Reviewing My Hot Sauce Collection

Hey guys, today we are looking into all of the hot sauces I own. I did this based on flavour, not heat measures. I believe that hot sauces are only good if they taste good, and I tried to recommend foods that these sauces can be paired with. Please enjoy and let me know which is your favourite sauce or recommend new sauces to me, because I love sauces and will likely buy them off your recommendations.

I can not tell you how long it took to write this, as I re-tried every sauce to be accurate and it did give me a very strong stomach ache after ingesting 20 sauces in a row. I strongly recommend never doing that. It’s okay though, because I love hot sauces, so below are somewhere around 40 sauces that I have and have taste tested for your reading pleasure.

Paddy O’s Potion is a very mild sauce with a watery consistency that makes a wonderful vinaigrette for salads. Its prime flavour is carrot, though the grapefruit can be found in the medley of flavours and there is a sharpness with the vinegar.


Crystal Hot Sauce is a true Louisiana sauce with a sharp vinegar flavour that is followed with mild heat. It makes for a wonderful wing sauce and bakes well on chicken breasts. If you like franks, this tastes very much like it with the addition of a tomato flavour. If you wanted a spicy gumbo, this is the perfect sauce for it.


Dirty Dicks has a vulgar name but a sweet flavour. It has a lot of fruit flavours as it has mangoes, bananas and pineapple in its recipe, but it is evened out with garlic and tomato, which makes it a wonderfully balanced sauce. It’s sticky, sweet and moderately spicy that can be put on just about anything. Hot dogs, pork, vegetables and cheeses all pair wonderfully with this sauce.


Once again with the vulgar name but a sweet taste. This Caribbean Dream sauce embraces smokey flavours mixed with the richness of a thick mustard. It’s sweetness comes from the pears, peaches, apple and pineapple in the recipe that are counterbalanced with smokey habanero, mustard and apple cider vinegar. This sauce sticks me as good for sandwiches, meats and roasted vegetables.


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El Yucateco produces a lot of hot sauces, but their Chile Habanero is a smokey masterpiece perfect for ground beef, grilled fish and roasted potatoes. It has a strong smokey flavour that veils most of the vinegar flavour in the sauce. The flavour is simple as it tastes almost entirely of habanero and garlic which makes it versatile, as garlic and habanero compliment most flavours.


Marie Sharp’s Belizean Heat is another Louisiana style hot sauce without the strong vinegar flavour that has a good tomato flavour backing it up. The lime comes through subtly as do the carrots, making it an upgraded version of Franks.


Rogue is a sweet and fruity sauce with heat to back it up. The pears in the sauce come through quickly and the heat follows up in seconds. It mixes well with mayonnaise to make a quick and simple dip for vegetables and chips.


Bigfat’s is a company that leans into smokey flavour and this one follows suit. With a strong chipotle flavour mixed with smoke makes for a fantastic addition to meats.


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Black Garlic and Carolina Reaper has strong heat, deep pepper flavour and is very versatile. This sauce goes well with just about anything. With the flavour being nearly entirely that of peppers, it can be added to most dishes, as it won’t muddle the flavour while adding heat. There is a slight black garlic flavour with it’s caramelized umami, but it is by no means overwhelming.


Ako Miso is perfect for anything that needs umami and soy flavours. It is great in ramen, on fish and in rice dishes with fish in them. Not versatile outside of this realm, but if you like this flavour palette, it’s worth purchasing.


This sauce doesn’t actually seem to be a hot sauce as there is little to no heat in it. It is milder than Sriracha and Franks. It does have a pleasant tomato flavour that is perfect for adding to a boring or chunky salsa.


Truff brings the earthy flavour of truffles into your sauce. While the flavour could be compared to a sweeter and spicier bean flavour, there is a complexity to the sauce that makes it incredibly delicious. The consistency is thicker than most, making it an excellent sauce addition to pasta as it sticks well. This sauce is often unfairly judged on its first tasting due to the unfamiliar flavour of truffle, but you will quickly change your mind and learn to love it.


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Shaquandas has a sweet pickle flavour that is complemented with the carrot, tomato and lemon that sneak along with it. While it is a sweeter sauce, I have enjoyed it coated on baked chicken, on pork and as a dip for chips.


The first thing you taste when you try Kat’s Eye is the smokey lime flavour. It’s a simple sauce that uses cilantro as a driving flavour force. If you enjoy smokey flavour and herbaceous notes, this sauce is for you.


The driving flavour is this sauce is tomato, but it doesn’t outshine the turmeric, mustard and carrots that make up the rest of the flavour. A mild and versatile sauce that is rightly held in high opinion.


As you might have guessed, the more potent flavour is the ginger. It pairs well with the scotch bonnet to make this mild sauce that pairs well with jellies, cheeses, cured meats, chips and mangoes.


