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Sunday, February 27, 2011


Mini Violas,  Mini Roses and Strawberry Blossoms

Middle-Class Martha is so Excited!  Being a Chocolatier, not only do I get to dive into chocolate everyday as a job but also companies send me FREE stuff to sample.
My first sample to review is by a company named Crystallized Flower Company, who specializes in crystallized edible flowers.   The flowers arrived today and they are beautiful!  In exchange for these free products, they would like me to make a creative dessert and send them a picture for their website. 
Bonus, recipe creation is one of my Favorite activities.
They sent me a variety of flowers including: Crystallized Sechuan Buttons, Mini Violas, Strawberry Blossoms, Micro-Mini Roses & Sugar Rose Petal Confetti.  I am most excited about the sechuan buttons.  They are said to cause a tingling sensation and numbness in your mouth.  Very exciting!  This company is believed to be the only company in the world to sell them in candied form.  All flowers are shelf stable for one year.
Sechuan Buttons

Interesting!  I just couldn’t wait to try.  At first the Sechuan button is extremely tart with almost a lemony zing and then tingle as it dissolves in your mouth  It is equivalent to a gastronomic version of a 1st time ride on a roller coaster.  As the anticipation builds, first the tart then as the tingling becomes more intense….I started thinking, oh no what have I done?... knowing I can’t get off of this ride.   I was relieved once the tingling sensation weakened and ready to go again.  This is a 10-minute sensation that I intend to repeat again and again.   It was very similar to a tart pop rock candy sensation, without the constant popping.  Now hmm?  What chocolate recipe would be most enhanced by this experience???

Sugar Rose Petal Confetti

The ideas are already racing through my head. 

I hope to be posting some delicious pictures and recipes in a few days!

Middle-Class Martha

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pig Dinner EXTRA Starch

Middle-Class Martha is here to tell you Karma is alive and well! 

My husband is a FIJI and every year his fraternity has a Pig Dinner.  It is a formal dinner for Alumni to socialize with each other.   My husband’s traveling schedule was preventing him from attending this year so I scheduled a profractional laser facial on the previous Friday.  This procedure left my face looking like raw hamburger meat.    In a good way…I mean, I paid to look this way, so when it heals my skin looks fantastic.     

His flight Friday to Denver was cancelled, leaving him free to attend Pig Dinner Saturday.  On the way out the door Saturday morning, to my son’s District Boy Scout Pinewood Derby, he mentioned he would be going to Pig Dinner that night.   He also mentioned he was wearing his cream colored shirt with a suit and tie.   He asked me to wash it and have it ready, since he was on a tight schedule.  

Of all my domestic goddess gifts, ironing is not one of them.  I panicked!  The shirt came out of the dryer resembling crepe paper.   I would have taken it to the drycleaners, IF I had I known he needed it.   WORSE, I had no spray starch and with my face looking so terrible, was not likely to be dropping in anywhere to buy some. 

This is where Karma and Grace come into play.  I remember “slightly “ making fun of one of our mutual friends, Tracey about a year ago.  Her husband is a patent lawyer with a firm, whom needs to be impeccably dressed everyday at work as part of his career plan to make partner.  She was spending entire days boiling starch and ironing his clothes.   I finally harassed/ convinced her that was total non-sense

Hi Karma!   Here I am a year later trying to remember how she did it.   My saving grace, Tracey……. thank you, thank you, thank you!   

Tracey’s Starch Recipe:
½ cup starch
1-cup cold water
Additional water
            2 quarts for heavy starch
            4 quarts for medium starch
            6 quarts for light starch

1.  Stir cold water and starch in a bowl
2.  In a large pot boil additional water (pick the amount of water to make the type of 
     solution, you need (i.e. Heavy, Medium or Light starch)
3.  Add the bowl starch mixture to the pot with the boiling water
4.  Dip clothes in the starch solution
5. Let clothes dry
6. Spray lightly with warm water then iron as usual.

