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Mill Fudge Factory Review

Mill Fudge Factory Review

Main fudge

 

Product Description: “Our fudge is made with all natural, fresh ingredients like Callebaut Belgian dark chocolate, Cabot butter, pure honey, and cane sugar – you won’t find any corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors in there! We follow our family’s traditional Scottish recipe that calls for just the right amount of sweetness and gives our fudge an incredibly pleasing texture and density.

Classic Fudge flavors are true masterpieces. Simple and traditional, each is a delicious and satisfying indulgence. We only use fresh, natural ingredients in our timeless recipes, creating the highest quality, sweet-but-not-too-sweet gourmet fudge. You’ll love curling up at home and enjoying our handcrafted classic flavors!”

The Mill Fudge Factory also offer flavors such as Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Pure New Hampshire Maple, Scotch Whiskey, Eggnog, Pumpkin Pie and more.

The company is located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire is a historic 1700’s grist mill overlooking the Newfound River. They are family-owned and operated, making fudge and ice cream since 2006. Their mission is simple: “to make people happy”.

fudge wrapped

Ingredient List:

 Original Penuche: Cane Sugar, Evaporated Milk, Butter (salted), and Pure Honey.

Belgian Chocolate: Cane Sugar, Evaporated Milk, Butter (salted), Belgian Dark Chocolate and Pure Honey.

Maple Walnut: Cane Sugar, Evaporated Milk, Butter (salted), Pure Maple Syrup, Walnuts, Pure Honey and Maple Extract.

Chocolate Raspberry: Cane Sugar, Evaporated Milk, Butter (salted), Belgian Dark Chocolate, Raspberries, Natural Raspberry Extract and Pure Honey.

fudge

Test Kitchen Overview: An email was sent to the Test Kitchen describing this fudge. We almost overlooked it, but the fact that it was deemed as all natural ingredients had us intrigued, so we asked for samples for review.

We were sent four flavors, as listed above. They were very simply wrapped in plastic wrap with a paper label, which were then placed in a brown presentation box. We liked the fact that there are not overly packaged. It made us think of stepping up to an old-fashioned candy store counter and choosing the fudge ourselves, cut and packed to order.

We tasted the Original Penuche first and were immediately met with a strong honey flavor, which we didn’t expect (as we hadn’t yet read the label). The texture was super smooth and the density was very nice – providing a little bit of chew and resistance, while still being quite silky smooth. Overall we liked the honey in this flavor, which was also redolent of caramelized sugar. The Belgian Chocolate was next and while the chocolate was deep and rich and the texture similarly smooth, the flavor of honey was a distraction for us from the chocolate, as it was in the Chocolate Raspberry flavor. It harmonized well with the Maple Walnut.

Pros: Perfectly smooth texture. If you like honey as a flavor, you will love this fudge. Making fudge from scratch can be problematic if you are not familiar with candy making. Mill Fudge Factory offers classic as well as seasonal flavors from which to choose.

Cons: There is a dominant honey flavor. We liked it in the Original Penuche, but in the Chocolate Raspberry, for instance, we felt it detracted.

Suggested Use: As a treat or host/hostess gift. Great for holiday gift giving.

Where to Buy: Through Mill Fudge Factory directly and throughout New England in select Whole Foods and other stores. Use the store locator on the Mill Fudge factory site.

Price at Time of Review: $7.99 to $10.00 for half a pound

Through 10/31/15, receive $5 off of a $10 minimum purchase when using code BAKE5

 

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

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Salted Caramel is the New Pumpkin Spice

Salted Caramel is the New Pumpkin Spice

 

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Sure, we still like spiced pumpkin things around here – pies, tarts, hot beverages, ice creams, brownies etc. – but according to MyFitnessPal, the flavor of Salted Caramel is taking Fall 2015 by storm!

salted-caramelWe aren’t saying that Pumpkin Spice or PSL cravings (Pumpkin Spice Latte) are going away, it just seems as though we are now more open to other decadent autumnal flavors.

 

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Of course, we have always been big Salted Caramel fans here at Bakepedia. The image up top is of our Bacon Bourbon Salted Caramel Popcorn – also referred to as “crack corn” around the Test Kitchen.

 

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Or if you are in the mood for brownies, try the Salted Caramel Brownies. Homemade caramel make these as indulgent as you can get; just look at the closeup above!

 

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David Lebovitz brought us his Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse. We dare you to try and make this without licking the spatula! Make sure to use a high quality flaky sea salt for that textural contrast.

 

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Thinking outside the box we created Sweet & Savory Fried Vidalia Onion Rings served with a Salted Bourbon Honey Caramel Dipping Sauce. The title is a mouthful and so are these slightly sweet yet savory treats. As with all fried foods, they are best enjoyed right after frying, so plan carefully.

 

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For something a little lower if fat, we turn to this meringue creation from the Meringue Girls: Salted Caramel, Poached Pear and Chocolate Drizzle Meringue Slab.

 

Salted-Caramel

If you are looking for cookies, Danny from Danny Macaroons brought us his Salted Caramel Macaroons. These are not your everyday deli macaroons.

 

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If you want to order some serious deliciousness, look no further than The Whoopie Wagon. My friend Mary Bandereck knows her whoopies and the Salted Caramel Whoopie Pies above will be delivered straight to your door.

 

All graphs courtesy of MyFitnessPal.com

 

If you have a favorite salted caramel recipe, Submit it Today!  We would love to try it.

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Review of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Three-Piece Pie Baking Kit

Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Three-Piece Pie Baking Kit

 

rose's mat

 

Product Description: Our good friend Rose Levy Beranbaum has come out with some pie baking tools to help you make pie baking as easy and enjoyable as it can be. Her three-piece kit consists of Rose’s Magic Rolling Pin, Rose’s Magic Dough Pastry Mat and Rose’s “Fast Tracks” (each item is available separately as well).

Rose’s Magic Rolling Pin is 18-inches long and 2-inches in diameter and made from non-stick SynGlas. It is extremely lightweight and dishwasher safe and comes in red, pink, white, blue and natural.

Rose’s Magic Dough Pastry Mat is a nonstick rolling mat that measures 24.5-inches by 18-inches and features both a non-slip backing as well as Rose’s pie crust recipe and tips printed right on the front. It has several measurements, round (for classic pie crusts) as well as a linear grid and a conversion chart among other helpful information.

Rose’s “Fast Tracks” are simple tools that ensure consistent dough thickness when rolling. The kit contains three pairs that are 18-inches long by 1-inch wide. There is a 3/32-inch that she recommends for pies, a 1/16 for tarts and galettes and a 1/8-inch for cookies. All are dishwasher safe silicone.

 

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Image above courtesy of realbakingwithrose and American Products Group, Inc. Photo by Stretch Tuemmler.

 

Test Kitchen Overview: We pay attention to anything that Rose recommends, as she is a stickler for detail and function. She sent us this kit for review and I have to say I was most excited about the mat. It is extra-large, able to handle anything we are rolling out in our Test Kitchen. The non-slip backing has a good grippy feel, while not being sticky, and it doesn’t mar surfaces. We tried it with pie crust as well as a rich cream cheese rugelach dough and it worked very well with just a tiny bit of flour dusted over the surface. The pin is quite nonstick, however its ultra-lightness threw us for a loop at first. We think there is a learning curve with this one. As we continued to use it, we liked it more and more, but it felt very different beneath our hands from what we are used to. We like that it is so wide (18-inches); makes it very easy to roll out crusts for extra large pies in particular. The “Fast Tracks” work well, but we have used products like this before. They do help one roll out a nice even piece of dough.

Pros: With the mat it doesn’t matter what your kitchen surfaces are – this tool provides the perfect rolling surface no matter what. Its extra-large size is perfect even for larger pies and baked goods. We like that the mat is jam-packed with all sorts of tips and recipes from Rose right on top of the mat. The pin comes in colors to match your décor. We have several different types of pins in our kitchen and use different ones for different purposes. This pin is especially good for sticky doughs. The “Fast Tracks” can help you roll out evenly if that is something that eludes you. Also, the tracks store inside the pin, which means you will never misplace them or take up unnecessary room.