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Joy Ride is a simple and mild sauce that tastes mostly of bell peppers and oregano. It’s simplicity makes it incredibly versatile as it is a good addition to every meal I have added it to. It is also thin enough and flavourful enough to make for a lovely salad vinaigrette.


A very strong tomato flavoured sauce that has a little heat. It marinates chicken well.


This sauce stays true to its chipotle flavour, adding a little smoke and sweetness that balances the whole flavour well. It is a little spicy but makes a great addition to chicken burgers, fries, sandwiches and cheeses.


The first time I tried this sauce it nearly killed me with heat. To this day I think it is a very hot sauce that bites without any sweetness to even it out. If you like a sauce that is harsh and very peppery, this one is for you.


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Dawsons is the one sauce I have where I can taste an oil. The first thing I taste is olive oil, quickly followed by sugar and habanero. It has a sharp vinegar heat that we find in Louisiana style sauces.


A sweet pickle flavour that’s mixed in a chipotle flavour that mixes beautifully with mayonnaise to make chip dips and it marinates well on chicken.


This is a truly unique sauce that brings a lovely minty flavour forward on a herbaceous base. This pairs so well with pork, especially cured pork. The spicy level is perfect for nearly everyone.


This is an incredibly hot sauce that should not be used unless you are very used to very spicy food and shouldn’t be used undiluted. It has a simple earthy pepper flavour that lends well to mayo based sauces and mustard bases.


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The primary flavour that comes through on this sauce is the cherry flavour. It isn’t overly sweet and it has a lovely minty-ness. It pairs well with hard cheeses and the odd dessert item.


This sauce is the perfect blend of sweet sauce, smokey flavour and almost chipotle. It comes together to taste like a fantastic hot rib sauce.


This is my absolute favourite Louisiana sauce. It has a strong smack of tomato, followed with sweetness from the sugar, a little kick of tamarind, a bite from the vinegar and a great smokey garlic flavour.


This sauce is not good. It actually tastes like battery acid.


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Very simple sauce with a earthy pepper flavour. It is very hot and should not be used by those who can’t tolerate spicy food.


A very fresh habanero and pineapple favour that hit hard with heat, the sweetness sneaks in and it ends in a smokey finish.


This sauce has the indentical flavour to the 708 7 Pot. Its a sweet chipotle flavour that is marginally hotter than the original 708.


A simple sauce that includes oranges, carrots and tomatoes to combat the heat of the ghost peppers in this recipe.


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A strong sauce with a simple blend of ginger, cayenne, habanero and guava. This sauce uses an extract so expect a strong burn.


This is an interesting sauce that combines avocado and ginger to little success. I find it to have a dirt flavour mixed with a vinegar bite that just isn’t pleasant.


This sauce has a sweet blueberry flavour that is matched by a wall of heat. I haven’t found a lot of good pairings for this sauce outside of making dips for plain chips.


A smokey sauce that has a creeping sweetness. Don’t be fooled though, the heat builds slowly but steadily. It has a bit of an artificial flavour that makes it hard to pair.


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A neutral sauce that has sweetness equal to heat and savoury taste. With mustard, sesame, onion, garlic and honey, this sauce makes for an excellent wing sauce.


A sauce with a very natural medley of pepper flavours that doesn’t compromise heat. With lime and garlic it is a very versatile sauce that adds a healthy amount of heat.


A well balanced sauce that has strong heat, a natural fruit sweetness and a raw pepper that makes for a great sauce.


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A sauce that immediately hits with some spicy but follows up with a mild honey and pineapple flavour. Its simple and yummy.


Chicken Burgers and Brioche Buns

Hey guys!

Today is an exciting day as we are covering Brioche buns, Burger Slaw, Chicken Breast and the vegetables and sauces that go with them.

Ryan and I have been trying to be healthier people, which is hard because we love fast food burgers. This will hopefully be a healthier version of one of our favourite cheat meals. That being said, I don’t think any non-fried chicken can replace fried chicken, but maybe we’ll love this anyways.

This makes 4 burgers.

Brioche Buns

Eva Blakeman – Brioche Buns

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup milk (warm)
  • 1/4 cup water (warm)
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg

Wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp whipping cream
Eva Blakeman – Toasted Brioche Buns

Directions

  1. Add milk, water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar together, mix quickly and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix flour, salt, 2 tsp sugar, egg and butter together in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. (If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook. If mixing by hand, wooden spoon is best).
  3. Add yeast mixture slowly into flour mixture while stirring (stand mixer on 1 or low).
  4. Knead by hand in the bowl or by mixer for 9 minutes.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  6. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and pull dough into taunt balls, placing on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper with the seams down.
  7. Preheat oven to 400F.
  8. Place baking sheet on top of oven . Cover baking sheet with plastic and rest 1 hour or until noticeable rise has occurred.
  9. Beat the egg yolk and cream together and brush over dough balls liberally.
  10. Bake dough for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature on rack before storing.

