recipes

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.

Mighty Good Pickles

Strolling through the grocery store on my lunch the other day I stumbled across a nice big basket of local cucumbers. In a moment of impulse I grabbed them because (no word of a lie) the basket was adorable...

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As I'm sitting in my office sitting next to the basket of little cucumbers I realized I better think of something to use these for... Even my clients were putting me on the spot "oh! What will you make!?" Me: "Uhhhhh"

That's when it hit me, I had an old family recipe stored away for just an occasion! So I got my ingredients together and did a small batch of Mighty Good Pickles!

Mighty Good Pickles

12 medium size cucumbers, chopped into bite sized pieces

3 lbs onions

Chop and leave overnight with 3/4 cup salt.

Drain the onions and cucumbers (my aunt puts this in a pillowcase and hangs it in the basement for about half a day. I opted to wrap in cheese cloth and place in a strainer in a sink for half the day... felt better...)

( You can also leave the cucumbers and onions with salt for half a day, then drain overnight... Whichever works better for you.)

Cook in:

4-1/2 cups cider vinegar

1-1/2 cups cold water

6 cups sugar

1 cup flour

1-1/2 tsp celery seed, 1-1/2 tsp ginger, 2 tsp turmeric

Boil approx 1/2 an hour. Makes approx 5 quarts of pickles.

Some of the instructions made me laugh, who knows if "overnight" is 6 hours or 8 and "half the day"... 12 hours? Maybe 8 hours? Wing it, just wing it and be prepared for a strong onion smell during the first step aand a strong vinegar smell during the cooking.

This recipe is a staple on my families dinner table.

Basket of Raspberry Cake

A piece I am quite fond of. There's a story behind this raspberry birthday cake. The beloved birthday girl was born in a raspberry field! She was so eager to arrive there was no time to waste to get to a hospital. So every year on her birthday they celebrate with a raspberry cake.

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I was so honored to be able to make this. It feels to be a very important tradition in the client's family. So I put a twist on the favorite and made the cake into a little basket! Chocolate cake on the inside with raspberry jam and fresh raspberries between the layers. Surrounded with wafers and held together with a little bow.

This is.. Most definitely one of my favorite creations to date. My only peeve with it is raspberries seem to not last very long once they've been harvested the trick seems to me to keep it good and cool and made sure the clients enjoyed it right away. It was a success all around!

Holiday Baking

Every Sunday morning at 8 am I recap the week, share what I learned and showcase some of my work!

Or in this case, it's all about the showcase!! The holidays are fast approaching and you know that you won't have time to do all the baking you dream of. So let me help you! I will even let you take the credit ;) 

Here are a few mouth watering and traditional favorites for the holidays from years past.

Chocolate cake with Reese's Peanut Butter cups, Reese's pieces, and chocolate drizzle on top! This mouth watering design will get you every time: Chocolate cake covered in chocolate icing topped with chopped mini Reese's peanut butter cups and Reese's pieces drizzled in chocolate.

 

Looking for more of a classic dessert? How about a traditional linzer torte.

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A little history on Linzer Tortes: Named after the city of Linz, Austria it's a holiday classic in Austria, Hungary, Sweden, and Germany and mainly seen on the dinner tables at Christmas time. Linzer tortes can be made in many sizes and shapes from cookies, tarts and tortes. I chose the torte for my experiment to make sure the baking times worked for the oven.

Or perhaps you prefer cookies!

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A great way to show off some cheer is with these colourful cookies!!

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I also specialize in cupcakes and can pretty  make any treat as long as sufficient order time is given.

See something you like? And live in Nova Scotia, Canada? Message me for a quote!