Rose's mat

Cons: None per se. You do not need this mat, but it certainly made rolling out a breeze. If you have struggled with rolling out piecrust in the past, this would be a great item to try. The rolling pin is nice is you need one, although we don’t think it will replace our heavy wooden one. (We are looking forward to trying it with marzipan and chocolate plastic where we think it will shine). We don’t consider the tracks a must, but again, if you are a pie fiend and like gadgets, get the kit!

Suggested Use: Anytime you are rolling out piecrust, pie dough or pastry doughs.

Where to Buy: Direct from Rose, through Amazon or Food52.

Price at Time of Review: $59.99 for the three-piece kit. (Slightly less at Food52).

 

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

 

 

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Roundup: The Best Bake Sale Goodies

Bake Sale Goodies

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School has started and you will be getting an alert about upcoming bake sales, if you haven’t already. Church groups, non-profits and other organizations love a good bake sale and they depend on the quality of the items offered. What makes a good bake sale goody? We think it should be portable, have a pretty good shelf-life, not need refrigeration and just make you want to buy it. With that in mind we asked some of our favorite bloggers for their ideas, taking all of the above into account as well as special needs diets. We think you will find what you are looking for here. We would love to see pictures of your Bake Sale event! Send them along and we will profile them on our Facebook page.

Cheesecake is always popular, but at a bake sale? Look at that top image. See the creamy swirls of cheesecake? Bars are such a great way to go for bake sales. You make one pan and voila! You’ve got many servings. Put cheesecake and bars together and you’ve got these Cheesecake Cookie Bars from What’s Gaby Cooking. They combine a chocolate chip style cookie layer topped with a cheesecake layer for a powerhouse of flavor and texture.

 

Double-Chocolate-Banana-Muffins

How about something healthy. That contains chocolate! These Skinny Double Chocolate Banana Muffins from Krista at Joyful Healthy Eats pack whole wheat flour, cocoa and mini chips into gorgeous, easy to eat, domed muffins

keylimecooler

From Marcie at Flavor The Moments we have Key Lime Cooler Cookies. Yes, the powdered sugar can get a bit messy, but why not make little bags of a half-dozen or so and charge a premium! Perfect for kids to give as a gift for teachers.

 

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Callie Mae and Kelly Bejelly from A Girl Worth Saving always have interesting paleo options and these days you should have some paleo sweets at your Bake Sale table. But that doesn’t mean deprivation! These Paleo Brownies feature coconut oil, coconut sugar (they are very gently sweetened) cocoa powder, and both tapioca flour and coconut flour. They do contain eggs for binding,

 

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Lisa Menichello Huff from Snappy Gourmet appears often in our roundups and for good reason. We love her style! These Easy S’Mores Bars are jam packed with gooey deliciousness. Bars, again, to the rescue.

 

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Signage is important at your bake sale. Sometimes the name of something will bring in the big bucks. Marly from Namely Marly brings us these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Sandwich Cookies. Folks go crazy for PB cups and – wait for it – these are vegan! Look at that mouthwatering image…you have to check these out.

 

butterscotch-brownies

Any recipe with “butterscotch” in the title gets our attention and these Marianne’s Butterscotch Chocolate Bars from Sarah’s Cucina Bella are easy enough for the kids to make. A layer of chocolate settles near the bottom leaving the butterscotchy, salt spiked tender layer on top.

 

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Having a no-bake option is always good. These No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen have some chocolate, some peanut butter for protein and oatmeal for fiber. Almost a virtuous choice as well as easy. Make sure to use the quick cooking oats that she recommends for best results.

 

Easy-Watermelon-Rice-Krispies-Treats

We knew we had to have a rice krispie treat variation and this one is an eye-catcher! Camille from Growing Up Gabel offered her Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats that use a little bit of green and pink food coloring to make this visual treat. And they are so much easier to make than you might think.

 

One-Bowl-Mini-Baked-Samoa-Donuts-with-5-MInute-Caramel-Sauce

Okay here’s a mouthful: Mini Baked Samoa Donuts with 5 Minute Caramel Sauce. Don’t let the title fool you. These are doable – albeit a tad fancy. But if you want to be the one that blows the rest of the bake sale items out of the water, you might want to give these a try. They are from Megan from her blog With Salt & Wit and these happen to be vegan as well.

 

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Read this: Fudgy Mocha Chip Brownies with Espresso Sea Salt. Yes, you read that right. Espresso Sea Salt. Lauren from Keep It Sweet Desserts shows us how. These are a sophisticated option that will shine among the more, ahem, expected bake sale treats.

 

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Granola type bars always make a good offering because they pack so easily into a lunchbox and can be saved for later or the next day. Arman of the blog The Big Man’s World brought us his No Bake Sunbutter Granola Bars featuring oats, oat bran, sunflower seed butter and brown rice syrup among other healthful ingredients.

 

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As much as we are still thinking it is the end of summer (and it is technically) the fall recipes and flavors are creeping in. Like apples! These Apple Crumb Cakes from Erren’s Kitchen bring us what we are cravings now…apples, cinnamon, a texture filled, brown sugar crumb topping. And we have built in portion control. That is if you eat just one.

 

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Speaking of fall, yes it is time for pumpkinpalooza (we just made that up). Fall means pumpkin baked goods. Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen brings us Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with a tender pumpkin flavored batter and a creamy cheesecake center.

 

Salted-Nut-Roll-Bars-Just-like-the-Candy-Bar-via-www.julieseatsandtreats.com-recipe-bars

And last but not least Julie from Julie’s Eats & Treats from brings us a Salted Nut Roll Bar. We don’t think the salty and sweet theme is going away anytime soon because it is so darn delicious. Here Julie begins with a boxed cake mix and adds in marshmallows, rice krispies, peanuts and peanut butter chips.

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No-Bake Desserts and Icebox Cakes

No-Bake Desserts and Icebox Cakes

 

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Before our thoughts completely turn to apples, pears and pumpkins up here in the Northeast, we want to squeeze every last drop of summer out while we can. Fact is that we have been having some of the hottest days of the summer in the last few weeks around here so we have been focusing on ice cream, frozen desserts and icebox cakes and creations…anything that doesn’t require baking, or maybe just minimal baking like for a tart crust. We turned to our blogger friends to see what they have up their sleeves. I was immediately thrilled with the ice cream shot pictured above. And the name! When I was growing up the idea that there were ice cream cones called drumsticks always made me smile and it turns out the site of them still does!

Blogger Namely Marly brings us these Vegan Drumsticks and while they might look complex, they are simple enough to make withe the kids. She takes advantage of vegan frozen ice cream and purchased cones and they come together very quickly – and will disappear just as fast.

 

5-Ingredient No-Bake Strawberry Tart

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These individual tarts do require small tartlet pans, but what an elegant and healthy way to close out the summer months. They feature yogurt and fresh fruit with a crust of nuts, oats dates that simply presses in – all from the blog Tried and Tasty.

 

7-Layer Cookie Dip

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Seems like many of the parties I go to feature a 7-layer dip but it typically involved beans, sour cream and cheese! Here The Cookie Rookie got inspired by the sweet side of the kitchen by combining pudding and cookies and cream and nuts. When made in disposable plastic cups this becomes an easy outdoor dessert to share with a crowd.

 

Chocolate Stout S’Mores Icebox Pie

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We can always count on The Beeroness to bring us something with scratch ingredients and bit sophisticated. The sweetness of s’mores flavors are tamed with the addition of stout. We love the combination of slightly bitter stout and chocolate. Here a crispy crust and creamy middle is topped with toasted marshmallows. Get out your torch! (We love an excuse to do that).

