Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Coffee the Modern Way

Surely you are not one of those old-timers who still make coffee by the pot in a glass carafe – if you are then it’s time to make coffee the modern way. Pod coffee makers have revolutionized the home and office coffee environment to the point that you can enjoy barista-style coffee any time you’d like at a fraction of the price. In fact, the Barista Prima® brand K-Cup® is a perfect example of modern coffee designed for home or office use.

With an on demand or single serve coffee maker such as those offered by Keuring® you can enjoy a top-shelf cup of piping hot coffee with the push of a button. Single serve coffee makers are designed to plug in and feature a reservoir which is easily filled with water. There is no need to scoop or measure coffee nor are there any filters to fuss with or carafes to worry about. Each cup of coffee is always fresh, hot and flavorful because it is brewed the moment you want it. This reduces waste and puts an end to leftover pots of coffee being poured down the drain.  
An on demand coffee maker is the modern way to make coffee, tea, hot chocolate and chai because each person can brew exactly what they’d like to drink whenever they want it. That’s customization at its best – you save money, reduce waste and enjoy a great cup of coffee each and every time in your own reusable cup or mug. Once you invest in a single serve coffee maker it is easy and fun to try the many different blends, flavors and roasts available plus you can readily offer both regular and decaffeinated coffee without the hassle of brewing two pots.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tea Party Etiquette Tips

Tea parties have long been celebrated around the world regardless of the occasion. It is one of the best ways to enjoy the holidays as well as being with friends and relatives. However, it is also important that one knows how to properly conduct him or herself in such occasions. Below is a list of things which should be observed during tea parties:
  • Eating With Fingers: Is okay as long as what you are eating does not have any fillings. The main point here is that it is important that you keep your hands from looking like you rummaged the food and the people around you might find it disgusting if you insist. If a food has too much sauce or fillings on it, feel free to use a fork instead.
  • Be Organized: If there are different foods laid out on the table, it is a sign of good manners if you eat in the following order; start with the scones or what people commonly refer to as muffins; then move to the small sandwiches next and last, would be the sweets. Keep in mind to leave the dessert as your last stop.
  • Scones and Muffins: When eating scones or muffins, you can choose to break a small portion of it then put a small amount of butter or jam on it. If there is clotted cream available or Devonshire, you can sprinkle a bit of it on your muffin. Remember that this cream in particular is not to be used to enhance the tea’s ‘flavor.
  • Eat Properly: When eating sandwiches, refrain from having a big bite. Doing so may give people the impression that you are really hungry and that you do not have any bearings or manners to keep yourself composed. Always think about composure when eating even if what you are eating is small.

Almost all the tea parties around the world follow some sort of good manners and right conduct. So if you will be having a high tea party in Sydney, do not forget to uphold these guidelines.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Create a Hanukkah Gift Basket

Grand Gourmet Brown Tower

There are many ways to commemorate occasions, particularly Hanukkah and one of them is by giving Hanukkah gift baskets. If you do not have a clue as to how to start making one, you can just follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Know your budget. This is important because the materials that you will be using to make a Hanukkah gift basket depend on how much you are willing to spend. Furthermore, this makes sure that you do not buy something unnecessary which may upset your overall budget.

Step 2: It is important that you figure out what particular item will you be basing the basket’s theme on. This is usually the most expensive item you will be putting in the basket and at the same time, the main gift. If it is for an upcoming Hanukkah celebration then a menorah is a good start.

Step 3: Buy accessories and add them on the basket as a form of decorations. Just make sure that the accessories are theme-related so if you are making a Hanukkah gift basket then menorah candles would be a good pick.

Step 4: Make sure that you have a specific color scheme when making the basket. Just putting random colors may make it more ugly than beautiful.

Step 5: It is always a good idea to include a gift which can be eaten by the person you plan to give the basket to. Chocolates are often the ones commonly placed in the basket.

Step 6: Buy a basket which is big enough to accommodate every other item you plan to put in it. Keep in mind that arranging the items in a way that they will all be visible to the naked eye makes it look better.