Burger Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 carrots
  • 2 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except for the lettuce and carrots together in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together until light and creamy.
  3. Chop lettuce into thin pieces (1/4 inch or thinner). Grate carrots to be thin. Chop pieces to be shorter than 2 inches.
  4. Mix all ingredients together and serve either on the side or in a chicken burger.

Chicken Breast

Eva Blakeman – Chicken Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chipotle hot sauce (or 2 tbsp olive oil if you don’t want spice)
  • 4 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp crushed red pepper
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Directions

  1. Brine your chicken breast in 2 cups of room temperature water with 3 tbsp of salt in it. Let this sit at least 15 min, up to an hour.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
  3. Pat your chicken breasts dry and cut them in half.
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  5. Coat your chicken in either hot sauce or oil.
  6. Rub your dry spice mix onto the breasts then place onto a baking sheet covered in aluminium foil that is lightly greased with olive oil.
  7. Bake 20 min, turning over halfway.
  8. Let the chicken rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

I supplemented my burger with slaw and onion where Ryan chose to use a chipotle burger sauce and tomato, eating his slaw on the side. I love this kind of food even though I can’t eat it often. I hope you liked this and if you try any part of the recipe I would love to know what you thought of it.

Now for those who aren’t just here for the recipe!

Ryan’s very eloquent and long winded rating of this dinner was, “it was good”. This does not sound like high praise, but from him it is. He never seems shocked when I make something new because according to him he has “absolute faith” in me. Which is nice to hear but when I realized he actually meant it I realized he would likely never gush over my cooking, because to him that’s normal quality from me. It’s nice, but also, I would like to hear him get excited over new foods and skills I work on.

Ryan and I have both been trying really hard to better ourselves this year, both mentally and physically. We aren’t perfect and sometimes we break down and eat Dairy Queen on the floor of our living room like animals. But in general we try to make our own food and eat with the intent of feeding ourselves, not treating ourselves.

I make bread a couple times a week because Ryan eats bread for breakfast. This is great because I get to bake and he gets a homemade breakfast. His job required him to be on his feet walking all day, so he can afford those early morning calories. I on the other hand, cannot afford bread calories on the daily, so I generally have a lot of broths early in the day to get something in my stomach without the calories.

Excellent Youtube Food Channels

Hey guys!

Like most people, I have mentors I have chosen to help lead me in my food journey and today I thought I would share them with you! While I did grow up cooking and learned a lot through the years through reading old cookbooks and a lot of trial and error, these people have taught me skills I wouldn’t have found on my own. More than that, they have made eduction entertaining and they inspire me to expand my own skills and culinary knowledge.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I should also say, I am a huge believer in the power of food. I think a home cooked meal shows love and affection like nothing else and I find making meals from scratch has the ability to make me feel empowered and satisfied with myself. I hope those are things you also experience while cooking, but if they aren’t let me know how cooking makes you feel in the comments!

Ann Reardon – How To Cook That

Ann Reardon – howtocookthat.net

Ann Reardon runs How To Cook That, a YouTube channel as well as a food blog. If you want to learn how to make intricate cakes, chocolates, candies and extra large versions of your favourite snacks, she is an excellent teacher. I think her strongest skill lies in chocolate work, but she is an accomplished chef and baker all around. If I am correct, she is also a food scientist, so her advice can be trusted. I would always recommend watching her breaking down fake food videos as it is illuminating to the issues in the food content industry but also shows us how dangerous some of these “hacks” can be.

My Most Recommended Video by Ann Reardon :

Chocolate Secrets
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Andrew Rea – Binging with Babish / Basics with Babish

Andrew Rea – basicswithbabish.co

Andrew Rea, better known as Babish, may have started as a home cook who was trying to recreate film foods, but today he has accomplished his goal to help educate others in cooking with his Basics with Babish series and website. New content is still being released but so far he has covered essentials like sauces, breads, pastas, pizzas, pies and many more. Mr. Rea has also been known to contribute to charitable foundations and do what he can to aid those in need. Personally I think that as he put himself in a position to be a teacher, it is admirable that he also tries to be a role model.

My Most Recommended Video by Andrew Rea :

Pizza
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Joshua Weissman – Slim Palate

Joshua Wiessman – Slim Palate

Joshua Weissman has often been called “the bread guy”, a title he may dislike but one he has earned. Everyone I’ve spoken to about him knew him as the man on YouTube who taught them to make bread. While he makes other series, most notably the “But Better” one, he will forever be the man who taught so many the basics of food. He has a wonderful sense of humour and instructs in a playful and lively manner. He runs a blog and company called Slim Palate where you can read up on recipes, order a copy of his cookbook or look into getting tickets to see him on tour.

