Saturday, 23 February 2013

Potato Chip Rice Crispy Squares

I love the combination of sweet and salty.  I used to have dessert at the same time as my meal so that I could alternate between sweet and salty.  So when I came across this post, I was inspired! Rice crispy treats made of Doritos potato chips sounded interesting, but I wanted to start with something a bit safer: potato chip rice crispy squares.

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Potato Chip Rice Crispy Squares
¼ cup butter
5 cups mini marshmallows
½ teaspoon vanilla syrup
3 cups crispy rice cereal (such as Rice Crispies)
3 cups crushed potato chips

1.  In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
2.  Add marshmallows and melt.
3.  Take off heat and add vanilla syrup. Stir.
4.  Optional – throw a handful of marshmallows and stir if you want chunks of semi-melted marshmallows.
5.  Add rice cereal and potato chips and stir until evenly coated in marshmallows.
6.  Transfer to a baking dish and pat down with a spatula. Cool completely before cutting.

Verdict: These were great! They really hit the spot for the sweet and salty craving.  They were very addictive, so be careful!  I’m thinking of incorporating other salty snacks to kick up the saltiness – pretzels, Ritz crackers, Bugles?

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Housewarming Cake with German Buttercream

I have a whole list of cakes, cookies, frostings, and other desserts that I want to eventually make.  The issue is waiting for the right time to pull them out.  There’s a moist vanilla butter cake recipe that I’ve been eyeing and a German buttercream frosting that seemed like a good accompaniment.  I’ve heard of Swiss and Italian buttercream, but German?  I really wanted to try it.

I decided to pull out these recipes for a friend’s house warming party.  I made a chocolate house to place on top.  Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Butter vanilla cake and cake syrup

Recipe from here.

Before baking.

After baking.

German Buttercream

Recipe from here.

I halved the recipe and used vanilla bean gel/paste instead of vanilla beans. 

When adding butter to the custard, it will curdle at first, but keep whipping – it will come together.  I had to whip for about 15 minutes.
Waiting for the custard to thicken.

Straining the custard.

Plastic wrap right up against the custard, ready for the fridge.

After beating and ready to use.

Place first cake layer on a platter.  Brush the top and sides with syrup.  Apply a generous amount of buttercream.  Repeat with other layers.

Pieces of the house made of tempered chocolate.

Verdict: Unfortunately, this cake and buttercream recipe did not quite work for me.  The cake had good favor, but was not as moist as I thought it was going to be based on the description.  It was a good thing I used the cake syrup on the cake as it definitely helped to add moisture.  The German buttercream tasted good and was denser than Swiss and Italian meringue buttercreams (so I’m told), but it wasn’t as smooth as I like my frosting.  It even started to separate after sitting on the cake for a while.  And don’t bother making it ahead of time and putting it in the fridge thinking that it will save time – it took me a full 15 minutes of whipping to make it homogenous again, which didn’t save me any time at all!  The buttercream also did not take colour well.  I had to add icing sugar to the frosting to get the food colouring (gel) to mix well.  Overall, the cake was satisfactory.