Step 7: Hold the basket together using a cellophane wrapper. Use wrappers that are big enough to accommodate the whole basket. Use a ribbon to tie the top of the basket and then put a name tag along with the name of the person whom you will be giving the basket to.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Bake A Special Molten Chocolate Cake

If you have a knack for chocolate cakes but do not have the luxury of time baking a whole lot of them, then you can go for a quick baked molten chocolate cake
The ingredients include the following:

4 tablespoon of unsalted butter and more for ramekins
2 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa (meant to pour on the buttered ramekins)
2 ounce of bitter chocolate
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
16 tablespoon of fruit sugar or 1/3 cup
1/3 or 16 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

How to bake Molten Chocolate Cake:

Step 1: What you need to do first is to preheat the oven to 325ºF. After doing so, grease the two large ramekins which are around three inches big with butter and the pour or dust the cocoa on it.

Step 2: Melt the chocolate and the butter on a saucepan. The egg on the other hand needs to be whisked together along with the egg yolk and sugar until the color becomes pale yellow. Mix them in a large mixing bowl so you have enough space to stir the egg.

Step 3: Temper the egg mixture with the chocolate and butter mixture before completely mixing the two together. Add the flour next while you are gently mixing everything.

Step 4: Equally pour the mixture next into the ramekins and bake them for twelve to fourteen minutes. After this timeframe, unmold and the chocolate molten cake is now ready to serve. A cake cover help you if you need to temporarily store your cake before the party.

This recipe is good for two people and perhaps one of the easiest available. This works great if you want to bake for someone special.

Image credit:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Some Healthy Chocolate Goodies

Almost every person in this world loves chocolate. Who would not? But the thing is that eating chocolate can be healthy for the human body. Eating chocolates can help you feel more relaxed which improves your mood. It also has anti-oxidants which mean that it helps you keep you looking young. Some of the healthy chocolates that you can enjoy that are:

  • Chocolate Covered Snacks: Strawberries covered in chocolate, pretzels all provide fiber and carbohydrates. This helps increase your energy which works well especially if you are working late at night and you need some much needed stimulant.
  • Hot Chocolate: This can also help keep you from getting sleepy. Furthermore, that sip can definitely give you that warmth that you need to get through a cold lonely night.
  • Chocolate Yogurt: Since it has a lot of calcium and contains a lot of vitamin B, it makes a great snack. You also have the option of eating it just right out of the container or fresh from the refrigerator.
  • Chocolate Granola: You can either make your own chocolate granola or grab one at the nearest convenient store. This chocolate snack offers a lot of fiber which is healthy for the body.
  • Chocolate Fudge Pops and Chocolate Pudding: Not only are they low in fat but they taste really good. They also are rich in calcium. You can even make your own without much trouble.
It is amazing to think that there are a lot that you can do with chocolate not to mention the fact that they can be healthy too. So the next time that you find yourself craving for some sweet dark chocolate, you do not need to feel guilty about it. Indulge yourself.

Image credit:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Exotic Flavors of Chocolates You Did Not Know

Chocolate has a long history behind it and was originally found in Mexico and Central America. Today, there are a lot of variations of chocolate that people enjoy and in fact, they have learned to mix other ingredients in it as well to make it more delicious.

• Spices: There are a lot of spices available out there which can help enhance a chocolate’s taste. Some of these are red and cayenne pepper and chilies which include but are not limited to chipotle and ancho. In fact, even Cinnamon, fennel, star anise, basil and ginger have been used to make a chocolate taste better.

• Bacon: It is hard to believe but bacon is now being used as well to enhance a chocolate’s flavor or at least being used as a flavoring for some bacon recipes. Toppings usually include almonds, salt and pistachios and are often cooked using dark or milk chocolate. As of the present, there are shops online selling chocolate bacon bar as opposed to the usual chocolate-dipped bacon.

