White Chocolate and Spiced Pistachio Butter Cups

White Chocolate and Spiced Pistachio Butter Cups
White Chocolate and Spiced Pistachio Butter Cups
White Chocolate and Spiced Pistachio Butter Cups
White Chocolate and Spiced Pistachio Butter Cups
White Chocolate and Spiced Pistachio Butter Cups

There is something about this time of year that makes me feel like the laziest potato. Maybe because it’s still dark and foggy when I wake up, or the days are getting shorter and shorter, or maybe it is the fact that we have a new comfy couch that feels like it’s constantly hugging you. Whatever it is, my desire to sit around all day being a blanket burrito watching 90 Day Fiancé for hours on end is at an all time high. Have you watched that show by the way? Or 90 Day Fiancé Before the 90 Days?! It is the trashiest of trashy TV but we’re currently obsessed but also thankful that we met in a totally normal and boring way.

If you couldn’t already guess after my declaration of laziness, we do not have any Halloween plans. If anything, I’ll dress up as a nigiri again for work so I don’t get judged for not dressing up. Halloween has always sort of been my least favorite holiday. Is Halloween a holiday? If it’s your favorite day of the year then I’m happy for you! I hope you win the costume contest! For me, Halloween feels like a milestone in the year that we just need to get past so that we can get to the good stuff. THANKSGIVING! CHRISTMAS! Maybe Hanukkah this year! But those are the holidays that really make my heart skip a beat.

What I do like about Halloween, other than cute baby costumes, is the candy! Throughout the majority of year I rarely ever indulge in true candy. Yes, I have plenty of cake and baked goods. But there’s almost never a Snickers or bag of Skittles in our apartment. But during Halloween, I can’t help myself when there is a giant plastic cauldron overflowing with sugar sitting in the kitchen at work. I go straight for the Crunch Bars and Cookies N’ Creme Bars. They’ve always been my favorite since I was little, especially the Cookies N’ Creme! If my entire halloween haul was made up of white chocolate goodies I would have been the happiest culturally inaccurate Pocahontas in all of Cleveland! It’s no secret that I’m a white chocolate fan. I’ve gone through my entire life with people telling me that it’s not real chocolate. I hear ya. But it’s just so good and creamy. I’ll be Team White Chocolate for as long as people continue to talk trash about it… which will be forever I’m sure.

These white chocolate and spiced pistachio butter cups would have sent me over the moon if one of the fancy houses in the neighborhood were handing them out. I guess you’re not supposed to eat unwrapped candy… BUT the point is that these candies are such a good treat! And sort of bougie (looking), despite the fact that they don’t take much effort to whip together. That’s the magic of crumbled pistachios. You can use store bought pistachio butter or any other nut butter you like instead of making your own. The additional spices makes it feel V autumnal and cozy. They also freeze super well and can be kept on hand for whenever you feel like transforming into a blanket burrito watching trashy tv snacking on a sweet treat. Hmmmmm how can I make that into a Halloween costume?


White Chocolate and Spiced Pistachio Butter Cups

makes about 12 candies

materials:

1 cup roasted unsalted pistachios *
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin spice (1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and a heavy dash of cloves)
16 oz white chocolate chips
3 tbsp coconut oil

* if you can only find salted pistachio, just don’t add the extra salt and add a teensy bit more honey. Adjust according to taste.

steps:

  1. Place pistachios in a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds until you have fine crumble. Take out 2 tbsp of pistachios and set aside for your topping. Add in salt and pumpkin spice. Continue to blend for 5-7 minutes. Slowly add in honey and olive oil while blending until smooth. Set pistachio butter aside.

  2. Melt white chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler or in the microwave. If melting in the microwave, microwave in 20 second increments and mix in between until melty. This will prevent the chocolate from burning. Allow chocolate to slightly cool for a few minutes.

  3. Line a muffin pan with ridged liners. Add in a tablespoon of white chocolate into the liners. Then plop in about 1 tsp of pistachio butter and then fill with more white chocolate until completely covered. Sprinkle a bit of crushed pistachios on top. Place in the freezer until set and enjoy!

Brûléed Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Helluuur! How's it going??? Since we last spoke, I feel like I've racked up a whole bunch of young person culture points. 2 weekends ago I flew back home to Cleveland to watch Hamilton. I was never a huge Hamilton fan before... now. My brother on the other hand is a HUGE fan. Like knows all the lyrics to every single song and all the historical references type of mega fan. So his enthusiasm for the musical definitely rubbed off on me in the days leading up to the big show! It was obviously amazing. I loved every single minute of it. I can listen to Helpless over and over and over again. Have you listened to the Ashanti and JaRule version from the Hamilton Mixtape?! SO GOOD. Now that I've seen it, all the songs makes so much more sense lol and now I find myself listening to it while I'm working late on deadlines at work. So enjoyable! 