 

Strawberry and Blueberry Cheesecake Icebox Cake

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We love baking in Pyrex for our pies but when it comes to cakes and such in 9×13-inch pans we are usually reaching for metal. This icebox dessert from Life, Love and Sugar is a great example of why you should have an ovenproof glass 9×13-inch pan (such as Pyrex) in your kitchen. When making such a creation, with its layers of strawberries and blueberries and cream cheese and such, it is nice to see the layers! It also makes a nicer presentation on the table. This one is easy enough to make with any kids that are still home from school.

 

No-Bake Kool-Aid Pie

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Check out that color! Yes, it comes from Kool-Aid. This no-bake pie is brought to us by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts and is certainly going to add color to your buffet table. Kids and adults alike get a kick out of the idea that a powdered drink can be used for flavor and color in a simple pie.

 

No-Bake Nutella Chocolate Icebox Cake

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We always have a jar of Nutella in the Test Kitchen. Why haven’t we featured it in a while? probably because we keep eating it by the spoon and there isn’t enough to bake with! Apron Strings blog saves the day with this idea featuring cream, Nutella and layers of chocolate graham crackers.

 

 

No-Bake Peanut Butter Butterfinger Pie

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Here is a no-bake pie from Flavor Mosaic that combined peanut butter and Butterfinger candy. You’ve got dark chocolate flavor in the store-bought Oreo crust, the milk chocolate coating the candy bars blending with peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk in the filling…save some of the candy bars for sprinkling on top for a welcomed textural contrast.

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream Cake

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We do love the texture contrast of crunchy and smooth all in one dessert and Cooking On The Weekends has brought us Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream Cake that not only has contrasting textures and flavors but is gluten-free as well using coconut flour in the cake. This one is a showstopper and is sure to impress.

 

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Pecan Crust

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And last but not least, a nod to the coming fall with a pumpkin dessert. Joyful Healthy Eats brings us spoonable pumpkin cheesecake in a bowl – who can resist that? With a gingersnap and pecan crust, this one will make us happy that the seasons are changing.

 

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Labor Day Potluck Desserts

Labor Day Potluck Desserts

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Is summer over? NO! We have a few more weeks, folks. That said, school is starting, if it hasn’t already and the Labor Day weekend is coming fast. Around my neck of the woods we like to get together for casual parties where everyone brings a dish. Sometimes spelled “potlatch”, the concept is that the host perhaps provides a main dish or two, maybe the beverages, but guests fill in, mostly with side dishes and desserts. When I am invited you can just imagine that I am expected to bring dessert! A good potlatch dessert travels well, feeds many easily and preferably will not require refrigeration once it arrives at its destination. Here are some of our blogger friend’s best bets.

The No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Lasagna pictured as our main image is from Snappy Gourmet. The recipe does rely on some convenience products but every time we have brought a dessert called “lasagna” to a party people go kinda crazy over it. Go figure, but hey, this one is creamy and light and satisfying at the same time and eminently portable.

 

Mississippi Mud Bars

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These are a crowd pleaser and this version from Diary of a Recipe Collector is so rich, they go a long way. Always helpful at a party of indeterminate number.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

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Cookie dough is an insanely popular flavor and cupcakes seem to draw folks to the buffet table. Besides, cupcakes are very portable and give you an excuse to buy a cute cupcake carrier if you don’t have one. These are from our friends at Cupcake Diaries.

 

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Icing

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Iowa Girl Eats brings us a sheet cake – always a good choice for travel as well as feeding a crowd. The icing is very easy and uses melted butter.

 

No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake

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Roasted Root brings us this creamy and dreamy no-bake cheesecake that is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and happens to be high protein. Plated with fresh figs as pictured, it is an elegant finish, but feel free to use other fruit as well. Raspberries are a lovely choice.

 

Peach Pie Oatmeal Cookies

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Peaches are still abundant but will soon give way to apples, pears and pumpkins so take advantage. Their use in cookies is unexpected and brings moisture and flavor as well as a pretty color. These are from Amy’s Healthy Baking.

 

Lemon Berry Angel Food Cake

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Using purchased angel food cake gets this light trifle made in no time. This dessert from The Lemon Bowl travels easily in a bowl. Use a clear bowl to show off all of the pretty layers and colors. Makes it even more enticing.

 

Blueberry Crunch Dump Cake

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Home Cooking Memories brings us a dump cake featuring blueberries – another fruit that is about to leave the stands. This dessert features several textures – moist and fruity, crisp and crunchy – and when you top it with some cream you have a sensory explosion.

 

Buttermilk Cake with Maple Bacon Glaze

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If you follow Bakepedia closely you know we have a love affair with bacon in our desserts. Here The Reluctant Entertainer brings us a cake big enough for a party and blends bacon with maple and a tender buttermilk based cake.

 

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Cake

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Two Healthy Kitchens brings us a dessert with a tropical vibe. The almonds accentuate the coconutty flavor and the size is perfect for most any potluck.

 

No Cook Peaches and Cream Tart

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The Apron Strings blog is showing us a summery dessert and I say, hold onto summer while we can! This no-bake tart showcases peaches or nectarines nicely. Travel with it in a pan to keep it safe while transporting.

And from all of us here at Bakepedia, have a fabulous holiday weekend!

 

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Review of TSP (Totally Sweet Products by Architec) Spatulas and Icing Combs

Review of TSP (Totally Sweet Products by Architec) Spatulas and Icing Combs

 

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Product Description: “This line was designed to give the home baker tools to create bakery finish every time. When designing this line, our team channeled the home baker but called on the pros to help develop items that would make it easy and fun to produce creative & professional baked goods! And the best part – 5% of TSP sales go toward our Bake for Benny fund, benefitting pet charities & shelters nationwide!”

The spatulas are made from heat resistant silicone to 440°F and are BPA free & dishwasher safe. The combs are made from nylon and are BPA Free & dishwasher safe.

spatulas in pitcher

 

Test Kitchen Overview: We were sent a PR email featuring these products and as soon as we saw the images of the spatulas, we had to get our hands on them. We use our spatulas all the time – for folding, mixing, scraping out jars, spreading – whether it is buttercream, frosting, ganache, peanut butter, honey or even when we are savory cooking like folding together the ingredients for our weekly gigantic kale salad that we snack on all day (one cannot live by butter and sugar alone). We asked to see the spatulas and the icing (decorating) combs to take into the Test Kitchen.

The spatulas are indeed shaped unlike any other spatulas we have. Would these shapes work well and in what applications? They are named for flowers:

16” Freesia Spatula: This is the extra long skinny one (blue towards right rear). We did find that it worked great for getting the last bit of ingredients out of jars, but was too narrow for folding. This is why there are so many various shapes – they each serve a purpose.

14” Calla Lily: This shape (far left in image) was a little more similar to other spatulas that we have but the sharp angle on the side gives it some flexibility; it not only worked well for folding small amounts of ingredients, but that little bump-out helped scrape out jars and the bottom corner of bowls.

14” Tulip: This shape (rear, middle, white) was very multi-functional and the squared off top works well with bowls that are not completely rounded on the bottom.

14” Peony: If we had to choose one that would be fairly multi-purpose, it would be this one (far right, pink).

14” Orchid: The rounded side is good for folding and scraping bowls, while the straight side works well for smoothing the tops of batters (2nd in from left, blue).

14” Lotus: This one is an odd shape and at first we couldn’t quite figure out its best usage (front in pink). Then, while using it with a food processor, we found that the pointed end got into the corners of the bowl perfectly and now we grab it just for this usage every time.

 

icing combs

Icing Comb Set (6 combs): The icing comb set has nicely formed ridges for creating various textures in buttercream and icing. They are a good stiffness, attractive and easy to use and clean. The shapes are as follows: Large Zig-Zag; Small Zig-Zag; Large Stripe; Small Stripe; Large Scallop; Small Scallop.