My Most Recommended Video by Joshua Wiessman :

How To Make Traditional French Baguettes At Home
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Matty Matheson

Matty Matheson Serving 900 in support of Women’s Place

Matty is not a cleaned and polished cook, but rather a very down to earth cook who may be a celebrity, but hasn’t lost his sense of community. He is a little vulgar, but hilarious, as he measures his comedy well. As for his videos, he taught me how to make a Roux as well as how to be more adventurous in the kitchen. Outside of his career he is often found aiding others build their skills both in and out of the kitchen. He has a website at mattymatheson.store.

My Most Recommended Matty Video (sorry he doesn’t allow embeds).

https://mattymatheson.store/pages/episodes

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TASTY IS NOT A GOOD CHANNEL.

I am sure you have seen Tasty, 5 Minute Crafts and others like them boasting cooking hacks and skills. Please please do not use their hacks or share them with people who will. They usually don’t work but more importantly, some of their recommended hacks are dangerous. Please consider watching real cooks and chefs teach you the right way to cook rather than following these content farms viral videos that don’t provide good information. If you aren’t interested in watching you tubers teach you how to cook, there are cooking shows, master classes and even chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver who have come onto the Youtube platform to help educate and encourage home cooking.

Reviewing Bigfat’s Hot Sauces

In this review I am starting with the mildest of the sauces and working my way to the hottest at the bottom. Unfortunately Scoville units aren’t available for all these sauces so I am using their heat scale that is posted on their bottles.

Eva Blakeman – Bigfats Hot Sauces

Bigfat’s Joy Ride

A basic sauce without a lot of heat that brings beautiful bell pepper flavour. A perfect addition to a bland salsa or to use as a dip. It embraces the smokey flavour of the habanero, as I have found most of the Bigfat’s sauces do. It has a nice blend of garlic and oregano that adds a depth to its flavour. 

Bigfat’s Kats Eye

This blend of poblano and habanero mixed with herbs and spices leans into the smokey flavour with a subtle hint of cilantro that adds well to the overall herbaceous flavour of the sauce. This would pair beautifully with smoked meats and would make for an interesting dip as it doesn’t have enough heat to stop people from enjoying it.

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Bigfat’s Double Dark

This blend of coriander, sage, cherry balsamic vinegar and black pepper rolls through your mouth. The mint and cherry comes through, making it a wonderful addition to hard cheeses and other rich foods. I could see it pairing well with grilled fruits.

Bigfat’s Dream Dragon

This chipotle pepper mix is reminiscent of a rib sauce with it’s sweet flavour but the smoked chipotle flavour comes through, making it potentially the best rib sauce you have ever had. It has a wonderful mix of sweet and spicy flavours that will make your mouth water.

Bigfat’s Harissa Style 

The coriander, fennel and rosehips makes this a very fragrant and herbal sauce that would make a wonderful marinade. I love it in a sandwich with aged cheddar on fresh bread but could see it being very versatile despite it’s minty and herbaceous flavours. There are layers of complexity to this sauce that makes it truly unique. 

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Bigfat’s 608 Pineapple Habanero 

This is a true pineapple hot sauce with a sweet start and a spicy finish. This sauce is reaching a point where heat may become uncomfortable for those who don’t often consume spicy food, but for a hot sauce lover, this sauce makes a wonderful addition to the collection as it is versatile and delicious. This sauce also leans into the smokey flavour.

Bigfat’s 708 7-Pot Citrus

A sweet sauce that tastes of yum yum pickles and smoked chipotle. It’s great sauce to mix with mayonnaise for dips or over chicken. It’s heat level is likely higher than the average individual would enjoy, but for those who love the heat, this sauce is a fantastic addition to your collection.

Bigfat’s 708 Epic Series – Optimus Primo 

This sauce is almost identical to the Bigfat’s 708 7-Pot Citrus sauce with the distinction that the pepper used is hotter. This is a sweet smoked chipotle flavour that is guaranteed to add kick to your meal. 

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Bigfat’s 808 Naga Jolokia 

A mix of three peppers that has a strong chili flavour. I didn’t find it to be overly hot, but the richness of the pepper comes in an earthy flavour. 

Bigfat’s 808 Epic Series Octo Maximus 

This sauce is hot. So incredibly hot. Aside from the heat, there is a great blend of peppers that has an earthy and rounded out flavour. But mostly, it’s really really hot.

Let me know your favourite hot sauce in the comments and please recommend new sauces to me. So far I have a collection of around 40 sauces, but I love trying new ones and playing with their flavours.

