Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Things Are Happening!

I would like to thank all the readers & subscribers of Smacznego: A Blog.

This week Smacznego: A Blog will be launching a new web design format that has been in the making since the conceptualization of the site over one year ago.  It is because of the continued success of this site, in over 20 countries, that has made this transition possible.

We hope you continue to make us your destination to make your meals tasty!

Where to Find Older Posts.
The current site will be archived and have a link on the home page of the new site.  Eventually, all the older articles will be transferred to the new site.

The Web Address will be the Same.
The current web address is in transition to the new site and will remain the same.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Behind the Brand of Raw Sugar

Raw sugar brands have become popular in recent years but are not often associated to a particular ingredient term.  If you've read the last two posts, the term turbinado sugar should be familiar.  Another popular name for this ingredient is pure cane sugar.  Pure cane sugar is turbinado sugar.

What is Turbinado Sugar?
Turbinado sugar is minimally processed.  After the first pressing of sugar cane, it is crystallized, packaged and then sent to store shelves.  It is often categorized as a healthier sweetener.

Different Names = Different Prices.
When purchased under the name, pure cane sugar, the ingredient can be purchased for quite a bit cheaper than some of its other marketed brands.

Turbinado Sugar is not Brown Sugar.
There is a tendency to confuse brown sugar with turbinado sugar.  The two are not equal.  Brown sugar is actually white sugar that has molasses added to it.  The difference between light and dark brown sugar is based on the amount of molasses.  Contrary to popular opinion, brown sugar is actually processed more than white sugar.

The Flavor of Turbinado Sugar.
Turbinado sugar is more robust than white sugar but not as heavy as brown sugar.  With its light caramel taste, it is used in autumn cooking and baking to enhance the flavor of rustic cuisine.   Use turbinado sugar as a natural in recipes with apples, sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin, to name a few.  It also works well with dairy based desserts like cheesecake, crème brulee, and ice cream.

How to Use Turbinado Sugar.
Turbinado sugar can be used cup for cup as a replacement for both white and brown sugar.  Apart from taste, when replacing white sugar with turbinado sugar, expect a slight difference in texture as turbinado sugar has a slightly higher moisture content.

How do you "Smacznego" with Turbinado Sugar.  Leave a comment below!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

3 Ways to Stop and Smell the Coffee

For many of us, October is the kick-off for a festive season leading into the wintry months.  As a celebration of all things orange, spiced and all things nice, I thought it would be nice to do one last short post leading into October.

This post has nothing technical, just a tip to make your coffee and guests a little more happy this season.  No fancy tricks, no formulas, no special ingredients.

Flavoring Your Joe.
Many people flavor their coffee, it really isn't anything new.  But how people flavor it will create a big difference from eh to AMAZING!

Instead of purchasing preflavored coffee, or sweetened syrups to add to your post-brew, try this instead.  Add a teaspoon of your favorite spices inside the coffee filter before you turn the coffee pot on.

Coffee is not only an experience of taste, but aromatics.  By adding ingredients to the top of the pot, people will be able to smell the freshness of the spices added.  It also creates a smooth final brew without unpleasant mystery spice specks for your guests.

Here are three suggestions: (each suggestion is based on a 5 cup brew, with 5 rounded Tbsp. of ground coffee beans)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Rum Tiramisu & Salted Caramel Walnuts

Tiramisu, the “pick me up” dessert, is a food of the culinary gods.  Rich, creamy, and loaded with calories – just the way it was meant to be.  But everything you’ve known about tiramisu is about to be shattered.  This recipe will break the mold of any preconceived notions and create a new tradition this autumn season.  You will be in love with tiramisu once again.  The romance will continue…

Simple Concept.
This recipe is surprisingly easy.  It can be served almost immediately and takes about an hour to make.  Traditionally, lady fingers – a sponge cake cookie – soaked in espresso coffee are used.  Instead, the lady fingers are replaced with thin slices of angel food cake and the custard is piped through a rosette tip to create a lovely presentation.  It is then topped with Salted Caramel Walnuts.

Creating Harmony among the Ingredients.
There was a bit of difficulty conceptualizing this recipe.  The pumpkin Italian custard and espresso soaked cake initially clashed.  It didn’t make sense on the taste buds.  Some recipes change the espresso to another liquid, but then the contrast of the sweet cream and bitter coffee flavor would be lost.   It needed something to bring the two ingredients to harmonize.

Eggnog Always Makes Things Better.
Since I was stuck on using espresso and pumpkin, something had to be added to connect the flavors together.  The answer – Eggnog.  Mixing equal portions of espresso coffee and eggnog gave the dish the distinguished taste it deserved.  Eggnog was also added to the custard.  Finally, it made sense.  The bitterness of the espresso and the flavor of the pumpkin came together reminiscent of a pumpkin spice latte.  Topped with another layer of espresso-eggnog soaked sponge, topped with more custard, and sprinkled with salty, sweet walnuts, perfection is served!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ribeye Steak Diane, Reinvented

This recipe strays from traditional French cuisine by the addition of some smoky flavors most associate with southern barbecue.  However, the dish still remains its integrity with a traditional cream sauce that harmonizes beautifully.  Though traditionally Steak Diane sauce has a touch of mustard and Worcestershire.  Some people also add Brandy or Cognac to the cream sauce.  Feel free to customize this variation further to suit your palate.