Homemade Spray Starch:

2 cups cold water
1-tablespoon cornstarch

1. Add water and cornstarch into a spray bottle.  Shake well.

Homemade SUNBURN relief:
1 cup of cornstarch

Add to bathtub full of warm water and soak for 30 minutes.

Homemade SUNBURN relief wrap:
1-tablespoon cornstarch
1-tablespoon baking soda
½ cup water

Mix water, cornstarch and baking soda in bowl.  Dip gauze in bowl and wrap on sunburn.  Leave for 20 minutes.

Tip:  Cornstarch is the cake maker’s BEST FRIEND when working with fondant.  Lightly dusting a paintbrush with cornstarch, allows you to move or touch up your fondant without damaging it. 

Middle-Class Martha

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

White Chocolate Coconut Chocolate Chip Caramelized Banana Mousse

Middle-Class Martha is pretty sure when Banana Pudding grows up it wants to be White Chocolate Coconut Chocolate Chip Caramelized Banana Mousse.   I had serveral bananas that were fully ripe and no idea what to do with them.   I could make banana bread but where is the thrill for a chocolatiere in that? ??  Banana pudding, Nah!   My kids participated in Jump Rope for Heart campaign today and I wanted to do something special for them.   This sweet, fruity and coco"nutty" concoction is for them.

White Chocolate Coconut Chocolate Chip Caramelized Banana Mousse:
Tres Sucre Chocolatiere Original Recipe

1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Tablespoon Coconut oil (optional)
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 Bananas sliced

2 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
12 ounces White Chocolate (Roughly 2 cups) *  This recipe could easily be changed to
milk or dark chocolate
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon

2 oz Mini Chocolate Chips  

Nilla Wafers and Fresh Whipped Cream

1.  In a skillet over medium heat melt butter and brown sugar.  Slice bananas and lay 
     slices on caramelized sugar mixture for about 3 mins flip and repeat on other side 
     about a minute.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2.  Place 1 and 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream into cold mixing bowl.  Whisk on high.

3.  Meanwhile Heat 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream and 1/2 cup Coconut milk over medium 
     heat to just under a boil.   Pour over white chocolate and stir until smooth

4.  Fold Chocolate mixture slowly into Mixing bowl with the heavy cream that has 
     already been whipped.  Add Cinnamon.

5.  Whisk on High until mixture makes stiff peaks.  Fold in Mini chocolate chip and 
      caramelized bananas.   Chill Mixture for 3 hours.  Serve with Nilla Wafers and 
      Fresh Whipped Cream.

Middle-Class Martha


Fold in Mini Chocolate Chips


Fold in Caramelized Bananas.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Smores get a makeover!

It recently became clear to Middle-Class Martha that traditional Smores needed a little tweeking.   We had a lovely weekend at the Lake.  Lots of games, fishing and ending with a fire bowl on the "beach."   The kids LOVE Smores, so my job was to prepare the graham cracker and chocolate bar for the next incoming marshmallow.   I attempted this task in the dark with 3 Boys taking turns, landing semi-flaming marshmallows in my lap, while I "tried" to keep the chocolate bar balanced on the graham cracker.   This left me saying "NOMORE" instead of "SMORE!"  It was soon clear this traditional process needed a little makeover.

NEW and Improved SMORES:
The following recipes are Tres Sucre Chocolatiere Original Recipes.

Graham Crackers broken into squares
Marshmallows (Roasted)
Smores Chocolate Spread

Spread one or both Graham Cracker Squares with Smores Chocolate Spread.   Place roasted Marshmallow between two graham cracker squares.

Smores Chocolate Spread:

4 oz Softened Cream Cheese
6 oz Hershey's Chocolate (I used Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips)
2 Tablespoons Sweetened Ground Chocolate Powder
3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

1.  Place softened Cream Cheese in a bowl.  Cover with 4 oz. Chocolate Chips.  Microwave for 20 seconds and stir.  Repeat until smooth.

