Salted caramel and chocolate tarts

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of salted caramel anything. But everyone around me seems to be in love with this flavor combo, so I decided to give it a shot. And I’m glad because I loved them πŸ™‚

image

These little bites of deliciousness are filled with flavor!

It starts off with a tart shell. Then I made a dark chocolate ganache and put a dollop inside. I then added a layer of caramel on top of that and drizzled chocolate and sprinkled some salt.

Unfortunately I didn’t take step by step pictures…. So bear with me… But I drew something to show everyone what the tarts should look like when assembling

image

Alright…. Recipe time πŸ™‚

You can find the tart shell at

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/m/recipe/basic-tart-dough.html

Ganache:
8 oz heavy cream
8 oz dark chocolate
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Pour chocolate into a heat resistant bowl. Heat heavy cream to a boil.Β  Slowly add hot cream to chocolate while stirring. Once chocolate is melted, stir in vanilla.Β 

Set aside in room temperature until the chocolate has firmed.

*You may adjust the thickness of ganache by simply adding more or less heavy cream.

Caramel

1 c sugar
1/2 c Brown sugar
1/2 c butter
1 c half & half
1/2 c corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Begin by adding all ingredients except the vanilla into a pot. Cook on medium high until it reaches a boil. (15-20 min) stirringΒ  occasionally.

Once it reaches a boil, you will continue to cook the mixture for another 25-30 min. Cook until caramel reaches 244 degrees or firm ball stage.

Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Pour into a greased pan or mold and let firm.

With my extra I made some caramel candies and salted them
I didn’t wrap them up and make them pretty. But you surely could wrap them in parchment paper.

image

Advertisements

Pumpkin pie

So I accidentally deleted an old post for pumpkin pie :/ so here I am ‘re blogging πŸ™‚

So last year was my first time selling pies for thanksgiving and I tried by making $8 pies. Turns out people couldn’t resist a homemade pie for $8. And I’m sure glad because I had a blast making them. It was exhausting and to be honest, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t have enough space to store them! Thankfully it all worked out! Hopefully by the end of the year I will have a fridge just for my baked goods!

Pies ❀

image

image

So first I made the pie shell. If you have never made a pie shell…well it’s simple yet complicated.
Only a few key ingredients, but overmix and you have a mediocre shell. So if your first one is too tough, too sticky, falling apart when you roll it etc., don’t worry! It happens. It’s never too late to re start a crust. (But if it’s just for home.. I just go with the flow and see how it comes out )

You live and you learn πŸ™‚

Pie crust: found on chow.com
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and stir briefly until the mixture is aerated. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces that are slightly yellow in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of the ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. (Add the last tablespoon of ice water if necessary, but don’t overwork the dough or it’ll become tough.)

3. Shape the dough into a flat disk, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then use it in the pie or tart recipe of your choice.

Pumpkin puree.. well this recipe came from my culinary textbook. And I’m currently in bed as it’s 2:25 am and I have class at 8! So… I will get the pumpkin puree updated as soon as I get a chance to get my book out and look!

Toffee ❀

So I have loved toffee since I was a tiny little one. My dad used to buy my mom a little cannister of toffee for Christmas and I would always beg for one! πŸ™‚ nonetheless, toffee has always been something that I enjoy.
This past Christmas, I decided to make some for gifts. To be honest I was a tiny bit nervous I would end up making it too hard 😳

Turns out.. I worried for nothing! It was delicious and perfect texture 😋

image

So… Recipe time πŸ™‚
I used the taste of homes Recipe
Yields: 1 lb

Ingredients:
  1-1/2 tbsp. Plus 2 c. Butter, softened and divided
  2c. Sugar
  1/3 c. Water
  2 tbsp. Light Corn syrup
  1 package (11-12 oz) milk chocolate chips
   1 c. Chipped almonds

Directions:

1. Line bottom and sides of 15 in x 10 in pan in foil. Grease foil with 1-1/2 tap. Butter. Set aside.

2. In a large heavy saucepan, melt remaining butter. Add sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 290Β° (soft ball stage)
         *if you want a harder toffee you can cook a little longer but i like mine slightly softer than others πŸ™‚

3.pour into prepared pan. Cool for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips ; let stand for 3 minutes. Spread melted chocolate evenly over candy. * I melted my chocolate over the stovetop. Either way is acceptable.

