consigliato per te

  • in

    Ube White Chocolate Ganache Tart

    Purple sweet potato gives this ganache tart delicious flavor and a naturally purple hue. Classic French shortcrust pastry is the perfect foil for the rich filling.Spring is yet to come, but flower-shaped tarts are already blooming in my kitchen! I've been gathering a few new baking tools lately and donating old ones, which feels good on the precipice of the new season. You may recall that I recently purchased a new madeleine pan (see here) and using it inspired me and gave my baking a boost! Around the same time I purchased this blossom tart pan, and I've just been waiting for the right inspiration to use it.This year I'm making an effort to explore ingredients that give foods a naturally vibrant hue. Purple yam, known as ube (pronounced ooh-bae), is one of those ingredients that imparts bold purple color naturally – and it doesn't just look good! It tastes good too, with beautiful sweet potato flavor.Continued, click to read more… LEGGI TUTTO

  • in

    MBC LIVE – Bourbon (Themed Tasting 2)

    About Erin
    Born and raised in the Bluegrass, Erin has always held an affinity for her home state’s signature spirit. Throughout her world travels (35 countries and counting!), Erin delights in spreading the gospel of bourbon across the globe, from Spain to Korea, and especially in her now home of Washington, DC. Erin spent her formative years studying international relations and finding the best libations the Nation’s Capital has to offer. Though a high rye bourbon will always be her favorite, she can never say no to a pretty bottle. Always up for an adventure, Erin also enjoys kayaking, science fiction, exceptional cocktails, and travelling everywhere possible.
    I’ll also add that Erin has served on the board of the Kentucky society of Washington since 2014 and is a prolific spirits and cocktail educator who runs a bunch of different classes for private and corporate clients. You can connect with her on Instagram at @erpdc.
    Near Country Provisions
    This live stream is sponsored by Near Country Provisions, your local source for sustainable meat and fresh caught seafood in the Mid-Atlantic. They deliver delicious frozen protein right to your doorstep once monthly.
    Enter the code BARCART at checkout when you begin your subscription, and receive your choice of 2 free pounds of bacon or ground beef for FREE. LEGGI TUTTO

  • in

    Parker House Rolls

    Legend has it that Parker House rolls were created by accident as a disgruntled baker slammed a tray of rolls in the oven. The jolted rolls emerged with their signature folded appearance, and the guests raved about them. It’s that pocket-like fold that creates a crispy golden exterior with a steaming hot and tender interior.

    Parker House Rolls

    4 to 4¼ cups (500 to 531 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
    ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
    2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
    ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
    ⅔ cup (160 grams) water
    ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
    1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
    ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    Flaked sea salt, for sprinkling

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1⅓ cups (167 grams) flour, sugar, kosher salt, and yeast at medium-low speed until well combined.
    In a medium saucepan, heat milk, ⅔ cup (160 grams) water, and cubed butter over medium heat until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture; beat at medium-low speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg; beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2⅔ cups (333 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
    Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium-low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. (Dough should pass the windowpane test [see Note] but may still stick slightly to sides of bowl.) Turn out dough onto a very lightly floured surface, and gently shape into a ball.
    Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 35 to 50 minutes.
    Position oven rack in top third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 light-colored metal baking sheets with parchment paper.
    Punch down dough; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Divide dough in half, covering 1 portion with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface, roll uncovered half into an 11-inch square, about ¼ inch thick. Using a 2¾-inch round cutter, cut dough, discarding scraps. Gently stretch each circle into a 3×2-inch oval; place smoothest side of oval facing downward. Brush each oval with melted butter. Using the back of small knife, make a crease crosswise in center of each oval; fold ovals in half along crease, pressing to seal. Place at least 1 inch apart on a prepared pan. Repeat procedure with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until nearly doubled in size and dough holds an indentation when poked, 20 to 25 minutes.
    Brush tops of rolls with melted butter.
    Bake, one batch at a time, until lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Brush warm rolls with remaining melted butter, and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve warm.

