cauliflower.jpgThanks to social media like Instagram and Facebook, we’ve all become foodies of a sort. My feed is always populated with shots of new dishes from different restaurants my friends are eating at, and I swear half of my trips are planned around trying some new place or stopping at a food truck somewhere.

We use hackthemenu.com when we eat at fast food places and we want access to secret menus, and even my kids are in on the foodie fun. We rarely eat something before we take a shot of it and share it with friends, and we love to share and see what other people share. That way we can always keep up on the latest food trends as they happen.

Last year it was all kale, all the time, and we even managed to try an authentic cronut on a trip down south. This year it’s all a bit different, and that’s the exciting part of being into the latest food trends. You get to try things you probably never would have.

Here’s a few of the food trends on the radar for this year, and some recipes you can use to try out the latest food trends at home.

 

Pumpkin Spice Southern Buttermilk Biscuitspumpkin-spice-buttermilk-biscuits.jpg

The cronut is over, and we’ve ushered in a new era that includes one of my favourite Southern treats – homemade buttermilk biscuits. But the latest biscuits aren’t just any old plain biscuit, they’re mixed up with new and interesting flavours like pumpkin spice or chocolate. If you like pumpkin spice scones or muffins, you have to try these pumpkin spice biscuits. Recipe and photo from myrecipes.com.

Ingredients: 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons honey

Directions

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Chill 10 minutes.

Combine buttermilk and honey, stirring with a whisk until well blended; add canned pumpkin. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. Roll dough into a (1/2-inch-thick) 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds (as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope).

Reroll dough into a (1/2-inch-thick) 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds; gently roll or pat to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with a 1 3/4-inch biscuit cutter to form 14 dough rounds. Place dough rounds, 1 inch apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400° for 14 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan; cool 2 minutes on wire racks. Serve warm.

Cauliflower Buffalo Bitescauliflower-bites.jpg

Have you heard? Cauliflower is the new kale, and there are a ton of different ways you can use cauliflower. I’m a huge fan of buffalo chicken, and these cauliflower bites give you all the taste of buffalo chicken without all the added fat. Recipe and photos from allrecipe.com.

Ingredients: Olive oil cooking spray
3/4 cup gluten-free baking flour (such as Premium Gold® Flax and Ancient Grains
All-Purpose Flour)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 heads cauliflower, cut into bite-size
pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot®)
1 teaspoon honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix flour, water, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together in a bowl using a whisk until batter is smooth and somewhat runny. Add cauliflower to batter and mix until cauliflower is coated; spread onto the baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat and stir hot pepper sauce and honey into butter until smooth. Brush hot sauce mixture over each cauliflower piece, repeating brushing until all the hot sauce mixture is used.

Bake in the oven until cauliflower is browned, about 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow the cauliflower to cool 10 to 15 minutes.

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake bittersweet-chocolate-cake.jpeg

One foodie website i follow said that bitter is the new bold this year, and if the menus in local coffee shops are any indication, they’re right. There’s dark bitter coffee, dark chocolate, and deep, dark treats like this bittersweet chocolate cake. Photo and recipe from the foodnetwork.com.

Ingredients: 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup freshly brewed coffee
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (62 percent) finely chopped
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brandy
3 large eggs, separated plus 3 egg whites
1/3 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Chocolate Glaze, recipe follows

 

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position rack in the center.

Pour 1/2 -inch water into a large roasting pan and place in oven. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, cut to fit. Butter the paper. Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Put 1 cup of sugar and the coffee in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from the heat add the chocolate and return to low heat. Keep stirring over heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Add brandy. Whisk in the egg yolks until no trace of yolk is left. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk the flour into the chocolate mixture.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the 6 egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat on high until peaks are almost stiff.

Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into chocolate mixture (no need to fold at this point). Then gently fold in the remaining whites, 1/3 at a time, until no streaks of white remain. Pour into pan and smooth top. Bake in water bath for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Place cake on wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Remove sides of pan and carefully invert cake onto cardboard cake round or flat plate. Chill for at least 2 hours before glazing.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and place it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake, covering it completely; spread evenly with a metal spatula. Serve the cake immediately or refrigerate. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate glaze:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons honey

Put chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a gentle boil. Whisk in the honey. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Even if you don’t search out the hidden hotspots in your city or live to visit your local food truck pod, you can still enjoy the latest food crazes. If you want to create a new and exciting dish in your own kitchen, here are a few of my favourite small kitchen appliances for 2015:

breville-juicer.jpg
Juicing is still a big trend for 2015, so grab your juicier and get in on this healthy craze.
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You’ll be seeing more oysters on the menu this year, and a steamer lets you steam them at home.
10257415.jpg
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner kolaches are going to be big this year. This stuffed pastry is easily made with a big baking sheet and cookie cutters.