doesn't matter! The Chocolate Tootsie Roll Pop was made from putting company's famous Tootsie Rolls into hard candy, and it quickly became one of the best selling lollipops in the world. 

For people with more time on their hands than they should have: A student study at the University of Cambridge concluded that it takes 3481 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Another study by Purdue University concluded that it takes an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop using a "licking machine", while it takes an average of 252 licks when tried by 20 volunteers. Yet another study by the University of Michigan concluded that it takes 411 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. A study by junior high students in Swarthmore School concluded that it takes 144 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. As I mentioned before, I chomp near the end, so I would certainly alter the statistics.

For those who love a mystery, read the history of Leo Hirschfeld: Tootsie Roll Tragedy - and the murky Tootsie Roll history HERE.

And, for those of you who prefer their Tootsie Pops in a Glass, here's a recipe to celebrate the day.

Tootsie Pop Cocktail Recipe 
You'll be amazed at how much this tastes like a tootsie roll!

1 part Kahlua
1 part Root beer
2 drops chocolate syrup

In a highball glass, add Kahlua, then root beer. Stir. Then let chocolate syrup drop. Add tootsie pop (unwrapped) to garnish.