Fish Custard Fudge

Ah, Bakers Anonymous family, you know about Doctor Who, don’t you? While I didn’t grow up watching it on television like my father, I’d heard the wonderful stories of the man with the blue box and even watched a taped movie or two.

Sadly, I wasn’t much interested in the Doctor when I was younger, but when we heard that the show was coming back to television after a decade and a half absence, my siblings and I were very excited.

I mean, seriously. What kid doesn’t love new television shows? And then we watched it.

Blown. Away.

And we’ve been watching ever since. I became particularly obsessed with the David Tennant doctor ’cause, well, he’s freakin’ awesome. Also, I loved the love story between the Doctor and Rose. Ah, romance. And then the Doctor died.

Boo.

But then there was Matt Smith! And we were all like, eh, Matt Smith. But then he turned out to be pretty cool. He wore a fez!

And after watching the below episode of Doctor Who (featuring a recently regenerated Doctor), I couldn’t get fish custard out of my head. None of the previous episodes had ever really focused on food.

So this was a pleasant surprise. And it made me want to do something with it.

And then, I promptly forgot about it, until I came across a certain seller on Etsy offering up “fish custard” fudge. Uh, yes please? After a search for a fish custard fudge recipe came up fruitless, yielding only this really cool post for fish stick cookies from Bakingdom, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Besides, what else could I give my daddy for Father’s Day but Doctor Who fudge?

Fish Custard Fudge

Based on a recipe from Kraft Recipes.

Ingredients
8 oz. of white chocolate (I ended up using 11 oz of white chocolate)
1/2 C butter
1/3 C water
1 3.9 oz package of French Vanilla pudding
3 C powdered sugar
5 oz bag of Swedish Fish

Directions
1. Chop your Swedish Fish to bits. For what I knew I’d be mixing inside the fudge, I tried to make the pieces as small as possible. To top off the fudge, I cut a fish into three pieces.

2. Line an 8×8 pan with foil. I ended up using a larger pan, but that just means thinner fudge.

3. Microwave half of the chocolate, six tbsp. butter and water in large microwaveable bowl until butter is melted; stir. It took about a minute, minute and a half for me.

4. Add dry pudding mix. Stir two minutes.

5. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. After the second cup, I added in the Swedish fish bits. Mixing in the third cup of powdered sugar might be tough; it’s okay if you don’t use it all.

6. Press onto bottom of prepared pan.

The next step is only necessary if you want to top your fudge with extra chocolate. Since white chocolate is very temperamental, use at your own discretion. If you don’t want the chocolate, go straight to decorating with fish parts! 

7. Microwave remaining chocolate squares and butter until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate until chocolate is thoroughly mixed in. Spread over pudding mixture.

8. Press the Swedish Fish parts into the top of the fudge. I was able to fit six parts across to four rows.

9. Refrigerate until just firm. Using the fish pieces as your cutting guideline, cut out 24 pieces. If you are using a smaller pan, you may have less. Keep refrigerated. To serve, let come to room temperature.

This fudge is light and fluffy, like a marshmallow, but still thick enough to provide you with a solid bite.

The Ginger Ale experiment

Raw ginger root

Raw ginger root

“I wonder what a ginger ale cake would taste like?” I said to my beloved boyfriend one chilly afternoon in the car.

“I don’t know, honey, good?” he responded.

Two days later, he came home to tell me that his latest writing assignment for Rowan’s magazine “Venue” was to cook an entire meal with ginger ale, even making his own ginger ale to drink. He also admitted to completely stealing the idea from my musing of ginger ale cake.

What a jerk.

We then journeyed to our favorite Shop-Rite to purchase ingredients for our ginger ale experiment. While I’m only posting the recipe for ginger ale cake, my boyfriend did make two variations of ginger ale – one without yeast and one with yeast.

Ginger Ale Cake

Green ginger ale cake

Ingredients

One box white cake mix (NOTE: mixes require eggs and oil, so make sure you have both!)

