A Bourbon-infused Peanut Butter
Inspiration for this recipe came from two places. First, reading a news article about the EU striking back against the Trump Trade War with targeted tariffs on US peanut butter and Bourbon (as well as OJ and motorcycles). It was already a work in progress that had sort of been back-burnered but got a second wind when I watched Wayne Walker try to turn his Blackout recipe into a milkshake. You can see the influence of Blackout on this final version, with the TFA Bavarian Cream and FW Hazelnut used to support the Peanut Butter. Blackout also used FA Caramel and TFA Brown Sugar, and here you see them consolidated in one concentrate, FLV Caramel. This stuff ties the recipe together in a way that other ingredients in previous attempts didn't. One thing both Bourbon and peanut butter flavors have in common is that they pair exceptionally well with caramel and brown sugar-type flavorings.
TFA DX Peanut Butter. You might be wondering about the DX Peanut Butter. Sure, you could sub TFA Peanut Butter. But here is why you shouldn't: It's fucking better. Like, every PB recipe ever made with TFA Peanut Butter should probably be reformulated to be made with the DX version instead. That much better. Apparently others have come before her and I should have paid attention to them, but the DX version wasn't on my radar until @RinVapes used it in her Cereal Bar recipe and talked about it on Mixin Vixens. Had Rin lost her mind? TFA DX flavors are disgusting. They've taken out the delicious diketones and replaced them with vomit flavor! The couple of DX flavors I'd tried in past made me dry heave. But my curiosity was sparked so I checked TFA's spec sheets and guess what? There's no barfy butyric acid in TFA DX Peanut Butter, just pyraziny goodness and some vanillin. So naturally, I had to try this. WOW! TFA Peanut Butter, you're dead to me. It's like comparing past-the-sell-by-date dollar store peanut butter to Smucker's Natural. Still seems to have some of the problems of TFA Peanut Butter (weak, dries out and gets muddy with a steep, probably needs a good shake before using because it separates but that's good practice anyway) but the flavor and authenticity is top notch in my opinion, far batter than any other PB flavor I've tried and there have been a lot of them.
Sweetener: Always optional, and you might want to add some. I've left it out because I think FLV Caramel adds a plenty of sweetness to this and gives it a lingering, brown sugary finish.
Steeping: Overnight, and while I've not tried this exact recipe with long steep, earlier versions suggest that I probably don't want to. PB just doesn't seem to be built for long steeping.
You're crazy, PB and Bourbon don't go together. Yes, they do. Peanut Butter Infused Bourbon is a very real and beautiful thing and you can make it yourself at home if you don't believe me. Now, this is not that, this is Bourbon-infused peanut butter, simply because that's what I wanted to vape. But, if you wanted to make a peanut butter infused Bourbon vape I think that would be easy enough using this recipe as a starting place but turning the PB down by half, roughly doubling the bourbon flavors, and probably adding some VT Bourbon for more of a boozy bite (TFA, FLV, and VT are the Holy Trinity of bourbon flavors - one for sweetness, one for charred oak, and one to booze it up).
Water Malone from Liquid Barn's Tastemaker Collection. Mixed at the recommended 10%, I liked this quite a bit. I’d heard it was a super authentic juicy yet pulpy watermelon and I had to see for myself. It is that, it tastes like a bold yet realistic sweet fleshy watermelon - but doused with a bit of apple juice. There’s some apple flavor in there and I’m definitely picking that up, both overnight and after steeping for two weeks. It’s like biting into a huge hunk of watermelon... that someone had spilled a little apple juice on. So, natural watermelon with a slight apple off-note. Spilling apple juice on your watermelon is a bit of an odd thing to do, but as off-notes in watermelon flavors go, apple is not a bad one to to have! This solves a lot of the problems many other watermelon flavors have in that it’s realistic not candy and has body but isn’t dry. Very much like biting right into a crispy fresh cut slice of watermelon, except for that little apple taste. It’s refreshing and light like actual watermelon, but with a full fruity mouthfeel and serious depth to it and a lingering sweet watermelon finish. Awesome stuff. I was more interested in how this might work as an ingredient than in having a watermelon one-shot, though. So, I made a fun little recipe with it. What are you going to do with a watermelon that has a hint of apple? Make a Strap-On of course. Wound up dropping it down to 6% to make some room for other flavors while still retaining all of its qualities.
FA Red Touch At first I tried to be fancy and use FA Pazzo Jack - imagine, a recipe made from not one, but two things intended to be one-shots. That was abandoned as soon as the first batch turned out just a bit soapy. I went right back to the tried and true FA Strawberry from the original Strap-On. 3% didn't stand up as well to all that watermelon and apple but 4% does put the Str in Strap-On.