 

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Pros: The spatulas add a decorative flair to the kitchen and they do work quite well and clean easily. These new shapes add function to our battery of tools. The combs worked well. For the quality we find the products to be very well priced.

Cons: The 16” spatula might be a challenge to stand up in some dishwashers (simply lay it down). We like the pink color of the combs, but wonder if that will detract for some bakers.

Suggested Use: We love that the spatulas are named after flowers and couldn’t resist arranging them like a bouquet. These would make a perfect wedding shower gift. As with any rubber/silicone spatulas, we say you can never have enough!

Where to Buy: Direct from architecproducts.com

Price at Time of Review:

Icing Comb Set: $9.99

Spatulas are all $6.99

 

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

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Chimes Toasted Coconut Toffee Review

Chimes Toasted Coconut Toffee Review

Chimes

 

Product Description: A classic recipe from Malaysia and produced in Malaysia, using fresh coconut milk instead of coconut powder or flavoring. Chimes uses freshly pressed coconut milk and cane sugar and cooks them until they caramelize, then adds a noticeable amount of sea salt. Chimes Toasted Coconut Toffee are vegan, gluten-free and dairy free.

The company began in 1935; from the website:

“In 1935, a young couple decided to open up a modest café in a town near Mt. Bromo. One day, an herbalist stopped by the café, and ended up giving the couple a recipe for a chewy ginger candy to help supplement their meager income. Three generations later, Chimes Ginger Chews are made by the same family in the same town where the café was 70 years ago! Today, Chimes employs hundreds of local villagers, and we are privileged to make a difference in the lives of our employees, their families and the community in which they live. Our production has been so notable, that East Java celebrates our ginger chews as a “Heritage Industry.”

Ingredient List: Coconut Milk, Cane Sugar, Tapioca Glucose, Palm Oil, Sea Salt, Soy Lecithin.

Chimes2_1

Test Kitchen Overview: We came across this candy at the Fancy Food Show in NYC. I stopped by the Chimes booth because I was familiar with their Ginger Chews and was looking for a nosh. Front and center they were showcasing their newest product, these Toasted Coconut Toffees. I love toffee and was intrigued by the coconut milk content. One sample and my taste buds smiled. It is a hard candy that softens a bit in your. You will be tempted to bite into it, but wait as long as possible so that you can enjoy the coconut milk/caramelized sugar flavors. You definitely get a hit of the salt, which is a nice counterpoint. The size is large enough to linger a few minutes, but not so large that you feel as through you are making a bit candy/calorie commitment.

Pros: Chimes Toasted Coconut Toffees are a great addition to the large variety of toffees available and offer something different with their coconut milk content. We like the small size, which allows us to indulge while providing a portion control (if you do not eat several at once, which is tempting. And we like the salt flavor too and the fact that each candy is individually wrapped.

Cons: Like any toffee, use your best judgment when eating – loose cavities or dental work beware.

Suggested Use: As a snack. If you are so inclined, we also crushed them up and added them to our Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies in lieu of the standard toffee bits.

Where to Buy: Check out the locator on the Chimes site and Amazon.

Also look for their products at Whole Foods, Zingerman’s, The Fresh Market, The Food Emporium and others.

 

Price at Time of Review: 3.5 ounce (100 grams) resealable pack that retails from $2.99 to $3.49. Right now available at Cost Plus World Market, soon to be rolled out elsewhere.

 

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

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SuperSeedz Flavored Pumpkin Seed Review

SuperSeedz Flavored Pumpkin Seed Review

superseedz

 

Product Description: SuperSeedz is one of the fastest-growing snack brands featuring 9 flavors of no-shell, dry roasted pumpkin seeds. The newest flavor, Maple Sugar & Sea Salt, as an example, offers 7 grams of plant-based protein, 2 mg of Iron and 2 mg of Zinc in just ¼ cup. All varieties are non-GM0 verified, cholesterol- and trans-fat free, allergen friendly (gluten- free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free and include soy-free ingredients). Other flavors offer up to 9 grams of protein per ounce.

Ingredient List: Here are a few of their flavors:

Maple Sugar & Sea Salt: Shelled Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sugar, Cinnamon, Real Vanilla Extract.

Cinnamon & Sugar: Shelled Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sugar, Maple Sugar, Unrefined Sea Salt, Real Vanilla Extract.

Coco Joe: (seen below) Shelled Pumpkin Seeds, Sugar, Premium Cocoa, Coffee, Vanilla, Unrefined Sea Salt.

Tomato Italiano: Shelled Pumpkin Seeds, Crushed Tomato, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Dried Basil, Unrefined Sea Salt, Dried Parsley, Dried Oregano, Black Pepper.

Super Spicy: Shelled Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sugar, Garlic, Unrefined Sea Salt, Cayenne, Black Pepper, Habanero, Red Crushed Pepper.

They also offer Sea Salt, Somewhat Spicy, Curious Curry and Really Naked.

 

superseedz2

 

Test Kitchen Overview: We have been on a “plain” cake kick recently meaning we have been indulging in baking pound cakes and simple coffee cakes. (Check out our CRAFTSY class if you haven’t already). They go so well with the fruits of summer and they also lend themselves to tweaks and variations. Chopped nuts are a classic way to add texture and flavor and when we saw the line of SuperSeedz at the Fancy Food Show in NYC this summer our minds immediately went beyond eating them as a simple snack; we could see how much they could add to our baking. They are a line of non-GMO sunflower seeds with various flavors from simple Sea Salt to curry to maple, Italian-inspired and more.

Pros: We really like the range of flavors, from sweet to savory and they are all very balanced. You can taste the fresh roasted sunflower seeds and they are complemented by the flavorings, but never overpowered. For instance, with the Coco Joe you can taste the cocoa and the coffee but neither assault your taste buds. You still feel like you are eating a healthy snack – which you are – while getting a little bit of an indulgence. This restraint with flavorings also makes SuperSeedz more versatile as an addition to our baking. Great packaging too. The bags are resealable and we like the simple but illustrative artwork.

Cons: Really none. Love the product. Would love to be able to buy in bulk!

Suggested Use: Eat as a snack – we love the small 1-ounce snack size for portion control – but also let your imagination run wild. Add them to crumb toppings and streusels. Toss into granolas and granola bar recipes. Use as a base for brittles and pralines. The Tomato Italiano is great on pizza and in salad and on top of savory bread loaves. We added the Cinnamon & Sugar to banana bread and blueberry muffins. We tried the Maple Sugar & Sea Salt in carrot cake. All very successful.

Where to Buy: Check out the locator on the SuperSeedz site.

Also look at Albertson’s Big Y Supermarkets, VONS Natural, Whole Foods, Fairway, Stop & Shop and others.

Price at Time of Review: 1-ounce two packs from $3.99. Average price for 5-ounce package is $4.99.

 

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

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Fiskars Scissors & Shears Product Review

Fiskars Scissors & Shears

Fiskars

Product Description: Fiskars offers four kitchen-focused scissors and shears. We tested the following three models presented here with the manufacturer’s descriptions. (We did not test their Heavy-Duty Kitchen Shears 9-inch):

Fast Prep Herb Shears 5-inch: “Ideal for quickly mincing herbs and veggies right into the bowl, these dexterous, dishwasher-safe shears feature a more compact stature to maximize accuracy when cutting ingredients like chives, thyme, mint and basil…Engineered to put speed and control at your fingertips, a forward hand position allows you to make quick cuts at any angle. Add to that a spring-action design that makes every stroke of the blades virtually effortless… When dinner’s ready, simply toss the shears in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.”

Fast Prep Herb Shears 7-inch: “This streamlined, dishwasher-safe design makes it easy to chop vegetables, herbs and even meat directly into the bowl, no cutting board required.” Additional description same as above (5-inch model).

