Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good Stuff

Remember one time how I made toffee and told you how easy it was and you all loved it? And then we all gained ten pounds?
Good times.

Ready for another easy, sinful treat?
I was dreaming up a caramel-filled chocolate cake for my mom and sister-in-law's combined birthday party this weekend. The only problem is that I'm allergic to corn syrup and caramel = corn syrup. So I started Googling, and stumbled upon this Mexican caramel candy called cajeta. It's a little time-consuming, but it's really super easy and, uh, I'm eating a bowl of it right now with a spoon. In my defense, I'm going to have to take dairy out of my diet again, so I'm living it up right now. Tomorrow? I'll be sad.
The cinnamon cajeta recipe can be found here.

But wait! There's more!

I was a little worried about hanging all my cake dreams on one un-tested recipe, so I searched out a backup plan and discovered the coolest thing. Did you know that you can boil a still-sealed can of sweetened condensed milk and get caramel? I know, right? It's so cool. And a little dangerous.
I don't just mean dangerous to my jeans' zippers either.
If you accidentally lose track of yourself and let the water evaporate out of the pan, the can will explode!
But if you can be vigilant and keep it covered with boiling water (remove the paper label first, please) for 2-4 hours, depending on whether you want caramel sauce or pudding, you get something delicious. Currently, a giant spoon of that deliciousness is melted into a cup of hazelnut decaf coffee sitting next to the bowl of cajeta I'm shoveling into my mouth.
The cake was pretty good. I used the cajeta because I loved the cinnamon flavor in it. I will, however, be looking to replace my vegan chocolate cake recipe with something a little more frost-able. I'm either losing my touch or my house's elevation has changed or I was doing the recipe wrong for a while, causing the cake to be better than it is when I actually follow the recipe. I'm betting on #3. If I knew what I was doing wrong in the first place, I'd just do that again, but I have no idea what it was.

PS - for the Superbowl tonight, we made a Man Dinner that was invented one night during a conversation with my brother. I am sure we are not the first to think of chili pizza, but I had never heard of/eaten it before. But chili (since this is dude food, you probably want to use canned chili) is based on a tomato sauce, right? And it has meat in it, right? And it's good with cheese. So, you just spread the chili on a pizza crust, top with Mexican blend shredded cheese, and bake to your heart's content. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and Chipotle Tabasco sauce and - yum.

Like I said - no dairy after today, living it up, etcetera, etcetera.


Mary said...

The button on my jeans just popped while I was reading all of that.

Christy said...

For realz, Mary. Imagine what happened to mine ;)

Mary said...

That's what hit my front window late last night...your button.

Amy said...

That sounds ridiculously fantastic! I love caramel *and toffee*. I might get around to making that sometime.

mindy said...

That cake was sooo good! The caramel filling definitely put it over the top.

And the chili pizza! I was so pleased to see our crazy idea brought to fruition. Thanks for putting up with my less-than-perfect dough forming skilz. ;)

Christina said...

I hope Mike doesn't find out about that man pizza or I'll be eating it 3 times a week! :)