I am the candy blogger.

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  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Favorite foods: Candy, couscous, lentils, cheezits, chicken korma, cheese naan, just about any cheese, fresh figs, fresh crisp apples, mochi, anything made with barley, NY-style pizza (the kind you have to fold in half), hot & sour soup

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Party Drinks: Easy and Elegant Smoky Sage Punch

We made this for a party. We served it from a pitcher, not a punchbowl, which is probably good because this stuff gets sticky. I think I'll add just slightly less syrup next time (maybe muddle the sage with the citrus to preserve the sage flavor), it was a bit too sweet for my tastes.

Huge hit. Quite unique and the sage/lapsang suchong is a great winter flavor note.

Easy, Light, and Tender Honey-Vanilla Almond Cake

I made this recipe over the weekend for my father in law for his birthday.

It turned out very well and expect to use this recipe again.

Here's what I did differently ... I do not have two bowls for my stand mixer, so just beat the honey/egg yolk mixture by hand and added the almond flour (used Trader Joe's). I should have beat the honey & egg yolks a little longer, I think, I just added the almond flour after they were combined. I added zest of one lemon and vanilla extract instead of almond extract. I think I'll double the lemon next time for more of a lemon pop.

It baked just fine, I have a convection oven and I don't think I needed to turn it and I'll probably take it out about 5 minutes sooner next time.

I was stingy on the honey glaze, I only used about half ... and then spilled the rest. Next time I won't be, it needs the boost of moisture. (But could have been the overbaking.)

Still, it had a nice crumb, good flavor and texture. It also addresses a wide variety of dietary restrictions and is pretty simple to accomplish/adapt.

I served it with some sliced strawberries.

Light and Tender Honey-Almond Cake (Or, How to Beat Perfect Egg Whites)

Yeah, I would have liked to see a cross section of the cake, not just to see the crumb, but the color and the height you get.

Know Your Sweets: Candy Hearts

Necco never switched the flavoring/coloring of their Sweethearts Conversation Hearts to all natural. They switched their Necco Wafers ... then switched them back.

They did, however, make a radical change in the texture, coloring and flavor assortment of the Sweethearts. They still make the classics (they're just called Conversation Hearts, not Necco Sweethearts), but they're extremely difficult to find (and some say not like they used to be).

Taste Test: Ginger Snaps

AndyPanda - you are correct! I just stopped in there today and noticed that there are actually two different versions on the shelf. (Photo -

The ingredients are different and they even look different.

Taste Test: Ginger Snaps

I'm a huge fan of the TJ's and like the other commenters, a tub does not last long in our house. However, they may be mis-labeled as "ginger snaps" as they aren't the same kind of cookie, so of course will not do well in a head-to-head.

Poisonous foods.

@AnnieNT - pasteurization for almonds is not to get rid of cyanide. It's because of two separate outbreaks of salmonella traced to raw almonds.

Quin: Portland's New Sweet & Small Candy Shop

I'm actually eating these right now! I have a bag of the Best of Oregon Caramels. They're quite dark, almost bitter and barely sweet.

Sugar Rush: Kouign Amann at Bouchon Bakery

I haven't had them in NYC, but I've had them at the Beverly Hills Bouchon.

I am not a pastry person but I am absolutely addicted to these. The shop happens to be above the parking structure I use when I go to the doctor, so I always stop and pick one up.

However, I find it about 30% too large for me. So it's best shared.

Here in Los Angeles, Short Cake at the LA Farmers Market makes something called a Buttercup, which lacks the full caramelized sugar crust (it should be like the top of a creme brulee) but is still quite wonderful and about half the size.

I didn't care for the Dominique Ansel one ... but I did enjoy my Canele from there.

Grom Upper West Side Closes: Is Serious Gelato A No-Go In My 'Hood?

I was in that Grom about 2 weeks ago. Bad service. Completely disinterested, I guess they already knew they were pink-slipped?

They couldn't give me a lid for my hot chocolate, even though there was one on the "sizes" cups sitting on the counter in two different places. Offered "some foil" for the top ... like that was going to be pleasant in the rain. I drank as much as I could in the shop, but the rest had to go in the trash.

I liked the hot chocolate, and probably would have stopped at another shop while I was in NYC, but since there were so many other choices, why would I after that?

New Jet-Puffed Flavored Marshmallows: A Taste Test And A Question

I liked the Gingerbread ones from last year (which I suppose may show up again this year). The Cinnamon Bun ones, though similar, were too sweet and artificial.