I also watched Crazy Rich Asians! OMG AMAZING. It's great if you love a good romantic comedy and value Asian representation in Hollywood. Reuben and I watched it at an asian theater full of other asian people. There were a bunch of asian beauty pageant queens and businessmen at our showing for some reason. It was the most magical thing! The overall experience, not the queens and businessmen. The energy in the theater was so crazy. You could feel how excited and happy everyone was to finally see a film full of people who looked like them that weren't material artists. I laughed a lot, cried a ton, and smiled practically the whole time. I think I'm going to see it again this week! I can't wait! Please go see it if you've haven't yet!

Back on the couch front, Reuben and I are watching Freaks and Geeks. It's so painfully embarrassing, I love it. So pretty much I've been watching a lot of things that make me feel current and finally up to date with pop culture references. A lot of times, I feel like a grandma because I don't watch the Bachelor, see all the popular Broadway musicals (they're so expensive in SF!), or have a twitter. 99.9% of the time I'm okay with feeling like a grandma because that means I get to go to bed early, drink tea, and eat oatmeal. ALL things that I love deeply.

I had one of the best oatmeals of my life when I was in Cincinnati last summer at Cheapside Cafe. It was a Creme Brulee Oatmeal. Ahhhh, it was so simple and decadent. I remember thinking to myself that this is how oatmeal should always be eaten. In order to keep this breakfast still on the healthyish side, I'm voiding making an actual custard for the creme brulee. To compensate for the lack of decadent custard, I slowly simmered the oats in water and milk until they broke down into a super creamy texture. I finished off the oatmeal with a splash of heavy cream and a brown sugar topping for that extra treat-cho-self touch. I highly recommend you brulee your oatmeal on a daily basis. It makes Tuesdays feel A LOT less like a Tuesday.


Brûléed Brown Sugar Oatmeal

serves 4

materials:

1 cup rolled oats
3 cups water
1 cup milk
2 tbsp brown sugar + more for topping
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
seasonal fruit for topping

steps:

1. Bring water and milk to a gentle boil in a medium pot. Stir in oats and reduce the heat so that the oats are simmering. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal is thick and creamy.

2. Add salt and brown sugar, stir and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and stir in heavy cream. Allow the oatmeal to cool for 5 minutes.

3. Place oatmeal into a heat proof bowl of ramekin. Sprinkle the top with 1-2 tsp of brown sugar. Use a kitchen torch to carefully brulee the brown sugar. 

4. Top with your favorite seasonal fruit or eat plain!

Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream

Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
DSC06986.jpg
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream
Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream

Hi, hi! What's happening??! You ate a bunch of tomatoes and stone fruit over the week? It was actually warm enough where you are to go to the beach??! Wow. That sounds like the dream : ) Reuben and I had a pretty chill weekend. We watched a whole season of Weeds, stocked up on our asian sauce collection, picked up our Japanese knives from the knife sharpening store, and went grocery shopping. Pretty boring, pretty chill, but just wanted I wanted. Oh, and I washed a mountain of dishes that I accumulated from cooking lunch for my entire office. Gosh. It was super fun but it was so exhausting. My tiny kitchen isn't quite fully equip to handle catering lunches for parties of 30 people. Thankfully, Reuben let me store some veggies in his secret beer fridge! I mean, we've had parties at our apartment before where we've fed 30 people, but being able to transport all the food across town in an Uber is quite a technical challenge. But somehow I got all the food to the office and everyone was happy and full! Chicken wings, soba noodle salad, and onigiri are crowd pleasers if you're also planning on making lunch for your entire office. I'm going to have to look into where in our 800 sf apartment we can fit an extra refrigerator and deep freeze before I volunteer to make lunch again!

Shall we talk cupcakes?

Okay. Before you say anything... I know what you're going to say. These cupcakes have a striking resemblance to the poop emoji. BUT. That probably wasn't the best word choice... but, they taste like the absolute opposite of poop! I wasn't planning on making them look like poop. I was having some buttercream and piping tip issues with my original decoration plan and had to resort to something a little more simple. My buttercream piping skills are a little poopy... sorry, this isn't the most appetizing language... I'll stop using that word. For real though, these coconut cupcakes are so tasty. They are light as air, perfectly slightly sweet, and the texture is so soft and tender. I think this is the best cake batter I've ever made. EVER. The buttercream is also super light and fluffy. It's full of mango flavor. When you take a bite out of the whole cupcake it makes you feel like you're at a baby shower in Hawaii or Thailand. I've never been to a baby shower in Hawaii or Thailand but I imagine that these cupcakes would be there and that I would hang around the dessert table the whole time so I could keep eating these.

I hope you make them sometime and I hope you make them look less like poop!


Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream

makes 18 cupcakes

Cupcake Materials:

1 3/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar + 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1/3 cup toasted coconut shreds

Mango Buttercream Materials:

1 cup softened unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 mango - you need about 3/4 cup of puree
pinch of salt
orange + yellow food coloring

Steps:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, 3/4 cup suagr, and salt in a large bowl. 

2. Whisk together coconut milk, vanilla, canola oil, and egg yolks in a separate medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in shredded coconut and set aside.

3. Add egg whites into the bowl of your standmixer with the the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium high until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add in 2 tbsp sugar and whisk for another 3-4 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the egg whites into the batter until incorporated.

4. Line the cupcake tins with wrappers and scoop batter into each tin until they are 3/4 of the way filled. Bake for 13-14 minutes until done. These bake really fast so keep a close eye on them. You don't want them to brown that much, if at all.

5. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove to completely cool on a wire rack.

6. While the cupcakes cool, make your buttercream. Score and scoop out the flesh of one mango. Puree in a food processor or immersion blender until smooth. Place softened butter in the bowl of your standmixer with the paddle attachment on. Mix butter on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the mango puree and salt. Mix on low speed while also gradually adding in the powdered sugar. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter cream is light and smooth. If it looks like it's curdled, it's okay! Just keep mixing! After mixing for 4-5 minutes it should be smooth. Add in food color and mix again until color is evenly incorporated. Fill a piping bag with butter cream and decorated as you wish.

7. Top with toasted coconut shreds.

Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake

Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake

Hola! Do you know what today is? It’s my birthday! I’ve completed 27 wonderful and sometimes awkward trips around the sun! 27 doesn’t feel too much different than 26. Except last year I distinctly remember that all I wanted to do for my birthday was eat Mac and Cheese all day... and this year all I want to eat all day is vegetables and other green things. I can’t really tell if that is sign of maturity and a stronger awareness of self care or if it’s because we just got back from vacation 2 days ago and we each ate a total of 15 tacos in 3 days. Who knows?!

Oh! We just got back from a long weekend in Mexico City! It was so lovely. As I already mentioned, we each ate 15 tacos over the course of the trip. And so many other things! Literally everything we ate was like the best thing I ever ate. I’m going to share a blog post about our whole trip- everything we saw and ate- and share it soon! Hopefully within the next week, otherwise it’s never going to happen. You all should plan your trips to Mexico City now though. Seriously. Such a great place! The colors of the city alone were so inspiring. I’m thinking of making a Mexico City or Luis Barragán inspired cake! I’m imaging blocks of Mexican pink, bold blues, and some creamy neutrals.

I’ve gotten very into abstract cake decorating lately if you haven’t noticed. I love it so much because it doesn’t involve painstakingly piping perfect flower (I will attempt that later!) and it’s a stress free way of playing around with forms and color. I wanted this year’s birthday cake to sort of be a self portrait. Last year’s birthday cake was more Reuben focused because was turning the big 30 and had just passed all his architecture licensure exams, so I made the cake look like a concrete column... sort of. But this year the cake is a reflection of me! It has swooshes of warm orange and yellow hues with a little accent of blue. If you want to hyper analyze the design of the cake like we did in college art history, you could say that it’s an expression of my big, colorful, and chaotic moves in life, but the blue accents represent Reuben’s presence in my life and his ability to balance me out. Our something like that lol.

It pretty much matches the aesthetics of my life which makes me so incredibly happy. The inside of the cake is a classic chocolate. I realized that all my cakes on Eat Cho Food are vanilla based and I felt like I needed to diversify! It’s really yummy and moist! I got to enjoy the cake scrapes when I first made the cake a week ago, but we finally got to cut into it last night at dinner. Still yummy and moist! I’ll probably have another slice tonight and then another for breakfast tomorrow.

Does anyone want a slice of chocolate cake????


Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake

makes one 3 layer 6" cake

Cake Materials:

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup AP flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup boiling water

Buttercream Materials:

4 sticks softened unsalted butter (2 pounds)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk
gel food coloring

 

* if you don't have buttermilk and only have milk, you can stir 1 cup of regular milk with 1tbsp of white vinegar and allow to sit for 5 minutes until thick.

Steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pans and line bottom of the pans with rounds of parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix to combine. Stir in boiling water and mix until smooth.

3. Pour the batter into the cake pans. Lift each pan about 3 inches from your work surface and drop a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 28-30 minutes until done. Test for doneness using the toothpick test Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from the pans and allow to completely cool on a wire rack. Place cakes upside down on the rack to help level the cakes.

4. While cakes are cooling make your buttercream. Whisk softened butter with the paddle attachment on your standmixer for 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Add in salt, vanilla, and milk and mix on medium until fluffy. Reserve about 1/4 of your buttercream for mixing in colors. If you need more buttercream for decorating add another stick of butter and 1 cup powdered sugar.

