Baking

Review: Hello Flavour Influenster Box

I got the opportunity to receive the Hello Flavour Sample box complimentary from Influenster for testing. All the opinions in this post are my own.

Lately, Influenster has been sending me make-up samples and with my decline of wearing makeup it was getting a little annoying reviewing things I really don’t use on a regular basis. So, getting a box of spices was a breathe of fresh air because I love love LOVE cooking and of course it’s no secret I am an avid baker.

Spices

In the box I got some kitchen staples: Cinnamon and Allspice, and some new things to try: Harissa and Black Garlic.

The box came with some recommended recipes, I decided to give the Harissa chocolate cupcakes a try. The recipe seemed like a pretty solid chocolate cake recipe just with the spice. I was curious to see how this spice that I would typically use on chicken will pan out in a chocolate cupcake…

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As expected, the batter was a nice texture that mixed and scooped well. It didn’t quite make the 24 cupcakes but I made a few of them a little big. After they cooled I decked them out with my own homemade icing and some red sugar to symbolize the kick in the cupcake.

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The Verdict: the initial bite isn’t bad, you just taste chocolate. However, then the aftertaste comes and it’s a disgusting sour mess. I made it through 2 bites of the cupcake and gave up. I thought that since I’m not a huge fan of eating sweets, it may have just been my taste buds so I got my boyfriend to try one when he got home. Same verdict, they were gross.

At this point it was a challenge for me to find someone who actually liked this cupcake. I brought them to work the next day and got all 6 of my coworkers to try one. Each person had one bite, and then proceeded to lick off the icing before disposing of the cupcake. (At least my icing is good baha)

To summarize: These cupcakes were gross. I tried to like then, I tried to find someone who liked them but the end result was these cupcakes ending up in the green bin.

I bet that spice in something appropriate would be delicious, it smelled great in the package. I’m disappointed that I wasted my sample in those cupcakes.

Next up I tried the Black Garlic Spice

I’ve cooked with real black garlic in the past, it has a very unique texture and flavor to it so I was very curious if this spice would be able to hold it’s own. The recommended recipe was to make a sauce for ice cream………………….. After the cupcake incident I decided to use one of my own recipes to try out the spice.

I chose one of my favorite cook books: The Bobs Burgers Burger Cook Book!

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I chose to make the “Bet it all on Black Garlic Burger” I’ve tried it with the real black garlic and it was indeed… Exceptional Mouth Feels…..

Bet it all on black garlic burger

Instead of using real black garlic, I substituted the package of spice in the mayonnaise. I also had to adjust the greens to kale just due to availability at the market.

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The Verdict: ……. Exceptional Mouth Feels. Now it’s definitely not as good as the real thing BUT for a dried spice it did capture the unique smell and taste of the black garlic without the mess of dealing with the actual garlic.

I will buy this spice, this is definitely a new staple in my spice cabinet.

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I didn’t go into depths for the Cinnamon and Allspice because I think we all know what those spices are like and what recipes they work the best with. I am so relieved that I used my own recipe to test the black garlic as opposed to the recommended one because I would have been quite disappointed if both samples were wasted.

I get it that Hello Flavour is trying to have innovative and different recipes… But I would think they would make and test out a recipe before promoting it? Just my thought on it.

Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Enjoy them with a little bit of margarine or just on their own. These muffins are stuffed with vegetables to make you feel good about your snack! (Along with a little chocolate to satisfy your taste buds) 

This started off as an old family recipe for a good tasty banana loaf, I took it and ran with it. Added a few extra ingredients, tweaked existing ones to make it my own. 

Banana zucchini chocolate chip muffins

One thing I love to have ready to go is some mashed up banana in the freezer. I will be starting a new job shortly so I took a little time off to enjoy the spring before starting at the bottom of the vacation pool again. First day one of the first things I did was take a bag of mashed banana and shredded zucchini out of the freezer!

Banana Zucchini chocolate chip muffins

It's been incredible having time to bake for fun again! Sometimes it gets a little exhausting coming home from work at 5pm stuffing some food in my face and baking a cake. I'm grateful that it's still something I enjoy doing and this little vacation was just what the doctor ordered.

Chocolate chip, banana, zucchini muffins

Below is my recipe for these delicious banana zucchini chocolate chip muffins.

banana zucchini chocolate chip muffins

Rosette Cakes

Spring celebrations have finally arrived and it's now time to bring out the amazing colors! Along with these fun rosette cakes.

What better way to enjoy the fresh scents of spring than with a simple yet perfectly piped rosette cake.

First one to show off is a fading purple piece:

This beauty is a chocolate cake filled with a Nutella icing and then topped with the rosettes in fading shades of purple.

I am in love with the pastel colors this time of year! It's such a soft look.

The finished product

The finished product

You can view me making the cake below!

 

Making the nutella rosette cake! Music: http://www.purple-planet.com

My client was nice enough to send me a picture of the finished product with their cake topper!

My client was nice enough to send me a picture of the finished product with their cake topper!

Next on the list is this burgundy beauty:

I love this colour! Although traditionally more of a fall colour it seems to have grown it's own personality and it's own unique following. At least as it's fading up top it has a sweet pastel pink that brings out those spring vibes!

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The purple still takes the cake in my books for spring colours.. Just look at that thing!

Purple rosettes

This beautiful technique can also be transferred from a little birthday cake to a stunning and elegant wedding or other occasion! Below is a cake that grew above and beyond your 1 tier birthday cake.

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Give it a shot yourself, it's a simple way to make a big impact on a celebration! Just about getting your piping technique down and you'll be set.