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Friday, January 31, 2014

Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce Sweet Heat Gourmet

Pin It Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce Sweet Heat Gourmet

An easy marinade just use a Ziploc bag
Sweet Heat Gourmet based locally (to us) in State College, PA is a welcome new fave for the new year. I have been corresponding with Chef Michelle Mierwald about her sauces for a few months now. In the near future, I am covering some of Sweet Heat Gourmets More Extreme Hot Sauces and this week tried out their Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce made with delicious apples from Way Fruit Farm (also local). Chef Michelle Mierwald makes her sauces with what is available seasonally at local farmers markets in her area. This adds to the unique flavors she has been able to produce with a local flavor. Some of Sweet Heat Gourmets sauces are seasonal as the ingredients are freshly available.

The Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce from Sweet Heat Gourmet was an immediate hit in our kitchen. The apples were an amazing addition to the pork chops I made. The apple and cinnamon sweetness, and the bourbon added a nice smooth smokey flavor to this smooth but highly textured BBQ sauce.

The flavors of all the ingredients really shine through in this sweet product. Both sweet and savory, this sauce is a great
Chops sizzling  in Sweet Heat Gourmet
addition for your home pantry. I use, test, and review a lot of BBQ sauces and this sauce has a great local vibe in both flavors and production. I can recommend Sweet Heat Gourmets Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce with the satisfaction of knowing it is a tasty product and great local sauce. Get yours today on the Sweet Heat Gourmet website, and be sure to visit their booth at the upcoming NYC Hot Sauce Expo 2014 in Manhattan/NYC. Hot sauce reviews upcoming will feature chicken with Apple Bourbon BBQ that really was great on pork chops. I marinated the chops in a Ziploc bag with BBQ sauce and then cooked them in an electric skillet. I got a nice carmelization from the sugars in the sauce.

Web: Sweet Heat Gourmet

Facebook: Sweet Heat Gourmet FB

See them in NYC March 2014 at the: New York City Hot Sauce Expo

-Allen / TwoFrys

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter Cake

Pin It Winter Cake
Coconut Layer Cake with Marshmallow Snowflakes

Winter Cake
Since December, I wanted to bake this cake and I finally did this past Sunday. February is going to be full of Valentine’s baking (heart-shaped Red Velvet Cake, mini Cheesecakes, Cookies and Pie) and I wanted to make a cake to celebrate January, because I love winter and snow.

I had Martha Stewart’s Marshmallow Snowflakes pinned to one of my baking boards on Pinterest for a long time, and wanted to make these to have with hot chocolate and to put on top of the frosting. The Marshmallows are soft and melt in your mouth. 

I love Coconut Layer Cake and this recipe is from, The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2010 (pgs. 498-99). It is the best Coconut Layer Cake I have baked to date. If you love Coconut as much as I do, you should try this recipe! It has coconut in the cake and frosting, and not just coconut flakes over frosting. The cake is dense and very rich with a really creamy coconut frosting. The frosting and cake flavors get better each day and Allen and me can attest to this since we wiped out this cake in five days.  

Marshmallow Snowflakes
From Martha Stewart Living, December 2003

Super sticky Marshmallow Mixture done
Ingredients
1/3 cup cold Water (twice and separated)

2 envelopes Unflavored Gelatin (I used Knox)

1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar

2/3 cup Light Corn Syrup (I used Karo)

1/8 teaspoon Table Salt

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Vegetable-oil Cooking Spray

Marshmallow Mixture spread out on baking sheet
Directions
Lightly coat a 12-17 inch rimmed baking sheet with Cooking Spray; line with Parchment Paper. Spray Parchment Paper; set aside. 

Pour 1/3 cup cold Water into the bowl of a hand-held or stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add Gelatin to let mixture soften, about 5 minutes.

Marshmallow Snowflakes
Place Sugar, Corn Syrup, Salt and Water in a medium sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil.

Remove lid and cook swirling the pan occasionally until syrup reaches 238 degrees (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 5-7 minutes.

With mixer on low speed, whisk Gelatin mixture, and slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl. Be careful since it will be very hot. Gradually raise speed to high and beat until mixture is thick white, about 12 minutes. Mixture will have almost tripled in volume. Add Vanilla Extract and beat 30 seconds to combine.

Marshmallow Snowflakes in Mason Jar so we can enjoy them in hot chocolate!
Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet; smooth with an offset spatula. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until firm for 3-6 hours or overnight.

