White Chocolate and Coconut Fruit Salad

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I love creating new desserts, especially when it means that I get to trick my boys into eating more fruit than they otherwise would.

One day I realized that we had apparently purchased too many bananas, apples and pears and that at the rate we were eating them, more than half would end up in the garbage. I detest wasting food so I set up shop in the kitchen to make a tasty, healthy snack. Here is what I came up with!

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So much fruit at the end of its shelf life!

White Chocolate and Coconut Fruit Salad

Makes:                       4 to 6 servings

Preparation Time: 15 minutes from start to finish

Ingredients:20160702_162024

  • 2 Apples
  • 2 Pears
  • 3 Bananas
  • 1 small bottle of cream
  • A pinch or two of sugar
  • 1/2 bar of White Chocolate with Coconuts from Lidl

 

 1. Peel and dice the fruit. Mix them all together.

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2. Whip the cream until it becomes light and fluffy. Sweeten to taste with sugar.

 

3. Chop the white chocolate into bits.

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4. Arrange your glasses and begin layering your ingredients. Place a good layer of chocolate at the bottom of the glass, add a layer of whipped cream, then fruit, repeat until the glass is full. Finish the presentation with a pretty layer of chopped chocolate on the very top.

The children loved it! Usually I really have to force them to eat their daily bit of fruit but they kept coming back for more until the bowl was empty. I made it again a week or so later for a family visit and my goddaughter was ever so happy to help me chop the fruit in the kitchen.
White Fruit Salad

Let me know if you come up with any tasty variations of this recipe !

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

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My husband is a very proud Belgian. Belgian fries are the best. Belgian beer can’t be beat. Belgian chocolates have no equal.

However…

In the many years that we have been together, he has developed a weakness for a very American treat. He loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups more than just about anything.

Unfortunately, this happens to be one of the American goodies which is simply not available to your typical European. My family sends him PB cups for Christmas and his birthday, my friends on American Military bases know that the warmth of their welcome at our place depends on how many packages of PB cups they bring to pay for their stay.

Our supply is very limited and to be honest, what good is a husband if you can’t spoil them a bit and prove just how invaluable you are?

So I’ve done some research. I’ve looked at many copy cat PB cup recipes and I have finally figured out how to make them my own by cutting out the unnecessary ingredients until I was down to the three essentials!

Here is my recipe if you want to try your own hands at it.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

For the chocolate part:

200 g of Chocolate (I buy milk chocolate in large bars at Lidl)

1 tbsp of Peanut Butter (with the highest percentage of peanuts that you can find)

For the filling:

1 cup of Peanut Butter

1 cup of sifted Powdered Sugar (the sifting is important or you’ll get lumps later!)
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Tools:

Either a pair of double boilers or if you’ve got one, a crock pot for melting the ingredients

As many silicone mini-muffin cups as you can get your hands on

A flexible spatula

A teaspoon

Step-by-step:

 1.

Melt your ingredients. I prefer the crock pot method. Break the chocolate into little pieces and fill a clean glass jar. Stick your jar of chocolate and the open jar of peanut butter into the crock pot. Fill with water up to the rim of the shortest jar and set it on high until everything is melted.

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2.

Mix a tablespoon of the peanut butter into the melted chocolate

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3.

Use a teaspoon to coat the bottom and sides of the mini-muffin cups with the chocolate mixture leaving the rest in the crock pot to stay at a nice temperature for later

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4.

Refrigerate the muffin cups until the chocolate has set

5.

While waiting for the chocolate to set, mix the melted peanut butter and the powdered sugar together. Put the mixture in a container which can go back into the crock pot to stay workable

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6.

When the chocolate shells are set, fill them with the melted peanut butter mixture using a teaspoon and stick back into the fridge for a bit longer

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7.

When the peanut butter has set, use your teaspoon to cover the cups with a last layer of chocolate and pop them back into the fridge
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 8.

Once the cups are completely set, you can remove the silicone molds to wash and reuse

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How many you make depends on the size of your cups as well as how full you fill them. I usually end up with about two dozen before I run out of one or the other ingredient.
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You may want to keep the cups in the fridge if the weather is warm as they have a tendency to go a bit soft otherwise. You can easily keep a jar of chocolate and another of peanut butter mixture in the fridge ready to remelt to refill your stash as necessary!

Homemade Caramel Pralines

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I promised you some recipes to use up your caramel and I keep my promises!

Before you can make these, you need to find something to use as a mold for your pralines.

I was lucky enough to inherit a box of baking tools from dear Marguerite-Marie, Philippe’s crafty great-aunt.

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You can easily find similar molds at just about any home-baking supply store (if you’re in Belgium, go take a look at Aveve or even LeDiscount). If you can’t find molds then it’s time to be creative. Do you have a mini-muffin tin? Do you have a small ice-cube tray? Look around your house, I’m SURE you can find something with the right sized cavities.

It doesn’t get much easier than this recipe, trust me!