• Fruits: Using fruits to complement chocolate is not unheard of with cherries and strawberries being the most common additions in chocolate recipes. You will often see this combination in chocolate cakes and some home baked chocolate meals. However, what are giving it a more exotic approach are the fruits being used these days to add more taste to it. Imagine mangoes and oranges being included in the recipes.
Chocolate Orange Cake
• Flowers: Are used but not as decorations. What can be added along with it are the plants. Lavender and violets are a few that are now being experimented on. Flowers are often included to make the chocolate give off a more delicious fragrance.

Who knows what more ingredients will be discovered and used in making your standard chocolate more attractive to your eyes? In just a few years or so, it could be more than this list.

*See watermark for image credit

Monday, July 2, 2012

How To Make Perfect Chocolate Cakes

Making the perfect chocolate cake starts with the ingredient selections. Basic recipes usually call for baking cocoa or cocoa powder and milk. While these are safe choices and following directions is almost fool-proof, some variations will enhance texture and make for richer chocolate flavour.
Chocolate Decorations - Chocolate Cigarillos

Substitute baking chocolate melted in butter for some or all of the cocoa powder. For the liquid, use half a cup of cooled brewed coffee. Make up the difference with milk, if the recipe calls for additional liquid. Contrary to popular belief adding coffee will not make the cake taste like coffee, but enrich chocolate taste. For moister chocolate cake, add mayonnaise with the liquid ingredients.

Preparing the ingredients for chocolate cake is as important as selecting them. All dry ingredients should be sifted. Even liquids or items normally kept in a fridge should be at room temperature. Leave them out for no longer than an hour, however.

While some recipes use oil, butter is best. Use the real stuff, not margarine or butter-type spreads. The butter needs to be creamed together with the sugar. Be patient; the longer you mix them, the better. Next should be the eggs, then the dry ingredients alternated with the coffee/milk.

At this point, recipes usually call for vanilla. To enhance flavour, use extra vanilla or get creative with other extracts and flavorings. Here is where each cook can create a that perfect signature chocolate cake.

A good quality baking pan is important. For best results, use non-stick cookware from If coating the pan, use cocoa powder instead of flour to avoid the off-taste that can ruin a perfect cake. Baking times vary according to altitude and size of the pan. However, it is always better to under-bake slightly, which can be fixed by sliding the cake back in the oven. Over-baking will dry the cake out.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

French Chocolate Pancakes

If you would like to try new pancake recipes, then French chocolate pancake is a must try!
Here are the steps on how to make chocolate pancakes:

2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups of whole milk
4 eggs
pinch of salt
chocolate syrup
vegetable oil

Preparing the batter:
1. Mix flour and eggs in a bowl.
2. Stir it very well and add add milk.
3. Wait until the mixture becomes bubbly.
4. Add a pinch of salt, few drops of chocolate syrup and 2 tbsp of butter.

Preparing the crepes:
1. Wipe vegetable oil into the cooking pan using folded paper towel.
2. Pour 2 – 3 tbsp. of batter and quickly move pan around to spread it evenly. 
3. Let cook for about 1 minute. Flip to cook other side for about 30 seconds.

Fold or roll it like a regular crepe. Add some fillings and serve it with chocolate toppings.

Monday, May 7, 2012

How to Bake Some Delicious Muffins

Muffins generally come into two kinds: The English Muffin and the Corn Muffin. The English muffin is a kind of light bread leavened with yeast. It is often baked in a flat-sided 8cm diameter disc-shaped tin. It is then split into two, toasted and then served with butter. The Corn Muffin on the other hand is made out of cornmeal. They are often shaped cornbread and are usually sweeter. Baking muffins is pretty easy and does not have many ingredients and usually takes only twenty minutes.
Corn Muffin

English Muffins
In order to start baking your own delicious muffin, you should have 250g of plain flour, one large egg, 85g of sugar, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt and three ounces of softened butter in a cup within an oven. With these ingredients, you can either make six big muffins or twelve small ones. You should also have a large mixing bowl for the dry ingredients, a fine metal sieve, a smaller mixing bowl for the wet ingredients, a cup or mug for butter, one teaspoon dessert spoon, a non-stick muffin tray with built-in paper cases place in holes, a wooden spoon balloon whisk or fork, a packet of chocolate chips around a hundred grams, a good vanilla essence an 8 oz milk which is over 200cc.