Coat desired snowflake-shaped cookie cutters with Cooking Spray to prevent it from sticking. Cut out as many snowflakes as you can. Coat cutters with more Cooking Spray as needed. 

Put aside Marshmallows you will use on the cake by placing on a baking sheet lined with Parchment Paper. Just remember to wipe marshmallows clean with a paper towel before you eat them. Store the rest in an airtight container at room temperature. They are good for up to 1 week.

Winter Cake close-up 
Cake
Ingredients
2 ¼ cups Cake Flour, plus more for the cake pans

¾ cup Cream of Coconut (I used Coco L√≥pez)

5 Extra Large Egg Whites, plus 1 Egg, room temperature

¼ cup Water

1 teaspoon Coconut Extract

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1 tablespoon Baking Powder

3/4 teaspoon Table Salt

1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 12 pieces

Winter Cake
Directions
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. 

Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans, line with Parchment Paper and grease and sprinkle with Cake Flour. Tap on counter and get rid of excess Cake Flour.

Whisk Cream of Coconut, Water, Egg Whites, Egg, Coconut and Vanilla Extracts together in a medium bowl.

In a hand-held or stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix Cake Flour, Granulated Sugar, Baking Powder, and Salt on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.

Increase speed to medium, beat Butter into the Flour mixture, a couple of pieces at a time, about 1 minute. Continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, about 1 minute.

My slice, Winter Cake
Beat in all but ½ cup of the Cream of Coconut mixture, then increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add remaining Cream of Coconut mixture until batter is combined, about 1 minute.

Scrape batter into the prepared pans, smooth tops with spatula, and lightly tap the pans against the countertop two to four times to settle the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them carefully onto a wire rack. Peel off the Parchment Paper, flip the cakes right side up, and cool completely before frosting, about 2 hours.

Winter Cake
Coconut Frosting
Ingredients
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream

1 teaspoon Coconut Extract

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Pinch Table Salt

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks and softened

¼ cup Cream of Coconut

3 cups Confectioners Sugar

Sweetened Shredded Coconut (however much you wish over frosting and in between the cake layers)

Winter Cake
Directions
In a small bowl, stir the Cream, Coconut and Vanilla Extracts, and Salt together.

In a hand-held or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat Butter and Cream of Coconut on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30-45 seconds.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and gradually beat in Confectioners Sugar, then continue to beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the Cream mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

Line edges of cake platter with strips of Parchment Paper to keep platter edges clean as you frost cake.

If you wish, you may slice off the tops of the cake layers with a serrated knife before frosting. I never do since my cakes bake pretty evenly on top.

Place one of the cake layers on the platter top side down. Spread desired frosting and Coconut Flakes over the cake, right to the edges. Place other cake layer top side down and press lightly to adhere. Frost the cake with remaining frosting.  Line the edge of the top layer with Coconut Flakes. Decorate cake by placing as many Marshmallow Snowflakes to the top of the cake. You can even add them on the sides if you wish. Add Coconut Flakes around the top edge of the cake and use more if desired.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Snickerdoodles

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Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles
I always wanted to bake Snickerdoodles but never got around to it. When we were visiting our family in California this past summer, my Mother-In-Law gave me some hand written recipes from her Mom, Allen's Grandmother Anita. One of the recipes was for Snickerdoodles and my inspiration to bake them. While doing some of my own research, I found the same Snickerdoodles recipe in Betty Crocker's Cooky Book from 1963. The only thing I replaced in this recipe was Shortening for Unsalted Butter. These Snickerdoodles are a tribute to Allen's Grandmother and the aroma of Cinnamon in our apartment reminded him of her. After eating just one cookie, Allen said he was brought back in time to his Grandmother's kitchen in San Jose, CA.

Snickerdoodles
I was always intrigued by the crackly look of these cookies. This recipe is very easy to follow and a cinch to bake. The Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture covers all of the dough, and the texture inside is soft, chewy and almost cakey. I never imagined Snickerdoodles would taste this good. If you have never baked them you really should soon.

Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture
Ingredients
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened

1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar

2 Extra Large Eggs

2 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Dough rolled up into balls
Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture
2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

Snickerdoodles right out of the oven!!! 
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine Cinnamon and Sugar with a small spatula. Put aside for now.

In a large bowl, use whisk to combine Flour, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda and Salt. Put aside for now.

Snickerdoodles cooling on wire rack
Using a handheld or stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed, cream Butter and Sugar, about 2 minutes. Mix well until smooth and creamy. Add Eggs one at a time until combined. With a spatula, scrape sides of bowl to ensure ingredients are incorporated.

