Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I had a little vote going on the blog, and I was thrilled that you all voted. It’s still up on the right hand side if you want to check out the results. Basically, I had a friend Kyle who requested Banana Dark Chocolate Ice Cream and you all chose the mix in. As you can see, the votes were tied between carmel and nuts. I was shocked by this. I wanted to add sprinkles, but I am glad I went with you all. Smart ones you are. It was so good.
I decided to make Roasted Banana Ice Cream out of David Lebovitz’s book, The Perfect Scoop. It’s also on my Christmas list if you were wondering. So of course, you will need bananas, ripe ones. This was hard for me, letting them sit and become ripe. I really, really dislike ripe bananas. Green ones, a bit chalky, that is my favorite.
And your choice, a little carmel sauce. This was gooey, very gooey.
But seriously, what caramel is not gooey?
And you will need some dark chocolate. This one is 73%. I was a little nervous about this addition because dark chocolate can be bitter. But it turned out great, and any other kind would have been a bit too much sweet.
Ok. Confession time. 1.) I do not have a photo of any ice cream for you because every last bite was eaten the night I served it. All that was left was little measly bit, and it took a bit of hiding to keep this in tact. I’m sorry. 2.) You might be wondering where the nuts are. I cheated. After I tasted this delicious ice cream I could not think of it having nuts in it. So, I served it with my Brown Sugar Pound Cake. See? It’s not all the way cheating, just placing the nuts elsewhere. Don’t be mad. Vote again. My creativity got the best of me.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. You are great. So anyway, enjoy the creation that you helped make. It’s delicious, and believe me this: the cake adds a whole other dimension.
Roasted Banana Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Chunks and Caramel Swirl
(Adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)
3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat oven to 400. Slice the bananas into 1/2-inch pieces and toss them with the brown sugar and butter in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, sitrring just once during baking, until the bannanas are browned and cooked through.
Scrape the bananas and the thick syrup in the baking dish into a blender or food processor. Add the milk, granulated sugar,vanilla, lemon juice, and salt, and puree until smooth.
Chill the mixture throughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the chilled mixture is too thick to pur into your machine, whisking it with thin it out. During the last 5 minutes of mixing, add the dark chocolate chunks that have been cut to your ideal size.
When freezing process is completed, transfer ice cream to air tight container. Place ice cream in thirds, adding a layer of caramel between each layer of ice cream.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Pound cake is dense, and I feel like I’m really getting the bang for my buck when I eat it. No offense to Angel food lovers, but I don’t want to eat dessert and feel like I was real healthy about it. I’ll save that for a spinach salad. Or smoothie. But when it comes to dessert, go big or go home, at least that’s what I say, and according to her million dollar recipe, so does Martha Stewart.
Good ol’ Martha, she knows what’s good for you. Lots of eggs for protein, tons of butter for good taste, and enough brown sugar to last a life time.
Oh yeah, salt and vanilla extract. I love vanilla. As a kid, it was always the ingredient that I wanted to put in the mixture. I love watching it get caught up in the batter by the swirling of the mixer. So pretty and fun, I rarely measure it out because it takes away from the swirling effect as it pours out of the bottle. That means that most of my recipes have too much vanilla. Oh. Well.
And, of course, a little tea to go with the cake is the perfect comparison. What is your favorite tea? Irish Breakfast Tea with a bit of milk and sugar. Pumpkin Spice Tea with milk and maple syrup. Vanilla Chai with Hazelnut creamer. Need I go on? If you are not a tea consumer, you should start. Tea is a perfect companion to delicious desserts, and I’m pretty sure that Martha would agree that Pound Cake and Tea go together like cream and sugar. Which, of course, are two essential elements in anything delicious. I love coming full circle. Enjoy your pound cake!
