Giada at home with Giada De Laurentiis
Tricks or Treats
Chocolate-Dipped Nougat with Dried Apricots
Halloween Popcorn Treats
Halloween Spice Cake
It’s Halloween at Giada’s. There’s Witch’s Brew and lots of candy at a big table outside. And she’s making a Halloween spiced cake.
I admit I’m not too thrilled by these recipes. Who needs to make a bunch of junk? Oh, the new beginning is good (I haven’t watched last week’s yet) with lots of scenes of Giada, Jade and Todd. Seriously, Giada is gorgeous. I guess it doesn’t really matter what she makes.
Giada walks into a candy store with Jade in a stroller. Jade is big and awfully cute. No trick or treating for her this year, Giada says. Wait a sec…she’s buying candy in a fancy candy store for trick or treaters?!! I hope she’s not giving out loose candy. Oh, I think it’s for her party.
She starts the Spice Cake. She measures 1½ cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder in a bowl with lots of spices. (They’re in fancy steel cans). A little salt goes in with 1 tablespoon cinnamon, as Giada needlessly explains that spice cake doesn’t mean spicy HOT. She adds 2 teaspoons of ginger, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg, (why isn't she grating it herself?), ¼ teaspoon of allspice and cocoa. Hmmm, the cocoa powder is interesting. I’ve never done that. I really like that idea. She mixes the dry ingredients together.
In a separate bowl, Giada beats 2 eggs. They should be at room temperature, so the batter doesn’t seize up. Good point. Okay, maybe this show isn’t so bad after all. She adds 1 cup of sugar, ¼ cup of light brown sugar and 1/3 cup of applesauce, which keeps the cake moist. She stirs in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2/3 cup of vegetable oil. which is in a fancy cork-stopped bottle. Safflower oil would be good here.
Giada beats the wet ingredients with the sugars quickly with a hand mixer. She beats in half the dry ingredients, then adds the rest and beats them in. She pours the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan and then puts it on a baking tray and into the oven. She never says why it's on a baking tray. Usually it’s because you want more heat on the bottom of the pan. But why would she do that here? No idea.
Giada goes on to the nougat. May I just say that it’s a complete total outrage on the Food Network website that you can't link to all the recipes from a given show on EACH recipe's page? You have to go back to the home page of the episode to get all of the recipes. It is soooooooooooooo ludicrous!!!!!!!
She stirs 2 cups sugar with ¼ cup honey...hmmm...and ¼ cup water in a saucepan. She is going to cook it to 315°F on a candy thermometer.
Ewww, there’s a disgusting commercial for Smooth Away. First she rubs it on her underarms and then over her lip. Really gross! It’s $14.99 with a second one free with only $400 for shipping and handling.
Thankfully, we’re back. The cake comes out. She lets it cool…on the hot baking tray that we have no idea why it’s there anyway.
Giada is still boiling her caramel. She puts 2 room temperature egg whites in the mixer and beats them until fluffy. Her white KitchenAid is gorgeous.
She removes the thermometer and warns us about how hot the caramel is. She carefully beats it into the whites with the mixer on low speed. After it’s all added, she beats it on high speed until smooth and shiny. 1 teaspoon of vanilla goes in while she snacks on A gummy bear. She chops 1 cup of apricots. The whites are not super-stiff. They're thick, but not like meringue-stiff. She mixes in half the apricots.
Giada pours the mixture into a loaf pan, which has been lined with two pieces of wax paper and Pam-ed. She’s excited. She sprinkles the rest of the apricots over the top. She covers the top with the overlapping wax paper and refrigerates it until it’s stiff.
Nougat is not my favorite, but this looks like it would be fantastic. It looks particularly good, since Giada adds only apricots and not all the usual nasty candied fruits. Who discovered angelica anyway?
Next up, Giada melts 6 cups of baby marshmallows with 3 tablespoons of butter. She pours that over popcorn. OMG! How yummy is that?
Giada sprays a bowl with Pam and adds the popcorn and melted marshmallows and butter. She uses two spatulas to mix it together. Then she spreads it out on a Pam-ed baking sheet. She looks desperate to lick the spatula, but she restrains herself.
She's using some of her fancy candy from the store to add to the top of the popcorn. She sprinkles over orange and brown M&M type candies. She presses in chopped up candy bars and chocolate chip cookies. YUM! I don’t think I can watch this anymore. Lastly, she adds chopped salted almonds. She lets it sit to dry out a bit and get less sticky.
Giada lifts the nougat out of the pan onto a cutting board. Oh my, that is beautiful. I am so making this. She sprays a serrated knife with Pam and cuts the nougat into pieces. It’s not that easy to cut. It kind of compresses as she does it.
THEN she dips each piece in melted semi-sweet chocolate and lays it on wax paper. Honestly, I thought it was going to be garbage-y and yucky. But no, it’s sweet, gorgeous and absolutely delectable.
A lot of cute kids arrive (with their gorgeous parents). Face painting ensues. Trick or treaters come. She lets them chow down too. I guess when you go to Giada’s house, it’s okay to eat unwrapped candy.
Note: The fabulous candy store Giada visits is called Candy Alley in Brentwood. You enter through the Pulp and Hide stationary store and the candy store is in the back.