    To use the windowpane test to check dough for proper gluten development, lightly flour hands and pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat for 1 minute, and test again.


    Folding Classic Parker House Rolls
    1. After cutting dough into 2¾-inch rounds, gently stretch each circle into a 3×2-inch oval, placing the smoothest side facing downward.2. Using the back of a small knife, make a crease crosswise in the center of each oval. Take care not cut through the dough. The indentation will mark where to fold the roll.3. Before folding, brush the top of each oval with melted butter. Fold each oval in half along the crease, pressing to seal.





    Previous articleStrawberry and Almond Buttermilk Cake LEGGI TUTTO

  • in

    Episode 180 – Horseradish Hijinks (Breaking Bloody – Part 4.2)

    Because if I had to guess, when bartender Pete Petiot included his first few dashes of black pepper and Cayenne pepper in his Bloody Mary, he did so based solely on instinct. He didn’t know what we know about the chemical and biological structures responsible for the flavors that we love, so I think we have a genuine opportunity here to veer off from the trail breadcrumbs our mixological ancestors left for us and strike out for new and exciting places.
    Spice and Hangover Symptoms
    Here’s Dr. Alissa Nolden’s thoughts on what subjects we might study (in a perfect world) to better understand the specific mechanisms that govern the relationship between the Bloody Mary and the hangover symptoms that it’s often deployed to combat.

    I love thinking about hypothetical research questions, and I when I was thinking about this question, I had two things that I was curious about.
    One, I think would be great to see how many people actually find [a Bloody Mary] to be beneficial or helpful. So can can you create a hangover or kind of recreate a hangover for a different for all these participants and give them maybe everything but capsaicin or anything but ethanol and then test out to see if it’s the capsaicin, see if it’s ethanol, or is it just the high concentration of vegetables?
    I also wondered about the heat level. Is something like a higher heat level helping you to perspirate more? Maybe we could give subjects a couple of different hangovers and test different concentrations of capsaicin to see if it’s really just the capsaicin alone that can kind of revive you.

    We also asked Sarah Kolk about what she thinks about the Bloody Mary’s role as a hangover cure. Here’s what she had to say:

    I think an important thing to address about a hangover is part of it’s dehydration, and electrolytes are crucial to hydration. So even though it’s maybe not the best idea to overload yourself with sodium, your body isn’t very good at distinguishing: “I should really have more calcium and magnesium and potassium right now.” Also, tomatoes do have a fair amount of potassium.
    As far as the hair of the dog aspect that people consume Bloody Marys for, I think that’s always been a really effective strategy when you’re trying to dull one sense – the dull pains, maybe a headache or body ache – that you would be experiencing during a hangover. Maybe I’d even liken it to biting a rag while you’re having a bullet removed in a movie – like activating that trigeminal system could maybe distract from some of the discomfort. 