(Martha’s was actually Brown Sugar Walnut, but I adore Pecans way too much to leave them out of this)
1 pound (3 1/4 cups) of all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat. Not sure if that’s ok, but I did it anyway)
1 tablespoon coarse salt
4 sticks unsalted butter
9 large eggs (room temperature)
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups roasted pecans
Preheat oven to 400 and place a few handfuls of pecans on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, stirring half way through. Check the time and make sure they do not get burned, or you will have to do it over again (Martha does not suggest your brown the nuts, but for pecans, I think it brings out some flavor).
Reduce oven to 325. Butter two 5-by-9 inch loaf pans. Combine 1 flour and salt in a bow. Soften butter and cream with brown sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, for about 8 minutes. (That Martha knows her time, it was literally 8 minutes on the dot.) Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla extract. Lightly beat eggs and add in 4 separate additions to the flour mixture, mixing until just together. Fold in pecans. Divide batter and tap on counter to distribute evenly throughout the pan. Use knife or scraping tool to smooth the top of batter. Bake for about 65 minutes, or until a tested inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans, on top of cooling racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely. Enjoy.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Sometimes you have guests who are vegans. Sometimes you just don’t have eggs or milk, and you pretend that you always cook vegan. Either way, this cake did the trick. I got the recipe from Joy the Baker
. She is so very creative, and although they look delicious which usually means hard and complicated, they are not that bad. However, my one downfall with vegan baked goods is the butter. I love butter. When people skip the butter, it baffles me. You are right, butter is not vegan. So if you want to make this truly
vegan, then please grease the pan with something vegan approved. Your choice.
Oh. Oops. Did I forget to tell you that the thing that makes this cake so moist, and the main ingredient in the frosting was avocado? Yes, yes I did. I apologize. But would you have kept reading?
Probably not. I tricked you.
But if the green is too much for you, just dye the frosting.
You know, season specific.
And I added a bit of garnish with the chocolate chips. Not to mention the flowers courtesy of my husband, and the vintage cake stand really adds a bit of charm.
Thank you Joy the Baker. This was de.li.cious.
3 cups of flour (called for all purpose, I used wheat)
6 tablespoons of unsweetened coco powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup soft avocado
2 cups water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch rounds. Set aside.
Sift together all of the dry ingredients except the sugar. Set that aside too.
Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl, including the super mashed avocado.
Add sugar into the wet mix and stir.
Mix the wet with the dry all at once, and beat with a whisk (by hand) until smooth.
Pour batter into a greased cake tins. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting with avocado buttercream.
Avocado Butter Cream Frosting
8 ounces of avocado meat, about 2 small to medium, very ripe avocados
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peel and pit the soft avocados. It’s important to use the ripest avocados you can get your hands on. If the avocados have brown spots in the meat, avoid those spots when you scoop the meat into the bowl.
Place the avocado meat into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment. Add lemon juice and whisk the avocado on medium speed, until slightly lightened in color and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and beat. Add vanilla extract until combined. If not using right away, store in the refrigerator. Don’t worry. It won’t turn brown!
Note: Clearly, butter is not Vegan. I know this. I called it Vegan because it is the official title of where I got this from. As the comments suggest, if you want it purely Vegan, please do not use butter.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Do you know of Chick-fil-A? Well, we love it. LOVE it. And what a better way to tell someone you appreciate them than a homemade treat? These Strawberry Cupcakes are super easy. Better Crocker, out of the box, easy. Betty Crocker, whipped frosting, easy. Seriously.
And lookie there, I used a little frosting pen to draw part of the logo. So fancy, I know. But what makes these cupcakes so amazingly delicious?
Can you see it?
Notice anything different? Look closer.
That’s right, a little something under the Betty Crocker Whipped frosting. A little delicious surprise that takes these cupcakes from delicious to fabulous.
A layer of white chocolate. And not just any white chocolate, Ghiradelli White Chocolate. So good, it melts in your mouth. These cupcakes turned out super moist, and not too sweet. They are rich in flavor, and the white chocolate adds a little surprise.
So when you don’t have time to make a Martha Stewart or Julia Child’s recipe, use faithful and true Betty Crocker, and then add a bit of your own surprise.
