Here is some of the maple sap I collected from our trees. It wasn’t much this year, probably because I started late this year.
I boiled it down, trying to male it sweet so I could make root beer with it. I knew it would make so little maple syrup that it wasn’t worth the effort.
It finally got sweet when I got it down to about 3 cups. I managed not to get a photo of it at that point, but it was mildly amber in color. It was a little sweet but had a woodsy flavor too. I used this extract to make the root beer today.
I am feeling quite ill today. My best guess is that the extra energy used for sheep maintenance flared my symptoms. So I did the chores this morning, just because I still want some exercise. But I decided to take it easier this afternoon, and kitchen projects seemed like a good choice.
I used some Red Star white wine yeast. I added no other sweetener. Here it is all bottled. It should be ready in 2 1/2 weeks.
After the root beer I decided to make Hot Chocolate Bombs. I didn’t have round silicon molds so I used the heart shaped molds I recently bought for the Swedish Hearts. I bought dark chocolate chunks just because I was trying to make it dairy free. I tempered the chocolate in the microwave and then painted the insides of the molds with the chocolate.
I did the three layers but was nervous about getting them out of the molds. I found this site about how to get chocolate out of silicone molds without breaking. So I put the mold in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then I figured out that to get them out you peel the mold away from the chocolate rather than pulling or pushing the chocolate from the molds. I accidentally broke two of the molds while I was learning this.
Here are the unbroken molds flipped over.
Then the next issue was the hot cocoa mix. I wanted it to be dairy free, but the ones in the store were all dairy except one which was terribly expensive. So I used this Simple Hot Cocoa for One recipe and made my own mix. I used 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1.5 tables of sugar per serving. But I wanted vanilla but didn’t think liquid vanilla would work. So I pulled out my vanilla sugar leftover from my Swedish cooking frenzy. I substituted some of the sugar with the vanilla sugar.
So I filled the molds with the cocoa mix, mini marshmallows and some sprinkles.
I tried to fix the broken molds with some more tempered chocolate and refrigerator time. Then I sealed them with melting the edges and then I added extra tempered chocolate with my finger to the joint. I used the little leftover chocolate to dribble on top and added some more sprinkled there.
Here they are looking a little more pretty.
So here is the bomb placed in heated almond milk.
It didn’t “bomb” like I had hoped. I am thinking that the milk could have been hotter and maybe that would have helped. It was also incredibly chocolatey. I had to add more milk because it was so strong and thick. When I try the next bomb I will try hotter and more milk. It was fun but a lot of work for not much excitement. Probably won’t be doing again unless I can get it to bomb better.
Obligatory Ryeleigh photos:
I think I nailed it in the first photo. In the second one, she is bagging for pepperoni as Tom makes pizza. She didn’t get any either.
Here is a jigsaw puzzle with the first photo:
I love the idea of the chocolate bombs! They would make wonderful gifts!
I think so.
These look and sound SO good! Yum!
A tip, although you probably know this already, you can make your own vanilla sugar by putting a couple of vanilla beans in your sugar container. I keep a 1/2-gallon mason jar of sugar for this, aside from the regular sugar. The vanilla bean lasts forever too. I’m a big vanilla fan, so add this sugar to nearly every baking recipe for sweet treats, whether they call for vanilla or not (scones, cookies, brownies, cakes, etc.) Super easy to keep on hand and always ready.
Good tip. I think I did know that but forgot. Vanilla beans are so darn expensive though. But if it preserve them then it is a win win. I do still have lots of packets of the vanilla sugar I bought so it will have to wait until I finish those off. I found them at an international food warehouse in Renton. It was a fascinating experience. Donna
Your chocolate bombs look like a lot of fun. I wish I could have them. I’ve been trying the dairy free diet. I suppose I could use the almond milk. I think I told you that we used to make root beer. Of course we didn’t have maple sap! When I told Marlys what you had made,, she grinned and said “That wasn’t root beer! That was maple beer!” I giggled and she said something about birch beer!!!
It was roots that were used in addition to the maple sap. So it is both.
Very good! Did you use “real” roots from your farm?
i love how Ryeleigh has her paw on Tom’s foot in the last photo- she’s a pro at the begging gig! 🙂
She surely is!