    Also according to Dr. Nolden, it’s possible to experience nausea from ingesting spicy foods, and that certainly isn’t something you necessarily want when you’re hungover.
    If you think back to our work with Benign Masochism, you might recall Paul Rozin’s finding that people tend to enjoy levels of spice that are just below what they can comfortably tolerate. And if you assume that your spice tolerance when you’re hungover is probably a bit lower than it might be otherwise, then my guess is – without having run any experiments – that a moderate level of spice in a Bloody Mary probably yields optimum benefits without pushing you over the edge into nausea. 
    Resolving the Language Problem
    But what is “Moderate”? What’s moderate to me might not be moderate to you, which raises questions about the inherent “unknowability” of flavor experience.
    The worry here, of course, is that no matter how hard we try to study the experience of spice, we’re always going to be talking at cross-purposes. My spicy will never be your spicy, and your spicy – let’s be honest – will probably never approach our friend John Shope’s definition of spicy. And when you look at things that way, it’s very easy to gaze too long and too intently into the postmodern abyss of infinite regress.
    But I think the Bloody Mary is actually perfect foil to this intellectual trap. No two recipes are the same, and yet we rarely feel “anxious” just ordering one from a bar in the same way we might feel anxious about ordering an Old Fashioned or a Martini. Unlike our favorite boozy, stirred drinks, the seemingly infinite variations of the Bloody Mary seem to all aggregate into some sort of universally-shared mean or ideal of “goodness” that exists regardless of capsaicin or horseradish, regardless of A1 or Worcestershire, regardless of all the other choices we could possibly make in the formulation.
    I might be wrong, but I think that “goodness” arises not from a particular ingredient or even from a proportional balance between ingredients, but from an emergent energy or propulsion generated from the combination of these disparate forces when they coalesce in the glass.
    What do I mean by this?
    Spice as the “Motor” of the Bloody Mary
    Well, remember back when we talked about benign masochism and uncovered the almost paradoxical finding that the experience of pain increases our sensitivity to and liking of various tastes and flavors? Whenever I run into a paradox like this, I think of it like a motor, where two opposite polarities of an electromagnet keep turning over upon one another, turning the drive shaft and propelling the vehicle forward. These little motors are some of my favorite things to think about, especially when they happen in the taste and flavor world.
    If you’re hung over, and you sip a spicy Bloody Mary, each sip enacts something that might be compared to one revolution of a drive shaft. Moderate spice creates moderate pain, which both distracts you from the symptoms of your hangover and provides greater appreciation of the other flavors in the drink, which prompts you to take another sip, where the process is repeated until before you know it, you’ve finished your drink.
    As you look at your empty glass and appreciate the kind green of your celery stick garnish, your server or your host stops by and asks if you’d like another, mentioning that your chicken and waffles will be ready in just a few minutes. You say yes, and as the words leave your mouth you realize you’re not the same person that you were when you took the first sip of your Bloody Mary.
    This is the definition of a phase shift. Before the Bloody Mary, you were one person, and now you are a decidedly different one with a decidedly different set of homeostatic feelings. Did the sodium and potassium and vodka and other nutrients and lubricants in the drink do their work? Of course. These can be compared to the transmission and fuel system and frame of a vehicle that allow it to transport you from point A to point B. But I would argue that the driving force in a Bloody Mary – the motor that turns due to the opposing forces of pain and pleasure – can only be attributed to spice.
    In the presence of moderate amounts of pepper, hot sauce, or horseradish, pleasure emerges from pain, motion from stillness. And although there are many ways to describe our experience of spice, and many different preferences for what provides that spice or how intensely we perceive it, one thing is for sure: if you ain’t got no motor, you ain’t got no car. And if you ain’t got no spice, I’d argue you ain’t got no Bloody Mary. LEGGI TUTTO

  • in

    Irish Cream Coffee Milk Punch

    Toast St. Patrick’s Day with this rich and decadent Irish Cream Coffee Milk Punch. It’s an easy fix that tastes like a grown-up version of your favorite sweet iced coffee drink. 

    Next week ushers in a whole new month, and along with it, a couple of occasions worth celebrating. St. Patrick’s Day will be here before you know it, and the spring equinox follows just three days later. I’m excited to plan an Irish meal with all the fixin’s, and the promise of some sunshine? Count me in!

    This milk punch is a delicious way to celebrate St. Paddy’s, but it would also be welcome long after the holiday when warm weather truly sets in. It’s a real treat for any iced coffee lover.

    Use your favorite coffee and brew it strong! I highly recommend filling some ice trays with coffee and freezing them ahead of time, so I’ve added that step to the recipe text. Added to a glass, they keep this coffee punch cold without diluting the drink.

    Whipped cream is a must if you’re having this for dessert. I usually get about halfway through a glass before I begin stirring the whipped cream into the coffee. This makes it so luxurious. It almost becomes a milkshake, or something akin to a big box coffee drink.  

    Chocolate shavings are so easy to make using a chocolate tablet and a vegetable peeler. Just shave the chocolate onto a plate and sprinkle it on top of the whipped cream – it’s the perfect finishing touch.