Rich Strawberry Cupcakes
1 box of Betty Crocker Strawberry Cupcakes
1 jar of Betty Crocker Strawberry Whipped Frosting
1 Ghiradelli White Chocolate Baking Bar
Small dose of milk
Following instructions as listed on box. Allow cupcakes to cool completely. Melt white chocolate in pan with a bit of milk. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool, but not all the way. Chocolate must remain smooth. Dip each cupcake into chocolate, allow excess to drip down the sides. Frost with Betty Crocker. Chill overnight. Enjoy!
Monday, November 2, 2009
It all started with a little bit of love.
Love for pies, for bananas, and for small, mini things.
But like many things we love, they don’t always prove to be
what we picture.
So what do we do? We make icing.
We mix it and mash it.
And we make it into something beautiful and delicious.
And make lots of them, so we can share the beauty with our friends.
Doesn’t the snow add a little holiday cheer?
A bit of fun, a bit of snow, and a bit of making something beautiful.
Don’t be afraid to eat it. You can always make more.
Beauty never runs out.
Banana Cream Pie Snow Balls
I tried so hard to make mini pies
. I had no mini cupcake pans. So, plan B. Fashion my own. They fell apart. Plan C. Make Pie Balls and see if they are any good. And they were. De.li.cious.
2 ready made pie crusts
3/4 cup white sugar
a bit of teaspoon salt
2 cups of milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
enough vanilla extract to get the job done
(I got this recipe here
, but I halved it which made about 25 snow balls.)
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
- Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. (Beware! If you don’t add it carefully, you can get scrambled eggs into your mix!!) Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.
- Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes. Chill for an hour.
Because you just end up mashing the pies all together, then I would suggest skipping the part where I cute up individual pies in the shape of a heart, and made mini pies. Just make one big one, or two, and then let cool. Mash up in bowl.
There are no measurements here, cause you have to eyeball it. So start with a healthy amount of the powdered sugar and then add milk while mixing little by little. Make about one cup.
Pour Icing into mashed up pie.
Roll into small balls using your hands, or, with a melon baller. Whichever you prefer. Put on a cookie sheet and let sit in refrigerator until completely cool. When cooled, reshape if needed. Melt one chocolate bar for baking (choose flavor here wisely) on the stove until it is thick yet think enough to drizzle. Dip pie balls into chocolate and place on wax paper. Put back in refrigerator to cool, again. Once cool, reshape if needed, and add more chocolate if needed. Sprinkle the coconut while chocolate is still moist, this may be the first time you put chocolate on them, or the second. Let cool completely.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This is the second chilled soup I have made in a week, and only the third time in my whole life I have had it. It’s winter, so why am I not making hot soup? I have no idea, but when a craving hits you. You go with it.
Start with the ripest strawberries you can find. Wash, and hull about 2 cups. Place 1 cup of sour cream in a food processor or blender along with one cup of milk. Add all two cups of your delicious strawberries. If some don’t make it to the blender, cause they land in your mouth, go with it.
Process mixture until smooth. Taste. Add sugar while processing to your liking. I know you can’t believe that I am going to say this, but: you are done. That’s it. Place mixture into sealed tight container and refrigerate for at least six hours, but do not let sit without consumption for more than 24 hours.
When ready, place soup into bowl and garnish with fresh strawberry slices. This was so delicious, melted in my mouth.
I mean, look at those colors! I can’t imagine a better, more refreshing, dessert to add a punch of flavor and color. I say it all the time, but I can’t say it enough: this was absolutely, delicious. Delicious. No other words for it.
Chilled Strawberry (Dessert) Soup
2 cups of fresh strawberries
1 cup of milk ( I used Vanilla Almond Milk for health benefits)
1 cup of Sour Cream ( I used organic, full fat. Tastes better, it’s only a little bit, and no additives)
Agave Nectar to taste (Agave Nectar is a sugar sweetener. I would say about 1/4 cup of Agave and 1 cup of Sugar will do the trick)