THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for Desserts

FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Holiday Shortcake

Use your cookie cutters to make a special holiday “ice cream cake.” Slice regular or chocolate pound cake into 1/2″to 3/4″-thick slices and use cookie cutters to cut shapes into the cake—trees and stars are especially nice. Top with vanilla, mint or candy cane ice cream, fresh strawberries and mint leaves, and drizzle with chocolate sauce if you like. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters and other theme shapes to make this special (and easy) dessert for every holiday. If the poundcake isn’t dense, you may have to toast it lightly in order to cut out the shapes—but toasted cake is just as delicious. Click here for a pumpkin mousse recipe—another lovely, seasonal dessert in the Desserts & Ice Cream Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Snowflake Cookie Cutter
Buy a poundcake, cut shapes with your cookie cutters, and turn them into “holiday shortcake”
with whipped cream and berries.
 

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TIP OF THE DAY: National Cupcake Day & Cupcake Recipes

Chocolate Cupcake

A chocolate cupcake from Divvies, a line that is allergen-free.

 

Today is National Cupcake Day, so enjoy a cupcake—in fact, make some with a chocolate “surprise.”

  • Make your favorite cupcake batter.
  • Fill the cupcake liner halfway with batter, then insert a piece of chocolate from your favorite gourmet chocolate bar (the size should be equivalent to a miniature-sized chocolate bar, about 1″ x 3/4″).
  • Then top off the cup 2/3 to 3/4 of the way with batter and bake as instructed. The chocolate bar will melt during the baking process.
  • After you ice the cupcakes, you can add another piece of chocolate to decorate the top.
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    We like to make a chocolate cupcake recipe and using a spicy “Aztec” chocolate bar, like Jacques Torres’ Wicked Way Bar.

    Or, enjoy this recipe for vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

     

     
      

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    PRODUCT REVIEW: Dagoba Organic Chocolate

    Dagoba Organic Cacao Nibs
    Dagoba organic cacao nibs—full of antioxidants.
      Dagoba (pronounced duh-GO-buh, meaning “temple of the gods”) was founded in 2001 by “head alchemist” Frederick Schilling. His philosophy states, “You can deprive the body, but the soul needs chocolate.” Metaphysics aside, Dagoba creates some of the finest organic chocolate our tongues have ever encountered—28 dark chocolate and milk chocolate bars, three hot chocolates (call the Fire Department—the Xocolatl is hot, hot stuff, as is the chocolate bar by the same name), four delectable varieties of cacao nibs (the pure nibs are shown in the photo) and chocolate bricks and drops for baking—great gifts for your favorite baker. The line is certified kosher, and some of the products are Fair Trade Certified—a fact that should ease your conscience as well as feed your soul. It was tough to decide where to begin, but intrepid tasters that we are, we plowed ahead. Read our full review of this extensive line, which includes some important—though not always pretty—background information on cacao farming and the conditions of cacao workers, and what Dagoba is doing to ease the plight. This is a line of chocolate you can feel good about eating.
    Read more about our favorite chocolate in the Chocolate Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine, about our favorite organic products in the NutriNibbles Section and about our favorite kosher products in Kosher Nibbles.

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    REVIEW: Kool Freeze Kulfi Bars (Indian “Ice Cream”)

    Kulfi Ice Cream
    Kulfi is rich, creamy, and has less fat than ice cream.
      Kulfi, an Indian frozen dessert similar to ice cream but made without air (overrun), is now available in cool and refreshing ice cream bars. Made in California by Kool Freeze for American palates, they’re richer, creamier and less grainy than traditional kulfi. They’re also made with cow’s milk instead of water buffalo’s milk; so if you haven’t enjoyed kulfi you’ve had before, there’s a good chance you may like these bars. In exotic flavors like Chikoo, Faluda, Malai and Saffron, plus the more familiar Coconut, Mango, Pistachio and Strawberry, Kool Freeze Kulfi Bars are an experience in satisfying your sweet tooth, with a flair that transcends the typical frozen dairy bar. The bars seem very rich, despite the fact that kulfi doesn’t have high butterfat content like premium ice cream—the bars are 160 to 180 calories apiece. They’re also all-natural and certified kosher. Read the full review in THE NIBBLE online magazine. For more information on the different types of frozen desserts, read our Ice Cream Glossary.
     

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    PRODUCT WATCH: Mercer’s Port Ice Cream

    Mercer’s Ice CreamA year or so ago we tried Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream, made in New York State. The Port ice cream was a standout, but at the time there was no online distribution. Now, a NIBBLE reader from St. Louis writes that he tried the flavors locally, also likes the Port, and recommends a local distributor, FrostOnTheVine.com, that will ship them. There’s a four-pint minimum ($10.00 a pint plus shipping). For a special holiday dessert, that’s not bad, and the four pints will go fast. You can mix and match flavors (the others are Peach White Zinfandel, Red Raspberry Chardonnay and Royal White Riesling), but we’d stick with the Port—which is formally named Ala Port, by some person who does not understand that (a) Port is named after the Portuguese town of Porto (a.k.a. Oporto) from whence the wine was originally shipped, not after the French word for door (la port), (b) one should never make up fake French, but if one must, one should spell it correctly (À la Port, not Ala Port), and (c) if you have four flavors in a line, you should follow a nomenclature—not serve up three names in English and one in “French.”

     

    You can’t make these at home: Freezing alcohol and ice cream (or sorbet) successfully is something even the professionals have to work at. For a great line of wine sorbets, read our review of Wine Cellar Sorbets, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. You can find more of our favorite ice creams and sorbets in the Desserts Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. And for the answers to the differences between ice cream, French ice cream, sorbet, sherbet and other frozen delights, check out our Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts Glossary.

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