Matcha (Green tea) Chocolate

 One of the things i can’t say no to is Matcha (green tea).I just love it and well,I decided to create a chocolate recipe for it. Am not a big fan of White chocolate but I absolutely love this.

You will need;

80 ml Heavy Cream

1 tsp Matcha powder

150 g white chocolate

plus more white chocolate for coating about 100g

In a sauce pan,combine the heavy cream(my heavy crea was sweetened) and matcha powder

Heavy cream + green tea powder

Place on heat and whisk,bring to a little boil

break the white chocolate in pieces,put in a bowl and pour the cream into it.let sit for a while,then stir to combine

Let cool until it can form shapes without collapsing.

Fit a pipping bag with a round tip,i used wilton’s 2A

Pipe long strokes and pipe a 2nd one touching the 1st

Let it set in the refrigerator,then cut the ends off and cut into about 1 inch pieces. See those gaps? don’t worry,when you cut them put,just press the pieces together

 Temper your white chocolate. Melt half of it,the add the other half and stir until smooth

Dip the ganache into the white chocolate and coat evenly,remove with a fork or dipping tool,tap at the edge of the bowl to remove excess chocolate and place on a parchment paper.Using the side of a toothpick,touch the middle (where the ridge is) and lift the tooth pick quickly,this gives a beautiful design

 Put in the refrigerator until set.

Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Jewels

 Chocolate and dried or candied fruits,what could be better?

Pretty simple to make and very impressive.Your guest would think you got it from a gourmet store.

You will need

Some chocolate Dark,Milk or White (I am partial to dark chocolate)

Dried or candied fruits of choice

Divide your chocolate into 2/3 and 1/3.

Melt 2/3 in the microwave at 20 secs interval,stirring it after 20 secs so it doesn’t burn.

When it has melted,add the 1/3 portion and stir it until very blended (this is called tempering,you have to temper your chocolate so that it will have that nice snap to it and not melt in your hands).

Line a tray with parchment paper and drop buttons of chocolate on it with teaspoons

 Work fast or the chocolate will solidify before you are done.

 I used these dried and candied fruits. You can find the recipe for the candied ginger here and the recipe for candied orange here,I used candied orange peel but you can use candied orange slices. The candied pineapple and candied lemon have similar steps too.

Now arrange the fruits and nuts as you like it,1 per chocolate button

 You can leave it at this step or go a step further…..

 Form a cornet out of parchment paper or use a small nylon/sandwich bag. Cut a little off the tip and drizzle the chocolate over the “jewels”.

Sprinkle with a little sea salt from a height.

Or would you prefer White Chocolate……

You can drizzle it in white chocolate too.

If it has not yet set up,put in the refrigerator until set,probably about 5 mins.

Enjoy!

Doughnuts

 Aren’t they pretty!!!!

I was looking for a doughnut recipe that would require a starter and long rising time because I know that this would improve the flavor. So whenever I want a good bread recipe,I go to kingarthurflour,I have tried just a few of the recipes,2 recipes actually and they came out well. I got the recipe from the website but I change a few things to suit what I had in my pantry but the glazes and toppings are mine,*insert smiley here*.

Oh,this takes about 24 hours to make so if you need it say on Saturday,you will need to start on Friday.Most of the time is just rising time.

You will need;

For the starter

1 cup Water

2 1/2 cups Flour

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp instant Yeast

for the rest

2 Eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp instant Yeast

3 Tbsp unsalted Butter

3 Tbsp Shortening or Lard

200 g Sugar

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

360 g Flour

More flour for kneading and rolling.

Oil for frying

 

Combine everything on the starter list,put the salt and yeast on opposite ends of the bowl or the salt would kill the yeast.

 Stir and cover.

 Keep in a cool place,not in the refrigerator for 3 hours – 1 day. As long as you can wait.

 it will look like this. The yeast is alive!

the night before,combine the rest of the ingredients

 I melted the butter and shortening

 form into something like this. transfer it to a floured working surface and knead well.

 Oil the bowl and coat the dough with the bowl(you probably don’t have to oil the bowl,but I did so anyway)

leave overnight in a cool place,again,not the refrigerator.

ta da! in the morning,it would have risen to more than twice it’s original size

punch down the dough and deflate all the air in it.

Cut into 2 workable portions.On a floured surface,roll it out

 and cut into any shape you want,long johns(rectangular bars,classic doughnut shape(with the hole in the middle,use to sizes of circle cutters for this,you can fry the doughnut holes and toss in powdered sugar),knots,twists,triangles,squares,hearts,let your imagination run.

You probably would want to use a knife and not a pizza wheel.Cover for 15 -20 mins,or longer

Fry(it’s better to use fresh oil that has not been used before) until golden brown,drain on paper towels.Let cool before topping.

