Test Kitchen: Pumpkin Flan

Every month, we brainstorm recipes for the season that our Executive Chef will make for our website with our products. And, every month we are adding those finished recipes to our website for our readers. It is a fun process and usually the recipes come together for Leigh, our Executive Chef, on the first try. But, sometimes we through her a curve ball and she goes home with homework to figure out why a certain flavor isn’t showing through as much as she would like, or for a different variable.

Last week, Leigh whipped up a pumpkin flan in our test kitchen. And it tasted awesome! But, it wasn’t setting just perfectly, so over the weekend, Leigh tested out the recipe at home, made some tweaks and shared her process with us for a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process necessary for recipe development.

First, forming the base for the caramel.

photo 2-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Line all of the ramekins with your caramel base.

photo 3-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the custardy flan!



photo 5-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, enjoy the finished project!

finished2-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have the recipe for Pumpkin Flan on our website, so check it out and show us how it turns out when you try it at home! And, remember, if it isn’t right the first time…try again!

 

 

 

Cheers to Rodelle!

One of the best things about working for a company that crafts wonderful baking essentials, spices and seasonings is experimenting with those flavors! We are often treated to taste tests and samples of new products — it’s hard work but drinkssomeone has to do it. And, it ultimately makes for a better product for our customers. We make sure it tastes like we want it to, and then we move forward with selling it — so once it gets to your kitchen, it has been back and forth in ours several times. Quality control, people.

We also like to experiment with different applications of our favorite products: savory, sweet and spirits are where we usually head with these experiments. We’ve also been known to throw some vanilla in bath scrubs, or make candles for gift guides. So, it just goes to show that with a little creativity and a new perspective, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Coming up on the holiday season, we felt the need to shake things up and give a new twist to some of our ingredients and come up with some cocktail recipes. A team of mixologists at a popular local restaurant offered to help out, and we willingly handed over a few products to get their juices flowing.

With Rodelle ingredients, the team at Jay’s Bistro came up with:

  • The Steve Miller
  • Pumpkin Spiced Mulled Wine
  • Orange Pisco Hot Chocolate
  • Almond Poppy Toddy
  • Thyme Square
  • 3G’s
  • Blood Orange Vanilla Margarita

After much sampling and debating, we are going to start with the Pumpkin Spiced Mulled Wine, and the recipe for that will be on our website next week! But, keep your eyes peeled for another cocktail recipe coming soon after.

What’s on our reading list?

Last weekend, we were at the International Food Bloggers Conference, hosted by Foodista, in beautiful Seattle, Washington. As gift suite sponsors, we handed out some of our finest vanilla beans to conference attendees — everyone said they were the highlight of the swag! One of the highlights of the weekend for us: meeting two of our Brand Ambassadors:

Along with Peabody and Becky, we were so excited to meet several other amazing bloggers and hear what they had to say. The weekend was filled with great conversations, and some educational seminars. From those seminars, we thought we’d share our reading list for the fall:

  • The Flavor Bible: by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Karen and Andrew shared some of their history as keynote speakers and their creativity and energy for food was palpable. We’re sure this book will up our kitchen game!
  • Will Write for Food: by Dianne Jacob. Dianne’s approach to food is out of the box and we are excited to apply her approach in the kitchen and in our posts.

What are you reading this season?

Sometimes you just need a brownie.

It’s not as much of a “want” as it is a “NEED.” We’re not talking about the sugar-withdrawal, twitchy need of a late shift, long car trip or other circumstance that requires a constant stream of sugar, caffeine or other stimulant to get you through. We’re talking about that deep-rooted need for comfort, relaxation and a hefty dose of chocolate. Have you been there?

Well, it happened recently. There I was, enjoying a fine evening at home and the idea of a warm brownie crept into my brain and I was rendered helpless. The next 30 minutes were spent scouring the pantry for the ingredients. Short on stock in the Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa department, the alternative was to break into my stash of chocolate bars (also another “need” around my house).

Ingredients were gathered and it was time to get to business.

brownie1

 

I decided on a simple, traditional recipe, and added an extra element of flavor with a vanilla bean (and kept the vanilla extract, too). I used a chocolate bar that was sweetened, so reduced the sugar from 1 1/4 cups to 3/4 cups. After a quick bake, it was time to pull them out and wait patiently for a couple minutes to chill — then it was go time.

From craving to brownie in hand, it was about an hour, and well worth the patience (cooking time) and research (thank you, internet) to find a recipe that allowed me to whip up a brownie without running to the store. Next time you feel the need for a brownie, we encourage you to try one of your own recipes, or visit our recipes page for some inspiration:

Are there any foods that you think of and need upon first thought? Let us know!

brownie2

Real Life: Chia + oats + yogurt = breakfast

finalHere at Rodelle, we understand that there’s cooking and baking that you want to share with your friends, family and loved ones. We capture those recipes in our Test Kitchen under the supervision of our Executive Chef. Or, we trust our Brand Ambassadors to send us their crafty and original recipes and beautiful photos.

On the other hand, every one is busy and we understand there are times that we eat to fuel our bodies and, if we’re lucky, there are real foods involved. This is one of those recipes; crafted at home with speed, efficiency and a heavy emphasis on making it from breakfast to lunch without a low blood sugar induced panic moment. We hope that you’ll see past the basic, and hone in on the healthy.

Chia overnight oatmeal

Overnight oatmeal is one of the many trends that has been floating around the food blog world. There’s a variation for every season and dietary need. Do a quick search for “overnight oats” and you’ll find many options to choose from! This is a basic adaptation and a good place to start your own experiment! And, with whole, natural foods, it is a great make-ahead breakfast choice!

Ingredients for 2 generous breakfast servings

1/2 cup of rolled oats (traditional, not instant)

1 cup of plain yogurt (or, add flavor with your favorite flavor, this recipe uses plain, non-fat)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup strawberries

1/2 cup milk (any variety, this recipe used 1% organic)

Directions 

Mix together all ingredients, divide into two containers. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with additional strawberries and, if desired, a dollop of your favorite nut butter for additional protein. The second serving can go to someone that doesn’t mind running the risk of getting a chia seed stuck in his/her teeth, or can be kept refrigerated for your breakfast the next day.  Enjoy and let us know what you think!

Disclaimer

This breakfast is not particularly sweet, so feel free to add additional sweetener: vanilla sugar,  fruit juice instead of milk, extra fruit or a tablespoon of maple syrup are great places to start.

Step 1:

vanilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2:

chia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3:

portion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have creative solutions for fast, easy meals that you want to share or see in someone else’s kitchen, we’d love to hear them! And if you send us your thoughts, you may even be featured here!