    A batch of this punch will keep well in a pitcher in the refrigerator for a few days. Keep the top covered with plastic wrap and give it a stir before enjoying. 

    This recipe was adapted from The Southern Living Party Cookbook’s Coffee Milk Punch, which uses bourbon, but I think swapping in the Irish Cream makes it taste even better. For a non-alcoholic version, use Irish Cream flavored coffee creamer in place of the Irish Cream liqueur. 

    [click to print]
    Irish Cream Coffee Milk Punch
    About 8 servings6 cups (48 oz.) strong brewed hot coffee
    1/2 cup (156 grams) chocolate syrup
    2 cups (16 oz./480ml) whole milk or half-and-half
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 cup (240 ml) Irish Cream liqueur (or more to taste)
    Coffee ice cubes (1 cup/8 oz. cooled coffee frozen in an ice cube tray)
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 oz. chocolate shavings (half of a 4 oz. bar/tablet)Pour the strongly brewed coffee into a large pot while it is still hot, and stir in chocolate syrup until blended. Add milk, vanilla extract and Irish Cream, and stir until mixture is well blended. Let mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer to a pitcher, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours until ready to serve.Whip the heavy cream and granulated sugar in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, pour punch into cocktail glasses 2/3 full and add a few coffee ice cubes. Top each glass with whipped cream and add chocolate shavings.Note: For a non-alcoholic version of this punch, use Irish Cream flavored coffee cream in place of the Irish Cream liqueur.
    link Irish Cream Coffee Milk Punch By Heather Baird Published: Thursday, February 25, 2021Thursday, February 25, 2021Irish Cream Coffee Milk Punch Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

  • in

    Mom's Tennessee Banana Black Walnut Cake

    This homestyle cake is a family recipe made of two soft banana layers loaded with black walnuts. Old fashioned caramel frosting makes it a true southern favorite. 

    Here it is, my favorite homestyle cake – my mother’s recipe. The last time I had a large family dinner (remember those?) I made a different black walnut cake from a fancy cookbook, and from the author’s confidence and praise of her own cake, I felt so sure it would be just as good as this one. It was not. 

    I often spring new recipes on my family, and some are better than others, but this time I was embarrassed. The cake looked beautiful on the outside but it was a huge disappointment flavor-wise and dry.  Sooo dry.  I already had the best black walnut cake recipe from my mom, and I should have just made it instead. 

    Black walnuts are harvested as a fall crop, but as a southerner I can tell you they are never out of season in our kitchens. They have bold, earthy flavor and one whiff of their robust fragrance brings to mind all the special confections my family makes with them. (Aunt Pammy’s peanut butter fudge and Aunt Grace’s Easter fondants, to name two.) 

    Thankfully, black walnuts are available for purchase online year-round, so they can remain on our tables in spring and summer months. I’ve had Easter on the brain lately, and I think this cake would be so delicious and special as the last course, but it is also so appropriate for a Thanksgiving dessert.

    The caramel frosting is easy enough to whip together, but it is prone to set up quickly. I found myself intermittently whipping more heavy cream into it so it could be spreadable on the cake. The good news is, you don’t have to worry about getting the frosting perfectly even because it will be completely covered with more black walnuts.

    There is one addition to this recipe from me, and that is a few swirls of cream cheese frosting on the top edge of the cake. This makes it look pretty, and it’s really delicious, too! 

    I suppose the “Tennessee” part of this recipe could refer to the black walnuts, or maybe the old fashioned caramel frosting – which is truly something that all southern, church-going, potluck-attending grannies have made to cover a special cake. I can only tell you for sure that as a born-and-raised Tennessean, this cake is the real deal.

    The interior of this cake is so soft and tender that I’m pressed to find the right words to describe it. I’d almost call it damp, which may be a questionable description for food, but it is indeed super-moist and so flavorful with the addition of four overripe bananas. 

