Foodbuzz Special-Last Week

Well, this is the last week of the Foodbuzz weekly specials, and today’s item is the Chef’sChoice AngleSelect Knife Sharpener, which, according the the website, “is fast and easy to use”, and I think that this could be useful-if you remember that you’ve got it, and you actually use it. Not to say that you wouldn’t, but just that it is one of those “oh, yeah, I should do that” type of products. You know, like that bread maker that you thought you’d use all the time…

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these six weeks of Foodbuzz Specials and at least got some idea of the products that are being made for the “Suzie homemaker” these days.

June Daring Bakers’ Challenge

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

This was one delicious, chocolate-y challenge. I think the hardest part was not eating all of it in one sitting.

This is a three-part dessert, but all parts are really simple to make. It’s chocolate meringues, chocolate mascarpone mousse, and mascarpone cream anglaise sauce.

I did not find mascarpone cheese in either Lucky or Safeway, so I bought cream cheese, sour cream, and (extra) heavy cream to “make” my own mascarpone cheese, as I did not feel like making mascarpone cheese the way we did a few months back.

Anyway, I think because of my impatience (not letting the cream cheese soften), there were some parts of the mousse that had pockets of cheese, but it still tasted good and made me just as fat.

I had some cream anglaise sauce and mousse left over because I did not make many meringues, so I did a little experimenting, and mixed the two together and froze them in my springform pan. My plan was to have a no-crust cheesecake, but what I ended up with was an un-mold-able cross between chocolate ice cream and frozen chocolate mascarpone mousse. I think some people might call this a semi-freddo, but I am not sure that is the proper name for it. Anyway, it is a mighty, tasty concoction.

Follow the jump for the recipes and pictures.

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last full week of June

Happy (belated) Father’s Day! (Though, like mothers, fathers should always be celebrated.) I cannot believe that it’s summer already and I’ve lived in San Francisco for almost two years! Where has the time gone?

Cream cheese brownies, or, using my mixer for the first time…

It has been so long since I:

a) baked something at home just for fun, not for a cause, or for the Daring Bakers (and therefore a while since I posted something other than that)

b) used a Kitchen Aid mixer at home

not that I don’t like baking for a cause or for the Daring Bakers, I definitely do, but I really like no pressure, just baking for fun baking. The real stress-free baking that I’ve always loved.

Also, not that I didn’t love using the hand mixer “given” to me by my grandmother, but I also love using a Kitchen Aid mixer. Or, any stand mixer for that matter. They are just so much faster, much easier, more convenient to use. I am happy to say that this particular mixer is also a hand-me-down, this time from my mother. She wasn’t using it, so she sent it (after months of reluctance). It came, of course, with three attachments, a whip, a paddle, and a dough hook. Unfortunately, the whip and the paddle got lost in the mail. Luckily, my mother was able to get a check to cover the cost of the new whip and paddle that I just received, hence being even more thrilled to use them!

This is an easy recipe and one that I got from another (AWESOME) blog, Use Real Butter. I have liked this blog for a while now, and had been looking for a recipe that would help me use my leftovers from the last Daring Bakers challenge (to be posted soon).

Overall, it was a perfect recipe to bake for fun, and to make using not only the paddle, but the whip of the Kitchen Aid mixer that is now mine. (Thanks, Mom!)

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Foodbuzz Special

This is the second-to-last week of the Foodbuzz specials. Today’s item is the Taylor Instant-Read Digital Thermometer. I don’t know about this particular thermometer, but I do know that thermometers are important to have in a kitchen. I use candy thermometers when I am cooking sugar so that I know when it is at the right consistency. Others might use thermometers to test the internal temperatures of meat to be sure they are cooked to a safe temperature. There are many other (perhaps more professional) uses, too, such as for tempering chocolate, or baking bread. I am happy to say that most of the items on this week’s list are a lot more useful than say, last week’s salt and pepper shakers.