2013 Holiday Staff Picks – Part 2

Fante's Chef KidsLast week we asked our staff what is the perfect item they would give or want to receive this holiday season, no price limit. From beautiful ceramic tagines to jam preserving pans, these gifts are sure to make an impression. If you missed this article, you can still find it on our Toque Tips blog.

This week, for part 2 of our Holiday Gift Staff Picks, we asked what our staff would choose if they only had $50 to spend. Read what they said:
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2013 Holiday Staff Picks

We had so much fun choosing our most favorite gift items for last year’s Holiday Staff Picks, that we’ve broken up our picks for this year into two entries. Santa Joe with Gina and AnnieStay tuned next week for our Under $50 Favorites.

This week, we asked our staff members to choose from our wide selection what they would give (or want to receive) this holiday. Some went all out, and some focused on the smaller things in life; here is what they said:
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PiZZa Ball – The Round Rolling Pin

The PiZZa Ball is a strikingly beautiful stainless steel ball that works like a rolling pin.

PiZZa Ball - The Round Rolling Pin

PiZZa Ball Base Roller

You simply place it on your dough and roll it around in a circular motion with the palm of your hand, adjusting pressure accordingly. It will leave you with a perfect circular base, at the thickness you require.

Serafina using the PiZZa Ball

It’s so easy that even my 7½ year-old daughter could roll out the dough without any trouble at all

You can use the PiZZa Ball with the dough already on the pan or oven stone. And it’s also suitable for pastry and other doughs.

The PiZZa Ball dough roller was invented by Dan Bailey-Taylor, a young UK entrepreneur, and we are proud to introduce it you in the USA.

PiZZa Ball - The Round Rolling Pin

NadiaI found rolling the dough with the PiZZa Ball to be efficient and remarkably easy to use. It’s much lighter than a traditional rolling pin, and takes up so little storage space in my kitchen.

To go along with the PiZZa Ball experience, here is an easy way I like to make delicious pizza, using my Old Stone Oven baking stone. Read the rest of this entry »

Melissa’s Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

MelissaVegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes that are just as good as the “real” thing! Some people are afraid of trying to bake vegan or just don’t know where to begin. Melissa's Vegan CupcakeWell, with this simple recipe you’ll be a vegan baker in no time. I have been vegan for four years and this is a tried and true recipe that I always go to when baking chocolate cupcakes. The hardest part is trying not to eat them all in one sitting!

The chocolate cupcakes are moist and dense and topped with a fluffy Fante’s Hazelnut flavored icing which adds a burst of extra flavor to the palate. These cupcakes also pair well with coffee, so pull out some soy creamer and have yourself a vegan cupcake party!
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Mojito Mint Treat Pops

mojito-mint-treat-pops_100sMojito Mint Treat Pops
by Nina Rose

Here’s a tangy cake made with fresh lime juice, and a creamy buttercream icing flavored with our own Fante’s Mojito Mint Natural Flavor Blend, which adds the perfect mint essence to complete the classic profile of one of America’s favorite summertime cocktails, the Mojito.

The result is tender crumb, yet somewhat dense cake, with enough strength to not crumble apart when pushing into the pop molds.
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Nadia’s Nut Surprise

Biscotti nella forma di Noci
Cookies in the Shape of Nuts

Pine Cone Tartlet MoldNadiaFor years, my favorite molds have been those which are commonly used to make tasty Hungarian Spice Cookies, and German walnut shaped cookies with scrumptious caramel and nut fillings. I love to use our pine cone shape molds, in which I have also made delightful shortbread cookies.

However after using our new stove top Nut Surprise iron from Italy, I discovered how much quicker and easier I was able to get a large quantity of evenly baked shells.

Noci-Filled-with-Raspberry-Whipped-CreamI love the traditional manner of making the pastry shells with the iron, and I love the deep cavities that can hold larger quantities and more types of fillings.

The nut shape is not only beautiful and delicious, but also suitable for all kinds of desserts, appetizers, and whatever else.

They are surprisingly easy to make and the possibilities of fillings are only limited by your imagination.Noci-Filled-with-Chocolate-IceCream-Rolled-in-Cognac

My warm weather treat will be to fill them with ice cream and roll them lightly in Cognac or Amaretto. Or maybe I’ll fill them with raspberry whipped cream cheese for a delicate fresh twist. Yum!

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Ask Nina Rose – What is Spherification?

Nina RoseIt’s Molecular March here at Fante’s!  This week we’ve asked Nina Rose to give a little background on Spherification. 

Frozen Reverse SpherificationAside from foams, one of the most popular and well-known textures used in molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine are spheres.

To be more specific, a sphere comprised of a thin, jellied outer membrane with a liquid center that pops in your mouth when eaten. Sometimes these spheres can be called different names depending on their size and shape, from tiny “caviar” or “pearls” to large “ravioli” or “eggs.”

The method of creating these forms is called spherification (or reverse spherification, but I’ll get to that later).

So what is spherification? Read the rest of this entry »


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