A story of why I have so many hot sauces:

Many months ago my fiancé bought this silly little sauce called “No Joke” from our local grocery store, which we tried but laughed at because there was no noticeable heat. We were disappointed so we went out looking for hotter sauces available in our city. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anything hotter than sriracha so we went online and discovered the endless sea of sauces.

We put an order in with Hot Sauce Unlimited and were happy to find extra sauces in the box when we opened it. They often send promotional sauces with your order, so we got to enjoy 6 sauces instead of just the 4 we had ordered. As we kept ordering new sauces to try, they kept sending extra sauces with our orders, so our collection grew quickly. Unfortunately my mail lady thinks that we are insane, as every time I see her she is handing me another box of hotter sauces. The last time she delivered a box, she expressed her concern for our health, but hopes we get to keep enjoying our spicy food. Our hottest sauce at the moment is our 808 Epic Series Octo Maximus. Our worst sauce is Da Bomb Ground Zero (seen below), as it has a terrible flavour that doesn’t mask the heat at all, but rather adds to the discomfort.

Once we had gotten to around 20 sauces, we decided we didn’t need hotter sauces, we needed different sauces. Most sauces are tomato and garlic mixed with other flavours, but we wanted variety, so we started ordering sauces that sounded unique, or who used different ingredients in their recipes. This has lead us to some great sauces, but also to some that are just not versatile that we have a hard time pairing. The prime example of a hard to pair sauce is our Blueberry Hell sauce (seen below).

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Reviewing Hot Sauces

So Ryan and I love hot sauces and eat a lot of them, which has lead to us now owning over 40 hot sauces. This is part two of our series of videos reviewing sauces. Some we blind taste test, others we just discuss. This time around Blair’s Mega Death Sauce with Liquid Rage was our hottest sauce, sitting at 550,00 SHU, and it burnt my tongue like you wouldn’t believe.

Please let me know your favourite hot sauce in the comments and if you have ever found a sauce that is just too hot for you.

Since filming this video, I have acclimated to the Blairs, and can now enjoy it in small amounts without suffering, but I will admit that no sensible person would every need this sauce in their life.

Sriracha

A simple sriracha sauce with a lot of strong pepper flavour without much sweetness that suits almost anything. To explain the flavour, I would call it a beautiful blend of bell pepper and sriracha pepper flavour.

Secret Aardvark

This is a well loved sauce as it isn’t too hot and is bursting with flavour. It describes itself as a Caribbean Tex Mex with it’s blend of turmeric, mustard, peppers, spices and sweet flavours.

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Shaquandas Hot Pepper Sauce

A unique sauce with strong carrot flavour that mixes well with the heat it brings. It has a sweet pickled flavour that yields well to chicken.

El Yucateco – Habanero XXXtra Hot

This sauce has a smokey flavour that could be added to any grilled or sautéed dish. While it does have a good kick of heat, it isn’t unreasonable for the average consumer.

Blairs Original Death Sauce

This sauce has a strong chipotle flavour that pairs well with hard cheeses and red meats. That being said, anything you would put chipotle on, you can enjoy this sauce on.

Bravado Spice Co. – Ako Miso

This sauce has heat and is very umami. It tastes strongly of miso and is excellent for adding to seafood and ramen dishes. I could see it being appealing on a variety of fried noodle dishes, but it isn’t a sauce I particularly enjoy, due to my personal dislike of umami.

PexPepper – Painapple

This sauce has three ingredients. Reaper chili, honey and pineapple. The pineapple and honey come through strongly and are backed with intense heat. This sauce is probably hotter than the average individual would enjoy, but for heat enthusiasts, this sauce is a great addition to meals and dishes that need a little fire without a lot of strong conflicting flavours.

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Da Bomb – Ground Zero

I can’t say a single good thing about this sauce. It tastes bad, the texture is uncomfortable, and without good flavour, the heat is just unjustified.

Mad Dog 357

This sauce tastes like a spicy Yum Yum pickle. There is no strong vinegar flavour, but a sweet underlying flavour that compliments the heat so perfectly that the sauce is very enjoyable on it’s own as well as paired with anything you would enjoy sweet pickles with.

Blairs Mega Death Sauce with Liquid Rage

This sauce is very very strong. It states that you should not eat it undiluted. While the flavour is simple, the heat is almost unbearable. Since the filming of this video I have increased my heat tolerance, which allows me to enjoy Blairs Mega Death, but I don’t think anyone who is adding hot sauce for flavour would use this sauce. This sauce is great for those who want to push the limits of heat, but the average person should steer clear.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

You might remember back in April that I made a ridiculous Reeses Peanut Butter Cake for Ryans birthday. He absolutely loves chocolate and peanut butter so I sometimes humour him with treats inspired by his favourite treat, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Today we have his podcast co-host coming over for the first recording session since the beginning of the isolation orders, so I decided my boys need something yummy for their multiple hour recording session. That treat is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes.

