Ooey Gooey

Jul. 5th, 2015 09:09 am
giandujakiss: (Candygram)
Can anyone explain to me the difference between an ooey gooey and a brownie? Is there a difference?

Edit: The mystery is solved. I'm not in St Louis but apparently the tradition has spread - and the butter cake version was sold as "original," with other flavored variants (chocolate, red velvet).
giandujakiss: (Candygram)
I'm very fond of these Weight Watchers cookie dough ice cream cups (it's not the Weight Watchers thing per se; it's that I have a very sweet tooth and things that come in cups help me with portion control).

Anyhoo, I've been buying them for years, and today I discovered that the newest ones have changed the color of the plastic cups that hold the ice cream - from black to white.

So I figure. Either: (1) someone did a study and discovered that, like, a fraction of a cent could be saved if the cups didn't require black dye, or (2) someone did a study and discovered that food is perceived as more attractive/filling/tasty/satisfying if served in a white cup.

I wonder which?

For comparison: You know those sleeves that Starbucks gives you with hot coffee, so you don't burn your hands? They used to double-cup. Then they had sleeves but they were made of the same material as the cups - refined cardboard, dyed white. Now they're coarse brown cardboard. I assume all of these moves were because it saved the company a fraction of a cent per sleeve.
giandujakiss: (Default)
I didn't even know I had Honeynut Cheerios.

My dinner options are looking so much better.
giandujakiss: (Candygram)
The End of Chocolate
[I]ndustry experts from around the world convened in London at the annual Chocolate Industry Network Conference to discuss the future of their business. They announced the world would run out of chocolate as we know it within seven years, meaning prices will shoot sky high as cocoa supplies fall and demand continues to rise.
giandujakiss: (Candygram)
for the sake of a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie.

Good to know.
giandujakiss: (Candygram)
Anyone who says "Go big or go home" will be going home.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Gov. McCrory gives protesters cookies, they give them back
Gov. Pat McCrory hasn't been willing to meet with the women (and a few men) protesting an abortion bill that opponents say restricts access to safe abortions. But he did stop by Tuesday afternoon with a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

McCrory was flanked by four security guards as he came out of the mansion gates. Before stepping onto common ground with the protesters – he went as far as the middle of the street between his mansion and the vigil – McCrory pointed directly at Jamie Sohn, a Chapel Hill resident.

The security guards stopped incoming traffic. Sohn walked out into the street to meet McCrory.

Sohn said McCrory told her: “ 'These are for you. God bless you, God bless you, God bless you.' " He handed her the plate of cookies, and waved as he walked away. She said she was too stunned to say anything back.

No one knew if the cookies were homemade – the protesters didn’t sample any before returning them. They slipped them under the mansion’s gate, along with a note that read: “We want women’s health care, not cookies.”

McCrory's gesture was — considering his decision to sign the bill Monday — seen as a bit condescending by those present, who came up with an off-the-cuff chant: "Hey Pat, that was rude. You wouldn't give cookies to a dude."
I admire the protestors' willpower. As much as I care about reproductive rights ... I might have been tempted.

giandujakiss: (Default)
After giving up hope that Top Chef: Just Desserts would ever return, I started watching old episodes of Cupcake Wars on Food Network.

It's bizarrely addictive, because - cupcakes! But it will never match the marvel of Top Chef: Just Desserts. Mostly, this is because the format of the competition is odd.

Four bakers are introduced in each episode, and there are three rounds of competition. One baker is eliminated after each round, leaving one winner standing. For each episode there's a sponsor - some organization that's seeking publicity for some gala or event - and the prize is that the winner will make cupcakes for the gala, and get cash. The cupcakes all have to be thematically appropriate - like, one episode, the sponsor was the Girl Scouts, and the gala was their 100th anniversary, so all the cupcakes had to honor the Girl Scouts and their Think Green gala slogan. Another episode, it was a surfing competition in Hawaii.

But the first disappointing aspect is that it's pretty clear that the contestants know in advance exactly what they'll be baking. The first round competition is based on taste, and the contestants are required to use assigned ingredients. The second round requires the bakers to make three cupcakes that fit the theme. And though the show tries to create the impression that the bakers are deciding what to make on the fly - without ever actually saying so - it's pretty clear that the contestants come in already knowing what they plan to do. That takes a lot of the spontaneity out, especially in the second round, where they really don't have any restrictions except "fit the theme." A lot of the contestants openly say in round 2 that they plan to just make one of their standard popular recipes from their shops, maybe with a slight alteration to the decorations.