Long johns

 Then you can dust with powdered sugar or powdered sugar+cinnamon

 Put the powdered sugar and cinnamon in a bag,combine,put your doughnuts in and shake! shake! shake! Really loved the combo

or………

Salted Caramel and Crushed candied Peanuts

or……

Matcha(green tea) Ganache with white chocolate. Green tea is still one of my favorites.

How about some Chili Dark Chocolate ganache with shredded Coconut

421628_10150581229338212_241494341_nOr just some plain frosting with sprinkles.

Have fun with it.

Enjoy!

Candied Peanuts

 Candied Peanut,another favorite of mine.You can eat this as a snack,crushed in desserts,as a decorative feature for cupcakes and cakes,it’s up to you.

You will need;

450 g Salted Peanuts

300 g Sugar

80 ml water

 

Combine the peanuts,sugar and water in a large sauce pan and place on heat.

Candied Peanuts

Stir to combine and keep stirring occasionally

 when the caramel starts forming,stir continuously to coat evenly and prevent the caramel from burning

Almost done,keep stirring

 Done!

line a tray with parchment paper and spread the peanuts on it

 When it’s cool,break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

 

Body Types & Shapes

body-types1Everybody is born with a different body type and it is important to know what your body type is to get the best the best exercise and die routine for yourself. Different body types develop different levels of body fat and muscle mass. Your body type is completely determined by genetics so there is little or nothing you can do about it.

Not everyone likes the body type or shape they were born with, but there are ways to make the best of what you have.

There are 3 different body type classification:

1)Endomorphs: Endomorphs have bigger bones than other body types. These men and women usually have round faces with larger thighs and hips. Most of them have comparatively small hands and feet and a high waist. Endomorphs have higher levels of body fat than the other body types, but they can also build muscles and lean mass easily. Weight loss is more difficult for the endomorph body type.

To keep fat gain to a minimum, endomorphs must always train cardio as well as weights. High protein intake is also good in their diet.

2) Mesomorphs: Mesomorphs are usually described as having an athletic build. They usually have an hourglass or ruler shape and gain muscle mass easily. The majority of them have broad shoulders and a narrow waist. They have a fast metabolism and can lose weight easily than endomorphs.

Mesomorph body type responds best to weight training. They tend to gain fat easily than isomorphs. This means they must watch their calorie intake. A combination of weight training and cardio work best for Mesomorphs.

3) Ectomorphs: Ectomorphs have a thin, linear appearance. Most isomorphs look like rulers, with narrow waist, hips and shoulders. Ectomorphs can lose weight easily and tend to have low levels of body fat. However, they also have a harder time gaining lean muscle mass. They have a fast metabolism which burns up calories very quickly.

They need huge amounts of calories in order to gain weight. Workouts should be short and intense, focusing on big muscle groups. Ectomorphs should eat before bed to prevent muscle catabolism)breakdown) during the night.

Very few people have a distinct body type, most people usually have a combination of 2 body type.

BODY SHAPE

In addition to your body type, you will notice that you also have a particular body shape. Your body shape is dependent on your overall appearance and balance of your body.

Men and women have different body shapes. Men usually have rectangular or cone-shaped bodies. While women have hourglass, pear, apple or ruler body shapes.

Hourglass: This is the typical “standard” women are measured against in the society. This is because they have well-proportioned upper and lower bodies, with narrow waist. Hourglasses tend to gain weight all over their bodies, especially at the hips and chest area. Hourglasses tend to be endomorphs or mesomorphs.

For Hourglasses, cardio and resistance exercises are good for overall fitness. Keep the resistance exercise light and vary the repetitions of your work outs.

You may want to try;

Slow jogging

Stationary biking

Jumping jacks

Swimming

Biceps curls, shoulder presses and squats

Pear:

Pear-shaped women have larger lower bodies and smaller upper bodies. Hips are slightly wider than shoulders. Pear-shaped women tend to gain weight below their waist. Pears tend to have small chests and flat stomachs. Most pears are mesomorphs.

For Pears: you will want to focus more on exercises that will balance out the top half of your body with the bottom half. Focus on aerobic activities that will work out your lower body and resistance exercises that will build your upper body. Use light weights and perform high repetitions of exercises.

You may want to try;

Walking

Cycling

Elliptical training

Jumping rope

Leg lifts and dips

Push ups, chin ups and shoulder presses

Apple:

Apples are bigger on the top half than the bottom half. They have slim hips and a large chest and stomach. Apples tend to gain weight above the waist or along the backside. Majority of apples are mesomorphs or endomorphs.

For Apples, focus on aerobic training in order to slim down and lose body fat. By working on the lower half of your body,you can help balance out your chest and shoulders.Perform exercises that are low-resistance and involve low repetitions.

You may want to try;

Stair climbing

Walking on an incline

Running

Leg squats, leg presses and dead lifts(lifting loaded barbell)

Ruler: women with a ruler shape tend to be waif-life and slim. Rulers have no large differences between the size of their hips, waists and shoulders. Rulers tend to put on weight in their stomach and backside, while maintaining slender arms and legs. Most rulers are isomorphs.