FA Fuji Tried enhancing Water Malone's apple off-note with CAP Double Apple at first but didn't care for the result. It was too much and rather than mess around with concentration levels of that, we're again back to the OG Strap-On's apple.
That's a very funny photoshop, but how does it taste?
It tastes like a well-balanced Strawberry-Apple-Watermelon fruit punch. Like something that you'd expect to find in a Capri Sun pouch. Delicious, sweet, juicy, refreshing. I don't recommend actually shake and vaping it because you might get some harshness from the Fuji, but it needs only an overnight steep to settle down and settle in.
Thanks, D. Keff for the photoshop work.
An ice cold blueberry cream.
Yes, that's 19% total flavor. I am not ashamed. I wanted that flavor fully saturated and satisfying and able to stand up to a lot of cooling for summer and here it is.
It tastes kind of like frozen blueberry pie filling topped with rich vanilla whipped cream except turned upside down because of course the cream comes in underneath, as creams do.
FW Blueberry/TFA Blueberry Extra - Blueberry syrup and blueberries.
TFA Dragonfruit - Blends with FW Blueberry to make it more reminiscent of that thick, shiny goop that is blueberry pie filling.
FE Lemon - A little lemon makes blueberries pop just like it does when cooking and baking. Plenty of other lemon flavors would work here at 0.25% but I wanted one that doesn't fade.
TFA Vanilla Swirl/TFA Bavarian Cream - This has long been one of my favorite combinations of creams for a full mouthfeel and richness and a nice bit of vanilla in the background.
CAP Super Sweet - 0.25%, just enough to really carry that sweet cream to the finish line and beyond. I chose this sweetener over others I'd usually reach for first due to its potency, to keep from going even higher than 19%. But FLV Sweetness or FW Sweetener would work just as well in the 0.35 to 0.5% range.
WS-23 - It's 100+ Fahrenheit every day for the past week and for the forecastable future. I need a cold vape. Not all the time, but I need one I can reach for that's mixed up and ready to go. A different coolant will not work here. They'll rip those creams to shreds.
Steep Time - I put 7 days as a minimum, but best after? Not sure. At three weeks here, it keeps getting better.
A dense, mellow cantaloupe vape with fleshy tropical accents.
Created for "Flavor of the Week: Cantaloupe"
FLV Cantaloupe for that rind-free natural cantaloupe top note and some non-dairy almost-creaminess underneath. Under-rated, under-used TFA Jackfruit for an even fleshier body with soft hints of pineapple and mango coming though. It keeps things more interesting than just a straight cantaloupe vape. CAP Cantaloupe blends with the Jackfruit to keep the melon ball rolling though where FLV Cantaloupe starts to drop off in meloniousness and just fades into thick almost creamy softness. This flavor has a tiny bit of some sharp perfumey thing going on briefly in the top note in single-flavor testing, but FLV Cantaloupe is just completely overriding and obliterating that for me. This is the only version out of half a dozen experiments throwing different manufacturers' Cantaloupe flavors on top of this TFA Jackfruit/CAP Cantaloupe base that actually worked and made for a perfectly pleasant vape without any weird off-notes.
BUT, it feels incomplete - which is why the "In Progress" box is checked. Mostly it just needs to be juicier, but rather than going for one of the knee-jerk juicifiying reactions (INW Cactus, etc), I want to try adding pineapple or mango flavors to add acidity while also playing off those notes from the jackfruit, or if that comes off too just generically yellow-orange, maybe a juicier grape, cherry, or dark berry. I wouldn't recommend anyone mix up a big batch of this, but if you're looking to create a cantaloupe-forward recipe, give it try and see if it inspires you.
It's LUCKY FUCKING CHARMS. With milk.
You might not want to buy FW Cake Batter Dip to make this. It's got fructose in it, it will destroy your wicks relatively quick even at just 1%. It might be bad for you, too, burning sugars can release carcinogens. But if you have some already and want to use it, maybe give this a try. Unfortunately, I don't have a sub for it, it's unique. And it perfects the sweet cereal that's been baptized in milk and is starting to return to its doughy origin.