    (Thanks for the recipe, mom!)

    [click to print]
    Tennessee Banana-Black Walnut Cake
    Yields 10-12 servings
    Recipe by Katie WattsCake layers
    2 cups (248g) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, softened
    1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
    2 eggs, well beaten
    4 over-ripe bananas, mashed
    1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup (117g) chopped black walnutsCaramel frosting
    1/2 cup (113g) butter
    1 cup (205g) light brown sugar, packed
    1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream, plus more as needed
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    4 cups (16 oz. box) powdered sugar
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped black walnuts, for garnishCream cheese frosting
    1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
    1 oz. cream cheese, softened
    2- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    Milk or cream to thin
    1 tablespoon finely chopped black walnutsFor the cakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 8- or 9-inch cake pans with flour-based cooking spray (or grease and flour) and set aside.In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar thoroughly. Blend in bananas, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with buttermilk until well incorporated, then fold in walnuts. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes for 8-inch pans, or 30 minutes for 9-inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn out of pans to cool completely.Caramel frosting
    Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop. Add brown sugar and heavy cream, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer while still warm and melted. Beat on medium-low speed while adding powdered sugar a little a time; mix until smooth and thick. Add additional heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until the frosting is of easy spreading consistency. This frosting firms quickly, almost to a fudge-like state, so work quickly to frost the cake.Place a small amount of frosting on the center of a cake plate to keep the cake from shifting. Place one layer on the cake plate, and apply a layer of frosting. Top with the other cake layer, and frost the outside and top of the stacked layers. If the frosting begins to set up, add more heavy cream and re-whip to soften. Immediately press chopped black walnuts onto the top and sides of the cake, before frosting sets up.Cream cheese frosting swirls
    Combine the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and whip until fluffy with an electric hand mixer. Add confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until a thick, fluffy frosting forms; add milk or cream to thin as needed. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a large closed star piping tip. Pipe swirls of cream cheese frosting on the top edge of the cake. Garnish with black walnuts.
    link Mom’s Tennessee Banana Black Walnut Cake By Heather Baird Published: Monday, February 22, 2021Monday, February 22, 2021Tennessee Banana Black Walnut Cake Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

  • in

    Fluffy Sheep Sugar Cookies

    Cute sheep sugar cookies are extra sweet and so easy to decorate. Nonpareils give them a ‘wooly’ appearance and add sugary crunch.

    They say that inspiration has to find you working, and that’s how these cookies came about. I was asked to make an array of decorated dog breed cookies for a food styling gig last November, and during that endeavor I found that a simple sprinkle of nonpareils over royal icing made a fluffy, almost curly-looking dog coat. I bookmarked that idea in my brain for a different kind of cookie, and here they are. Cute, wooly sheep cookies for spring!

    I’ve been longing for spring this week because we’ve had mostly dark, damp, and slushy days. These cookies cheered me right up, and made me look forward to more sunnier times. I noticed that Easter comes early this year, and I think these would look extra cute in an Easter basket.

    If you’re a cookie decorating novice, then these easy cookies are a good place to start. Flood consistency royal icing is fairly easy to make and you’ll need three colors: grey, black, and white. All of the sheep have grey faces and legs. You’ll pipe the faces first, and while the icing is still wet, add a single black sugar pearl to each face to create an eye.

    The faces and legs need to dry before adding their wooly coats. It will take at least and hour for the icing to form a crust, and it’s best to wait a couple of hours until it is completely set.

    When the grey icing is set, add the white royal icing to the centers of half of the cookies. I like to use a scribe to push the icing into place (see the video) but a toothpick also makes a good scribe tool.

    Immediately and liberally pour on the sprinkles. (Whee! This is the fun part!) The wet frosting does a good job of catching them all, and the dry areas (face, legs) repel the sprinkles. Honestly it’s some of the easiest cookie decorating you can do!