For Rulers; you can perform any exercise activity you want to.Perform cardio to help you lose weight in problem areas,such as the buttocks and stomach.

You may want to try;

Stretching

Sit ups

Spinning

Walking or jogging on an incline

Squats

Bench presses and shoulder presses.

All in all, no matter what your body type is, love your body and treat it right.

Look to your health and if you have it, praise God and value it next to your conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a blessing money cannot buy.— Izaak Walton

Salted Caramel — the next best thing to chocolate

Salted Caramel

This sauce is indispensable.It can be used for a variety of things,as toppings for cupcakes,doughnuts,ice cream, as glaze for cakes and mousses,as a flavouring,as a fruit dip,etc. The saltiness and sweetness is a wonderful marriage and the flavour is absolutely delicious. It’s pretty easy to make but you have to pay really close attention because the caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a split second and you don’t want that.

This recipe is for a good sized quantity,you might have to half it if you don’t want too much

460 g Sugar

2 Tbsp Corn Syrup

1/2 cup water

1 cup Heavy Cream (heated until warm)

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 Tbsp or 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Sea Salt (depending on how salty you want it to be)

A splash of vanilla

Use a pot that is way bigger that what you are making because when you pour the heavy cream in,it will bubble up.

Combine the sugar,corn syrup and water in the pot

Salted CaramelPlace on heat and stir until the sugar is melted

Salted Caramel

When it comes to a boil like this,cover for 30 secs – 1 minute so the sugar crystals on the side of the pot can be washed down with the steam,alternatively, you can use a wet brush to brush down the sides of the pot(this step is important to prevent crystallization)

Remove the cover and start watching your syrup

Almost there………

 You want a deep amber colour

Take it off the heat and immediately,add your cream whilst stirring fast

Add the butter,salt and vanilla and stir

For some strange reason,my sauce separated into immiscible portions.If this happens to you,fear not! get your stick/hand blender and blend until you get a smooth consistency.If you are using the regular counter top blender,make sure to hold the lid in place so you don’t end up having the syrup all over you and your kitchen.

let it cool and then pour it in a jar.Store refrigerated.

To serve,melt what you need for about 10 seconds or until you can pour or spoon over your dessert

Vanilla Ice cream with salted caramel and candied peanutsVanilla ice cream with Salted Caramel and Crushed Candied Peanuts

                                 Doughnut with topped with Salted Caramel & Crushed Candied Peanut

Cookbook Reveiw: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

SCOP-Perfect-Scoop

This is the 2nd Ice cream book i have ever bought and the only one out of the 2 that I am going to do a review on.i mean,the other 1 looks okay but I am yet to make any frozen dessert from it.If I do in the nearest future,and I like it,then maybe i would do a review.

Like i mentioned in my 1st book review,very few cookbooks impress me and this one,I like.

The layout is very easy to follow with very nice and not so common flavors.I intend to try the green pea ice cream and the basil ice cream sometime later this year.

The book is divided into sections,Basic,Ice cream,sorbet and sherbets,granitas,sauces and toppings,mix-ins,vessels. Plus,there are ideas for pairings throughout the book. And you have enough materials in there to get as creative as you want.

The recipes i tried,I did not use an ice cream machine for,the ice cream machine I bought specifically for this book let me down,I returned it and I am never going to buy those freeze before you use ice cream machines again,I would rather wait till I can buy one with a freezing compartment so I resorted to using “freeze and rake” method. ha ha! it’s what I call having to do it manually with a fork.

I decided to amp up the flavors in this book because I am one for full bodied flavors.The things I paired each ice cream here with were my own ideas and I did not get them from the book.

Among the 1 set I made,was the Panforte ice cream,it did not freeze and was melting all over the place,in fact,it was what made me return my ice cream machine,am guessing it’s the honey in it that did not make it freeze well,but I did like the flavor.

I paired this Panforte Ice cream with crepes,bananas,a few nuts and chocolate.

Next is the Toasted Coconut Ice cream,I left most of the coconut in the ice cream as opposed to the recipe,what can I say,I felt like it.ha!

20121228_095009  Paired it with crepes too but in another form,with some candied orange slices,orange syrup and shaved chocolate.

Grilled Pineapple with Toasted coconut Icecream and Pineapple caramel sauceI also paired the Toasted coconut ice cream with some grilled pineapple

How about the black pepper ice cream…. I used more black pepper than was called for in the recipe and it is my favorite so far

 Paired it with fried banana spring rolls

The Green tea ice cream was my 2nd favorite out of the recipes i have tried and of course,I amped up the flavor again,i can’t help it.

 Had it sandwiched in brownie hearts

 and on a cone.

So,would I recommend this book? Yes! and i intend to try every recipe in the book,but not all at once,we gotta maintain our figure.ha ha ha.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to do this review,I purchased this book and all the resources used myself.Everything written here is my honest opinion.