Stars To Steer By

The misadventures of a creative mind

Truffles, Not Trifles – Valentine’s Day Gifts From the Heart February 14, 2014

Oh my goodness it’s Valentines Day. Now, I’ve been single for most of the valentine’s day’s in my life, and I know from the bottom of my heart that it is a commercialist holiday hyped to sell sugar and sappy cards. That being said, I still buy into it every year (don’t believe me? Check out what I made my coworkers last year. ). And this year, I have someone who I really wanted to give something special to which made it all the more fun. My only real problem: he doesn’t really eat sweets.

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A Silver Lining In Every Storm Cloud – Hiding Tomatoes in Chocolate March 27, 2013

Filed under: Daring Baker Challenges — Cisa @ 12:07 am
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This is my first Daring Bakers Challenge and I am so stoked to have a group providing me with an excuse to bake stuff!! This first challenge was to hide a vegetable in a baked good. I immediately vetoed carrot cake, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie…all things that technically met the criteria but are conventionally accepted as yummy by the general populous. My first thought was to make a cake from my childhood that is based primarily on dates, but then there was the conundrum about a date technically being a fruit (although a quick search online led to the conclusion that ultimately all edible fruits are technically vegetables. But that makes this challenge weird because then anything I make with fruit is technically hiding a vegetable…). Any way, it seemed against the spirit of the challenge, so I kept brainstorming and came up with (drum roll please)- THUNDER CAKE!!

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The Valentine’s Day Debacle – The 2013 Version February 19, 2013

Do you remember in elementary school where the whole class would make little boxes covered in hearts, and everyone would bring little valentine’s for everybody else? I sort of miss those days. As I’ve gotten older, Valentine’s Day became much more about the significant other and less about sharing little notes filled with love and sugar (lets face it, the commercialism was there in the beginning and it’s still there today. Since it’s a constant I’m choosing to delete it from both sides of the equation). Well enough of that – this year I decided to bring back the old version.  Which means my coworkers got treats last Thursday.

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake February 15, 2013

I made this as a Valentine’s treat, in part because the picture on Sweet Treats & More is just so cute. I mean look at this cheesecake:
 
the pretty version
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Truffle Brownies February 13, 2013

Filed under: Kitchen Catastrophes — Cisa @ 8:46 am
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Alright, I’ll confess – I am a chocolate addict. Thank goodness there isn’t a twelve step program for my family and friends to sign me up for – I would have failed out of it so many times. Anyway, for my 16th birthday , my next door neighbor, who loves to bake even more than I do, gave me the book Pure Chocolate by Fran Bigelow. I haven’t had the opportunity to try every recipe in it, but so far every one I’ve made has been excellent. Be warned though – her recipes are not for the faint of heart! (They’re for chocolate purists who like their goodies deep, dark, and dense.)

 

One of my favorite recipes from this book are the truffle brownies, which will make you turn your back on any box mix or store-bought imitation you’ve ever tried. Absolutely delicious straight out of the pan, I also use them as bases for more complex desserts – trifles, parfaits, things that are nicely plated. Since they have such a beautifully refined chocolate flavor they pair excellently with a variety of sauces, fruits, ice creams, even an after dinner cup of coffee.


 

 
So, after that introduction let’s dive in! For this recipe you’ll need the following:

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The misadventures of a creative mind