I'm going to admit it--this blog and the four following it are randomly split up. I made all 13 recipes in three days and several of the recipes that go together were made over several days. So I decided to break them up over multiple entries.
I wanted to make something fast (and TJOCy) for breakfast. Unfortunately, I hadn't been grocery shopping and the cupboards were essentially bare. But I always have eggs! I made a couple Soft-boiled eggs (p. 194). I don't know how you all eat your eggs, but I can definitively say that I never order them soft-boiled. In fact, I think I've only ever had a soft-boiled egg once (at dad's).
I boiled some water, reduced it to a simmer, added the eggs, and cooked for four minutes. When they were done I cracked the top off.
I could have easily eaten it in an egg cup but, alas, I don't own egg cups (does anyone?). How were they? Very very runny. If you don't like runny yolks AND runny whites, soft-boiled eggs are not for you. I like runny yolks and I throw the whites away (or give them to my mom or Josh, depending on who is with me), so I enjoyed my egg with some toast. That being said, I can't imagine making these again.
I have been thinking about candy making for a while now. I really like making candy. It requires a totally different skill set from cooking or baking. I have relatively bad circulation and cold hands, which are a terrific asset for candy-making and pastry. I like watching the candy thermometer--and I have three awesome new candy thermometers. And I had a terrific experience making marshmallows. I decided to make Chocolate cream caramels (p. 865).
Sugar, corn syrup, salt, and heavy cream were mixed and brought up to 234 degrees Fahrenheit. It took about twenty minutes and needed to be stirred constantly. The mixture went from this:
To this--a nice caramel color:
Actually, that was after I added another cup of cream and brought it back up to 234 degrees. I then chopped up three ounces of unsweetened chocolate.
I really hate using baker's chocolate because it's poisonous to dogs and my little dog is constantly at my feet when I'm cooking. Josh and I put up the baby gate to keep her out of the kitchen (just in case). I added the chocolate to the sugar/cream mixture, briefly stirred it, and then poured it in to a buttered pan (without scrapping the bottom).
Perfect! I let them dry overnight and then cut them into squares (using kitchen shears) and individually wrapped them in plastic wrap. They were really good--chocolaty and smooth with a terrific caramel flavor. I can't wait to make the cream caramels now.