All-Purpose Kitchen Shears 8-inch: “Ever made an entire meal with just one tool? Allow us to introduce the kitchen’s ultimate jack-of-all-trades. Whether you’re stripping stems, chopping vegetables, opening packaging or cutting meat, these all-purpose shears go from one task to the next without complaining. A serrated blade edge grips for precision no matter what you’re cutting, and sculpted handle loops with Softgrip® touchpoints bring Fiskars’ hallmark comfort to every use. Plus, a take-apart, dishwasher-safe design makes post-meal cleanup a cinch.”

 

Test Kitchen Overview: We have said it before and we will say it again: every kitchen needs a good set of scissors or shears. Along with tongs, they are the unsung heroes. Perhaps you have a collection of wooden spoons, a spatula or two and some knives. You need to branch out! We use our scissors for snipping herbs, opening packages, cutting strips of parchment for lining pans, cutting parchment for triangles and possibly our favorite use is for trimming pie dough to aid in creating a neat edge. Not a day goes by in the Test Kitchen when we don’t reach for our scissors. In a perfect world we would have at least two, reserving one for paper and one for food. Just like knives the most important thing is that they are sharp and well made. Dull tools not only do not work, they are dangerous. In the past we have used scissors purchased any old place and haven’t used scissors specifically meant for the kitchen. That changed when these Fiskars came to the Test Kitchen.

We tested 3 models, all meant for the kitchen and the quality and craftsmanship had us looking for more ways to use them! I have small hands so I had others with much larger hands work with them as well for a more balanced review. (We tested a right-handed model of the All-Purpose Kitchen Shears and the testers were all right handed. Note that Fiskars makes left handed models and also note that the 5-inch and 7-inch Fast Prep Herb Shears work equally well for lefties and righties).

Pros: A few features jumped out at us immediately, primarily that all of these are dishwasher safe, which is so important for kitchen sanitation, that they all come with sheaths for storage and that they are backed with a lifetime warranty. And here’s another thing that might seem silly, but we didn’t need a strong set of shears to get the packages open! We had just re-watched the Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry David goes to buy box cutters because he has a package that he can’t open. When he gets home he realizes that he needs a pair of box cutters to open the box cutter package. The irony hit home; we have had this experience. The Fiskars folks have secured their scissors and shears in very well thought out packages that present them safely, allowing you to see them front and back, and yet we were able to open the packages easily with our hands.

fiskars2

The Fast Prep shears work equally well for right and left-handed cooks. We assumed the 5-inch size (seen above) was going to be a bit undersized for our extra-large handed tester, but it worked very well for all of us. Surprising and a testament to good design. We loved the ability of the All-Purpose Kitchen Shears to come apart for cleaning. They lock together very well and very safely so we didn’t even give this a thought during use. They feel secure and they are secure. None of our previous scissors had come with sheaths and we appreciated this extra. It allowed us to store the scissors in a drawer knowing the blades would be protected and any hands rummaging around would be safe, too.

We knew we would use these for herbs, parchment paper and trimming pie dough, as mentioned previously, but the blades are so sturdy and sharp we found ourselves using them for other tasks as well such as cutting up kale for smoothies, trimming fresh flowers for cake decorations, cutting raw and cooked bacon, cutting pizza, using to “chop” peeled tomatoes right in their can, to “dice” dried fruit, snipping marshmallows into the sizes we need and possibly our favorite use – using scissors to slash vents into pie dough…everyday we are coming up with more uses.

fiskars3

Cons: None. These tools are well made, inexpensive and readily available. They make a great gift, too, for the cook or baker who have everything.

Suggested Use: See above. Just have them at hand and you will use them constantly. We recommend at least two pairs: one for food and one for non-food items.

Where to Buy: You can buy these through Amazon, retail outlets and from Fiskars directly.

Price at Time of Review: $12.99 for the 5-inch Fast-Prep, $17.99 for the 7-inch Fast-Prep and $24.99 for the All-Purpose Shears.

 

 

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

 

 

 

 

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup Review

Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup Review

BourbonMapleSyrup

 

Product Description: “Sugar Chalet combines craft, tradition and time-tested recipes to produce a unique maple syrup flavor…We take one hundred years of experience producing maple syrup at Bissell Maple Farm, and tap the creativity of our talented team that proudly ages this perfect blend of barrel-aged maple syrup.

We use our American Oak bourbon barrels one time for every batch of this specialty maple syrup. Flavors from the toasted oak barrel are drawn into the bourbon over several months. That character remains inside barrel walls, absorbed into the charred oak. Our maple syrup, produced in those barrels, is aged for months until the flavor is just right.”

 

Ingredient List: Pure Grade A Dark Robust Maple syrup aged in a single use bourbon barrel.

 

Test Kitchen Overview: Okay folks. This maple syrup knocked my socks off. And I am a New Englander! I know maple syrup! One precious bottle was sent to us by Bissell Maple Farm in Rock Creek, OH. First of all the quality of the syrup itself is evident while still in the bottle. An exquisite rich, dark color (but not too dark) and crystal clear. The bottle is elegant and the visual design and heft are befitting of the liquid amber inside. Pours like regular maple syrup but then, after first taste, oh man, there is no going back. You need another taste. Immediately. There is a perfect balance of maple and bourbon with an oak backbone. None outshines the other, yet they enhance one another beautifully. The bourbon was more pronounced than I expected. I anticipated a whisper. I assumed I was going to have to search my palate for the flavor. Not so. It’s right there. So much so that I quickly read the label again to make sure the contents were not alcoholic – they are not – as I was serving it to family for breakfast. It was love at first taste. We had it on challah French toast, but I admit my first taste was my finger dipped into the bottleneck. I couldn’t wait.

 

maple syrup with FrenchToast

Pros: Many. Right away I was daydreaming about pouring this on oatmeal and pumpkin pancakes and baking with it incorporating it into pecan pies and maple walnut ice cream and crème brulée and a chocolate/bourbon/maple pudding. Got my creative juices flowing for sure.

 

French Toast

Cons: It is not cheap. But then again no pure maple syrup is and yet I wouldn’t dream of using anything but the real deal.

Suggested Use: I would drink with a straw, except that would be unseemly. In all seriousness, if you are a maple syrup lover I urge you to order this product and use anywhere you would use pure maple syrup

Where to Buy: Direct from Bissell Maple Farm

Price at Time of Review: $30.00 for 11.7-ounce bottle but price goes down to $25 each for 4 or more. Order these for holiday or host/hostess gifts now while it is still available.

 

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

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Desserts from The Grill

Desserts from The Grill

Tropical-Smores-blog

I won’t give up desserts during the summer but there are some days that turning the oven on is just the last thing I want to do. And even main dishes? Forget about it…I’m on the deck grilling and chilling, as they say. Here are some kick-ass dessert recipes from our favorite bloggers to keep you satisfied – and cool at the same time. Check out our primer on Grilling Desserts in 5 Easy Steps before you get started.

We have to start with s’mores. Along with strawberry shortcake, variations on this classic are our summer go-to. The image above is from Very Culinary and is a Tropical S’More featuring pineapple, coconut and a White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie. Easy, juicy, fruity and a great new take on the classic s’more.

 

peach shortcake

And speaking of shortcake, here is a Grilled Peach Shortcake from Noshing with the Nolands. A drizzle of balsamic reduction keeps these from being too sweet and lends a sophisticated note.

 

Strawberry compote side view

We can never get enough rhubarb and this recipe for Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote from NeighborFood is a great use of there tangy vegetable. The sauce is great over purchased ice cream or sorbet even without the cake – but then there would be no grilling component! Your choice. (I really want to like that spoon!)

 

Grilled-Peach-and-Serrano-Upside-Down-Cake-by-Cakewalker-1

Kim Beaulieu blogs over at Kiss My Smoke and she knows a thing (or two or three) about grilling and heat – as in bring on the spice! Just check out this Grilled Peach & Serrano Upside-Down Cake above. A little heat, a little sweet, serves a crowd – perfect for your next get-together on the patio. The recipe features fabulous step-by-step instructions in photos and text. Your cake will come out perfectly.