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Eva Blakeman – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Cake

Ingredients

  •  1 large egg, room temperature
  •  1/2 cup half and half cream
  •  1/2 cup vegetable oil
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  •  1/2 cup hot water
  •  1 cup flour
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  1/2 cup cocoa powder
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt

Direction

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. Mix all wet ingredients excluding the hot water, combining well.
  3. Mix in your dry ingredients until well combined.
  4. Gradually add in the hot water until the whole batter is smooth.
  5. Pour into a greased pan or into paper liners 3/4 up the side.
  6. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before icing.
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Eva Blakeman – Icing Tips

Icing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cups salted butter (room temperature)
  • 4-5 cups icing sugar (more sugar for stiffer icing)

Directions

  1. Cream peanut butter and butter together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually mix in icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Pack your piping bag and have fun!
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Okay so let’s look at this recipe and some things that might help you yield the best results. Firstly, having room temperature ingredients when baking changes everything! The only thing that I don’t believe needs to come up to room temp is eggs. The second is how hot the water you add is. I add steaming water, so just below 100C, as I find it just comes together better with the rest of the batter. The third is to pay attention to your cupcakes as they bake. I pulled the first batch at 17 minutes and the second at 16 minutes because they were done and I didn’t want to lose moisture due to over baking them!

Eva Blakeman – Chocolate Cupcakes

When it comes to mixing icing I’ve heard everyone say you need a hand mixer but this just isn’t true! A sturdy fork and patience is all you need. Starting by creaming the butters then gradually adding sugar is the best way. Always fully combine all the sugar in the bowl before adding more and you are in business!

Eva Blakeman – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
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Overfilling your piping bag can also cause problems down the line, so don’t fill past half way in your bag to keep control and even pressure when icing. I chose to pack two bags with different tips for this reason. The other thing is to practice and try new things whenever you can. Try spooling the icing, or squishing back into the cupcake! If I were using a vanilla or maple icing I would have coloured it and done roses, but as I decided to keep the peanut appearance I stuck to more simple decorating. And the staple of a swirled up icing is always beautiful!

When it comes to baking I believe in reading what’s going on rather than following strict directions and recipes, which is why my “recipes” change over the years. I change them to better suit the way I like my food to come out! I recommend trying to make things to better suit you. For example, when I make banana bread, I cut out half the sugar, because I prefer it to taste more like banana and less sweet.

Anyways, I hope you liked the recipe and if you ever want to see videos of my cooking, click here!

Quick Vanilla Cupcakes

Hey guys,

Today we are talking cupcakes, because that’s what I made this week. This was really in reactions to having a friend of mine asking questions about baking and wanting some tools to get him started which lead us to a Micheals discussion.. which lead me to Micheals to buy some new pipping tips and here we are.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup half a half cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
  3. Add all dry ingredients excluding flour and mix until well combined.
  4. Gradually mix in flour until mixture is smooth.
  5. Grease a muffin tin with butter (or) place liners into the pan. Fill each half way with batter.
  6. Bake 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when stabbed into the centre of a cupcake.
  7. Let cool completely before frosting.

It may sound a little odd, but I find pouring the batter into a large bottle makes pouring the batter into the tin much easier as you can control flow better. If you want to try this, make sure the funnel you use has a large enough tip that the batter can flow through well to load the bottle. Recipe yields 18-24 cupcakes.

Buttercream Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup room temp butter
  • 2 tbsp vanilla (or maple)
  • 4 cups icing sugar

Directions

  1. Cream the butter in a bowl until completely smooth, add in vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, fully mixing in the sugar before adding in more.
  3. Add in colouring if desired.
  4. Refrigerate if it won’t be used right away.
  5. ** In order to do the roses I used the tip below.

When working with buttercream it is important to remember that temperature will change everything. Warm buttercream is easier to work with but needs to be cooled to ensure it doesn’t droop or melt. Cool buttercream is very difficult to ice with as it is too firm to push through the tips easily. Body temperature is slightly higher than the desired warmth for buttercream, but using the heat from your hand to warm up the cream nearest to the tip will allow you easier icing.

Another thing that I see a lot is over packing the bag. You can always add more later so don’t fill more than halfway or you will have more icing than you can easily push out of the bag with your grip strength.

How To Pack and Cook For Camping

Hey guys,

Since I’m in the middle of prepping for camping at the moment, it seems like the perfect time to write about this. I am a tent camper, which means I don’t have a stove, fridge or anywhere to store food aside from my small cooler. This means I have very little space for cold food. This does not mean I don’t like to eat well while I’m in the woods though. Let’s go over prep work you can do before your trip, ways to store food and foods that take little to no effort to prepare.