Sprinkle with almonds; press down lightly. Cool until girl. Break into bite-size prices.

You can then begin to eat, prepare gift bags, or put in an air tight container

I hope you enjoy this super easy and delicious toffee!

Oooh… Ahhh…Distractions. :(

Recently I realized that I haven’t been putting my dream first. Instead I put my current job ahead of everything. I got so involved and overwhelmed when I promoted. I wanted nothing mote than to shine. To show my team I could. And I would. I dove into it. Giving all I could. On the clock. Off the clock. It didn’t matter. That’s all that was on my mind. What could I do better? How? Who could I help. Who wanted a dev plan or needed to talk.

But then I took a look from a new perspective. I woke up. I realized that I was putting all my energy into the now. And dreaming of a beautiful future. But doing nothing to guarantee one. So… Here I am. Taking a stand against myself. STOP! STOP LETTING YOUR BAKING BE A DREAM. MAKE THIS A REALITY!Β 

I will be baking more. More pictures. More recipes! More deliciousness. I hot side tracked. Fell off my path and was taking a different road. But I’m back. I’m focused. I’m determined πŸ™‚

Follow me on instagram @secretsinthesugar πŸ™‚ like my pics! Comment! Ask for prices. Or recipes :):)

Little sister.best friend. Same thing :)

So my sister is my best friend. My closest friend. The person I can always count on. My little sister deserves the world. So when her birthday came around… I was willing to do anything. And this is what we came up with

image

Ha a little… Different. But my sister is different. She’s artistic. She draws and paints. She loves manga and anime. She’s into Korean and Japanese culture. For 15 she’s extremely diverse.

The cake was a white chiffon with multi colored buttercream. 5 layer 6″ cake. With mini cakes st the bottom so her friends could pick out their own personal ones. πŸ™‚

image

Aha… And yes. I know the layers are not evenly sized haha. I was rushing! I got off an 8 hour shift and had to make her cake during the party haha.

Honestly, making a tall cake was such a fun experience. I love it! I was terrified that it would fall, but ecstatic when we cut it open and all the colors were revealed πŸ™‚

It’s the little things.

This past Friday my mom had an awesome opportunity. She is a local artist and is being featured in a winery. For her first day she was able to invite people and they had music by a local musician. Quite inspiring. My mom has done it all. She has worked at a bank. She worked at a pre school when I was young. And even in the medical field. But she finally found her calling. Designing and creating both jewelry and art. I’m fascinated and inspired that she can truly find what makes her happy and go after it.
image

image

Well.. she asked me to cater it. Mini everything. So I slaved in the kitchen for some 8-10 hours or so. Haha and I created a little dessert table for the guests. πŸ™‚

image

Above: mini cannolis and coconut macaroons.

image

Above: fruit tarts and chocolate dipped raspberries

image

Above: cheesecake filled strawberries.. dipped in chocolate

image

And of course dipped pretzels πŸ™‚

It was such a great feeling to see people be excited over my food. To love what I’ve created. I gave my number to one woman and was asked to give a quote to another party! Omg! Great feeling πŸ™‚

A little off track..

Do you ever feel like your goals and desires were launched out of the picture? Like everything you have been working for is out of reach? Because I do. Sometimes I feel like my life is on track. I’m going to be successful. I’m going to be happy doing the thing that I love. Baking sweets and making a living off watching people get the very things I created. Watching the birthday boys eyes widen and smile grow on his face when he is surprised with his cake that I put hours into decorating. Trying to create the coolest superhero cake. Sometimes I feel like it’s all going according to plan….. And then other times I feel like this: I’m stuck. I’ve gotten worse. I can’t even make my own recipes successfully. What if I’m the only one that likes them? Eeek!? What if people just tell me it tastes good because they are being nice?! I can’t blog. My pictures aren’t even good. I don’t have a gazillion followers.. no one will notice.

Ha… And then I bake for an event or something and feel revived.

Moral of the story?
We all hit bumps in the road. Don’t let it affect your dreams. Your desires. Keep pushing. Keep aiming to be the best. I can. I will. πŸ™‚

Special thanks to everyone who has kept motivating me through my happiest and scariest days πŸ™‚