“Caramel Loves Passionfruit” — I liked these enough I thought they deserved a name.
Passionfruit marshmallows are, I have to say, perfection all on their own. But I wanted to try dressing them up a bit for Valentine’s Day and the winter Patreon treat boxes (details in comments), and I thought the tang of passionfruit would marry well with the creamy sweetness of caramel chocolate.
Melted some chips of Callebaut caramel chocolate, dipped and sprinkled with fine gold sprinkles. Pretty enough for a party! And I think the balance here is right — the caramel chocolate comes through first, and then the passionfruit lingers, cutting through the sweetness to add another dimension. Yum.
I made a decadent Valentine’s rose tea for the winter treat boxes: decaf English breakfast, Guittard cocoa rouge, Penzey’s vanilla (beans for steeping AND double-strength extract), rose petals. Delicious, and since it’s decaf, you can indulge in the evening and still slip into sleep filled with luscious dreams…
Hey, folks — I want to highlight that if you subscribe RIGHT NOW to my three times / year Patreon treat box, you’ll be included in the winter 2022 box, which works out to 75% off your first box! So if you get the $40 box ($10 / month for 4 months), you’ll get the first one for just $10. Such a bargain! And subscriptions make lovely gifts for friends and family members…
I’m planning to ship these by the end of February, and I need to know a few weeks in advance how many I’m making, so I’m going to say if you subscribe by Monday 2/14, you get the winter treat box. Sooner is better, though.
Theme this time around: Valentine’s Day in Narnia — I’m thinking winter woods, plenty of hearts, knitting-themed items to keep you warm… Per usual, it will be mostly tasty treats, with some other surprise items, like soaps, resin jewelry, I think some little fabric bags this time around…
Pictured: Artist’s Valentine rose-cardamom sugar cookies, passionfruit marshmallows waiting to be dipped in chocolate and decorated…
Needed a photo of broccoli varai for the vegan cookbook, so made it and devoured it for dinner last night. So good! As a bonus, Anand happily ate it too! Kavi likes the broccoli, but says she doesn’t like the little seeds, which I think might be a legacy of having worn braces for years; I might try cooking it with ground cumin & mustard for her next time. But I like it like this.
Sri Lankan Broccoli Varai
(30 minutes, serves 4)
A good way to get green vegetables into children.
Note: I keep this fairly mild, so my kids will eat it, but for a spicier (and more traditional) version, chop 2-3 green chilies, and stir them in during step 1.
1 pound broccoli (crowns and/or stalks), chopped fine (by hand or in food processor)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
6-12 curry leaves
1 1-inch cinnamon stick
¼ tsp. black mustard seed
¼ tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. black pepper (or cayenne)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground turmeric
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp. oil (optional)
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
1-2 tsp. lime juice (optional)
1. Sauté onions in oil on high with curry leaves, cinnamon, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds until onions are golden / translucent (not brown).
2. Add broccoli, salt, pepper, and turmeric; fry, stirring, for a few minutes. (If the broccoli starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, you can add a little water.)
3. Add in coconut and stir for five minutes.
4. Taste, and stir in sugar and/or lime juice if desired. Serve hot, with rice and curries.
“Artist’s Valentine” rose-cardamom iced cookies — decorated with a paintbrush! Two paintbrushes, actually, one for brushing on the pink, and a much smaller one for flicking in gold luster dust (with some gold sprinkles added after).
I’m not sure that I love this combo of techniques, actually — if I could go back in time, I think I’d do some of the cookies with just the pink brushwork, some with just the gold splatter, and maybe a few with both? But oh well, they’re still cute, and will be delicious regardless.
And one big plus for this decorating technique — it’s fast! I iced the cookies with white last night, which took about 20 minutes of dipping. Let them dry overnight, and then another 15-20 minutes of decorating this morning to finish them off.
If you’re doing the more elaborating outline + flooding technique for icing sugar cookies, it can take much, much longer. I’ve done it, but am not likely to do it again unless it’s for a very special occasion; I just don’t have the patience!
Double batch of passionfruit marshmallows. I needed some for an order, and then I thought I’d do some dipped in chocolate for the Valentine’s party next week, and the Patreon winter boxes. They are so yummy — I get to eat the trimmings when I make these…
Snowstorm predicted for tomorrow, quiet evening here. Father Brown murder mysteries on the TV, and cardamom-rose heart sugar cookies in the oven. Cool today, ice tomorrow. Now, how shall I ice these? So many options…
These are either for the Valentine’s party / sale coming up on the 12th (link in comments), or for the Patreon winter treat boxes (also link in comments), or possibly both…although the kids will undoubtedly get a few too.