2.  Stir in Sweetened Chocolate Powder and Powdered Sugar

3. Stir in 2 oz of Chocolate Chips (I like mine to remain unmelted)


Sweet and Simple Smores Spread:
2 oz softened Cream Cheese
2 oz Mini Chocolate Chips (Do not melt the chips into the Cream Cheese)
Powdered sugar to taste

Mix powdered Sugar and softened Cream Cheese to taste.  Stir in Mini Chocolate Chips.  Spread on Graham cracker add toasted marshmallow.

Smores Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread:
    This adds protein to your child's snack as well as dairy.  Win-Win!

2 oz Cream Cheese
4 oz Chocolate
2 oz Peanut Butter

1 Tablespoons Sweetened Ground Chocolate Powder
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

1.  Place softened Cream Cheese in a bowl.  Cover with 4 oz. Chocolate Chips.  Microwave for 20 seconds and stir.  Repeat until smooth.

2.  Stir in Sweetened Chocolate Powder and Powdered Sugar

3. Stir in 2 oz Peanut Butter


Middle-Class Martha



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pinewood Derby Pie Recipe

My Son's Pinewood Derby Car!

Pinewood Derby Pie 
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 to 4 tablespoons bourbon
¼ teaspoon Vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1-1/2 cup Pecan Halves
1 cup Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 inch Pie Crust

1.   Preheat oven 350 degrees
2.   In the bowl of your Kitchen-Aide Mixer Combine; Beaten Eggs, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Corn syrup, Butter and Salt.  Mix at Medium Speed until blended.
3.   Fold  in Vanilla, Bourbon, Pecans and Chocolate Chips
4.   Pour into pie shell
5.   Bake 45-55 minutes until filling is set.

I am adding Boy Scouts of America Emblem Chocolates along the edge of my crust, once it is cooled.

My son’s pack is in charge of bringing desserts to the Blue and Gold Banquet after the Pinewood Derby Race!

Did I mention Middle-Class Martha doesn’t do anything “Middle of the Road?”

Middle-Class Martha

Friday, February 18, 2011

Saucy Friday. Sauces for White Chocolate Blueberry Bread Pudding in the Crock-pot

Middle-Class Martha LOVES Bread Pudding with Buttered Rum Sauce so I thought I would share a few Bread Pudding Sauce Recipes.  I also happen to have an EASY Lemon sauce recipe that can be microwaved in about 5 minutes.     

Fresh Lemon Sauce - Microwavable

1 cup water 
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
Pinch of Salt
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 teaspoon grated lemon rind (Zest)
1/3 cup Lemon Juice

1. Combine; Water, Sugar Cornstarch and Salt in a 2 cup microwavable glass measuring cup
2.  Microwave on HIGH for 2 mins.  Stir.   Microwave again for 1 minute then stir again
3.  Repeat until smooth.  Microwaving 1 minute then stirring
4.  Add Butter, Lemon Zest and lemon juice
5. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute and stir well   

Butter Rum Sauce

1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 egg
3 Tbs Rum

1.  Cream the butter and sugar
2.  Add Vanilla
3.  Slowly Stir in Egg
4.  Add Rum
5.  Place mixture in a medium sized sauce pan and heat for approximately 5 mins.   Ready to serve.

Whiskey Sauce

1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/2 Cup half and half
2 Tablespoons Whiskey

1.  Combine Butter, Sugar and half and half in a heavy sauce pan
2.  Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
3.  Bring to a Boil
4.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.
5.  Remove from heat... cool and then add Whiskey

Vanilla Sauce
2 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Salt

1.  Place 2 cups water in microwave and bring to a boil
2.  In a Sauce pan place sugar and cornstarch and pour boiling water over
3.  Bring mixture to a Simmer, stirring constantly until smooth about 5 mins
4.  Stir in Butter, Vanilla and Salt until well blended.