But the most baffling part of the show is the third round. The last two bakers are required to bake 1000 cupcakes, and house them in an attractive, thematically-appropriate display. But they don't build the display - they're each assigned a carpenter, give the carpenter instructions, and the carpenter builds the display. And they don't use new cupcake recipes - they just make the same cupcakes they made in the previous round, although they might tweak them a bit to respond to the judges' criticism. So there's absolutely nothing going on except watching them go through the process of making 1000 cupcakes under time pressure. There isn't even a taste evaluation after the third round, because there's no need; the judges have already evaluated these cupcakes. Which mostly means that the third round just involves mixing batter and putting it in the oven.

I usually fast forward through the third round.

But it's cupcakes! And some of them sound incredibly yummy. And there's something very appealing about the part where the bakers introduce themselves - they're basically small bakery owners (some don't even have stores, they have trucks or they fill orders placed online) from random towns across the country, and there's an attractive Horatio Alger quality to their stories.

So I continue to watch. But I do wish they'd bring back Top Chef: Just Desserts.


Jul. 16th, 2013 11:47 am
giandujakiss: (beer)
Cola-flavored wine for the younger audience. It's come to this?
a French producer is introducing cola-flavored wine.

Say what?

Hausmann Famille, a branch of the firm Châteaux en Bordeaux, has introduced Rouge Sucette, a red wine doused with cola flavor targeted for a younger audience.

In France, sad to say wine drinking has plummeted in recent years, particularly among the young, who are more attracted to beer and spirits. ...

Rouge Sucette — “Red Lollipop” — is cheaper than wine. A bottle will cost just under $4 in France and will be sold primarily in hypermarchés (huge supermarkets). How many Red Lollipop drinkers will graduate to something more sophisticated is not yet known.
Don't judge.
giandujakiss: (Candygram)

giandujakiss: (Candygram)
and my cat knocked them to the floor.


Obviously, the lesson here is to eat the ginger cookies as soon as I obtain them.
giandujakiss: (Candygram)
Everything you need to know about the cronut
What exactly is a cronut? Simply enough, "it's part croissant and part doughnut," explains Hugh Merwin at Grub Street. But the process of making one isn't. It is extremely difficult to take croissant pastry dough and fry it like a doughnut. To master the "sheer implausibility and engineering genius that goes into each one of these things," says Merwin, Ansel tried about ten different recipes and learned to fry his creation in grapeseed oil at an undisclosed temperature. The cronut originally premiered in rose-vanilla, complete with Tahitian vanilla cream and rose sugar. However, at the start of June, Ansel switched the flavor to lemon maple to be "zesty" and "lighter."

How do I get my hands on one? With great difficulty. There are two main ways you can acquire an authentic cronut. First, you can be one of the many, many devotees who have started waiting in front of the Soho bakery at around 6:00 AM, a full two hours before its doors are even opened. "Simply put, this is a pastry you have to get up early for — earlier than when your mother used to wake you up for church," writes Alexander Abad-Santos at The Atlantic Wire. And the lines go well around the block. "It's sort of like Occupy Wall Street, but with freshly bathed, possibly unemployed individuals in printed pants plus a smattering of tourists determined to find the next Magnolia Bakery," says Abad-Santos.

However, even early risers aren't guaranteed a cronut. Ansel only bakes around 200-250 cronuts each day, so people are even left empty-handed — and distraught. "I've seen some people crying," Ansel told Eater.com, and "someone flipped off one of our baristas, which I was really not happy about."

There's a second route for getting a cronut, but it's a little shady. As with many precious items in short supply, cronuts can be purchased on the black market for up to eight times their in-shop value. As The Huffington Post reports, often the first people in line have no intention of eating the pastry confection. The $5 cronuts sell on Craigslist for up to $40. Cronut scalpers (yes, they're really called that) Joe and Danny Bird are able to make up to $120 a day.

Due to the lines and the black market, Ansel has even imposed limits on how many cronuts an individual is allowed to purchase. It was initially at six but reduced to three in the past week.

Where else can I get cronuts? Technically, nowhere. Ansel has already acquired an international trademark for the cronut "just to be on the safe side," so he's the only one baking these goodies. However, people are clamoring for them worldwide: Jenn Harris at the Los Angeles Times implores, "L.A. Pastry chefs, save us from Cronut fever envy," and Katy Salter at The Guardian wonders, "Short of hopping on a plane to JFK, how can we get our hands on one in Britain?"

As a result, cronut copycats have emerged as a global phenomenon.


Mar. 20th, 2013 06:14 pm
giandujakiss: (Candygram)
I saw this story and I was like, "Wait — I can do something, there’s injustice involving a cake!"
-- Duff Goldman, “Ace of Cakes” star, on his reaction to hearing of the Gresham lesbian couple denied a wedding cake because of their sexuality

(via tumblr)
giandujakiss: (Candygram)
...but I finally found individually-wrapped mini Twizzlers. And it was the last package they had.

Man, these things are popular.

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