Monday, April 11, 2011

White Chocolate Update


Uh, yeah. That just about sums it up.

The white chocolate experience (and the rest of the candy-making extravaganza) did not exactly end in a complete success. I wouldn't call it a complete FAIL, per se, but I would say that next time, I will NOT try to make white chocolate from scratch, and I WILL buy some already-made from Back to Eden or Food Fight! or another vegan supplier in town, just to save myself the heartburn.

Making the white chocolate itself was a bit challenging. I honestly had no idea there were multiple steps to the process. I thought I would be popping out white chocolate candy in no time. I used Hannah Kaminsky's recipe here (she makes it look so pretty - how did she do that??).

Okay, so that wasn't a problem. The white chocolate was done, and then I wanted to add things to it because it was soooo rich.

I decided to make caramel from this recipe, chopped up some peanuts, dried figs and then dried some strawberries that I had in the freezer.

this is the caramel being prepared
chopped peanuts
chopped figs
my homemade dried strawberries

That looks more positive, doesn't it? When I write it in all-caps and add an exclamation point? Here's what went wrong...

-the caramel turned out to be a SAUCE, so it did not firm up and make nice with the white chocolate
-the white chocolate turned into something that cannot be described as white chocolate when I added other things to it; it was sweet, sure, and it was sort-of white, but no one would describe it as white chocolate, least of all me

I put the caramel in ice cube trays and although it looks pretty, it didn't firm up because it's s'posed to be a SAUCE!
I also decided to make some fudge because I had a grandiose plan that I would start accumulating items to give people for the upcoming holiday. I used this recipe from Cute and Delicious, only I added some leftover Dandies marshmallows and used coconut milk instead of Mimicreme. Apparently things like that matter, and I ended up with a mousse-like pudding instead of fudge. ARGH!

this is the fudge-turned-mousse
So, because this was obviously a frustrating endeavor, I tried to salvage as much as I could...I chopped up the "white chocolate", which will now be added to things like cookies and brownies, scooped up the "fudge" into ramekins and poured the caramel sauce over it and am storing them in the freezer for some future dinner party wherein I need to provide dessert. I put the remainder of the caramel (there is a LOT even though I only made half the recipe) in a glass container, and it's living in my fridge, waiting to be poured onto something.

HOWEVER - there is actually a plus-side to all of this (I actually love making mistakes in the kitchen, especially if I'm allowed enough time to do it all over to make it right): I have learned that candy making is effing hard and I really do need to pay more attention to ingredients lists and temperatures and all that jazz, and in the end, I discovered this amazingly easy and delicious recipe for one-ingredient ice cream.

Because I just can't seem to stop experimenting when I'm in the kitchen, I added about 2/3 c. light coconut milk, 1 heaping spoon of homemade peanut butter and about 1 1/2 c. frozen strawberries to the banana. Finally, good news: it was DELICIOUS! I now store frozen chunks of banana in my freezer for anytime the mood hits.

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