Monthly Archives: May 2014

Assorted Chocolate Truffles (made with Caramel Baileys)

Assorted Chocolate Truffles

Assorted Chocolate Truffles

Truffles are so delicious yet so expensive! I thought they required oodles of tools and time to make but it turns out that it takes almost nothing to make truffles, so that’s great news for my lazy ass and demanding taste buds! Decadent desserts are seriously my kriptonite. I will die from a sugar overdose, I’m ready to bet my life on it!

Bacon cooking in maple syrup!

Bacon cooking in maple syrup!

I love baking desserts and I’m getting more interested in cake decorating and such aspects of baking. I figured it was only a matter of time since I always loved the Arts in general from painting to performing to writing, I just can’t get enough of all the art around me, even the artsy fartsy one. A for effort, you know?! Food Art is a logical step humankind took, I think.

I decided to make some chocolate truffles this week for my pirate crew (just the excuse I gave myself). I followed the truffle recipe from Joy of Baking and then I coated the truffles with different yums. It was a lot of fun to make and disgustingly delicious. I made  different kinds of truffles and sampling them all was such an awful chore! In all seriousness, that’s how my stomach felt after but my taste buds were having a huge party, so as long as they’re happy. Who needs a stomach anyway?!

Ingredients that I chose to use for the chocolate truffles:

  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of 35% heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp of Caramel Baileys
Truffle mix after a night in the fridge

Truffle mix after a night in the fridge

 

This is where it gets interesting for me. My SO had the idea of including maple bacon and I thought it was a fantastic idea. So I gathered my maple syrup and bacon and made some maple candied bacon. I chose to do 4 different types of truffles because I’m a ridiculous human being who can never make up her mind about anything! I actually had planned to make 6 but didn’t have enough truffle mix… Without further ado, my chocolate truffles:

 

 Classic Chocolate Truffles

Nothing too fancy, just a delicious classic chocolate truffle coated with unsweetened cocoa powder. We all love this one!

Classic Chocolate Truffle

Classic Chocolate Truffle

Caramel Chocolate Truffles

I surrounded half a Caramel with the truffle mixture to get a Caramel centre. I then coated the truffle with semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled (or tried to drizzle, I should say) melted Caramel on top.

Caramel Chocolate Truffle

Caramel Chocolate Truffle

Caramel Chocolate Truffle cut in half

Caramel Chocolate Truffle cut in half

Toasted Coconut & Chocolate Chili Truffles

Since I only had coconut flakes, I had to toast them myself. I followed the Stove Top Method from My Baking Addiction. For this truffle, I mixed toasted coconut flakes with the truffle mixture when making my truffle. I then coated the truffle with semi-sweet chocolate to which I added a (few) pinch of chili powder for a spicy kick and, I decorated the top with toasted coconut flakes.

Toasted Coconut & Chocolate Chili Truffle

Toasted Coconut & Chocolate Chili Truffle

Maple Bacon Chocolate Truffles

I maple candied some bacon following the lovely recipe from Savory Lotus. I made the candied bacon last night so it would be ready for assembly today. I chopped the bacon in little bits and rolled the truffles in it. It’s so disgusting, you’ll hate it!

Maple Bacon Chocolate Truffle

Maple Bacon Chocolate Truffle

Categories: Bacon, Butter, Chocolate, Food, Maple Syrup, My Photography, Raw, Recipes | 5 Comments

My Failed Attempt at Backcountry Packrafting

Not long ago, I got a packraft. You may wonder what a packraft is, which is a fair question to ask because before my SO talked to me about it, I had no idea this was even an option as a sport. I’ve always loved the outdoors and outdoor activities such as camping, kayaking/canoeing, hiking/trekking, etc. Until a few months ago, I went camping, rented a canoe and explored nature mostly on foot. Considering I live in an apartment where keeping a kayak or a canoe is not an option, it felt very limiting to camp, hike and canoe. This is mostly why I never attempted to backcountry camp, I felt like something was missing.

Ready to explore!

Ready to explore!

Packrafting explained by Wikipedia: 

“Packraft and trail boat are colloquial terms for a small, portable inflatable boat designed for use in all bodies of water, including technical whitewater and ocean bays and fjords. A packraft is designed to be light enough to be carried for extended distances. Along with its propulsion system (collapsable paddles or lightweight oars) and safety equipment (PFD, clothing) the entire package is designed to be light and compact enough for an individual to negotiate rough terrain while carrying the rafting equipment together with supplies, shelter, and other survival or backcountry equipment.”

Isn’t that just wonderful!?

Multitasking in the wilderness

Multitasking in the wilderness

After I finally received my Alpaca packraft in nautical blue from Alpacka Raft, I decided to go backcountry packrafting to test it out. The trip itself was a huge fail due to various reasons such as the weather, but the packrafting part of the trip was fantastic! I enjoyed the hell out of that boat!

I went back to Stratton Lake in Algonquin Park since I had gone there last to practice. The weather was great when I started in early afternoon but by nightfall, it was damp and drizzling constantly. I had a backcountry campsite booked in High Falls for the first night and Stratton Lake for the second night but we ended up spending the first and only night on Stratton Lake. On our way down Stratton Lake, we opted for the “short cut” where we were going to portage the rafts over to the other side. I should have known that the water levels would not allow such a thing in May but it was late, rainy and I was hungry. I just wanted to get to the campsite by then for a warm meal and some rest. After exploring Highfalls for a period of time in the rain, we concluded that it would be too much trouble and risky to portage across and headed back to the nearest campsite thinking we could come back to High Falls the next day to explore and take some photographs of the natural slide.

Backcountry Packrafting

Backcountry Packrafting

Once we got to the campsite, of course all the wood was wet already but we managed a nice fire thanks to the cotton balls and Vaseline I had brought as fire starter in case this exact scenario would happen. We set up the tent and had some dinner then went to bed. It was damp and cold all night as it rained quite hard for most of the night. In the morning it had turned into a light rain which was enough to start a fire and have some breakfast. We had brought a tarp so we set up a little shelter.

Cotton Ball Fire Starter

Cotton Ball Fire Starter

By the afternoon, we felt pretty defeated. We just kept eating to keep warm and motivated but with the rain not stopping, it was hard. I had made some no-bake cranberry flax energy bites which worked out really well during our adventure. It was disappointing that I couldn’t take out my camera for some shots most of the times. When I checked in the waterproof bag, my equipment was very damp. I got very scared for her during that trip and decided that considering how heavy she is and the weather, I would leave her at home and bring only the point and shoot during backcountry adventures.

In late afternoon, the rain was scattering and I was able to take a few photographs of the campsite. We had packed up our stuff by then and planned to head back to the car. By the time we reached the car, the rain had stopped and the sky was clear. It was an interesting first backcountry camping experience and I would certainly do it again but I would do a lot of things differently.

Neatly packed backpacks

Neatly packed backpacks

A peek at the Eastern Pines Backpacking Trail from the old railway road

A peek at the Eastern Pines Backpacking Trail from the old railway road

The old railway road I hiked on

The old railway road I hiked on

Inflating the packrafts

Inflating the packrafts

Ready for the backpacks!

Ready for the backpacks!

Excitement is high!

Excitement is high!

A shitty attempt at a panorama of the campsite

A shitty attempt at a panorama of the campsite

FIRE!

FIRE!

The face of damp,cold, hungry, un-showered defeat

The face of damp,cold, hungry, un-showered defeat

This post had some spelling/grammar edits done…a few times.

Categories: Adventures, Algonquin Park, Fire, Gear, Ideation, My Photography, Ontario, Packrafting, Tree, Water | Leave a comment

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