The first thing that you have to do is lighting your oven and putting it either at 5 or 6 if you are using a gas oven. Pour the sugar and the chocolate chips into the bowl and sieve just above the big mixing bowl on to the sugar and chocolate. Pour the flour mixed with salt and the baking powder unto the sieve. Afterwards, crack the egg into the smaller bowl and beat it until it looks pale yellow. The put milk in it and mix it again. Take the butter out of the microwave and light it up to five or six. This is already dependent on your oven though.

Then pour the butter into the small bowl where you had the egg mixed with milk. Make sure to mix it frequently so that the butter will not become too hard and lumpy. After this, put two teaspoons of vanilla essence unto it. Combine the wet mixture to the dry mixture using the wooden spoon. Using the dessert spoon, fill the paper cups in the muffin tray. The content should be around half of the paper cup’s size. Fill the muffin cases enough for it not to spill and put it inside the oven.

Give it around ten minutes before opening the oven. You can peek and touch the muffin’s surface. Now, if they are still soft, it means that they still need a few more minutes to be baked. Otherwise, you can now pull them out of your oven and enjoy the fruits of your baking.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cooking With Chocolate – How to Cook A Mole Poblano

Chocolate is a by-product of fermented cocoa beans. These beans are eventually dried, cleaned, and then roasted. The shell is later removed to produce cacao nibs which are grounded then liquefied. The liquefied form becomes chocolate liquor which is made out of pure chocolate. In addition, this liquor can be furthered turned into two components which can be used for cooking: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. And the great thing about these two components is that they can be used to cook chicken mole poblano.

If you are not familiar with a mole poblano, it is the national dish of Mexico. It has at least twenty ingredients which also includes chili peppers and complemented by chocolate. If you are interested in cooking this delicacy, you should have the following ingredients: three ancho chillies, 3 pasilla chillies, 3 mulato chillies, 1 finely chopped-onion, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 30 grams of toasted almonds, 30 grams of toasted sesame seeds, 1 tsp of ground coriander, 6 large chopped, de-seeded, blanched and peeled ripe tomatoes, 60 grams of raisins, 60 grams of dark chocolate having at least 70% cocoa content, 150 milligrams of chicken stock, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon lard for frying, 1.8 kilograms worth of chicken pieces, and some black pepper for flavoring.

Chicken Mole Poblano
Though that is a pretty lot of ingredients, the result will be worth it. What you have to do first is to remove the stem and seed of the chillies then toast them in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes. Make sure to stir it frequently so that it will not stick to the pan. Then transfer the chillies to the stock and allow the chicken stock to rehydrate for at least twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, remove the chillies from the stock and put them in a blender along with the onions, garlic, almonds, sesame seeds, spices and add some black pepper until they become a smooth paste.

Afterwards, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or double boiler then put a little lard to the frying pan. Use this so you can fry the raisins until they are all puffed up. Once you are done, remove them and set them aside first. Add a little more lard unto the frying pan and then fry the chili paste in it for a few minutes. Put the chicken stock along with it and then add the tomatoes and the raisins. Bring it to a boil and cook it for around 15 minutes. Make sure that the sauce thickens before putting the chocolate next.

On the other hand, fry the chicken in a large frying pan until it turns brown then transfer it to a casserole dish and cover it with sauce. Place it in an oven and pre-heat it to 180 celcius and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, you can now enjoy your Mole Poblano.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chocolate Gifts For Your Date

Going out on a date is not limited to picking a neat place to spend time with that special someone. It also involves some flowery words and the occasional gift-giving moments. Of course, times have changed and various people have their own personal definition of dates. But if you are one of those people who follow the old, but still effective way of chocolate-giving, then you might as well put effort in it.

The good news is that the world offers a limitless variety of chocolates for your special someone to enjoy. There is your cream-filled and luscious dark chocolate. There is also your white chocolate for those who are fond of milkier treats. You can also choose to purchase chocolates with fancy shapes and sizes if your object of affection is particular about the shapes of her chocolates.
On the other hand, if you are talented-enough, you can personalize your own chocolate. You have the option of dipping it with cookie crumbs and other sweets which blends well with it. If you know how to bake, perhaps baking a chocolate cake with caramel filling would be preferable for your partner.

