… and I am back!! (Well, sort of)

Geez.

Yes. My writings on this blog are a bit random. Maybe I can get into the rhythm again? Perhaps not (my moods to blame!). Yea! Someday.

I am weird.

For now, let´s see what brings me here this time ;)

My daughter´s school is having a Halloween party this week and I committed myself to make something for the bake sale. To be sincere, this is our first Halloween party while living in Finland and I had no clue of what people eat there. The only thing I was sure is that there would be tons of cupcakes and tray bakes (bringing more’d be definitely boring!).

I decided for size-wise mini cheesecakes. No fuzz for cutting slices and just perfect to carry easily to the party.

BUT IT IS HALLOWEEN! Hello?

hmm… the decoration! Oh gosh, cupcakes are so much nicer to decorate with spooky touches! After brainstorming (uh, you certainly don’t want to see me doing that. Hubs says I have lightning clouds on top of my head. Every time)  I came to an idea when I thought about the bilberry sauce that goes with the cheesecakes. Hmmm… yummy blood clots (eeeek)… topped with eyeballs. Just enough creepy!

Mini Baked Cheesecakes for Halloween

adapted from a recipe posted already here

Makes 24 individual cheesecakes

For the crust:

  • 300 g Digestive biscuits, finely crumbled
  • 140 g butter, melted (I used HYLA, low lactose)

For the cheese filling:

  • 400 g cream cheese, full fat, softened
  • 200 ml cream (I used HYLA, low lactose)
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
To serve:
  • bilberry jam (I used organic)
For the “eye balls”
  • round shaped white candies. I used sugar coated snowballs Toffee bonbons (toffee pallot / lumipallot)
  • food decorating pens (edible markers): red, blue and green
  • black marzipan
Heat oven to 180°C

Line 24 holes of two muffin pans with muffin cases.

Finely crush the biscuits in a strong freezer plastic bag. Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and “knead” until well combined. Note that you can use the plastic as a mixing vessel (no dirty dishes yet!). Alternatively, use a food processor to crush the biscuits and mix the butter.

Divide the crust mixture evenly among cases pressing firmly down with your finger or the back of a spoon. Set the pans aside while making the filling.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer until it gets smooth and creamy. Don´t overdo it otherwise you will incorporate too much air into the mixture and it will “puff” in the oven.  Add the eggs and beat until combined. Add lemon juice and cream and mix again.

Pour the filling evenly among cases.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before storing in the fridge.

Cheesecakes are ready to serve when they are completely set and cold.

Making the “eyes”:

Drawing the eyes

Simply draw/paint the white candy balls with the edible pens to depict eyes (green/blue for the iris and red for the arteries/veins) . For the pupil I used a tiny ball made with black marzipan, mostly because my black edible pen ended (*lol*)

Drawing the eyes

Horrific? Eye popping! (yuck)

Before taking the cheesecakes to the school I added about one teaspoon of bilberry jam to each cheesecake and decorated with one toffee “eye”.

Cheesecake box

Happy Halloween!

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.

Beijinho de coco - Coconut

Beijinho de coco is another classic candy served at birthday parties in Brazil. Beijinho means “little kiss” (beijo=kiss and coco, well… coconut :). Very appropriate for the Valentine’s Day right? Sweet smooches :*.

This candy is very easy to prepare (easier than the brigadeiro), reason why I always volunteered to stir the batter for my mother when I was a kid (and lick the pan when doing dishes! HA!).

I know there are different ways to make the beijinho and some recipes include egg yolks in the batter. The following is how my mother taught me to make it and the recipe comes from her notebook. (Oi manhê! )

Oh, I almost forgot! Traditionally, a clove is stuck on top of each beijinho but I usually don’t add it. Anyways, they are decorations only and nobody really eat them ^_^.

Beijinho de coco - Coconut

Beijinho de coco – Coconut “little kiss”

yields about 35 small ones

  • 1 can (397g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 100 g unsweetened desiccated shredded coconut
  • granulated sugar or coconut flakes (about 1 cup)
  • cloves (I didn´t use)
  • small paper cups (optional)

Prepare a heat-proof deep plate, greasing with a bit of unsalted butter.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan mix the condensed milk, butter and desiccated shredded coconut. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden/silicone spatula.

After approximately 15-20 minutes the mixture should get thicker. It starts to get done when you can see the bottom of the pan. For a rough comparison, the batter looks like cold porridge. You will also find it difficult to stir more as you get a defined ball inside your pan.

Remove from heat and lay the mixture into the prepared plate and let cool to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge (so it gets easier to mold the candies).

Using a teaspoon, scoop the mixture and using your hands, roll little balls (about ∅2cm). Repeat with the remaining coconut mixture.

Put the granulated sugar (or coconut flakes) in a bowl. Roll the beijinhos in, covering their surface and place them in the paper cups. Stick one clove into each beijinho for decoration.

The candy keeps well in an airtight plastic container for up to 2 days at room temperature or for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Homemade assortment of candies. Brigadeiros and beijinhos

I made a little heart-shaped box with beijinhos and brigadeiros to celebrate the Valentine’s Day and the Finnish Friend’s Day ^_^.

Hyvää Ystävänpäivää!!


Sweet little pandas ❤

Ok… I couldn’t resist… having two colors of candy dough, dark and white… I had to make panda shaped candies straightaway…

Need to love pandas right… but hey! Don’t you want to have a bite? ;)

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.

Cookie sandwich chocolate lollipop

Hello friends!

After a long Easter weekend (Monday was also holiday here in Finland) I am back to the city. “Back to the city”? Ehehe, we stayed some days in the countryside at my girls´ grandparents place. It was very relaxing and nice to see nature changing… Spring is definitely coming to this cold land.