EASY Blueberry Sauce

3 cups of blueberries (1-1/2 pints)
1 cup *Vanilla Sugar (Don't have vanilla sugar Add 1 cup Sugar and 1 tsp Vanilla extract)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1.  Bring all of the ingredients to a boil and simmer for about 15 mins.

* Vanilla Sugar is WONDERFUL and made by placing 2 cups of Sugar in a airtight jar with the
   scrapings from the inside of 1 vanilla bean for 2 weeks.

Middle-Class Martha

Thursday, February 17, 2011

White Chocolate Blueberry Bread Pudding in a Crockpot Recipe and FUNNY STORY!

White Chocolate Blueberry Bread PuddingBefore Cooking

Middle-Class Martha had a bit of a White Trash Martha day!   I had a MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) meeting today.   I made an amazing White Chocolate Blueberry Bread Pudding this morning but also had to deliver the Favor boxes filled with sea-salted caramels to a fellow member.  In addition, I was in charge of the icebreaker.   I stayed up late trying to decide which Ice Breaker to try, going over the MOPS International Facebook page ideas.   I decided on “Which Pie are you and Why?”   Cheesy, Yes!  Necessary, Nonetheless!

Did I mention I was running behind?  Despite My 5AM Alarm, I find myself running to the store for French bread at 6AM.  I actually forgot the MAIN INGREDIENT!  Bygones!  I coax my printer, which was low on ink to print the remaining two sheets for the icebreaker.   I showered, got ready for my meeting and dropped the kids off at school.  I ran back home to pick up the chocolates and the crock-pot bread pudding.   I even found the small dog, who ran passed me when I went out to take the trash to the curb.  I found the dog named “NEMO,” remained hiding in the house, while I was “SWEETLY” calling his name.  Thanks to my Chocolate Laboratory, who was staring through the backdoor, straight at him, hiding under the sofa, with a look of “HAHA you’re going to get it, you made her LAAATEEE!” 
Finishing Touch on Favor Boxes...CUTE!
I arrive slightly late to the meeting but barely noticeable.  I discover, I do not have enough hand to carry the HOT Crock-pot and the CHOCOLATE favor boxes, which Can NOT touch the crock-pot and the Syrup that MUST NOT get on the boxes of Chocolate.   I grab my purse and devise a plan.   Being a Mom is kind of like being a pack mule so I am well equipped for this particular task.
I made it inside and took my seat before anyone was even aware I had been late.

After the meeting I help clean up and easily walk to my car having already delivered the chocolates.   I stopped by Walgreens to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy.  I waited patiently.   The Pharmacy Tech is now staring at me a little more than usual.    She asked if I need anything else and shoots an expectant glance at my purse.  I say no and while reaching for my pocketbook, discover the syrup bottle I had stowed neatly in the “saddle bag” of a purse I carry.  I look embarrassed but just reply, “it’s syrup”.  Thank Goodness, it is only syrup.  Walgreens doesn’t carry syrup, DO THEY???  What if they think I shoplifted it?   Oh, No!  At least I have 30 - 40 witnesses that saw me with a syrup bottle this morning.  Then I notice the large serving spoon I had stashed in there too, while trying to carry the crock-pot out to the car.  I simply say, “I had a MOPS Meeting” and leave it at that.   Imagining the gossip in town to twist this into “Don’t be LATE to MOPS or they will force you to carry a syrup bottle in your purse as a reminder”
The Bread Pudding did turn out great and White Chocolate for a White Trash Martha Day….Even Better!
Breakfast: White Chocolate Blueberry Bread Pudding in a Crockpot 
Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
               1/2 cup dried blueberries
               3 Tbsp bourbon *“applecider”
               4 oz. white chocolate chips
               4 Tbsp. butter cubed
               6 cups stale French bread
               4-5 eggs
               1/3 cup sugar
               1 cup heavy cream
               1 teaspoon vanilla
               1-2 tsp Cinnamon(optional)