So the next time that you go for some Falkirk dating, you may want to consider bringing some box of chocolates. This will surely delight your love one and put some smile on her face.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cupcake Maker and More Gift Ideas

One month from now and it would be Mothers Day. Yes, Mothers Day 2012 falls on Sunday the 13th May so you better start looking for ideal gifts for your mom.

Here are some Mothers Day Gifts ideas especially to moms who love to cook and bake:

1. Sunbeam Cupcake Maker
If you are not into baking and sweets, then you may start learning a thing or two from your mom while using this cupcake maker! Have fun together and be creative in designing love cupcakes!

2. Morphy Richards Toaster
Toasters are also good gifts for mom. Just think about how she would like to have coffee and toasted bread for a quick breakfast! She will be happy to get Morphy Richards Toaster from you.

3. Delonghi Nespresso Pixie Coffee Machine
Instead of giving her the usual coffee maker, why not consider this high-tech and reliable coffee machine. This can be used anytime of the day!

4. Morphy Richards Slow Cooker
Let your mom enjoy cooking even more with Morphy Richards Slow Cooker! This is really affordable so it won't hurt your budget while making your mother really happy.

5. Breville Juicer & Blender
If your mom is into healthy living and love fruits and vegetables, this juicer and blender would be a great gift. Let her feel refreshed with blended fresh fruits or vegetables.

You won't go wrong with cooking appliances if you are looking for gifts for Mothers Day. You can also choose the brands and models you prefer when shopping online. Some of the practical and thoughful gifts for moms include bread maker, coffee machine, food processor, juicer, kettles, slow cooker, steamer, and toaster.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Different Kinds of Chocolates

Through the years, people have manufactured countless kinds of chocolates that are enjoyed up until today. It is funny to think that what was considered “food for the gods” by the Amazons is now globally manufactured. There are actually a couple of chocolates and are categorized accordingly.

We have the so-called dark chocolate which may contain thirty to seventy percent cocoa. This kind is the most commonly used by people everywhere. There is also milk chocolate and as its name implies is a mixture of chocolate and milk giving it a sweeter flavor. It is more often eaten than used in cooking or baking. In addition, it melts faster than dark chocolate.

There is also what is called white chocolate. It contains a smaller cocoa butter and solid cocoa material content. However, extra care must be taken when cooking this kind of chocolate since it is very sensitive to heat. There are also chocolate chips which are often used in baking. Coco powder on the other hand is the residue from cocoa butter which has been pressed from the ground and roasted beans. It tastes a bit bitter but provides a stronger flavor.

These are but a couple of chocolates that people these days enjoy and thanks to man’s limitless innovation, he is able to develop a variety of sweets.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Sweet Culture of Gift-Giving

If you are planning to give someone special a gift on his or her birthday and you want to go for something unique, you can go for chocolate gift baskets. Chocolate gift baskets are not only appropriate for any occasion but it opens up the opportunity to be creative. Imagine, you can put anything in it that may suit the taste of the recipient. If the recipient is someone who loves wines, you can combine chocolates and put some luxurious wines on it. If the person you plan to give the chocolate basket to is into fancy things, you can also put some cute stuff toys in it along with some heart-shaped or bear-shaped chocolates.
Premium Gourmet Cabernet Sauvignon Wine + Luxury Chocolates  including Signature Truffles, Pecan Caramel Turtles, English Butter Toffee, Assorted Luxury Chocolates, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Milk Cordial Cherries, Assorted Chocolate Miniatures Peanut Butter Cups, Chocolate Covered Cookies, Milk Almond Toffee Crunch & Dark Cordial Cherries
You can also put home-made chocolates and cookies in it. Putting some candy canes and chocolate-coated strawberries and chocolate cupcakes can make it more appealing. And you should not forget to write a letter of dedication to the person whom you are to give the basket to. You can also knit a nice scarf and include it in the basket or perhaps, a neat jacket to cover the contents of the basket. Now, if you want to go for something new, you could try adapting yourself to the Jewish culture of gift giving. You can create a kosher gifts. These gift baskets are widely appreciated and you can easily order online if you don't have time to personalize them.

However, when doing so, you may want to abide by some rules. If you are unfamiliar with the rules, you can always refer to the internet in terms of food and things allowed to be given as gifts.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes

I wasn't ready to post some recipes yet so I was pressured when I got an anonymous comment asking of the Bailey's Cupcake recipe. I just checked my Pinterest boards and look for the image source. Now, let me share you the recipe for Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes from Designs by Gollum.

Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes
1 box Duncan Hinz dark chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups water
white chocolate chips (if desired)
1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream added to cake mix
4 T Baileys Irish Cream added to icing
Confectioners' sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
Wilton sprinkles
emerald sanding sugar

Preheat the oven. Place paper liners in 2 cupcake pans. Mix the cake according to directions, adding 1/4 cup Irish cream (be sure to decrease the total amount of water used--if the instructions call for 1 1/4 cup water, add 1 cup water and 1/4 cup Baileys). If you're adding white chocolate chips, gently fold them into the mixture. Spoon the lucious batter into the liners. Bake.

After the cupcakes cool, make the icing.
Into the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, blend 8 oz softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Baileys Irish Cream (4 tablespoons). Begin with 2 cups of powdered sugar and kept adding bit by bit until the icing reached the proper spreading consistency. As Rachael Ray says, "Eyeball it."
Ice the cupcakes, taking care not to ruin your freshly cleaned kitchen, and garnish with sanding sugar and/or shamrock sprinkles.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cupcake Collection

The latest buzz is all about Pinterest! And that's why I have created different boards to pin all the amazing cupcakes, chocolates, muffins and other baked goodies.

1. Cute and Cool Stuff - Because cupcakes are really cute, yummy and might be colorful!
2. Dine, Date and More - Cupcakes are best for dessert! But if they are too beautiful, sometimes I hesitate to eat them!
3. Wonderful and Interesting - I guess cupcakes are baked by creative and powerful hands and I would like to learn baking, too!
4. Sweet, Hot and Flashy - The sweetest cupcake can be the hottest craze so that's it!

Here are some of the yummy photos!
Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes
Key lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Flowery Cupcakes

Red Velvet Triple-Stacked Cupcakes
Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Lemon Cooler Cupcakes

Minnie Mouse cupcakes

Rice Krispie Cupcakes

Strawberry rice-krispie cupcakes

Valentine Cupcake

Strawberry Pink Cupcake
These are just but a few. Follow me on Pinterest for more!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Next time, I'll include some recipes/baking steps!

Note: Image credits can be found on Pinterest boards where they are pinned.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine Chocolate Ideas

Valentine’s just around the corner and this also means that it is about time for us to shop around for some chocolates for our loved ones. It can also be quite difficult to look for that particular chocolate which will make your special someone smile. Not to mention the fact that there can be so many chocolates on the market to choose from. On the other hand, there are some alternatives to choose from that will surely put that smile on his or her face.
Chocolatey Gift
One of the best options that you could get for that special person is a box of dark chocolates along with a bouquet of red roses. Dark chocolates have a stronger smell compared to the common chocolate. In addition, it is more affordable than the others. If you and your partner are into board games then you could get yourselves a Chocopoly. Basically it is the chocolate version of the board game Monopoly. Playing the game in the evening while drinking some wine paired with candelight can be very romantic.

If the two of you prefer to spend this season of hearts out of the country then you could book yourselves a room in the world’s first chocolate hotel. The hotel offers a great experience and provides satisfactory service. You will find that the theme of the rooms, shops, menus, and food are based on chocolate. It is located in Perugia, Italy. Since it is located in Italy then you can also enjoy the beautiful tourist spots that the land has to offer.

You can never go wrong with either one of these ideas. Furthermore, it will surely put that smile on the face of your special someone!