Author Archives: Samuel

Choclate Recipe

Chocolate Crunch

I am sure there are very few people in this world who would not agree that peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. The following recipe is for a delicious snack sized sweet that in my experience is like catnip for pregnant women (please be aware though that some doctors recommend avoiding peanut products whilst pregnant). My family calls this recipe ‘Homemade Reece’s Pieces’.

Ingredients:

1/2cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup golden syrup

1/2 cup crisp rice cereal

112 grams dairy milk cooking chocolate (more chocolate may be required depending on how many little fingers find their way into the bowl. I generally at an extra 50grams or so to account for this.)

Method:

1.   Mix peanut butter and golden syrup together in a small bowl until well combined.

2.   Add the rice cereal and mix again being careful not to completely smash the cereal.

3.   Shape into a log (3cm diameter and about 20cm long) and wrap in cling wrap, or using a very heavy duty piping set (the mixture is very thick) place dollops of the mix onto a lined tray.

4.   Place the mix in the fridge to chill. (After chilling, cut the log into approx 6mm slices.)

5.   Melt the chocolate and dip the peanut butter pieces in it allowing the excess chocolate to drip away. Place on waxed paper to harden and then store in the fridge.

I have learned the hard way not to let people know when I am going to make this recipe as they are lining up at the kitchen  door before I’ve even started. Whenever I make these sweets I barely have time to let the chocolate set before I’m unceremoniously shoved aside by my family in their haste to enjoy the treat.  I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Reference:
1. 16 Best Chocolate Recipes – Cooking Light
2. Chocolate Dessert Recipes – Allrecipes.com

The Benefits of Searing Meat Correctly

The aroma of a thick, juicy steak caramelizing on the barbecue grill summons everyone (even the neighbors) to “come and eat.” That tantalizing scent is a result of searing meat.

How to sear meat correctly

The only way to sear meat incorrectly is either to burn it or to not do it at all. Any browning short of crisp is better than no sear  on the meat.Begin the process by removing the meat from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Before you apply heat to the cut of meat, dry the surface with paper toweling to avoid a steamed flavor. Searing can be accomplished on the barbecue grill, in a frying pan, on a griddle, or even in the broiler. A newer method is to using a blow torch to brown all sides of the meat. All methods achieve the same results to varying degrees. It requires the application of high heat for a relatively short time as the first step in cooking meat. A steak or chop needs to be seared on the two sides only, while roasts and larger cuts of meat need to be seared on all surfaces.

Benefits of searing meat

There are certainly some excellent benefits to searing meat. One is the appetizing browned appearance that is created while searing meat. Another is the depth of flavor created by the caramelization and the Maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction between a protein and a reducing sugar, producing a crust. The contrast of textures between the crusty exterior and the tender interior is a third benefit of searing meat. Then there is that tantalizing aroma that was mentioned earlier.

It has long been believed that searing meat to form a crust seals the juices within the meat. This was considered a benefit, as well. Through experimentation it has been discovered that this is not true. Two pieces of meat of the same weight are cooked, one without searing and one being seared before cooking. They are cooked to the same degree of doneness, and then weighed again. It was found that the meat which was not seared first retained slightly more moisture.

Is searing meat necessary?

Strictly speaking, it is not a requirement to sear your meat before cooking it. Cooking meat without searing it first results in grayish–brown, unappealing meat. It is also flat-tasting, unappetizing, and bland. The meat, however boring, is safe to eat and nourishing without the benefit of searing, but it sure is more interesting with the addition of the extra step. Most people who cook would like their food to be enjoyed rather than just devoured.