Pharm Fresh

The foodie alter-ego of a pharmacy student

Red Velvet Truffles December 22, 2008

Filed under: candy,chocolate — pharmfresh @ 10:14 pm
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I honestly can’t believe that there are only three days left until Christmas.

This time last week, I was stressing out over finals, learning by heart how the body metabolizes cholesterol and fatty acids.  But, I’m happy to say that I will never have to take biochemistry again.  It was interesting and all, but definitley the most work I’ve ever put in to any single class.  Now only seven semesters left until I’m a pharmacist!  Ugh, when I put it like that, it seems like a really long time!

Anyways, I made these truffles for Thanksgiving.  I wasn’t quite sure how they were going to work out —  I was a little skeptical when I saw that the filling was just mashed up cake and pre-made frosting, but they were actually really good!  They definitely have all the taste of a red velvet cake, just in a small, ball-shaped package!  The only thing I noticed was that the consistency of the filling is quite different than that of a chocolate truffle.  Chocolate truffles are smooth and thick, whereas the inside of these truffles is more like a very, very moist cake.  It’s not a bad thing really, just different.   This is super easy to make, as it uses a cake mix and pre-made frosting.  You can definitely make both from scratch if you’re feeling especially ambitious – I would imagine that they’d taste even better that way!  I would recommend using chocolate bark coating for covering the truffles.  It melts a lot easier than chocolate chips and is more resistant to burning, and it also hardens a lot quicker.  You can find both white and milk chocolate bark in the baking aisle of your supermarket, usually near the chocolate chips.

And to celebrate the end of my biochemistry days, here is another fun fact brought to you by that class:

Fun Fact #2

Love the germ-free feeling you get after washing your hands with antibacterial soap?  It may not be as germ free as you think!  For any anti-bacterial soap using Triclosan (check the back of the bottle, it will list the active ingredient), the soap needs to be in contact with your hands for a substantial amount of time before it is effective in killing bacteria.  How long?  About as long as the ABC song (or Twinkle,  Twinkle Little Star…take your pick!).  So next time you wash your hands, sing the ABC song while you’re washing and rinse at the end – then you really will be (almost) germ free!


Red Velvet Truffles

Source: Nosh With Me

1 red velvet cake mix

water, oil and eggs as called for on the cake mix

1 (16 oz.) can cream cheese frosting

1 package chocolate bark coating

1) Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box, and bake as directed for a 9×13 inch pan.  Cool cake completely.

2) Once cake has cooled, crumble into small crumbs in a large bowl.  (I found it easiest to do this and the next step by hand, but be careful!  Your hands will turn very red from the cake!)

3) Add the can of frosting and mix until thoroughly combined.

4) Roll into bite-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper.  Freeze 1 hour, or until firm.

5) Break the chocolate bark into pieces and place in a large, microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for two minutes or until melted.

6) Dip the frozen red velvet balls in the chocolate.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.


Home-made Heath Bar November 8, 2008

Filed under: candy,chocolate — pharmfresh @ 3:46 pm
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It is impossibly gross out today.  The temeperature keeps hovering right around freezing, and it’s raining.  Well, half raining, half snowing.  It’s disgusting.  I have to say that even though I’ve lived in Michigan for 15 of my 22 years (I had a nice – and warm! – 7 year move to Texas right in the middle), I have never learned to love the snow.  Yes, it’s nice to wake up to on Christmas morning, and it’s good for a sledding outing about once a year, but beyond that, forget it.  It’s cold and wet and slippery, and did I mention cold?

There are a few things that I do enjoy about winter though.  First, it’s prime snuggling season, and I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who is always warm enough to be my own personal heater.  Second, Christmas break and Christmas itself.  And third, family baking day!  My mom has four sisters, all of whom live here in Michigan (actually, all of them live in the greater Lansing area, except for one).  Every year around the beginning of December, all of my aunts and cousins and second cousins get together on a Saturday and do an all day bake-a-thon.   You’d think that it would be chaotic, but it’s actually always pretty well thought out.  Since it’s usually at our house, my mom and I compile everyone’s requests into a list of things to make, and then make a list of all the ingredients needed, and then split it up between all of the people who are coming.  Our system works out pretty well!  This year our baking day is December 6, and I’m especially excited for this year, because I’ll have a million new things to post about!

But back to the food!  This heath bar recipe is a definite favorite during baking day.  It’s ridiculously easy to make, and we end up making 12-14 batches of it every year.  It only takes four ingredients, and turns out tasting way better than the real thing!  I can’t even eat the actual candy bars anymore! I think the saltines are the real show-stealer here – they add the necessary crunch to go along with the toffee and the hint of salt makes the chocolate taste even richer.


Home-Made Heath Bar

Source: Aunt Kathy

Makes: 1 cookie sheet full, or approximately enough to fill a 48 oz. butter tub

1 c. (2 sticks) butter (must be REAL butter, not margarine)

1 c. light brown sugar

Approximately 1 sleeve Saltene crackers

1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil (you can use either, as long as the pan has sides to it — some cookie sheets don’t), and then add a layer of saltines to cover the bottom of the pan, one cracker thick.  You may have to break some of the crackers in half once you get to the bottom.

2) In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the brown sugar and bring to a boil.

3) Boil for four minutes, stirring continuously.

4) Pour the brown sugar and butter mixture over the saltines, and spread the mixture out so it covers the pan evenly.

5) Bake for 9 minutes.

6) Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, sprinkle with the chocolate chips.  Let set for about 45 seconds until the chocolate begins to melt, and then spread the melted chocolate out to form a thin layer over the crackers and toffee.

7) Let the pan sit in a cool spot until the pan is cool enough to touch.  Refrigerate for about an hour, until the chocolate has hardened.  Remove the candy from the pan and foil and break into bite-sized pieces.