One of our designers, Mimi, is as adorable as her name suggests. So naturally, among her many other talents, she can also whip up adorable chocolate cupcakes. Last week, she sent me this photo of an Espresso Brava Chocolate Cupcake with Peppermint Cream Cheese frosting that she baked. I responded, “Please tell me there is one waiting for me in the kitchen.” To which, she ultimately responded, “There is not.” It took me nearly a week to forgive her but I’m finally over it. As you can imagine, she’s hard to be mad at.
She found the recipe on Lauren’s Latest, but made quite a few modifications: the most notable using an espresso-flavored sea salt rather than kosher sea salt. Her thought being that Chocolate + Peppermint = good, but Chocolate + Peppermint + Espresso = better. I second that notion!
I’ll never forget the first time I tried salted ice cream; I tasted it, cringed, and ordered something else. Barely two licks into my first scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip, I was regretful. It takes a few moments before the experience truly takes hold. I imagine my taste buds pleaded with my mind to accept the unfamiliar intrusion as a blissful taste evolution rather than a flavor conspiracy; my mind crumbled under the delicious pressure. But maybe that’s just me being dramatic. Regardless, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Here at SaltWorks we all salt our ice cream and everyone has a favorite.
I’ve reached out to the team for recommendations, and I’ve experimented with a number of combinations myself, and the following three are definitely great places to start. The first two, our staff recommended the most.
Fusion® Thai Ginger on Vanilla: It’s so uncannily amazing. I used to be indifferent about vanilla ice cream; eh, take it or leave it. But now, it makes plain vanilla the hippest, far-from-boring, damn-near-sexy vanilla.
This past Sunday I decided to conduct my very first salt tasting for a group of about 15 people. It was a potluck, and my contribution was salt and snacks. I say my very first because it felt quite monumental, considering months ago, before SaltWorks was a glimmer in my eye, my salt knowledge was quite pedestrian. Basically, if SaltWorks gave away badges for salt milestones, I think I earned one. Yes, I’m a self-proclaimed, imaginary badge earner and I hereby honor myself.
Enough about me and my imaginary awards. Let’s talk about salt and how to become a … mindful salter. I made that up, but let’s go with it.
When conducting or participating in a salt tasting, consider the reasons why you like (or dislike) certain foods. It’s not just the flavor that matters. Similarly, salts have different textures, smells, and colors, in addition to their unique flavors.
I tried to choose salts that stood out in different categories: flavor, texture, aroma, and color.
It’s that time of year when I need bake therapy: any chocolate chip cookie recipe that can pull me out of my haze. So I scoured the Web for something new and delicious when I ran across Salted Double Chocolate Chip Chili Cookies. It had me at salted, really. At Double Chocolate I become more interested. And then Chili! SOLD, and so intrigued.
Bring these to the next holiday party or bundle them for little gifts (if you can part with them), and friends and family will surely sing your praises. They’re also a welcome change from the usual potluck desserts.
Once you mix all of the ingredients together, you’ll probably need to rest your stirring arm, as it’s incredibly thick dough. This is good time to sneak a taste.