Thursday, February 24, 2011

Food Finds

It's been a month since the NASFT Fancy Food Show and the samples keep on coming. I have really fallen behind on some of products I want to share and in an effort to catch up, I'm blogging about a few today. Some I wish I could give more time and space to, but I've been in the lucky position of being a bit blog swamped.

Tortuga Rum Cakes
When I went to the Fancy Food Show last year I came across one brand of rum cakes. This year I found a new one and made a point to check them out. Any alcohol added to baked goods aids in keeping them moist and gives them more shelf life. That's why I add Kahlua to my brownies. I tried the cakes offered by Tortuga Rum Cakes, which are from the Cayman Islands. They are super moist so that they would leave a sticky rum ring on a piece of paper. As a non-drinker, I'm pretty sensitive to alcohol, even when used in cooking. These cakes definitely had a rum kick to them. But what I particularly liked was the Key Lime flavored cake. Something about the key lime just smoothed and mellowed out the intensity of the rum. Tortuga Rum Cakes makes other things besides the cakes. They also have coffees, fudges, and sauces. I'm sure the rum infused fudge must be pretty good. I liked the sauces. I got to taste their jerk sauce, which had a blended sweeetness with the heat of West Indian spices. They've sent me a bottle of Hell Fire Caribbean Sauce, which I am, quite frankly, nervous to open. Oh, and they gave me some of their coffee, which I gave to Kimberly since I don't drink it. She texted me yesterday asking where I got it, she'd had three cups already that morning. Guess it's pretty good.

Prima Taste Sauces
I also stopped at the Prima Taste booth. They specialize in Asian sauce mixes, particularly from Singapore. I took three packets home to try. The first one is the Black Pepper Sauce that I used with beef. Loved it. You just need to sear the beef cubes and then saute with onions and the sauce with a bit of water added. Being black pepper, it is not really spicy, just peppery. My dad would be a fan of this because he always puts a lot of pepper on his food. The other I liked was the Sweet & Spicy Seafood Sauce. I tossed this with shrimp, onions, and green peppers. These sauces are perfect for when you are lazy and want something good and easy. I'd rather use a sauce pack like these with the meat and veggies of my choice rather than resort to junk food.

Seattle Chocolates' Chick Bars
When I saw these Chick Bars from Seattle Chocolates at the show I wondered what was their purpose? The five are Power, Survivor, Nutty, Extreme, and Strong Chicks. Originally sold as small truffles, the candy bars only just came out last fall. In fact, all of Seattle Chocolates bars had been truffle style with soft centers. The Chick Bars are solid,  dark chocolate. Each has its own personality with the mix-ins. I don't like fruit with my chocolate and so I was wary of the Strong Chick bar with its acai, cranberries, almonds and crunchy edamame. But I was surprised. There wasn't too much sweetness from the berries to bother me and the edamame was just like a peanut. And their purpose? For us to enjoy while celebrating the strength of women every day!

Frosting Queens

Over the three day weekend I decided to get around to using these frosting samples from The Frosting Queens, who happen to be right here in Sacramento and were recently touted by Food and Wine Magazine. I first made cupcakes and topped them with the Crowned Caramel Spice Frosting. It was definitely spiced strongly, but tasted great over my Mexican chocolate cupcakes. These frosting pouches contain one pound of frosting and will keep in your cupboard for up to three months or you can refrigerate them for up to six months. They have no additives or preservatives. Problem is, one pound is not enough to frost a cake. They just covered my 15 cupcakes, but with just my spreading them and not getting all decorative. For a cake you would need two pouches at least. Knowing this, I decided to use the second pouch, the King's Cabernet Chocolate, in some cake balls I posted earlier here. The cabernet is a great flavor component with the chocolate. Mixed in with a chocolate cake fresh from the oven, the cake balls came out fantastic. Their website also offers other uses for the frostings, like using one for the base of a chocolate fondue. Check them out.

Seattle Chocolates Strong Chick Bar, 2.5-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Seattle Chocolates Survivor Chick Bar, 2.5-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Seattle Chocolates Nutty Chick Bar, 2.5-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Seattle Chocolates Extreme Chick Bar, 2.5-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Seattle Chocolates Power Chick Bar, 2.5-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Seattle Chocolates Survivor Chick Bar, 2.5-Ounce (Pack of 6)Seattle Chocolates Survivor Chick Bar, 2.5-Ounce (Pack of 6)
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