Happy Sunday friends,
What a Sunday it is being that it is summer solistice and we have a lovely interview with Kim from Kalesuckz today. After following Kim for some time and salivating over the food she posts it came time to reach out because not only does she make good looking food, but she seemed so darn nice and relatable (and she is as you can tell from her answers below)!
Kim was inspiried like so many of us in the kitchen by those she was surrounded with, has baked enough to give some great tips for people starting out and if you don’t already, you should definitely give her a follow in Instagram, she was featured in my ‘Social Media Love’ section of May 2020 and with good reason. Thanks so much Kim, it was so great having you take part and loved hearing about your passion for Cracker Barrel!
1. What first attracted you to baking?
What first attracted me to baking was watching my Mom and Grandma in the kitchen; how effortless and graceful they looked while making delicious food was something I had always admired of them. Naturally I have a huge sweet tooth, so I always gravitated towards desserts and baked goods anyway! I would watch Food Network every single night with my family, so it was super exciting for me to take what I saw on TV and do it in real life. As I got older, baking became a hobby and a creative outlet for me when I needed to relax or take my mind off things.
2. As a home taught cook, what are three things you have learned through kitchen failures?
I have had countless kitchen failures, so I will try to narrow it down to only three lessons I have learned! One, too much added liquid in an American buttercream WILL split and curdle it, making it very hard to recover haha. Two, bread flour is not a suitable substitute for all purpose flour in making cakes and cookies (made cookies with bread flour and they came out as dense as a rock). Three, you cannot “eyeball” measure baking soda. I did this in a cake once (added way too much) and it tasted like soap. So unless you’re into that, I highly recommend using measuring spoons!!
3. What is your favorite dish to make for others?
Though it’s not exactly a dish, my favorite thing is to make layer cakes for my family. I love the process of baking, assembling and decorating them, as well as seeing their reactions when it’s done! If my Dad says, “Holy sh*t, Kim!” as he takes his first bite, I know I just made a pretty good cake.
4. If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be, and why?
Oh man. My Mom’s Oyakodon (Japanese chicken and egg over rice), curry from any country, and anything from Cracker Barrel.
I am a hardcore Cracker Barrel fan. So much comfort food. So much butter. So many cute little maple syrup bottles. And it has a general store! If that isn’t perfection then I don’t know what is.
5. From your travels, what is one of your favorite memories associated with food?
I have so many, but one of my all time favorite food memories is eating Disneyland’s giant turkey leg. I walked around the park with it in my hand, and I finished the whole entire thing. I have truly never felt so liberated to have devoured that thing. The only downside was that my hands smelled like turkey for the next three days, but it was worth it. If you’ve never seen it, Google it and you’ll see how massive it is!
- 1.5 cups / finely crushed graham crackers
- 5 tbsp / unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup / sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 8 oz / heavy cream
- 8 oz / dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used bittersweet, but semisweet works too)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup / milk
- 1/4 cup / tahini
- Flakey salt for garnish
- Tahini Swirl
- 3 tbsp / tahini
- 1 tbsp / powdered sugar
- For the graham cracker crust, preheat oven to 350° F. In a food processor, grind about 10 full sheets of graham crackers until it turns into fine crumbs.
- Transfer to a separate bowl, then add melted butter, sugar and salt.
- Mix to combine until it resembles wet sand and sticks together when you press it against the bowl.
- Dump mix into tart pan (if using 4 inch mini tart pans, each hold a heaping 1/3 cup of crumbs). Press into pan and up the sides with a measuring cup.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Bring oven temp down to 300° F.
- For the filling and swirl, combine ingredients for the swirl in small bowl and set aside.
- Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over medium low heat, until the cream begins to bubble. Meanwhile, place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
- Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for about 3 minutes.
- This allows chocolate to melt. Then, whisk to combine until mixture becomes glossy and chocolate is fully melted. Add tahini, egg, and milk and whisk to combine, with the mixture looking glossy when it's right.
- Pour mixture into the crust. Then, using a spoon, take tahini swirl mix and drop the mixture sporadically on top of the chocolate.
- Take a toothpick and make swirls with the tahini and chocolate to your liking.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until filling is set and there is a slight jiggle in the middle when shaken.
- Let cool completely until room temp, then loosely cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set the crust (if using a normal tart shell, you don’t need to do this). I like to eat these tarts cold because that really cuts down on the intense richness.
- Top with flakey salt before serving!
Recipe courtesy of Kim from Kalesuckz