Eva Blakeman – Camping

Before we get to food, I want to impress how important it is to store your food safely when camping in bear country. Dispose of food in bear safe garbage containers or burn them. Do not leave food unattended at your camp site as a vacant site with food is just calling for a bear to come by, and likely return again in hopes of getting more easy food. Coffee cups and juices also attract bears, so make sure your morning coffee isn’t sitting out with dregs, as a small amount of cream and sugar left in a cup is more than enough for a bear to sniff out.

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Store food in sealed containers and preferable inside your vehicle/ camper / trailer. If you are camping away from you vehicle, store food is air tight containers. Unfortunately most re-sealable bags are plastic, but they can be re-used many times before they are disposed of, so I would recommend re-using them as many times as you can before you throw them out.

Non Refrigerated Items

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While camping generally means eating less than clean, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy something other than chips. Apples, carrots, nuts, celery, bread, peanut butter, honey, etc, don’t require refrigeration and last over a week, which makes them ideal for camping. Not to mention how easy it is to eat an apple! No clean up.

Refrigerated Items

As I said, I use a small cooler, so in order to keep my items cold I use frozen water bottles. This way I have water and get to keep my food cool, saving space and weight. I limit the cool foods I bring to cheese, hot sauce and sometimes meats. If I’m bring meats I vacuum seal them and freeze them before packing them for a few reasons. The first is to make the meat last longer and keep the whole cooler colder as it is frozen, the second is to avoid a mess. A vacuum sealed meat can’t leak as it thaws. The third is that it takes up less space vacuum sealed than it doesn’t in it’s original styrofoam container. Not to mention it can’t attract wildlife if it’s air sealed.

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Junk Food / Snacks

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I can’t pretend I don’t bring junk food when I’m camping, so let’s get it out there. Again for space reasons, I tend to ditch the original containers and switch them to ziplock bags to save space and to give them a re-sealable edge, especially with chips. I love sunflower seeds and almonds, both of which often come in re-sealable bags that aren’t half air, so they get packed “as-is”.

Tin Foil Potatoes

I have a deep love for cooking with fire, as it is something I’ve been doing since I was a kid. You don’t want to cut potatoes more than a half hour before cooking, so I take the small potatoes, a pre-mixed bag of spices (onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne and salt), some tin foil and a knife. Once your fire is good and hot you can cut your potatoes in half, sprinkle them with spices (you can add some olive oil if you have it with you) then wrap them up in foil, making sure there are no open holes in the foil, and throw them onto the coals at the edge of the fire. With 10 small potatoes cooking, it shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes for them to be steaming and soft. If you have a small fire or it hasn’t been burning for very long, it will take longer.

Cooking Meats

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I rarely bring meats but when I do, I also bring tin foil. While steak doesn’t turn out great in tin foil, chicken and pork can be pretty tasty when cooked this way as it steams the meat in its own juices. It can be tricky to get the cook times right, so if in doubt, leave the meat at home. If you are confident that you can see white meat and no red or pink left, then you are ready to eat.

KEEPING DRINKS COLD

Eva Blakeman – Camping

If you are camping near a water source, cooling your drinks will be easy as you can either net your cans and leave them in the water or dunk them in for a half hour before drinking them. If you are not near water then being as efficient as possible with cold space is important. The likely hood of ice you packed 4 days ago in a cooler still being frozen is slim, so you will need to keep the drinks themselves cool. Having a committed cooler for drinks with frozen water bottles is helpful as you won’t be opening your food cooler often, losing the chill for your other foods. Storing your cooler in a shaded place also helps keep it cool.

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All in all, food is the least impressionable part of camping, but underpacking and spoiled food can ruin a trip. My tip would be to focus on foods that don’t perish for at least a week that don’t need to be kept cool. If you have any tips you wan’t to share, I would be so happy to hear them!

Top 4 Yummiest Hot Sauces

Hey guys,

Ryan and I have been getting a little obsessed with hot sauces, trying hotter and hotter ones trying to find the yummiest sauces with real heat. At this moment we have three of the Blair’s Hot Sauces shipping to us. We have found that once you get over 100,000 Scovilles it becomes difficult to find sauces that have really good flavour, so this list consists of sauces under 100,000. Not to say that they can’t have good flavour, but we haven’t found any at this point I would put on this list.

El Yucateco – XXXTRA HOT CHILE HABANERO

Eva Blakeman – El Yucateco

This habanero hot sauce has kick with a Scoville of 11,000 but doesn’t skimp on flavour. This is one of the few sauces we didn’t have to order as you can usually find this brand in shops. It has a strong habanero scent mixed with a faint smell of sweetness. On the tongue it will cause a small amount of burning, but the fullness of the onion, tomato and blend of spices really bring the flavour. It is the perfect sauce to add to salsa or pico de gallo as it shares similar ingredients.