My 40 Snickerdoodles
With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients little by little until incorporated.

Roll dough into a large ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for 1 hour.

Snickerdoodles close-up!
Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon form ball of Dough. One by one, roll into Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture. Repeat until done.

Place Dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cookie will puff up, but then flatten out. Cookies will begin to crack and will be done then.

Another close-up view of Snickerdoodles. You know you want some!
Let cookies rest on baking sheet for 10 minutes, and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

My cookies were 2 1/2 inches in size and the recipe yielded 40 cookies.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hoosier Daddy Smokehouse Hickory BBQ Sauce with Lime

Pin It Hoosier Daddy Smokehouse Hickory BBQ Sauce with Lime

Hoosier Daddy Hickory Smokehouse
with Lime
Hoosier Daddy Smokehouse Hickory with a twist of lime is a really tasty treat for your pork, chicken and beef dishes. The Smokehouse Hickory is like their Sweet and Sassy BBQ sauce with a spike of lime twist. Hoosier Daddy mentioned on their promo sheet, the lime adds a nice fiesta touch to your foods. I agree, and even used the left over pork chops I made for a few pork soft tacos the next day for lunch. I really think this lime twist is a great addition to their already tasty line of sauces. I marinated a package of trimmed, semi thick boneless pork chops with Hoosier Daddy Smokehouse Hickory with a twist of lime. I let the pork chops sit in the fridge for 8 hours, and then grilled the chops in a grill pan on the stove. The results were very satisfying.  I added some chopped onions to the sauce for added flavor. Hoosier Daddy Sweet and Sassy was also very good, but did not have the lime ingredient. Both sauces are great for dipping sauces as well and as marinades.

The lime actually tasted fresh in the Hoosier Daddy Smokehouse Hickory BBQ sauce just as if it were squeezed in the sauce right before eating it. Gladly, there was no chemical taste like there is in lime flavored tortilla chips so that is great. Hoosier got the recipe right with the lime flavor and hickory smoke flavor mixed together resulting in a sweet, smooth smoked sauce. This could become a household favorite of yours so give it a shot.

Hoosier Daddy Slathering the Pork
The website has easy ordering via Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime, some of Hoosier Daddy's products are available to ship with your prime account saving you on shipping charges. I recommend these sauces for your BBQ be it outdoors or urban indoors. Hoosier Daddy also makes a Ghost Roast BBQ Sauce that will be on the blog in the future. We plan to make chicken wings with the Ghost Roast (Bhut Jolokia) BBQ sauce! Make Hoosier Daddy your daddy soon.

Web: Hoosier Daddy
Facebook: Hoosier Daddy FB

-Allen/Two Frys

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Al’s Spicy Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower

Pin It Al’s Spicy Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower

The finished product - tasty hot cauliflower.
With all the Sriracha buzz recently, I decided to make a nice veggie dish with this great hot sauce. Sriracha also compliments steak, pork or chicken. You can substitute the Sriracha with a hot sauce of your liking if you wish. I used an imported Sriracha called Crying Tiger - Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce from Thailand. The Crying Tiger is a spicy but smooth hot sauce distributed from my old East Bay, SF Area stomping grounds in San Leandro, CA.

The ingredients are very hot and the sweetness is just right for vegetables and rice as well. A mixture of Red Chili, Sugar, Garlic, Salt, Tapioca Starch and other ingredients creates a nicely textured cooking sauce and condiment.

Preparation: 15 mins.
Bake Time: 20 mins.

Ingredients:
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce Low Sodium
1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Sriracha (or to taste)
1 Medium Head of Cauliflower (1.5 lbs. cut into 1 inch florets)
1 Tbsp. Chopped Cilantro (I used some Basil from my urban garden also)

Directions:

While prepping dish preheat your oven to 400 F.
Cauliflower roasting in the oven.

1. Line a shallow sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the 2 Oils, Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar and Sriracha. Mix these ingredients well. Add the Cauliflower to mixing bowl and coat with the marinade.
3. Place Cauliflower on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Then bake for 10 minutes. Then turn Cauliflower over and bake another 10 minutes or until tender.
4. Garnish the Cauliflower with Cilantro (or herbs of your choice) and serve hot.

This is a fairly healthy recipe as it is baked/roasted and not fried. Also, try this as a side for a homemade stir fry or with oven baked spring rolls.

I hope you enjoy this tasty dish. We sure did and will be making this dish again very soon.

-Allen/Two Frys