TFA Lucky Leprechaun has some oat puff cereal hiding in there with a somewhat weird (possibly emulating the taste of artificial coloring?) crisp cereal-type marshmallow. I used CAP Cereal 27 to draw it out of hiding. Took some work to make it happen without turning puffed oat into corn or multigrain cereal, but I think this gets it down. OoO Cream Milky PG helps with that, sort of wraps around it and keeps that cornflake pyrazine taste from being too assertive while also doing a fine job as a cereal milk. If you're lucky enough to own some FA Milk, you can add that at 1% for an even milker cereal with whole milk. TFA Meringue in my opinion is a slightly better option for sugary, toasty cereal and cereal milk perfecting than FA Meringue, which is a more authentic meringue. But if you only have FA Meringue, you can sub that at 1% instead of the 1.5% TFA Meringue. Although Lucky Lep is mostly a cereal marshmallow flavor, cranking it up high enough to really make the marshmallows stand out just gets too chemical-tasting and weird for me. FLV Marshmallow + FLV Whipped Cream finish putting the charms in Lucky's Charms. These two flavors are so similar that if you don't have one of them or are just too lazy to get them both out, you could make this with 1% of either instead of 0.5% of both. The difference will be how long you let the marshmallows soak in milk. All Marshmallow = No soak, just teeth-squeakingly crunchy mallows. All Whipped Cream = Marshmallows are getting milk-logged and have a slippy, gooey outer layer, but still have that crisp sugar center. I just happen to like a happy medium.
No flavor company executives' feelings were harmed in the making of this recipe.
A macaron flavored with fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
The theme for Mixers' Club was "duets" - taking two existing recipes and making them sing together. I wanted to try to marry my macaron base from my Mango Blossom Macaron to the best recipe to come out of last year's DIYorDIE world mixing competition, the heavenly three-ingredient "In a Godda Da Vida" by the incomparable @mlNikon. The earliest versions were disastrous. TFA Papaya and FA Pomegranate and not to be trifled with. It took turning them down further and further and even adjusting the ratio a bit to get Godda to fit into a light and airy meringue and almond flour cookie with an ingratiating touch of forbidden fruit flavor.
A Notoriously delicious papaya macaron with honey cream filling
The theme for Mixers' Club was "duets" - taking two existing recipes and making them sing together. I wanted to try using the macaron base from my Mango Blossom Macaron with a different tropical fruit, and the first thing that came to mind was swiping the top off of the last public recipe by the late, great @NotCharlesManson (May Peace Be Upon Him). That funky papaya, backed up by apricot and presented with a bit of honey, was just so yummy situated in a rich cream. Would it work here too? Yes, I think it does, deliciously, but only after being dialed way, way back to fit subtly into a delicate pastry.
Mix some up, and don't forget to pour a little out for the dearly departed.
A Cinnamon Toast Crunch-flavored macaron
I built this to be a delightful contrast between sophisticated dessert, the French macaron, and childhood memories, Saturday mornings in front of cartoons with a big bowl of CTC. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, I started with the macaron base from my Mango Blossom Macaron recipe. The rest is pretty straightforward, though it took some work the get it all to sit in the recipe without overpowering the macaron. FLV Cinnamon Crunch is a great flavor that actually tastes a lot like CTC all by itself, with just a few minor issues. It's not quite crunchy enough - the light touch of TFA AP fixes that. It's a little low on cinnamon - FLV Rich Cinnamon solves that problem, but it's so strong. One fat drop in a 40ml is plenty. For mixing less than 40ml of this, you probably want to create a 10% Rich Cinnamon + 90% PG dilution and use it at 0.8%. The bit of Rich Cinnamon also annihilates a little hint of unwanted maple I get from the Cinnamon Crunch. FA Milk at 1% gives that FLV Cream an accurate hint of dairy to finish the recipe, without getting too soggy.
An apple cider pudding pie
This is a flamboyantly autumnal recipe that, being shared in the first week of spring, couldn't possibly be more out-of-season. It's also poached entirely from @ConcreteRiver's delicious Deer Lodge recipe, with all of the ingredients being exactly the same, even used at the same concentrations, with just two small additions.
This is not meant to imply that there is anything wrong with Deer Lodge, that it's missing or lacking anything at all. But when FlavorPro Jennifer Jarvis asked for a pudding pie for the #yearofmixing competition, I knew immediately that I wanted to try to wrap Rick's hopped-up apple cider pudding in a delicate, subtle pie crust. Several attempts with various other crusty ingredients did not work. This one does.
I don't get any apple or spice (not that either of them would be unwelcome here) out of FA Apple Pie. It just tastes like a plain ol' pie crust. And it's the only non-graham pastry crust flavor I could get to work as a main crusty competent here. The others trampled the hell out of that that lovely rich buttery pudding base. A light touch of FW Pie Crust provides another layer of bakery, making for a more flaky, less doughy, pie. Its darker sweetness emulates the edges of the crust, where the pie is crunchier and browner. The result? A dessert vape fit for the hunter coming home after a long day on the deer lease.