Saturday, December 29, 2007
things I made for christmas
Fragrant Indian Brittle from epicurious. For some reason that name sounds disgusting to me so I prefer to think of it as Cardamom Nut Brittle. The recipe says to cook the sugar to 350 degrees but everyone in the epicurious comments is complaining about that. The sugar temperature chart I looked at said that 310-320 is good for brittles, so I stopped at about 315 and it was fine. It is really fascinating how sugar changes as it goes through its stages. I want to try making vegan caramels. I don't even like candy that much, but it is so interesting. Anyway, the brittle might be more exciting with some black pepper or cayenne. I used the full amount of cardamom, I don't know what those epicurious commenters were complaining about there, waaah wah too much cardamom. I wish there was some kind of system for epicurious comments where you could tell who has a helpful comment and who is just a bad cook.
Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti from Veganomicon. Really good but yet again I had to add an extra huge amount of flour. What is wrong with me and my measuring cup???
Sugared almonds. I burnt the crap out of the first batch of these. The recipe is vague. You have to cook the sugar syrup for quite a while before adding the almonds, otherwise the almonds burn before the coating is done. If I had still had the candy thermometer out on the second batch of these, I could be more helpful right now. At first the sugar syrup boils in big bubbles, and then it starts to be more foamy. I added the almonds at that point, but they were on the verge of burning, so it might have still been a little early. It is very exciting when the sugar seizes up and dries out and then re-melts. It might be better to do in a skillet. And, it would be better to use twice as many almonds. When you pour them out with this ratio, there is a huge glob of goo and it's impossible to get the almonds unclumped. So it's finicky but they're very pretty and tasty at the end.
I feel inordinately guilty whenever I don't love something from Veganomicon. This is the mushroom walnut pate. It looks just like cat food and it is kind of bland. Maybe I didn't add enough salt. But it seems like it needs some porcini mushrooms or something.
My mom gave me a punch bowl so I had to make punch. This is ginger pomegranate punch and it is great. There was a massive pomegranate related shortage at the supermarket so I had to use "pomegranate cocktail" instead of pure pomegranate juice but I bet it would be even better with real pomegranate juice.