I should have posted this before Easter but I was so busy I couldn’t. I also saved this subject for the #twitterchocolateparty (which happened yesterday) but in the end, I couldn’t make it on time. BAD ME. (#fail)

Anyways… you can use this idea for other occasions, the lollipops are very easy to make if you have all the ingredients on hand.

I made a big batch as a little Easter treat to everyone where we stayed. Since my mother-in-law has gluten intolerance, I made separate lollipops to her, using a different gluten-free cookie.

Easter lollipops

Chocolate covered sandwich cookies lollipops

adapted from here

yields 8 gluten-free lollipops and 25 normal ones

  • 1 can of dulce de leche (I used cooked condensed milk until thick consistency)
  • 1 pack of Maria biscuits (Marie biscuits). I used Kulta Marie from Kantolan
  • 400 g dark chocolate. I used Fazer dark- 47% (Fazer tumma suklaalevy)
  • hundreds and thousands sprinkles
  • sugar bunnies and sugar flowers
  • lollipop sticks or ice pop sticks
  • cellophane bags for wrapping

for the gluten-free lollies I used gluten-free round digestive cookies (Semper)

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper, cellophane or foil.

Make sandwiches with two biscuits: spread the dulce de leche filling on one side, place the lollipop stick in the center and top with another biscuit. Proceed the same way with the other biscuits.

I started the process with the gluten-free ones to avoid cross-contamination but you don’t need if you are making one-kind only.

Melt and temper the chocolate. The type of chocolate I used required tempering but if you find it easier, use a confectionery chocolate (which doesn’t require tempering).

Dip each cookie sandwich and allow the excess to drip away. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and decorate with sprinkles if you like. I marked the gluten-free ones with a yellow sugar flower and the rest with a cute sugar bunny face.

Take to the fridge until firm, remove and let it “dry” outside the fridge.

I used cellophane treat bags with an Easter theme to wrap the ready lollipops and tied them with golden ribbon (for the normal ones) and purple ribbon (gluten-free ones)

Cookie sandwich chocolate lollipop

Easy peasy right? ^__^

Have a great week everyone :).

 

 

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.


 

Brigadeiro

Oh yes, brigadeiros! A classic candy from my native country Brazil. Some people say it resembles fudges or truffles. For me… they are just lovely oh-so-super-sweet candies that bring me comfort and remind my home.

Brigadeiros are a must be in every Brazilian party. At least birthday ones… as far as I remember, I had brigadeiros in every birthday of mine (wouldn´t be different this time right?).

This candy was created in the 1940s, when there was a shortage of fresh products (such as fruits, nuts and eggs) used in the normal confectionery during the war. The legend says it  was named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes (brigadeiro means “Brigadier”).

When I moved to Finland I had difficulties to find the ingredients to make the recipe. Let´s say that 5 years ago sweetened condensed milk was an unknown product here and I could only find it in ethnic stores downtown (Chinese, Russian or Estonian groceries). After a huge breakthrough (thanks to the Banoffe pie and its popularization) I can find cans of condensed milk in normal supermarkets. Yay!!

The recipe I use comes from my mother´s recipe notebook. It is stove top method to make the brigadeiro. I know it is possible to make it in the microwave but I prefer this way.

Brigadeiro

Chocolate brigadeiros

yields about 35 small ones

  • 1 can (397g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
  • Chocolate sprinkles (I used this tiny chocolate balls, about 1 cup)
  • small paper cups (optional)

Prepare a heat-proof deep plate, greasing with a bit of unsalted butter.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan mix the condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder. Bring to boil in medium heat. Whisk well to prevent any pockets of cocoa powder.

Low the heat and keep whisking the mixture. Use a wooden spatula or a silicone one to stir the batter.

After approximately 10 minutes the mixture should get thicker, fudge alike. It starts to get done when you can see the bottom of the pan and your spatula leaves a trail in the batter.

Now, the tricky part. There is a perfect moment when you stop cooking the brigadeiro. If you undercook , the batter can remain too soft to be molded and it will just be a thick milky chocolate sauce. If overcooking, the brigadeiros would be hard and chewy (and that remembers me once when I was younger I made brigadeiros so hard my dad called them “toothbrakers” :D).

The brigadeiro batter is ready when you lift the pan from the heat and when moving the pan sideways, the batter slides to one side of the pan as a whole blob. The bottom of the pan will be covered with a brown residual layer (as shown here)

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared plate and let cool to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge (so it gets easier to mold the candies).

Using a teaspoon, scoop the mixture and using your hands, roll little balls (about ∅2cm). Repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture.

Put the sprinkles in a bowl. Roll the brigadeiros in the sprinkles, covering its surface and place them in the paper cups.

The brigadeiro keeps well in an airtight plastic container for up to 2 days at room temperature or for 2 weeks in the refrigerator (but believe me, it won´t last that long ^_^)

Brigadeiro

My notes about the recipe:

I know it might be difficult in the beginning to find the right moment to stop cooking the brigadeiro. If you undercook it and get a soft batter that doesn’t stay in the ball shape, use it to fill a cake or sandwich cookies (just like Dulce de Leche). Other option is to pour little portions in small shot glasses, put the sprinkles on top and eat with a small spoon. This last suggestion actually exists as a dessert and it is called “Brigadeiro de copinho” (brigadeiro inside little glasses) with the difference there is an addition of cream or milk to the batter to make it more liquid.

I think Brigadeiro is the main party candy made with sweetened condensed milk. There are many others (with shredded coconut, with grounded peanuts or pistachios, with strawberry jelly… ) and variations of the main brigadeiro-theme. They are all good, but nothing beats the classic chocolate one in its simplicity ;).

Easter themed

Here a classic brigadeiro with a chocolate decoration (Easter themed) I made last year on my youngest daughter´s birthday party.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers