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Archive for March 19, 2014

TIP OF THE DAY: Decorate With Sixlets

Recently a friend gave us a cache of Sixlets left over from Halloween. She didn’t want to keep them for next Halloween, and figured we could “do something for THE NIBBLE” with them.

So we started to decorate desserts.

None of our efforts looked as good as the examples on Sixlets’ Facebok Page, so take a look and get inspired.

Sixlets are a boon for easy cake and cupcake decorating.

  • They’re perfectly round hard-coated chocolate candies like M&Ms, but less cloying* and less “commercial.” (M&M’s have their place, and it isn’t everywhere.)
  • They’re available in every color you could want, like jelly beans, but are smaller and easier to work with.
  • They’re larger than colored dragées, and are much more pleasant to eat.
  • They’re sold in individual colors plus seasonal mixes (autumn, Christmas, Halloween, etc.).
  •  

    sixlets-argyle-cake-hellocupcake-230

    You don’t have to be this painstaking, but it sure is impressive. Argyle Candy Cake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, authors of Hello, Cupcake!

     

    sixlets_pastel_sixlets-230

    Get ready for Easter: You can buy pastel
    Sixlets in bulk online. Photo courtesy Sixlets.

     

    Sixlets are made by Sweetworks, a Toronto-based company. You may know them in individual packages from the candy stand, but they are available in bulk for serious decorating: in 1, 2, 5 and 10 pound bags.

    The line is certified kosher (OU-dairy) and is gluten-free.

    We used them:

  • To cover the sides of frosted cakes
  • To cover the exposed sides of whoopie pies
  • As cupcake toppings
  • Layered in a parfait
  •  
    We’re planning ahead for a red, white and blue “flag cake” for Independence Day.

     
    Now it’s your turn!

    *Unlike the super-sugary M&M’s chocolate centers, the centers of Sixlets are made from a mix of cocoa and carob, giving them a kind of “malted chocolate” taste.

      

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    ENTERTAINING: A Cocktail Party For Vincent Van Gogh

    If you’re inclined to entertain between St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, here’s an idea from Van Gogh Vodka:

    A “Starry Night” cocktail part, to celebrate the March 30th birthday of Vincent van Gogh.

    Van Gogh Vodka has created a cocktail named for, and inspired by perhaps, one of his best-loved works, The Starry Night (De Sterrennacht).

    It emulates the dark blue sky of “Starry Night” with its purple-colored Açaí-Blueberry Vodka. The “starry” comes from a slice of starfruit.

    Painted in 1889, the view is from Van Gogh’s sanitorium* room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, looking north toward the village. In an example of “artistic license,” Van Gogh rearranged the scenery, incorporating the mountains on the southern side of the asylum and adding a large cypress tree that did not exist. He painted the dark night sky during the day, from memory.

     

    Drink a “Starry Night.” Photo courtesy Van Gogh Vodka.

     

    Van Gogh’s masterpiece, “Starry Night.”
    Photo courtesy Wikipedia | The Google Art
    Project.

     

    RECIPE: STARRY NIGHT COCKTAIL

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 4 ounces sparkling rosé*
  • 1 ounce Van Gogh Açaí-Blueberry Vodka*, chilled
  • Garnish: starfruit slice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. POUR chilled vodka into a flute.

    2. TOP with sparkling rosé wine and garnish with a starfruit slace.

     

    Van Gogh Vodkas are crafted in small batches at the Royal Dirkzwager Distilleries in Schiedam, Holland. They received “Royal Appointment” designation by Netherlands’s Queen Beatrix.

    The Van Gogh Vodka portfolio includes over 20 flavored vodkas, each, according to the distiller, offering a spirited way to pay tribute to a creative genius.

     
    *We used Yellow Tail Sparkling Rosé, one of our favorites; and couldn’t find the Van Gogh Açaí-Blueberry Vodka so substituted Stoli Blueberi and colored it. We used McCormick food colors to approximate the navy in the painting, rather than the purple Van Gogh color: 150 drops Neon Blue and 8 drops Black.

      

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