 

Grilled-Angel-Food-Cake-with-Beer-Macerated-Strawberries-2

Here is another recipe featuring grilled angel food cake, this time with beer from who else but Jackie, the Beeroness. This Grilled Angel Food Cake with Beer Macerated Strawberries will please fruit and beer lovers. Have some pale ale or a Belgian brew ready to go.

 

Grilled-Mango-with-Chile-Lime-2830-e1398579520656

I like tropical flavors in the summer and mangoes are a particular favorite of mine. Here Sandy from Everyday Southwest cubes them, grills them as kebobs and adds some cooling lime and chile for heat – these Grilled Mango with Honey and Pistachios is easy but elegant. Take the time to search out the mesquite honey.

 

Grilled-Peaches-with-Vanilla-Cinnamon-Glaze4

Halved peaches make a great grilling medium. Lori from Foxes Love Lemons gave us a great dessert with her Grilled Peaches with Vanilla-Cinnamon Glaze. They are finished off with a scattering of fresh mint, which really elevates the dishinto something that’s more than a sum of its parts.

 

Grilled-Bananas-1

Many bloggers submitted a version of grilled bananas but we were especially taken with the Grilled Banana Dessert Bar concept from Home Cooking Memories. Why limit yourself to marshmallows and chocolate when you can add on granola, coconut, chopped pecans, peanut butter chips, and graham cracker pieces. Guests can mix and match as they like as seen below.

Now get the grill fired up and celebrate summer!

Grilled-Banana-Toppings-1

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The April Peveteaux Interview: Is Gluten Your Bitch?

April Peveteaux Demystifies Gluten

April Peveteaux_credit Aaron Goldman

 

April Peveteaux, the blogger behind Gluten is My Bitch has a new book, The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet. In it she takes our hand and guides us into the world of GF living in a way that makes it all seem not only possible, but tasty as well. April took some time to chat with us about her GF philosophy as well as some practical advice.

 

Dédé Wilson: April, thank you for your hard work for the gluten-free community! Transitioning to a GF lifestyle can be so daunting and your humor and practical approach makes it less so. Can you remember the early days when you realized this was going to be your diet from that moment forward? What were some of the things that helped you begin going gluten free? Would love to hear about products or recipes or maybe even a mind-set that was helpful.

 

April Peveteaux: Thank you!

It IS a rough transition, but I have to say the beginning was a bit easier for me since I had recently added food writing to my repertoire (I’m a parenting and lifestyle writer and editor). So I was used to experimenting in the kitchen, thank the maker.

I was determined to remake everything I knew I would miss using gluten-free flours and a lot of finger crossing. I started with breakfast and immediately gluten-freed my favorite lemon ricotta pancake recipe (it’s one of my very first blog posts on Gluten Is My Bitch!) I worked my way through family recipes and enjoyed the challenge. (This is also when I discovered gluten-free batter is not to be licked off the spoon if you want to enjoy your chocolate cake.)

I gradually transitioned from using gluten-free flour blends to experimenting with all-purpose gluten-free flour you can buy already mixed. I much prefer that route for almost every recipe (not all of them!) and I work hard to figure out how to make it easier on those of us who are craving chocolate chip cookies, and fast.

The toughest part came when I realized if I wanted to have fried chicken, cake, bread and even Chinese food—I had to make it myself. I love cooking and discovering new ways of eating gluten-free, but I’d love a break even more. Not being able to just order in when I’m tired of whipping up some magic is still a huge bummer.

 

I do fine with GF pasta, English muffins, scones, pretzels…but I have to say I still haven’t found the GF bagel of my dreams. Close but…do you have any bagel sources for us? Do you have a GF item you are still searching for?

I recently had Canyon Bakehouse’s new gluten-free everything bagels and I loved them. In fact, they sent me plain and everything and my gluten-eating family also loved them so much that when I went out of town for a long weekend, I came home to no more bagels.

My local bakery, Rising Hearts, also makes an amazing gluten-free bagel. In fact, I find that going local with a bakery that makes things fresh is the best way to go when you’re trying to find pastries, cakes and bagels. Gluten-free desserts just don’t sit well.

With that said, I’m dying for a gluten-free puff pastry. Someone please get on that!!!

 

How about a commercial GF product you just love that you want to turn us onto? For me, I make sure everyone knows about Food for Life English Muffins. I just love them.

Now I need to try those! Thanks for the tip.

Fresh gluten-free pastas found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store like RP’s have completely changed my pasta game. I can simplify the ingredients in any pasta dish now and enjoy the texture and flavor of pasta without dressing it up with a million ingredients.

My house is never without gluten-free matzo from Yehuda. We use it as crackers, after-school pizzas and anything else we can think of. I love that matzo and am so grateful that my local grocery stores keep it in stock year-round.

 

Your book, The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheetis a great read. The Meal Plan section is particularly helpful. What go-to recipes are on your rotation right now this summer?

Thank you!

I’ve been enjoying the BBQ Chicken Salad at least once a week. It just makes me happy and feels fresh like summer. Like I should be eating outdoors all the time!

I’m also making the BBQ Spare Ribs this weekend, so clearly I’m in full barbecue mode, as one should be in summer.

Tuna Tartare is my favorite appetizer for the hot months (and let’s be honest, beyond) and my kids make sure we have Strawberry Lemonade on hand as well. Yes, we eat and drink well in our household.

 

What ingredient(s) should every GF pantry have?

Fresh or dried herbs (and can I include red pepper flakes???? They’re my fave!) You can add loads of flavor to everything—scrambled eggs, greens, roasted chicken and so much more. You want to make food that makes you forget you’re missing out on gluten, and the better the flavor, the more satisfying your meal will be.

 

We are featuring your Almond Scones and your Caramel Popcorn Sundae. Any tips for home bakers making these recipes? You and I know GF doesn’t mean you have to feel deprived!

I would mix and match your fruits and accouterments on your sundae so it can please everyone bellying up to the dessert bar!

 

April, thank you so much for your time and your new book.

 

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The Ronni Lundy Interview: All About Sweet Sorghum Syrup

Ronni Lundy Sets Us Straight on Sorghum

ronni lundy

 

Ronni Lundy has written a book called Sorghum’s Savor, which brings us the history of this classic southern US sweetener, along with recipes both savory and dessert focused. There has been much media recently on alternative sweeteners and there is a lot of confusion about what sorghum syrup is, and we thought who better to set us straight. Here is our chat with Ronni.

 

 

Dédé Wilson: Ronni, thank you so much for chatting with us. In the last few months we have been seeing recipes featuring sorghum left and right. To what do you attribute this recent interest? Obviously you were ahead of the curve, as you must have had your book in the works for a while…

Ronni Lundy: Thanks for having me, Dédé. And you’re right that I’ve wanted to write this book for some time. I was lucky to have been born into sorghum syrup culture in the Appalachian South. I was familiar with its intriguing flavor profile from early on and so it was in my culinary vocabulary as well as my pantry. I started playing with it in recipes almost as soon as I started cooking on my own and I discovered how versatile it is, and what a natural enhancer of other flavors. That’s one reason it’s become so popular now with contemporary chefs. Sorghum syrup can move across a spectrum of cuisines. Of course, chefs had to taste it to know this and so had to seek it out. I think sorghum syrup’s “discovery” has a lot to do with our interest in finding authentic local ingredients. For chefs working in or near the mountain south and certain pockets in the midwest, sorghum syrup can be found at farm stands, much the way John Fleer and Edward Lee describe discovering it in Sorghum’s Savor. Sorghum making is still an annual ritual with a lot of cultural resonance, as well, so it comes with a story—all attractive to contemporary cooks.