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Bravado Spice Co. Black Garlic Carolina Reaper

Eva Blakeman – Bravado Spice Co

This hot sauce does not pull its punches with a Scoville of 71,000. It has simple ingredients without any note of artificial flavour or preservatives. It contains red serrano pepper, Carolina reaper, roasted garlic, maple syrup and black pepper, as well as some salt and vinegar. The blend of the two peppers with the garlic gives a well rounded and robust flavour. Admittedly I can’t taste any maple syrup in the sauce, but I imagine it’s doing its job in there. I like coating chicken in this sauce before baking because it really adds to the chicken. I also think it’s great addition to a charcuterie board (if your guests like spicy food).

Dirty Dicks Hot Sauce

Eva Blakeman – Dirty Dicks Hot Sauce

Forgive the name, as this sauce has a beautiful blend of sweet and spicy flavours. It comes in at 21,000 Scoville but doesn’t leave a burn on your tongue. Once again this sauce has no extra ingredients for preservation or artificial flavours. Dirty Dicks has a unique blend of banana, mangos, pineapple, brown sugar, raisins, onion, garlic and habanero peppers. It is an unrivalled sauce that can really go with anything. It goes beautifully with most cheeses, vegetables, pork and chicken. I could see this being mixed into a strong drink for kick.

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Torchbearer – Son Of Zombie

(Sorry no image, we finished the bottle before I could take a picture, not to worry though, we have another on the way!)

This sauce is a combination of three flavours. Chipotle BBQ, Honey Garlic and Torchbearers famous Zombie Apocalypse sauce. This is Ryans all time favourite sauce because it’s flavour is so strong he can mix it into mayonnaise for his wraps without losing flavour. It comes in at 24,ooo Scoville but doesn’t cause pain. I’ve only had it a couple of times, but found it to be a perfect smokey blend.

I hear the Secret Ardvaark is incredible as well, and I have a bottle on the way, but until I can try it for myself I won’t say if it’s good or not. Ryan and I love spicy food and eat hot sauce daily, so over time I think I’ll make new hot sauces posts. I am very excited to try some of the ones we ordered as they vary from 10,000-550,000 Scoville. I know not everyone is a hot sauce lover, just as some people don’t care for wine, but I think both are made with love and a lot of art by their creators. Believe it or not, I think a good hot sauce and wine can pair beautifully.

Eva Blakeman – 4 Yummiest Hot Sauces

Quick Buttery French Buns

Hey there,

This week we are doing buns! The best part about these buns is how quickly they can be made. I’ve tweaked and fussed with this recipe for a while now until I could make it just right. These buns are excellent to pair with soup, use for sandwiches and as a breakfast with butter and jam. So here it goes, my recipe for the perfect chewy buns.

I will point out this recipe requires a heat source to speed the rising of the yeast. If you do not own a tradition oven+stove with heat coils and a vent out of the oven, you may need to wait longer for rise times.

Total Time : 95 minutes Yields : 8 Large Buns / 12 Medium Buns

Eva Blakeman – Buttery French Buns
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 tbsp instant dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 – 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3-4 tbsp salted butter
Eva Blakeman – Buns Before Being Brushed With Butter

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F
  2. Mix 2 cups of warm water, yeast and sugar together in a large, heat safe bowl.
  3. Place the bowl beside the vent for your oven (hover your hand above the elements of your stove after you have been pre-heating for a few minutes. One of them should have a steady amount of heat coming from it venting out from the oven, you will want to place your bowl beside the element, not on top of it). Let the bowl sit there until bubbles form on top of the mixture.
  4. Mix in the salt and flour one cup at a time. I would recommend stopping at 3 1/4 cups and kneading more flour in as needed later down the line.
  5. Place the bowl back beside the vent for 15 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes or until the dough has become smooth and is no longer sticky. Avoid adding large amounts of flour.
  7. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and pull the dough into smooth balls. Place them on a baking sheet covered in aluminium foil and greased with butter. Place the baking sheet on top of the oven and allow 15- 30 minutes for the final rise.
  8. Pour a cup of water into the bottom of the oven a few minutes before putting in the buns. (The humidity will help form a better crust).
  9. Bake the buns for 18-25 minutes. Do not open the oven for the first 15 minutes or you will lose humidity. They should have a hard crust and light brown colour on the top.
  10. Brush the buns with warm butter (this will soften the crust) immediately upon removing them from the oven.
  11. Buns can be enjoyed warm after a half hour of cooling or can be stored in an air tight container after they have cooled to room temperature.
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I hope you enjoyed the recipe! If you tried this recipe, please let me know! Tag me in pictures of your baked goods with @evablakeman on Instagram.


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Eva Blakeman – Quick Buttery French Buns