Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Tale of Horror


You people rave so much about the deep-fried Twinkies (you know who you are) that we thought we should give it a try and throw some tasty little cake into the deep fryer. We looked at the world of snack cakes (who knew there were so many out there?) and settled on the King Don as our likeliest candidate. A soft, sweet, spongy little chocolate cupcake with a gooey vanilla centre - how could that be bad? Oh it can be bad. Very very bad. The word we should have taken more notice of was SPONGY. Yep, spongy. As in soaking up BUCKETS of oil the minute it hits the fryer. The finished product was gag-inducing and was literally spit out. You twinkie fanciers say that the twinkie gets "moist" - is this oozy hot fat you're talking about? I'm thinking it is. And if it is we here at Wacky Snacks want no part of it.

We've put the fryer away for awhile. It's on to new adventures.


A Cautionary Tale

Fried Nanaimo Bars

You can deep-fry anything. We fundamentally believe that. Some of the things we fried that were perfectly, decadently delicious include Ruffles (a coconuttty cookie with a lot in common with a Bounty bar), Bounty bars (just to see the difference), Oreo cookies, (a little dry, but a classic none the less), Mars bars (the quintessential deep-fried dessert) and Twix bars. Some things taste great, but are a pain to fry - case in point, the Nanaimo bar. We thought that we'd try a Nanaimo bar (said Nan-eye-moe) for a couple of reasons. 1) Canadian content 2) They're so very delicious 3) One of your Wacky Snacks team hails from the fine city of Nanaimo. So we bought a couple of really good Nanaimo bars (NOT at the supermarket). For those of you not familiar with the Nanaimo bar let me tell you a little about it. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, but they are somehow connected with a mid-sized seaside town on Vancouver Island known for it's wackilly named streets. They started to appear in places like church bake sales mid-century and slowly made their way into the mainstream. These days they are available at most bakeries and supermarkets (be wary) and I've heard they've even made their way to
eastern Canada and the States. They are a three layered bar with a chocolatey/ coconutty/ grahamy bottom crust, a custardy icing middle and a chocolate topping. Yum. The first one didn't make it to the fryer as we had to wait too long and just ate it. In retrospect we should have just ate them both. We froze it hard and followed the procedure for frying an oreo outlined below. Disaster! A tiny hole in the batter totally melted the chocolate layer and it hemmoraged out of said tiny hole, wrecking the oil and making a huge mess to clean up. The finished product was tasty, don't get me wrong. But no better than a regular Nanaimo bar and the massive clean up and wasted oil made it something we will never do again.


Adventures in Frying

Ahhhh, the Mars bar. This is where it all began in Scotland and now I can see why. This very well may be the best of all the things we've dropped in the deep-fryer (and believe me, we've tried a lot of things). Mars Bars aren't that great - admit it - but once they come out of the hot fat they have been transformed into something amazing. A crunchy shell with a soft, sweet and oh-so-gooey centre that runs just a little. Another bonus is that they're easy to fry. Even with a big naked hole in the batter the chocolate did not melt and ooze out into the oil (we'll call this a miracle rather than profoundly disturbing - chocolate should melt, right?) Remember that with Mars bars and other soft treats, an hour or more in the freezer is essential to your success.
For our readers south of the border (that's you Americans) - a Mars bar isn't a Mars bar. For you it's a Milky Way.
Mars or Milky, it WILL give you a stomachache, but it WILL be worth it.