    I think the black sheep were my favorite. The other half of the cookies were frosted black and sprinkled with with black nonpareils. When all of the cookies were dry, I packaged one of each color sheep in cellophane bags and tied them with bright grass green ribbon.  So very cute!

    The simplicity of the decoration means that the task goes rather quickly. If you ever needed to crank out a whole bunch of these, then you could do so without much trouble. 

    I’m planning another batch closer to Easter, but they’d be wonderful for baby showers, too. If you’re like me and still keeping celebrations small, they are sturdy enough to mail as edible favors for birth announcements, or just a fun springtime greeting.

    Hurry up spring!

    [click to print]
    Fluffy Sheep Sugar Cookies
    Yields about 3 dozenSugar cookie dough
    1/2 lb. (two US sticks) unsalted butter
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) granulated sugar
    1 egg
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    3 cups (380g) all-purpose flour
    Pinch of saltIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until just incorporated. Do not over-mix at this stage, or the cookies may spread while baking. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no longer any streaks of butter in the mixing bowl. The dough will often clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. This is normal and a good sign that your dough is the right consistency. If your mixture does not come together and is crumbly, add ice cold water 1 tbsp. at a time until the dough clumps.Roll the dough flat between sheets of parchment paper and chill until ready for use, at least 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.Use a 4-inch lamb or sheep motif cookie cutter to stamp shapes from the dough and transfer them to the prepared pans. Chill the shapes in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly brown on the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Re-roll scraps and repeat process.Royal Icing and décorsNote: Not all meringue powder is the same. Be sure to read the directions on the back of the meringue powder container for suggested amounts.4 cups (16 oz.) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    3 tablespoons meringue powder
    1/2 cup warm water, plus additional for thinning
    1 teaspoon clear lemon extract
    Black gel food color
    Black sugar pearls
    6 oz. white nonpareils
    6 oz. black nonpareilsIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, stir the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder on low speed until combined. Add the water and beat on medium-high speed until thickened. Mix in the flavoring. Scrape down the bowl and beat again. Divide the frosting into three bowls and cover them with damp paper towels. Tint one bowl with a tiny drop of black gel food color and mix until a medium grey color is achieved. Stir a larger amount of black into another bowl and mix until deep black color is achieved. Leave one bowl untinted. Mix in drops of water to each bowl and stir well, repeating this process until the icing thins to flood consistency. It should be thick and pourable like a milkshake. Run a spatula through the icing to check; the indention should disappear by the count of 10.Transfer the three flood frostings to disposable piping bags and close the ends with rubber bands. Use the grey icing to pipe the faces and legs onto the cookies. While the icing is still wet, place a black sugar pearl on each of the faces near the center. Let dry completely, about 2 hours.When the icing is set, flood half of the cookies with the white royal icing, piping the white icing well within the cookie’s edges and use a toothpick or a scribe to push the icing nearer to the edge (this prevents the flood icing from overflowing the sides). Immediately after piping one cookie, sprinkle generously with nonpareils while the frosting is still wet. Gently shake off the excess sprinkles and move to a cooling rack to dry. Repeat with the remaining cookies, black royal icing, and black nonpareils. Allow the cookies to dry uncovered at least 4 hours, but overnight is better.When the cookies are completely dry and firm, package them in cellophane bags for gifting, or store airtight.

    link Fluffy Sheep Sugar Cookies By Heather Baird Published: Friday, February 19, 2021Friday, February 19, 2021Fluffy Sheep Sugar Cookies Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

  • in

    Episode 179 – Breaking Bloody (Part 4.1) Fire and Spice

    Intense heat from peppers is very painful, and usually we reject painful things. But yet we like negative stimulation in the case of horror films, or rollercoasters…so we embrace these things that are a little aversive in contexts in which we can control them.

