Happy Thursday friends! This week is preeettty exciting, because there’s a small group of bloggers having a fabulous internet party, and you’re all invited. (PLUS there’s a giveaway! So stick around, and this party may be happening IRL for you.)
Amber of Loves Food, Loves to Eat has organized a handful of us to celebrate DRY Sparkling’s limited edition holiday flavors! What is DRY Sparkling you ask? If you didn’t already know about my new favorite beverage, DRY Sparkling creates beautifully refreshing, culinary-inspired sodas. Made with just a touch of cane sugar, each DRY variety honors a singular botanical flavor. DRY is great on its own, paired with food or mixed into cocktails.
To celebrate the upcoming holiday season, we’re having a virtual Holiday Pairing Party! Throughout the last week, a handful of other bloggers and I have been virtually sipping sparkly seasonal drinks and nibbling on tasty holiday food pairings with DRY Sparkling’s new limited edition Ginger and Cranberry sodas! Visit Amber’s blog Loves Food, Loves to Eat today for the full round-up of #HolidayPairingParty recipes or scroll down below to see the list. Don’t forget to head over to DRY Sparkling to learn more about where to find the holiday flavors.
And it gets even better because we’re having a giveaway! Each of us gets to send someone a prize pack courtesy of the very generous DRY Sparkling. Enter to win everything you need to fully enjoy DRY over the holidays, including:
1 Bottle of Limited Edition Cranberry DRY Sparkling
1 Bottle of Limited Edition Ginger DRY Sparkling
A DRY Sparkling Tee in Your Size of Choice
A Pair of Custom Fuji Apple DRY Sparkling Socks
A DRY Sparkling Beanie
Two DRY Sparkling Flutes
All you have to do is comment below with a recipe you’d love to pair or make with either the ginger or cranberry seasonal flavors. I would love to hear your ideas! I’ll pick a winner at random, and everything will be directly shipped to you. But hurry! The giveaway ends at 8 pm EST on November 23 and is open to all US residents.
And now, a few words on sparkling water. I know, it sounds incredibly inane. But truly fascinating! Sparkling water is basically water that has carbon dioxide gas bubbles dissolved into it. If you’ve ever tried forcing gas into a liquid, you’ll know how incredibly difficult this is to achieve. The secret? 1) Put the liquid under high pressure to force the gas bubbles to move into the water and 2) low temperatures to slow down how fast the gas bubbles are moving once they’re there (this allows the water to absorb more carbon dioxide). The key to keeping the carbon dioxide in the water? Pressure again!
If you think about two rooms with a large doorway in between, we can picture what’s going on. If we have bouncing balls in one room, and nothing in the other, the bouncing balls will enter the empty room until you have an equal number of balls in each one. Theoretically, the number of balls in each room would be stable and remain balanced in number once equal. Well that’s exactly how gas bubbles work. They’re crazily moving around bouncing off container walls creating pressure. If you have equal pressure, the gas will remain in equilibrium. In order to keep that carbon dioxide in the pressurized water, we need to pressurize the space above the water as well! That’s why gas is immediately released when you open the container—you’re releasing the pressure above the surface of the liquid and the gas bubbles are free to leave.
Why do carbonated beverages go absolutely crazy when you shake them up prior to opening them? When you shake up the beverage, this adds extra energy to the gas bubbles which increases the pressure a bunch as they bounce around more quickly. Once you open the container, the difference in pressure is so great, that the gas bubbles practically explode out of the liquid trying to equalize the pressure.
Now that you are all excited about bubbly water, let’s get to these recipes. Mine is a light and fluffy cream puff filled with a fresh cranberry and orange whipped cream. The DRY Sparkling Cranberry is featured here and adds subtle cranberry flavor to the pâte à choux (almost like Fruit Loops actually) while the fresh cranberries in the whipped cream cut through the richness with a sour tang. Washed down with a sip of DRY Cranberry, and you’ve got a winner here! There are some mighty delicious recipes from each blogger listed below, so be sure to check them all out. And we each have our own giveaway, so enter on each post. Happy Thursday indeed!
Sparkling Cranberry and Orange Cream Puffs
Sparkling Cranberry Pâte à choux
Makes about 40 cream puffs, depending on the size
1 cup DRY Sparkling Cranberry (or plain water)
½ cup unsalted butter
A big pinch Kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 extra-large or 6 large eggs
Egg wash (1 beaten egg with a splash of water)
- Preheat your oven to 425⁰F. Over medium heat in a large saucepan, melt the butter together into the DRY Sparkling Cranberry with the salt. Bring it to a boil, stirring to mix. Add the flour (not all in one big addition, if possible! That will cause lumps) and stir quickly to combine all of the ingredients. Continue to mix the paste over the heat for 2-3 minutes. If you see lumps in the dough, press them against the side of the saucepan to get rid of them.
- After the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, turn off the heat and continue to stir. Once the dough as cooled down slightly, it’s time to add the eggs!
- You have two options here. You can either use a mixer or your own arm. Depending on how tired your arm is from the first two steps, take your pick… Add the eggs to the paste one at a time. Stir the dough after each addition until it is fully incorporated. Once all of the eggs have been added, continue to stir the dough until it is smooth and glossy.
- On a parchment-covered cookie sheet, pipe your choux dough into your shape/size of choice. You can also drop the dough by spoonful, but they won’t look as pretty! Dip your fingers into a cup of water and flatten the tops of the dough if you piped it. Brush the dough with egg wash, top with a sprinkling of sugar (or large grain sugar for a more decorative look), and put in the oven.
- Bake the choux for about 10 minutes, or until they have puffed up and expanded slightly. Reduce the baking temperature to 375⁰F and open the door of the oven just a little for about a minute to help lower the temperature.
- Your choux is done baking when it turns a light golden brown, about 10-12 more minutes at the second temperature. Remove promptly and let cool before opening and filling. If you take the choux out a little early, the puffs will collapse. Do not panic however! Place immediately back in the oven for a few minutes, and most should spring back.
Sparkling Cranberry and Orange Whipped Cream Filling
¾ cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest (about half an orange)
2 tablespoons DRY Sparkling Cranberry (or water)
1 cup heavy cream, cold
- In a medium saucepan, add the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and DRY Sparkling Cranberry. Heat over medium heat and stir often to prevent burning. The liquid should boil and you will begin to hear the cranberries popping. Continue to heat until most of the cranberries have popped and there is a bit of a thickened sauce—about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form. (If you accidentally overbeat and the cream begins to separate, simply stir in some fresh liquid cream)
- Gently fold in the cooled cranberry mixture by hand. If not using immediately, place in a sealed container and store up to two days.
- With a sharp paring knife, cut an “x” into the bottom of each cream puff.
- Put the whipped cream into a piping bag or a Ziploc with a corner cut out. Place the tip of the bag into the x and gently fill the cream puff with the whipped cream. Repeat with each cream puff.
- Enjoy immediately with a glass of Sparkling DRY Cranberry!
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway! All you have to do is comment below with a recipe you’d love to pair or make with either the ginger or cranberry seasonal flavors. I would love to hear your ideas! I’ll pick a winner at random, and everything will be directly shipped to you. But hurry! The giveaway ends at 8 pm EST on November 23 and is open to all US residents.
Disclaimer: I received product from DRY Sparkling for this post, but all opinions are my own.