1. Soak the Blueberries in Bourbon or Apple Cider for 30 mins…I used apple cider since my MOPS group is a Christian group that meets at a Baptist Church.   I will use bourbon when I am cooking at home. 
2. Coat the entire inside (the Crock) of a 3-½ quart slow cooker with butter-flavored cooking spray. Or just a stick of butter.
3.    Cube the French Bread
4.    Drain the liquid off of the fruit
5.    Layer in the Crock-pot starting with half of French bread cubes
6.    Follow with half of the blueberries
7.    Follow with half of white choc.chips
8.    Follow with half of the cubed butter
9.    Repeat steps 5-8
10.  In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth.
11.  Whisk in Heavy cream and Vanilla to bowl until well mixed
12.  Pour egg mixture over the French bread
13.  Gently Press down on the bread to ensure it is covered with egg mixture
14.Cook for 1 hour and 45 mins with the LID ON.  DO NOT LIFT
THE LID during the cooking time until the bread has gotten puffy and a solid bread pudding has formed.

I served mine with Syrup, kept warm in my purse….(a little joke, but let that be a lesson to all of you, NEVER BE LATE!) on the side.   I did not have time to make a delicious sauce.  

Check back later for a Vanilla drizzling sauce and a butter rum sauce

FOR FUN:  A copy of the Pie icebreaker adapted\ borrowed for MOPS Facebook page but pie number 9 and10 are all mine...What kind of chocolatier would I be if I left out chocolate cream pie?

 Choose a favorite pie that describes you….AND WHY?    
1.        1. Cherry
2.    2. Blueberry
3.    3. Apple
4.    4. Pecan
5.    5. Lemon Meringue
6.    6. Banana Cream
7.    7. Pumpkin
8.    8. Coconut
9.    9 Chocolate Cream
1010. Make-up your own Pie (any type you like)

Cherry – Of course you’re edgy, and outgoing. You are the most spontaneous of ...this bunch, and are most likely to sky dive.

Blueberry – You like nature and are a determined, easy-going soul. Would an uptight person eat blueberries knowing that they stain? Exactly.

Apple – You’re All-American, traditional, and predictable. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so you might be a bit boring as well, but healthy.

Pecan – You like the simple things in life, but because pecan pie is super delicious and sweet, you secretly seek more love in your life.

Lemon Meringue – Congratulations you are the most sassiest and lively one of them all. Even though lemons seem refreshing, when you bite into a lemon meringue pie you enjoy the fact that it surprises you with tartness.

Banana Cream – Ok overachiever, we know you secretly want to relax and let someone else take control.

Pumpkin – If you crave pumpkin pie, you probably live in the past because it reminds you of your childhood. Everyone knows the best part of eating pumpkin pie is the cool whip you pile on top. So you also enjoy the present moment.

Coconut – This is an easy one. You do not live in reality, and would rather be living on a beach

Chocolate Pie – Congratulations! You are the sweetest and most sophisticated pie. 

Make-up your own Pie – You don’t like to play by others rules, perhaps a trouble maker?… You definitely, creatively color, outside the lines of life J

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Chocolatier

Today Middle-Class Martha made Sea-Salted Carmel and Chocolate covered Oreo’s for baby shower favors.  A very sophisticated shower, so no cute bears, ducks, cute little feet or trucks.  I had a great time but would someone, living near me, PLEASE HAVE A GIRL???  





Sweetheart Fleur de sel Salted Caramel:

·1 1/3 cup heavy cream
·2 cups superfine granulated sugar
·1/2 cup light corn syrup
·1/3 cup honey
·6 tbsp butter, cubed
·1 tsp vanilla extract
·2 tsp sea salt, such as fleur de sel

Extra Salt for Garnish


1. Spray an 8-inch glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Bring heavy cream in a large saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat.

3. Stir in the suga

4. Immediately Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of Fleur de sel salt.

5. Pour into glass baking pan and allow Caramel to cool at room temperature.  It will become firm and you may cut it.