Archive for the ginger Category

Food coma delight!

Posted in cake, food coma, ginger, lemon, lemon sitcks, peppermint candy on November 7, 2008 by Skuties

Mel: Today is Cake day at the office –it was a Lime cake with Lime Mousse filling and Whipped Cream Frosting. Not bad, but in general left an aftertaste of fat and flour. Nothing to write home about. Kind of your standard bakery wedding cake type deal. But it did make me want to eat things that have strong Lemon flavor and with the Hot weather it has me craving Lemon Sticks

Tati: You are an American, living in Brazil, working for a Korean company. What’s wrong with this picture? CAKE DAY? In Brazil? In a Korean company? Mel did you take over the office again?

Mel: Lemon Sticks were supposedly invented at Baltimore’s Flowermart festival in 1911, which would explain why most references to them are those from Maryland or nearby areas. I was first introduced to this fantastically amazing food at a 4th of July celebration while living in Maryland. Basically it consists of taking a Lemon and cutting the top off of it. You then proceed to stick a piece of peppermint candy into the lemon and suck on the candy as though it were a straw. The Lemon juice comes up through the “straw” and creates a Sweet/Sour combination perfect for hot weather and tangy goodness. The problem with this divine food which should be simple (buy lemons, buy candy + 1 knife = heaven) is not so easy here for 3 reasons.

Mel: 1 – Lemon Lemons are harder to find (here in Brazil), and as it is winter in the places they generally come from, it will be particularly complicated to find them but not impossible.

Tati: Specially because in Brazil there is no Lemon Lemon, there are only Limes, but we call them Lemons anyway. Yeah, we are a very practical crowd. You don’t have Lemons? So What? we will call our limes Lemons! But on the other hand, you can buy the “Sicilian Lemon” which is pretty much your regular Lemon Lemon. Leave it to Brazilians to disturb the Lemon race…

Mel: 2 – Peppermint. I’m not sure why but it appears that peppermint is not that common in Brazil. I am confused by the use of “Menta” and “Hortelã” which are both translated as mint in English. I realize there are many forms of mint but I will have to ask someone who knows more about “mint” to tell me which is which here in Brazil.

Tati: We are as confused as you are in Brazil. Peppermint for us sounds like mint with pepper. What Brazilians understand by mint is that green thing that is inside our chocolates and tastes like tooth paste (which, guess what? Yes I hate it!)

Mel: 3 – Peppermint Sticks – as there is little Peppermint to be found, it means that the all important candy which is 50% of this food’s epic nature is missing! And will have to be made by HAND. There is a similar type candy that is served at parties here in Brazil that is flavored with Coconut instead of mint, and is cut into small pieces called “Bala de Coco”. Basically it is a kind of taffy.

Tati: There is nothing similar between the tooth paste sticks and the coconut candy. Coconut candy is a lot sweeter and 3 of those will put you on a sugar rush that will last all day (Or am I the only one who gets stupid with sugar?)

Mel: The “bala de coco” recipe calls for 1 kg of sugar, 200 ml of water, & 1 bottle of coconut milk to work, so I have looked round for recipes similar and something that sounds like an “Old Fashioned Soft Peppermint Stick” So far the best I have found is on this site about Cany & Confections and under the heading Stick Candy – you’ll have to scroll down on the site almost till the end to find it.

In other words to have this divine thing of minty, zesty sweetness I’m going to actually have to complete epic taffy pulling Victorian feats of nuttiness. I suppose its only fitting since it was in a fit of Victorian nuttiness the thing was invented in the first place.

Tati: That reminded me of that time I saw that squirrel in Victorian clothes.

Mel: The other option is to make something like Ginger Cake with Lemon Curd or Lemon Poppy seed Pound Cake. I found a super “makes it self with your eyes closed” easy recipe for the Gingerbread Lemon Curd Cream Cake but it requires something I can’t get my grubby paws on here: Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix. So I will be forced to make the Gingerbread from scratch. I don’t mind doing that, but I haven’t managed to find “the” recipe yet. I have tried many but either the flavor is weak, the cake is too dry, the texture is all wrong, or it just comes out funny. The next recipe on my “Ginger Cake Trial” list is this one from Epicurious. I plan to add some lemon juice to the frosting & Add lemon curd filling.

Tati: Yes guys, she is a super cook! How many of you would think: “I’ll just make things from scratch”? So don’t feel bad if you fail, don’t try to be like her, you won’t get it and your cake will suck! She was born with those powers and she likes rubbing it in our faces! I love when she rubs cake all over my face LOVE IT!

Mel: Although re-reading that recipe I think I will go with the 2nd option which is Lemon Poppy seed Pound Cake. Again if you live in the U.S. or have such wonderful things as instant cake mix that actually tastes GOOD available then this one is a no-brainer (pound cake mix + lemon juice + poppy seeds = win). For those of us stuck with chalky dry or vanilla tasting lemon cake mixes we will have to rough it from scratch. This is the recipe I plan to doctor by adding poppy seeds because everyone needs to test positive for opium once in awhile.

Tati: Or you can go the traditional way on testing positive for opium. Let’s be honest, baking cakes from scratch is too much work just to get high!