Chocolate covered pretzels

Whilst I was on my honeymoon in Hawaii, I made a visit to Godiva, my favourite chocolate shop in the USA. Whilst in store, I noticed a new item, Milk and Dark Chocolate covered pretzels. I tried to imagine what they would taste like. In the end, I gave up and decided to buy a few boxes to try them first. Looking back now, I wish I had tried them before I left Hawaii so I could buy more.

The Milk and Dark Chocolate covered pretzels from Godiva are so delicious. The taste so much better than Mars M&M’s version of chocolate pretzels, because the Godiva version is an actually shaped like a pretzel.

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What I really loved the most was the weird sensation of having the taste of the salty pretzel and then the sensation of sweet chocolate. The combination of the two was like a match made in heaven. I seriously felt like my mouth was in sensory over drive. I was addicted and in love.

I guess it is certainly no surprise, when I tell you that I finished the Godiva chocolate covered pretzels in a few days.

When I ran out of Godiva chocolate covered pretzels, I went looking for a more affordable alternative in Sydney. I could not justify paying Australian prices, when I paid so little for the Godiva chocolate covered pretzels in USA. The search for the Godiva chocolate covered pretzels affordable alternative took a while, and I almost gave up.

After a while, I had noticed that chocolate covered pretzels seemed to be popping up in many different shops. I first saw them at San Churro and then later at Thomas Dux. I decided to buy the one I saw at Thomas Dux.

The chocolate covered pretzels from Thomas Dux were so tasty and definitely on par with the Godiva Chocolate Covered Pretzels. Naturally the Godiva version was tastier, because they used better chocolate.

For now, the chocolate covered pretzels from Thomas Dux will help satisfy my cravings. I cannot wait until my American relatives come down to visit, because I will be giving them a huge order for Godiva Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

Godiva Chocolate Covered Pretzels are available from:

http://www.godiva.com/subcategory/chocolate-pretzels/id/133.gdv

or at David Jones, if you are willing to pay extra.

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Salted Caramel Macarons from Home Cafe QVB

If there is one thing that I may love slightly more than cupcakes, it would definitely be macarons. To prove this to you, I can confess that I actually made D drive up to Canberra (from Sydney) just so I could get a macaron fix from my favourite macaron store Dream Cuisine Patisserie in Fyshwick.

Imagine my absolute excitement, when my Twitter friend @ramenraff (Rafael De Leon) advised that he will be selling  his Salted Caramel Macarons at Home Cafe QVB.

On the day the Rafael De Leon’s Salted Caramel Macarons were to be on sale, I thought I would get there bright and early to Home Cafe QVB and buy the Salted Caramel Macarons. Unfortunately, Rafael told me that his Salted Caramel Macarons will not be on sale until after 9am. I was so devasted, that I want to cry. Okay, jokes aside, I was actually really worried that Rafael’s Salted Caramel Macarons would be sold out by  the time I had a chance to have my lunch break at 1130am.

Naturally, when it was lunch break, I headed straight over to Home Cafe to check out Rafael’s Salted Caramel Macarons. I was so over joyed that there were still some Salted Caramel Macarons in stock! I ended up buying six Salted Caramel Macarons. I honestly could  have bought all of them, but I thought I would leave some for other people to buy- or maybe it was because I should be on a budget. Hmm..

To add to my purchase, I also decided to buy one of Rafael’s Red Velvet Cupcakes too, for my friend’s birthday.

I decided that I would eat one Salted Caramel Macarons before I ate lunch. I honestly could not wait to try them. Before I took my first bite, I was naturally apprehensive, but thankfully, I was not disappointed, once again, Rafael had baked another perfect sweet.

Rafael’s Salted Caramel Macarons were so delicious. The macaron shell was deliciously crunchy from the first bite and then a chewy texture inside. The generous creamy salted caramel filling that oozed out the macaron shells tasted so amazing. So much sweet and salty goodness. I must confess, that the Salted Caramel Macarons were so good, that I ate five of them within an hour.

I was so impressed with Raphael’s Salted Caramel Macarons. I can definitely say that I think Raphael’s Salted Caramel Macarons were on par with Adriano Zumbo’s macarons and just as good as Cheeky Chocolate’s Salted Caramel Macarons.  The great thing is, Raphael’s macarons are not tiny like Adriano Zumbo’s version.

I think that Rafael proves that you do not have to be a famous patissier to make great sweets. I really hope some day Raphael decides to open up his own patisserie, because he is certainly very talented.

Rafael De Leon’s Salted Caramel Macarons are available from:

Rafael De Leon’s website is:  http://ramenraff.blogspot.com.au

Follow @ramenraff for details of when the Salted Caramel Macarons will be available for purchase.

Salted Caramel Cookies

I absolutely love everything cooked with salted caramel, from Salted Caramel Macarons, to Salted Caramel Gelato. Honestly, who could not love the sweetness of the caramel and combined with the salt. Heavenly!

Recently one of my favourite recipe blogs The Suzchef tweeted a photo of the Salted Caramel Cookies that she had made. I was literally drooling. I wanted to make these cookies asap. So after asking Suz a few questions, I went to my local Woolworths and bought several bags of Nestle Caramel Chips. http://www.nestle.com.au/products/categories/milks-baking/nestle/cooking-chocolate/choc-bits .

Thankfully, Suz’s recipe was so easy to make. I was so excited so baked them. I ended up making about four batches of Salted Caramel Cookies over a span of a few days. Unfortunately I suffer from OCPD (Obsessive Cookie Perfection Disorder), so I really wanted to the cookies made perfectly, and luckily by batch three, I was able to bake the cookies to perfection.

Batch number one was not bad, but nothing special. I actually ended up taking Salted Caramel Cookies batch one to work, the Salted Caramel Cookies got such rave reviews. Everyone loved them so much, that the cookies were all eaten within minutes. One friend said “I want to marry the person who made these cookies” lol.

When I first took a bite from the freshly baked perfected batch of Salted Caramel Cookie, I was in heaven. The combination of sweet and salty was divine, and the cookie was so buttery and slight crunchy on the ends. I could not of course stop at eating one cookies, I ate at least five more. They just tasted so good

I am so excited for this recipe that I would absolutely declare it the best recipe I have discovered this year.

One thing that I find annoying about cooking this recipe, is that unfortunately Nestle Caramel Chips are not easy to find. I was so lucky that my local Woolworths stocked them and they were on sale.p

Anyway, back to the supermarket for me, I am all out of Nestle Caramel Chips!

Suzchef’s salted caramel recipe can be found here http://thesuzchef.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/salted-caramel-cookies.html?m=1

Salted Caramel Cookies Recipe:

175g butter melted and cooled
2 cups of plain flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (I skipped this)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 cup Nestle caramel chips
salted grinder

Preheat oven 170
Line trays with baking paper
Mix butter and sugars and mix well
Add vanilla essence and eggs and mix with wooden spoon
Sift flour into mixture and mix
Add caramel chips and mix
Put a teaspoon of mixture for each cookie onto tray (no need to flatten)
Grind a little bit of salt onto them
Cook for 10-15 mins
Let cookies cool on tray