Both benefit with a little toasting over a gas burner.

Daily Slice: Moishe's Village, Los Angeles

@Kelly Bone - Fatty? I doubt that, you just have priorities. Your job is eating pizza! Mine is eating candy, so not much room left for anything else.

Daily Slice: Moishe's Village, Los Angeles

I love the Spinach Boreka. If I'm going to eat at the Farmers Market (and my office is walking distance), that's what I get. Every single time. I've been eating there for four years, never had anything else there.

It's a bit too much food for me. I can eat three pieces, not all four, and no sides. (Gotta save room for a Littlejohn's Pecan Praline.)


I agree - the slide show format is not about the reader, it's about revenue. It's not about browsing, it's about confining the reader.

Remember, if you're not paying for the content you're the product being sold. It doesn't mean that Serious Eats isn't doing great with making content we all want to come and read, but their ultimate customers are the advertisers.

(The team here does take a great deal of care and pride in the advertising they do accept and are very aware of the feedback from readers when there are mis-steps.)

I do like that the top 10 X of the year lists are just that, lists.

If there were a subscription option to go ad free (like Flickr), I'd be there.

The Serious Eats Guide to Taco Styles

I applaud your use of a post for this instead of those wonky, page-view-grubbing slideshows that force me to keep clicking through each photo.

Is Turkish Delight/Lokum okay for vegetarians?

True Lokum is never made with gelatin. The gelatin recipe is an American shortcut (and it never comes out with the same texture - it definitely is "bouncier" than the starch thickened version).

It's thickened with some sort of starch, sometimes corn starch, sometimes tapioca starch, it all depends on where it's made and what's traditional in that area.

Japanese Snacks: Chewy Candy

CTE has it right. The true Japanese HiCHEW are fantastic. The ones now sold in the US are made in Taiwan and though they're still quite good, they're definitely inferior.

Marmalade Meets the Cocktail Shaker

@cookiequiz The posts Derek Brown makes with the recipes mention that you can strain it (or not). I prefer not.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Buckeyes

As a kid I was always squicked out at "true" recipes that called for parafin. I could always tell the moms that used wax at the bake sale. I get that the combination of chocolate and fatty peanut butter can cause setting problems.

Getting good quality couveture chocolate (not just grocery store chocolate chips which are made for baking) and proper tempering takes care of the firmness issue.

Marmalade Meets the Cocktail Shaker

As I commented over there on the Atlantic:

I've been picking up something called Honey Citron Tea at the Korean grocer for a while now. It's supposed to be a drink, but it's basically a marmalade. Just add it to hot or cold water for a "lemon tea."

I've also mixed it with gin & seltzer, it's really nice.


Molasses isn't really "just sugar". It's only about half sugar, the rest is water and minerals. Most of it is sucrose with smaller amounts of free glucose and fructose. Most of all molasses has flavor along with heaping amounts of minerals like manganese, copper, selenium, calcium, magnesium and selenium.

A tablespoon has 58 calories, versus 86 in corn syrup (which basically has similar water content).

Unsulfured, as mentioned, means that it comes from older cane. As long as you're not sensitive to sulfur, it shouldn't matter much which you get, though I prefer unsulfured because I think that mature cane has a better flavor profile.

I also love muscovado sugar which is one of the darkest there is.

Poll: How Long Have You Gone Without Eating Burgers?

sdfishtaco - this post is on the home page of Serious Eats. As if they wanted a larger cross section of the readership for the poll.

Poll: How Long Have You Gone Without Eating Burgers?

23 years this month. (That doesn't count those "Portabello Burgers".)

Honestly, I don't miss them and never really cared for them. When I found that I was craving them in the first few years of being a vegetarian, a nice grilled cheese sandwich actually did it for me. (I think it was just a hot sandwich I wanted after all.)

I think it's been 33 years since I had a hot dog.

Serious Chocolate: Corn Syrup vs. HFCS

A sock puppeting, according to the NYTimes is the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one's self, allies or company.

I am not saying that your identity is fake, but a communications specialist should probably be aware of the PR issues. You did not identify yourself as an employee of an agave syrup company until confronted and it's still not noted in your profile page.

I never said all sweeteners were the same ... actually, I think I illustrated quite the opposite. I asked for expert information on why that would be better than a glucose syrup or a 50/50 mix. Baking especially is chemistry and fructose syrup does not offer the same function as glucose syrup in many instances.

For the record, I'm not Serious Eats staff ... just, well, like this sometimes.