Homemade Caramel Pralines

Ingredients

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  • 200 g Milk or Dark Chocolate
  • Whatever you have left of your Sea Salted Butter Caramel, I was down to about a fifth of my original batch but it was more than enough to make almost 20 pralines

Tools:

  • Double Boiler or Crockpot (the crock pot makes this recipe much easier)
  • Chocolate molds
  • Various spoons

Step-by-step:

1.

Break the chocolate into chunks and fill a glass jar

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2.

Place the jar of chocolate and the jar of caramel in the crock pot, fill with water just to the rim of the shortest jar and turn on low.

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3.

When the ingredients are melted, use a teaspoon to coat the bottom and the sides of the molds. Refrigerate.

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4.

When the chocolate is set, use a teaspoon to carefully fill the cavities with the melted caramel. You can always add more but it is difficult to remove without messing up the chocolate shell so don’t put too much. When you’ve filled all the cavities on a mold, put it back in the fridge.

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5.

When the caramel is firm, use a teaspoon to cover the cavities on the mold. Try to keep the outline clean by not putting TOO much chocolate. Refrigerate

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6.

When the final layer of chocolate is set, take them out of the fridge and pop them out of the molds. Personally, I found these white plastic molds to be rather hard to empty. I’m going to be keeping my eyes open for flexible silicone molds to replace them. If you have the same problem as I did, try putting the mold into the freezer overnight and then blasting the backside (don’t get the chocolate wet!) with some hot water.

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All in all, I got about 20 caramel filled pralines and even though my husband took them to nibble on in bed last night I still have a few to offer to my colleagues today. Sweet!

Sea Salted Butter Caramel – Easier than you think!

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If the title of this recipe doesn’t make you start drooling a little then who are you?!

I love caramel. If some stranger had stood up at my wedding with an offer of a lifetime supply of caramel if I left my fiancé, I cannot promise that I would be Mrs. Bourlart right now. Granted, I’d have made sure I could share my lifetime of caramel with Phil before taking the deal. He’s logical enough that he’d see the benefit, I assure you!

Phil tried to make a caramel tart a few weeks ago but his caramel came out more solid than he wanted. He told me that the recipe sounded simple but was harder than it looked. I took the bait and started researching caramel recipes. Finally, I found one that looked easy enough and I tried my hand at it. It turned out delicious but the texture seemed a bit too thick for me. I found that if you add the sea salt too soon, the caramel will start to crystallize around it leading to too-salty chunks floating in your caramel. By the third attempt, I was no longer looking at the recipe and after a while, I realized that even that recipe was more complicated than it had to be. So, now I present you with an unbelievably easy, no thermometer, no timer, very little measuring required recipe for your very own Sea Salted Butter Caramel. You’re welcome.

Sea-Salted Butter Caramel

Ingredients:

1 c White Sugar (210 g) 1 tsp Sea Salt (5 g) 1 package Butter (250 g) cut into chunks 1 small bottle of cream (200 ml)

Tools needed:

A frying pan A wooden spoon A random spoon for scraping the sugar from the wooden spoon

Instructions:

1.

Heat the sugar on medium heat until it is fully melted and turns brown. It takes a while to start melting so you can go get a coffee while you wait but as soon as the melting begins you have to stay close because it can go from melted to burnt in a matter of seconds.

Melt the sugar on medium heat

2.

Once the sugar is mostly melted, add the butter. Stir gently until the bubbling dies down as the butter and sugar reach the same temperature. Mix the sugar and butter together until you can’t tell the difference anymore.

 

The butter and the sugar will bubble until their temperatures even out

3.

Drizzle in the cream. Stir until it stops bubbling and you can’t see the separate ingredients.

 

Keep mixing the cream in until it stops bubbling once again

4.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Remove from heat when the bubbling has nearly stopped

5.

Once it has cooled enough to where you can touch the caramel safely, sprinkle in the sea salt and stir some more.

Once it's cooled down a bit, sprinkle the salt over it and stir gently

6.

Allow it to continue to cool but come back every few minutes to stir the caramel or all of your butter will try to float to the top.

All done!

  • Once it is just a little warmer than body temperature you can put it into a jar.
  • To make it even more presentable, sprinkle a few grains of sea salt on top of the cooled caramel before closing the jar.
  • Store it in the fridge so that the cream and butter don’t go bad.

Never heat it in the microwave!

If you need to heat your caramel for whatever reason, put some in a pan and warm it on the stove. Otherwise the ingredients are likely to separate in the microwave.

 Sea salted butter caramel

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How can you use your caramel?

  • Drizzled over ice cream
  • Make some pralines
  • As an ingredient in other recipes (oh yes, I will be giving you some, don’t worry!)
  • Melt a spoonful into your coffee to spoil yourself
  • Put a layer of caramel on top of pudding or yogurt
  • Eat it by the spoonfull when you’re too lazy to make something to eat… you can always make more!
  • Bribe your spouse, children or neighbors into doing your will in exchange for some.