 

It was fascinating to read in the beginning of your book how even those in the industry sometimes call sorghum by the word “molasses”. My fiancé grew up in Memphis and I asked him if he had grown up with sorghum. He said no. But then he said they always had molasses around. Who knows what he was eating! Talk to us a bit about the terminology and what folks should look for if they want to buy true sorghum syrup.

Yes. My family called it molasses, for short, or sorghum molasses and I grew up thinking all molasses was sorghum. In fact, molasses is actually the by-product of making sugar, the liquid left when the crystals form. It cane by bottled immediately or boiled further to intensify its minerality. It’s got the same dark notes as sorghum syrup, but the flavor is much less complex and nuanced, and molasses also often has a brackish backbite.

Sorghum syrup is produced with sweet sorghum cane—a relative of grain sorghum, but a variety of the plant that has a sugary juice in its stalks—is pressed to release that juice, and then the juice is boiled and skimmed to make a syrup. It’s not the by product of another process, it’s the point.

I recommend that people look for labeling that identifies what they’re buying as 100% sorghum syrup, or that bears the logo of the National Sweet Sorghum Producers and Processors Association’s label. And I also suggest they look for something on the label that identifies who actually makes the sorghum syrup.

 

Do you have some favorite online resources for ordering?

Muddy Pond Sorghum at makes a beautiful product and they have been selling online for many years. They are a great gateway to appreciating sorghum. The NSSPA, mentioned above, also has an annually updated list of members who sell online. I also urge folks to try to find out if someone in their area is making it.

 

If a home baker has a recipe at home that uses a liquid sweetener, and they want to try substituting with sorghum syrup, what are your recommendations?

Sorghum syrup can make an equal exchange for molasses or honey, although some sorghum is sweeter than some molasses. It’s not a given and not a problem in a recipe where molasses is one of many ingredients (like BBQ sauce). In a recipe where molasses is at the forefront, taste the sorghum. If it seems dramatically sweeter than you associate with molasses, you may want to reduce it by a quarter. Then again, you may want that extra sweetness. I’ve been using sorghum in old candy recipes that call for corn syrup lately—again an equal exchange, but it gives a lovely golden note to the finished flavor.

 

What is a recipe that you would never make without sorghum and what is one that you have recently discovered is improved with its inclusion?

I would never make a pecan pie or any of its kin without sorghum again. The buttery, tangy aspects are the perfect balance to the intense sweetness. Writing this book, I fell in love with Splendid Chai—the classic Indian spiced tea. That led me to experiment with it in other masala seasoned recipes, and I’ve not been disappointed yet.

 

We are featuring your Sorghum Bourbon Pecan Pie and the Gravy Horse (with Ouita’s Biscuits). Any extra tips for these recipes?

Make sure to make plenty.

 

Ronni, thank you so much for your time and we wish you all the best with Sorghum’s Savor.

Dédé , it’s been my pleasure. Thank you so much.

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Kyotofu – an Interview with Author and Tofu Expert Nicole Bermensolo

Interview with Nicole Bermensolo

Bermensolo_Kitchen

 

Dédé Wilson: Nicole, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Tofu is always in my fridge and these days it is a fairly common ingredient for many. So for those who might have it around, but have only used it for a savory dish, where do you suggest they begin their sweet tofu exploration?

Nicole Bermensolo: Simple is best. Start simply. My recipe for sweet tofu only has 4 ingredients. It really allows the soymilk to shine through.

 

How about the other soy ingredients that you use in Kyotofu? Can you tell us a bit about those?

There are so many! Miso, kinako, and soymilk to name a few. Miso is fermented soy paste, kinako is toasted soy flour, and soymilk is milk made from boiled and strained soybeans. Each has a very different flavor and lends itself to different uses.

 

If someone is not in a major metropolitan area or somewhere where they have a lot of tofu choices, what brands do you suggest that are readily available? Or, put another way, what should folks look for on the label to make sure they are getting a good tofu.

I advocate any brand of Japanese tofu. They’re the experts after all! I personally like House brand and Morinaga brand.

 

You shifted from being a restaurateur to a wholesale business. Now that you are making baked goods on a larger scale, what are your biggest sellers? Any items that you loved that just didn’t gel with the public?

Biggest sellers are the miso brownies and chocolate chunk cookies. Yes, plenty of items haven’t worked with a larger audience. It’s sometimes hard to tell what will be received well in different regions of the country. It can vary widely.

 

We are featuring your Yuzu Blueberry Pound Cake and your Chocolate Chunk Cookies that incorporate kinako. Can you offer some extra tips for our home bakers who want to make these recipes?

Both of these recipes are very forgiving. They’re hard to get wrong. But if you do stray a bit, there is a very good chance they will still turn out well. My main concern would be watching baking times. Less for a chewier cookie, more for a harder cookie. And don’t burn the pound cake!!  Check it often the first time you make it.  Every oven is different.

 

Nicole, thank you so much for your expertise and your creativity with tofu!

 

 

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Edoughble Ready to Eat Cookie Dough Review

Edoughble Ready to Eat Cookie Dough Review

Edoughble - S'More Please

 

Product Description: From the manufacturer: “We are not your cookie-cutter cookie dough company. In our Edoughble kitchen we only make small batch, ready-to-eat cookie dough with the highest quality ingredients and no eggs or preservatives. With 10 one-of-a-kind, deliciously sinful flavors to choose from, what are you waiting for?

Note: All cookie dough is made fresh to order and we currently only ship Mondays and Thursdays. Please visit the FAQ for details on the cut-off time on Sunday and Wednesday to ensure you receive your dough exactly when you want it.

The product is certified kosher.”

Ingredient List: Here are a few of their flavors:

Chocolate Chip Off The Ol’ Block: Butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, cake flour, applesauce, Belgian dark chocolate, vanilla bean paste, kosher salt.

Birthday Bash: Butter, granulated sugar, cake flour, homemade organic vanilla frosting, applesauce, vanilla bean paste, rainbow sprinkles, fresh nutmeg, kosher salt.

Cravin’ Oatmeal Raisin: Butter, granulated sugar, cake flour, toasted oats, applesauce, vanilla bean paste, golden raisins, raisins, ground cinnamon, kosher salt.

 

cookie dough

 

Test Kitchen Overview: I am old enough to remember a time when there was no such thing as a “cookie dough” flavor. No cookie dough ice cream, no cookie dough truffles or milk shakes. Now this flavor and concept is everywhere, from the freezer aisle to the candy store and beyond. In fact, while vanilla ice cream is still the #1 seller in the US, cookie dough is #2 according to some sources, upsetting chocolate’s standing that it had held for decades. There is something about the buttery, sugary deliciousness that can be quite addicting.

So, what’s the problem with eating your own homemade cookie dough raw? It is considered unsafe largely due to the heightened risk of raw food borne illness most commonly associated with raw eggs – such as salmonella. And after there were reports of consumers getting sick from consuming commercially prepared cookie dough (the kind that you are supposed to bake), Edoughble “dough-founders” Rana and John decided they would change that and make the world a better, safer and tastier place with the invention of their safe-to-eat raw, cookie dough recipes.The dough arrived without a cold-pack, which concerned us as it is summer and the dough looked extremely soft. We inquired with the

PR agency (who consulted Edoughble) and they assured us that it was okay to eat. In fact, on the Edoughble website they state:

“Importantly, while freezing the dough will extend the shelf life for up to 3 months, the dough tastes best stored in the fridge up to 6 weeks.  The dough also tastes great at room temp for 2 weeks for a creamy and frosting-like consistency.”

Ours was a frosting-like consistency upon arrival. We tasted it soft, right away, and then also refrigerated it and tasted it slightly chilled. Indeed, eating Edoughble is the best of both worlds. If you are a raw cookie dough aficionado, you can get your fix and know you are safe in doing so. We liked it best slightly softened – not warm and frosting-like, but not chilled and too firm. We liked the take on the classic chocolate chip dough the best, which the company calls Chocolate Chip Off The Ol’ Block.