    Benign Masochism Research
    Dan was also kind enough to provide me with some research papers on this subject, and although we don’t have time to do a full literature review, I thought I’d pull out some of the main themes for you.
    Glad to be sad and other examples of benign masochism (Published in Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 8, No. 4, July 2013, pp. 439-447)
    In a 2013 summary paper, Paul Rozin and colleagues were able to pull out some general trends associated with benign masochism across a wide variety of human activities. For example, watching very scary or sad movies, the taste of strong alcohol, bitterness, or capsaicin, disgusting jokes, thrill rides, and even the “hurts so good” physical pain of an intense massage.
    A couple findings that I found really interesting from this research were that A.) people tend to enjoy their physiological reactions to negative experiences, and B.) people most enjoy levels of discomfort that are juuuust on the tolerable side of uncomfortable. This second fact, to me, could have huge implications on how we can think about the role of spice in a Bloody Mary.
    Gustatory pleasure and pain. The offset of acute physical pain enhances responsiveness to taste. (Published in Appetite 72, 2014, 150-155)
    Another paper by Bastian and colleagues summarizes three different studies conducted to explore the relationship between physical pain and flavor perception. They discovered three significant findings:

    FIrst, physical pain is linked to greater enjoyment of a flavor. So in essence, participants were split into “pain” and “no pain” conditions and then asked to eat a chocolate flavored biscuit. Those in the pain condition rated their liking of the biscuit as significantly higher.

    Next, the researchers found that physical pain increases perceived intensity of tastes. So, same kind of “pain” and “no pain” conditions, and the participants in the pain group rated sweet, sour, salty, and bitter tastes as more intense than the people in the no pain condition.

    Finally, they demonstrated that pain made people more sensitive to the presence of a flavor by demonstrating that participants in a pain condition were much more likely to correctly identify a flavor extract at lower concentrations than those in a non-pain condition.

    In short, pain makes us enjoy flavors more, experience them more intensely, and identify them with great sensitivity. So I think the logical takeaway here is that if you want people to enjoy eating at your restaurant or drinking at your cocktail bar just that little bit more, you need to hire a spanking sommelier who can go around and inflict just the right amount of pain on your guests. It would be kind of a 21st century update to the professional foot ticklers employed by the court of Catherine the Great.
    I’m not kidding about that one. Look it up.
    Spicing Up the Bloody Mary Cocktail
    If there’s anything that this research demonstrates, it’s that we don’t want THAT much spice in our Bloody Marys. It sends us back to a word that some more experienced home bartenders take for granted: balance. But this isn’t just about modulating sweet and sour, like in a daiquiri. We’ve got pretty much every possible flavor bouncing around in the Bloody Mary, and somehow, we’re supposed to bring them all into harmony. This task is further complicated by the fact that in most recipes, you’re going to have multiple sources of spice, acid, and umami.
    So in the perfect Bloody Mary, we want spice, but not too much. And the kicker is that the definition of what constitutes “too much” is going to vary from person to person, creating not only a flavor problem, but also a language problem. Thinking back to our benign masochism research, is there a world in which everyone could have the perfect level of spice for their palate? Is there a way to bring each individual riiiight to the edge of discomfort, but not cross the line?
    Perhaps not.
    But I do think there are ways to present Bloody Marys on a cocktail menu in a way that comes close. The key, it would seem, is to give people options.’
    Finding the Right “Spice Neighborhood” for You
    Think about other situations where there’s an objective flavor fact that you need to communicate to people. My go-to example here is the doneness of a burger or a piece of meat, which can be communicated using a number (i.e. internal temperature) or a trade term (like “medium rare”). When I, as a patron, say “medium rare,” you, as a chef, know exactly how to prepare that food to give me exactly what I want.
    A simpler example could simply be the little chili pepper scores next to different dishes on a Thai menu, for example. No chilis means mild, and the more chilis you add on, the spicier it gets. This may be a slightly blunter instrument than temperature-correlated doneness, but it still helps get people into the right neighborhood where they want to be.
    Manipulating Options and Garnishes
    So if you were to ask me how I’d try to give people their perfect Bloody Mary if I ran a cocktail bar, here’s what I’d do. LEGGI TUTTO