5. Once cakes are completely cool, level off your cake layers. Keep cake scrapes for a snack later! Place a small blob of buttercream on a cake round and place a layer of cake on the cake round. Add buttercream, top with another cake layer, and repeat one more time. Frost the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream to make your crumb coat. Place cake in the freezer for 15 minutes. When crumb coat is solid, add another layer of buttercream until smooth. 

6. To decorate in an abstract painting style, mix your remaining buttercream into various colors. I recommend having at least 3-4 colors. Have 2-3 colors within a similar color range and then one additional color in a contrasting bolder color. Apply dabs of colored buttercream to your cake and smear with an offset spatula in various directions and sizes. Decorate to your liking!

Black Sesame Mochi Muffins

Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins
Black Sesame Mochi Muffins

Hi, friend!! How's life? Anything new with you?

I have quite a few life updates to share.

I went out drinking last Friday! I embraced my young 20-something self and stayed up way past my bedtime of 10pm. It was crazy. It wasn't a super crazy night, but the fact that I wasn't wrapped up in my blanket and wearing soft pants on the couch on a Friday night was pretttyyy wild. Actually, I wasn't even wearing pants... I had a dress on. You get the point though!

Reuben quit his job! Which is why we went out on Friday night. It was his last day of work, so we went out for a lot of drinks, french fries, and late night pizza + jack in the box burgers (I've only ate at jack in the box 3 times in my life... all 3 times I've been somewhat tipsy) with some of our favorite people in SF. He will begin working at a new architecture firm at the end of the month! So until then, he is a stay at home boyfriend! A man of leisure. I'm surprised that the amount of cute cat Instagram videos sent to me throughout the day hasn't grown exponentially. 

We're going to Mexico City on Thursday! Have you been there before? Sorry, if I didn't ask you for any recommendations. It just feels like everyone and their Mom has been to Mexico City, except for us. So we definitely have a surplus of food and sight seeing recommendations! We probably can keep ourselves busy for a solid 6 months. We planned this trip pretty last minute. A day after Reuben accepted his new job we jumped on booking flights and a cute Airbnb! We're both pretty easy going travelers though and can entertain ourselves just by walking around all day. I just want to eat all the tacos, quesadillas, tortas, tostadas, sopas, paletas, and all the other delicious things we find over there. I'm so excited!

I've somewhat mastered another recipe from my "food I'll miss when I move away from San Francisco" list! I work about 45 seconds away from a coffee shop that sells Third Culture Bakery Hawaiian Mochi Muffins. They are SOOOOO good. I get one about once a week. It's a bad habit, but I can't help myself. I like to think they are just sliiiighty better for you than a croissant though. Maybe. If you've never had a mochi muffin before, they have a slightly crisp and caramelized exterior that contrasts super beautifully with a soft and chewy interior. Gah, the texture of them is just so amazing. Some people don't like the gooey/chewy texture of mochi, but I think those people are crazy. I can't get enough of it! The Hawaiian Mochi Muffin flavor is a browned butter flavor with hints of coconut. In my variation of a mochi muffin, I incorporated one of my favorite flavors to bake with: black sesame! There's a lot of black sesame flavored things on Eat Cho Food... but still not enough! The black tahini adds a really wonderful nutty flavor. It also makes the muffins taste a tad bit savory, but still sweet from the brown sugar. I like to balance on that fine line between sweet and savory. I've experimented with this recipe about 4-5 times, which I think is a new record. Once I cracked it though, it's actually incredibly easy to make! If you whisk fast enough you can have the tastiest mochi muffins within an hour! Just make sure to spray your muffin tins really well with nonstick spray and don't over bake your muffins! A lot of recipe out there tell you to bake them for an hour, but that's insane. Mine were burnt to a crisp after an hour... 30 minutes in the oven you're all good! You'll thank me later for my testing once you're surrounded by 2 dozen insanely delicious and chewy mochi muffins : )


Black Sesame Mochi Muffins

makes 24 muffins

Materials:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 14oz can of coconut milk
1 12oz can evaporated milk
2 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 3/4 cup mochiko flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup black tahini
nonstick cooking spray - very important!
black & white sesame seeds - for garnish

Steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray your muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure to evenly coat all sides of the muffin tin. This is important because it help the muffins get their characteristic flat tops. 

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 4 minutes until it turns slightly brown. Turn off the heat and immediately whisk in coconut milk, evaporated milk, and brown sugar until evenly mixed and sugar has dissolved. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

3. Whisk together mochiko flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour in butter mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour in black tahini and whisk until just combined.

4. Fill muffin tins with mochi batter up to just below the rim. Lift the tin about 3" above the counter and drop a few times to help remove any air bubbles. Top muffins with some black and white sesame seeds. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

5. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack until ready to eat.

enjoy! 

recipe was adapted from New York Times' Brown-Butter Mochi recipe