2 C ginger ale – we used Schwepps, but I prefer Canada Dry

1 small tub of Cool Whip

1 packet of lime JELL-O

Directions

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Substitute the ginger ale for the water in the mix. I poured my cake batter into a nine inch Springform pan and baked it by the directions on the box.

Lime-flavored Cool Whip2. While the cake is baking, scoop out the Cool Whip into a mixing bowl. SLOWLY mix the JELL-O gelatin into the Cool Whip. DO NOT MIX IT ALL IN AT ONCE. The powder has a very strong flavor to it and will make your frosting grainy if you use too much.

3. Put the frosting in the fridge to chill while the cake cools. Frost the cake evenly; the frosting should go on smoothly.

When I made this cake, I used all the JELL-O powder from one packet. It made the frosting so sweet that I can only eat one piece at a time. On the other hand, the cake came out really moist.

We’ll see what my boyfriend thinks. 🙂

slice-o-cake

The quest for the perfect cupcake

On my 17th birthday, my creative writing teacher threw a small bash for me. She gave me presents of fine-tipped markers, an amazing journal with the most beautiful paper I’ve ever had privilege to touch (I still haven’t used it), and an epically moist Easter cupcake (that’s one of the benefits of having an April birthday – all the jelly beans and chocolate bunnies I can eat).

easter-cupcakeIt was the cupcake to end the love affair with all other cupcakes in my life. It was an Entemann’s Holiday Cupcake – the perfect combination  of golden cake, fudge frosting, and piped swirl of vanilla icing – cupcakes that are made sporatically throughout the year. Never before had such beauty in pastry form passed my lips, not even my own baking.

It wasn’t until my freshman year in college that I remembered the cupcakes that altered my life forever. I went in search of them at the nearest grocery store, but they were out of season.

Out of season – my cupcakes. I was devastated.

It is for that very reason that I took it upon myself this weekend to recreate this confectionery masterpiece with all the pastry skills I posses. The resulting cupcakes, while not decorated with “seasonally appropriate” sprinkles or colored frosting, is certainly less than the 290 calories a pop that the originals boast.

Easter cupcake photo from lonelybob on flickr.

Entemann’s Holiday Cupcakes: Niki-style

cuppycakies1

There are several parts and take over an hour to prepare. Makes 24+ cupcakes.

Cupcake:

—Yellow or white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Golden Vanilla)

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Pour into lined cupcake pans.

2. Cool the cupcakes completely.

Fudge Frosting:

—2 Tbsp chilled butter

—1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (Hershey’s is my favorite)

—1 tsp vanilla extract

—2 Tbsp cold water

1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and the chilled butter. If you don’t have a double boiler, improvise with a bowl over a medium saucepan. DON’T melt your chocolate in the microwave!

2. Once the chocolate mixture  is melted thoroughly, add the vanilla extract, and then the cold water, tablespoon by tablespoon.

3. Put the mixture in the fridge to chill.

Buttercream Icing

—1 C vegetable shortening (I used Crisco butter flavor)

—1/2 C milk

—1/4 tsp salt

—2 tsp. vanilla

—2 lbs confectioner’s sugar (2 boxes)

1. Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer. You’ll have a LOT of buttercream icing for 24 cupcakes, but think about all the other uses it will have, like decorating cakes or brownies!

Assemble the cupcakes:

1. Spread a small amount of fudge frosting on top of the cupcake, smoothing it out to the edges. Place the cupcakes in the fridge as each is frosted. This will allow the frosting to set.

2. Fill a pastry bag (or a a zip-loc bag with the tip cut off) with a portion of the buttercream icing. Pipe a double border around the edge of the cupcakes. I used an Easy Decorator pastry bag set with a closed star tip. If you don’t have a fancy tip, don’t worry. It’s simple to make swirls with a zip-loc bag.

3. Put the cupcakes back in the fridge to chill or serve immediately!