Pros: We noticed two things immediately in the ingredient list: the use of cake flour and the inclusion of applesauce. The cake flour gives the dough a very smooth mouth feel; great choice. The applesauce is not perceptible by flavor or texture. It provides body, while being a safe room-temperature ingredient. Love the high-quality Callebaut chocolate in the Chocolate Chip Off The Ol’ Block and the punch of cinnamon and number of raisins in the Cravin’ Oatmeal Raisin. Also, the use of vanilla bean paste makes these doughs particularly flavorful.

We liked the idea of being able to choose our favorite ice cream and fold in bits of Edoughble for a custom creation.

They have many flavors from which to choose: Strawberry Jammin’ Birthday Bash, S’More Please, Cravin’ Oatmeal Raisin, Nuts for Chocolate, Cookies N’ Dream, Nutty Monkey (which is vegan and gluten-free), Chocolate Chip Off The Ol’ Block, Stuck on You PB&J and Sweet as Lemon Pie.

Cons: Truth is we have eaten raw cookie dough for years and have never gotten sick. But that doesn’t mean we were doing the “right” thing, nor would we serve homemade raw dough to friends or guests. We just hadn’t thought of paying for raw dough before.

Edoughble on Spoons

Suggested Use: The company explanation says it perfectly:

How to best enjoy Edoughble?

If you’re anything like us, you’re an “all of the below” person.

  • The Purist: You dig right into the dough with spoon, finger, chopsticks, or whatever else gets dough to mouth ASAP.
  • The Topper: You perfect the perfect bite of ice cream and cookie dough for the ultimate experience in indulgence.
  • The Mixer: You add cookie dough to any and everything… spread between 2 cookies, sprinkled in brownie batter, whipped into a doughy dessert dip, blended in milkshakes (yeah I said cookie dough milkshake!).”

Where to Buy: Edoughble 

Price at Time of Review: $8 or $9 for an 8-ounce tub. Or, we are partial to the Gimme FIVE Gift Box containing 5, 4-ounce containers for $35 (including shipping) in the following flavors: Chocolate Chip Off The Ol’ Block, Birthday Bash, Cookies N’ Dream, S’More Please, Cravin’ Oatmeal Raisin.

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

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The Alexander Weiss Interview: Our Favorite Junior MasterChef

The Alexander Weiss Interview

alexander slider

 

If you missed watching MasterChef Junior, then you missed out. These kids know their way around the kitchen. Alexander Weiss was victorious and is now developing recipes for House Foods, among other activities – like starting high school! He wants to open a restaurant someday – and we will cover it when he does. He took time out of his busy schedule to chat with us.

 

Alexander

 

Dédé Wilson: Alexander, first of all, we loved your energy and recipes on MasterChef Junior. Your macaron recipe is so emblematic of your really smart approach to cooking and baking. We use plenty of tofu here, but never would have thought of using it for a French macaron. Tell us about your creative process in how this recipe developed.

 Alexander Weiss: French macarons are one of my favorite things to bake, and I wanted to utilize House Foods Tofu to create something different. I figured that the tofu would be a good base for some sort of filling for the macaron, and enhancing it with some simple flavors as to not overcomplicate the pastry, such as mascarpone, or honey. No favorite ingredients or least favorite ingredients come to mind, however, what truly matters to me is the quality and freshness of good ingredients. Living in NYC, I have access to some of the best ingredients, and it doesn’t really matter what kind of ingredient it is, just as long as the quality is good.  Working with House Foods Tofu has given me the chance to create recipes that families can enjoy making and eating together.  Tofu is a great substitution for various everyday ingredients to ensure meals have that extra nourishment with every bite.

 

Dédé Wilson: You have been all over the place since your win with appearances and recipes…tell us how competing and winning has changed your life.

By competing on the show, and in the end winning; I have had amazing opportunities to travel the world for my culinary passion. My life has been boosted into the path I need to be on to begin my culinary profession at such a young age, and it couldn’t have been done without MCJ.

 

Dédé Wilson: When it comes to baking and desserts, what are your favorites to eat and to make and why?

I love to eat light and refreshing desserts, nothing too heavy as to not spoil the meal had before it. I love to bake French and American desserts, as that is what I grew up baking with my mom. Sometimes, the simple things are always what make me the most happy.

 

Dédé Wilson: For others out there who are your age and who have an interest in baking and cooking, what are your words of wisdom?

Cooking is something that many people do at home, but for some it is more than that, it is a passion. For some, it’s that burning desire to whip up a batch of ice cream base at midnight because you had this crazy idea for an ice cream flavor that you just had to make. If cooking and baking makes you happy, you already have half of the foundation of cooking; that passion. If cooking is the path you want to take your life, follow it, and stick with it through all the ups and downs.

 

Dédé Wilson: What’s next for you? We want to hear about your short term and long term plans.

The next steps for me begin with high school, as well as future summer internships in restaurants to learn. I continue to cook at home, but want to open a restaurant in the future.

 

Dédé Wilson: Thank you so much for your time, Alexander. We wish you luck with your career and cannot wait to see how far you go! You are an inspiration.

 

 

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Ergo Chef Locking Duo Tongs

Ergonomically Designed Silicone and Stainless Steel Tongs

Ergo tongs

 

Product Description: From the manufacturer: The Pro-Series locking DUO Tongs feature 500 degree silicone and steel heads which make them safe for all types of cooking surfaces and applications. They have a drain slot, and a tong head which is slightly angled for picking up delicate foods easier. The TPR drip and durable spring loaded grip give you full control. The back side features a locking ring which simply slides out to lock the tong shut or slides in and stays put so your kitchen tongs stay open in all positions. These are “The Only Tongs You’ll Ever Need”.

 

tongs2

 

Test Kitchen Overview: This is going to sound geeky but few kitchen tools get me more excited than tongs. I use them all the time. Whether I am cooking savory food or baking, I reach for tongs when I want to flip, rotate, move, remove, drain, transfer, shift…I could go on and on. I had a cheap pair (why are they a pair?) for years and they had just broken. The spring mechanism was shot and yet I still tried to use them. I can’t be without tongs! The world works in funny ways. That same week a package arrived at the Test Kitchen with a few tongs from Ergo Chef. Weeks went by and they contacted me to ask if I was going to review them. Here’s the thing. I usually photograph items before I use them so that they are in pristine condition. I grabbed these out of the box and put them to work right away and loved them from the moment they hit my hands. I knew I wanted to bring them to you – because they rock – but I just couldn’t stop using them long enough to write the review. OK, here goes. These are a perfect tool. I am not kidding. I am not overstating. (We have shown them here working their magic on French toast in a nonstick pan). Tongs have always been high on my list as must-haves and near perfect, but they did lack a few key features. The stainless steel ones I have always preferred could get very hot, the ones with a really good spring action always seemed to correspond with cheaper, flimsy metal construction and they were not ergonomically designed for easy use. Ergo Chef tongs address all of those issues and more. There is the drain slot as seen below – brilliant idea – and we love the fact that one half of the head is silicone and the other is metal with nice grippy ripples. It’s like 2-in-1. You can use either side depending on your needs. They come in various lengths. The longer ones worked great for us on the grill but we found the 9-inch ones the most useful for us in the Bakepedia Test Kitchen.

tong details

Pros: The best tongs we have ever used. Ever.

Cons: None. Only that we didn’t have them in our kitchen sooner.

Suggested Use: For baking/desserts we find we use them to retrieve poaching fruit from boiling water, use them to hold stems of fruit when dipping in caramel or chocolate, flip fruit when roasting, to grab the edges of baking sheets to help rotate them in the oven…and more and more and more uses. Keep them handy and you will be surprised how often you reach for them.

Where to Buy: Direct from Ergo ChefAlso from Amazon.

Price at Time of Review: $12.99 for the 9-inch tong from Ergo Chef.

 

Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

 

 

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