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Apr.
18

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If you are in the baking world you know that the first Friday of June each year is National Doughnut Day. Note: Both ‘Donut’ and ‘Doughnut’ are accepted spellings. Many references (well OK, Wikipedia) site that ‘donut’ is often used in the USA.  ‘Doughnut’ is the more accepted spelling around the world. For this post I will stick to the ‘Doughnut’ spelling because is makes me feel smarter for some reason. Trendy Doughnut Like beer and yogurt (Yoghurt?), doughnuts have gone through a renaissance.  Just as the large breweries and yogurt firms had to adopt a newer, trendier, approach to compete with artisan upstarts (or just buy them outright!), we have seen old doughnut standards make attempts at cool.  Dunkin’ Donuts and Winchell’s first had to deal with Krispy Kreme when it was hip.  Now all three must contend with smaller, independent bakeries and doughnut shops as they explore the boundaries of the deep-fried dough and test the very definition of “doughnut”. Check out this boundary-breaking offering from District Donuts, Sliders, and Brew in New Orleans?  Here is a photo from their website. Can you guess what this is? This Monte Cristo is listed on their menu as a “Croquenut” and is made with Applewood smoked ham, Havarti cheese, Dijon, in a griddled donut topped with raspberry preserves and powdered sugar. Doesn't it look Amazing? The link on their name (above) takes you straight to their menu.  You'll end up there anyway. I might as well save you a few steps. How about Welcome Chicken and Donuts in Phoenix, Arizona? ... Once again, why waste time? The link is to their menu.... There you can get your favorite chicken and donut combination for lunch or just grab a South by Southwest Donut Sandwich that includes Fried Egg, Cheese, Jalapeno Relish, and Thai Sauce. Then choose Bacon or Sausage.  Oh yeah, of course it comes wrapped in a cake donut!  Sounds amazing!   Doughnuts Around the World This is not a phenomenon found only in the USA.  Check out Floresta Nature Doughnuts’ offerings in Tokyo. You can get doughnuts meticulously designed to look like cute animals. Take a look at this photo of a doughnut made in the shape of a mother and baby seal (photo found on their website).   If you would like to be smothered in cute then check out their menu. Maybe you don't care about doughnut trends. Do you want to see the largest doughnut mosaic in the world? That record was set in Ukraine.  Check out the Guinness World Record here. Perhaps we should be lobbying to have an International Doughnut/Donut Day instead?

Feb.
21

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FDA required calorie information on restaurant menus are changing. By May 7, 2018, any restaurant-type establishment with 20 or more locations must post the calorie information for all menu items.  As customers become accustomed to seeing this information at larger chains, they will begin to expect this same information from smaller, local eateries. If you have this information ready you will not have to tell your customers, “We are not required to tell you the calories” when they ask you for them. Resources for adding calorie information to your menu: A good summary of the rules can be found on the FDA website (here). The real headache comes when you start to break down each recipe and attempt to establish the total caloric content of one serving.  It will be hard enough to calculate the calories in one bagel, let alone a bagel sandwich with cheese and side of tomato slices or chips! A good place to begin would be with the supplier of your ingredients.  They will have a Nutrition Statement for each ingredient you order. If you would like to see what a Nutrition Statement looks like, send us an email  customerservice@singingdogvanilla.com. Erin will send you our nutrition statement for Pure Vanilla Extract. At the top of the statement will be the calorie count for 100 grams of that ingredient. Use this information to determine the number of calories you are adding from each ingredient. Add the total for all the ingredients then divide by the number of servings you get from each batch. This will result in the number of calories per serving. If the total calories from a batch of cinnamon rolls is 3600, and one batch makes 12 cinnamon rolls, then each cinnamon roll is approximately 300 Calories. It will be easier if you measure your recipes by metric weight.  You can convert your standard measurements to metric using online calculators such as https://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/ounces-to-grams.htm For ingredients such as Vanilla Extract or salt, which are usually used in amounts smaller than 100 grams at a time, some simple math with tell you how many calories per recipe.  100 grams of Ground Vanilla Beans is 385 calories. If your recipe only calls for 2 grams of ground vanilla then the calories from the ground vanilla portion of the batch is 7.70 calories. Try web-based calorie calculators. You can also try using some web-based calorie calculators such as this one from the USDA https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/myrecipe.aspx . You can select your ingredient type and quantity from a drop-down menu. This should give you a pretty close estimate of the calorie count for recipes that use standard ingredients. For your creations that include less common ingredients you will need to get your supplier to provide you with the calorie count.  Please feel free to give us a call (888-343-0002) if we can help you with calorie information related to any vanilla product.  Even if you are not a customer of ours we can help you with the numbers.

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