image from Field Guide to Candy
A few weeks back, I was invited to be a judge for TasteTV‘s Best Toffee in North America Competition. A whole boxful of toffees delivered to my door? Yes, please!
Those of you who are curious about the difference between toffee, English toffees, and buttercrunch, feel free to see my older post on buttercrunch. I became quite obsessed with untangling the various monikers of this candy while researching my candy book, if you couldn’t tell.
These days, most buttercrunch is marketed simply as “toffee”; I only saw one brand out of thirteen that was labelled “English toffee” (Which may perhaps provide some comfort to poor Brits trying to find their version of the candy abroad). For that reason, I will refer to all the candy I sampled for the competition as toffee, to avoid confusion. I will maintain, though, my abiding love for the word “buttercrunch”. If I ever make and sell my own version, I’ll call it buttercrunch, and probably confuse the heck out of everyone.
So how does one determine the best toffee?
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Tags:buttercrunch·cinda's toffee·judge·malibu toffee·review·tastetv·toffee·toffee talk·toffeeology
Typical menu board at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous. Flavors change daily – another incentive to visit often.
By popular request and in an attempt to populate the “San Francisco” tab on my site, I’ve created a list of my favorite ice cream spots in San Francisco. Of course, I started this last week when it was bright, sunny, and warm (these three conditions are not always simultaneous in San Francisco), but naturally now it’s back to Fog City again. No matter – in SF ice cream consumption is rarely tied to the current weather but rather to the pure desire to have a cone filled with something sweet, frozen, and really, really delicious.
I’ve only listed ones that I’ve been to personally, as is only fair. However, as eating ice cream is one of my very favorite activities, and as there seems to be no shortage of ice cream shops both classic and artisan opening up in SF, rest assured this list will continue to be updated (with more photos, as well!) Feel free to give your own recommendations in the comments as well – there’s always room for more ice cream.
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Tags:bi-rite creamery·fention's·gelateria naia·humphry slocombe·ice cream·ici·marco polo·mitchell's·mr mrs miscellaneous·san francisco·tara's organic·three twins
Scroll to down for my report on PBFW!
I’ve been to two Pebble Beach Food and Wine events, and they keep getting bigger and bigger. Why do I think this was the best one ever? Well, for a very personal reason involving this lady:
If you don’t recognize her immediately from her trademark pink jacket, this is the one and only Sherry Yard, Wolgang Puck’s longtime pastry chef. Her two
cookbooks are among the most treasured of my entire collection, and getting to meet her in person was a true highlight of my time at Pebble Beach. But the very best part? When I mentioned my site Dessert First, she said she’d seen it!! Can you believe that? Nothing else that happened that day could have topped that. SO happy I got to meet her.
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Tags:pebble beach food wine
Warning: There is going to be a lot of chocolate on this page for the next few posts. After all, it’s nearly Easter, the holidays that generates more candy sales than any other holiday save Halloween. Have you got your jellybeans and peeps ready for your Easter baskets?
Let me suggest a few other Easter treats you might not want to miss. Michael Recchiuti, one of my very favorite chocolatiers (and a great guy, to boot), has created some limited edition sweets for the holiday. I got a chance to sample a couple of them:
These are the kind of Easter eggs I’m looking for now (sorry, candy-colored plastic eggs from the drugstore!) Recchiuti’s Force Noir Eggs, a shell of delicately painted dark chocolate enclosing his famous vanilla-laced chocolate ganache. You know how Reese’s comes out with their peanut butter eggs at Easter? I actually prefer them to the traditional peanut butter cups because I think the shape provides a better peanut butter to chocolate ratio. It’s the same concept here with the Force Noir Eggs – the plump curve of the chocolate shells is just the right amount of backdrop for the ganache filling to unfold in your mouth.
Another signature Recchiuti flavor, burnt caramel, gets the Easter treatment in the Peep & Hop Box – burnt caramel chocolates with spring-y Easter images printed on top. Although deep dark caramel is everywhere these days, Recchiuti was one of the first to really popularize the flavor. I got a box of eight of these chocolates and had to fight to hold on to even one to taste test! As delicious as ever.
These and other Easter treats can be found at Recchiuti’s website. Here’s hoping the Easter bunny brings you something sweet on Sunday!
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