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ice cream

    Frozen Treats

    Nectarine-rhubarb-peach & cherries ice pops

    Summertime! I lately purchased a Fox Run Frozen Ice Pop Maker from Amazon and boy am I glad  I did!

    This mold has 10 cavities to create a perfectly shaped retro-style popsicle. It also has a tray with 10 slits to insert your wooden sticks and to keep them in place. In short – a great purchase.

    The excitement around this has been big. Big enough that I started to receive orders. It has also become an obsession because the flavor options are practically endless, and once you experiment a little and come up with a basic recipe, you can pretty much use it for anything. So the temptation is BIG.

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    SO, one of the first flavor combinations I came up with  was a mixture of fruits and condiments I had at home, which I figured would work very well together (which they did). I found a recipe online from the “People’s Pops” cookbook, that basically uses about a 3/4 cup of simple sugar syrup (made with a ratio of 1:1, that is 1 cup sugar for every cup of water) for every 4 cups fruit+ about one cup of some additional form of liquid (yogurt, coconut milk, water etc). Don’t be afraid to play around with different flavor combinations. If you have only nectarines/peaches/other fruit that will also work great. You can also taste the mixture before you freeze it to check for sweetness. Be aware that the sweetness mellows down once frozen so even if it seems a little overly sweet, it will decrease for sure. The sugar also plays a big part in preventing the mixture from crystallizing and becoming too hard.

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    Nectarine-rhubarb-peach & cherries ice pops

    for the pops

    2 cups chopped rhubarb (about 4 stalks)

    1 cup peeled & cubed nectarines

    1 cup peeled & cubed peaches

    1/2  cup greek style plain yogurt (alternatively coconut milk/coconut cream)

    1/2 cup water (or try the amazing h2coco coconut water)

    3/4 cup simple syrup

     

    Simple syrup

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup water

     

    Cherry syrup

    1 cup fresh/frozen cherries, pitted

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup water

    method

    Make the cherry syrup. Simmer all the ingredients in a sauce pan for 7-10 min until the mixture thickens. Strain and set aside to cool.

    Prepare the simple syrup by simmering the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. boil for an additional minute or so and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.

    Puree the fruits, yogurt, water & simple syrup. Pour evenly into the 10 cavities of your ice pop molds. Top with the cherry syrup. Freeze for an hour and then stick the wooden sticks in the center of each popsicle (it will be easier to insert when semi-frozen). Freeze for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

     

     

     

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    Breakfast Treats, Drinks

    Classic Affogato

    The ultimate summer dessert to wake up your senses!

    Affogato – and yes, you’ve guessed it, it is Italian – literally means “drowned”. And what a splendid and accurate way it is to describe what happens in this humble dessert.  All that’s involved is basically drenching several scoops of vanilla ice cream with a cup of espresso or other type of strong coffee.  The hot-cold, acid-creamy combination is nothing but to die for. Add some crunchy cookie crumbles, whole/smashed coffee beans or cocoa nibs and you’ll be in 7th heaven.

    Any vanilla ice cream would work well in this recipe. Chocolate will also be perfect if you prefer your Mocha over the vanilla variation.

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    Affogato

    serves 2 

    2 large ice cream scoops (vanilla/chocolate)

    2 shots espresso, or other strong coffee

    crunch of choice (coffee beans, cocoa nibs, cookies, crumble)

    Method

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    Scoop ice cream into serving dishes or cups. Pour hot coffee on top. Garnish with crunchy bits. Serve immediately.

     

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    Simple Cakes

    Brown Butter & Cherries Bundt Cake

    There’s something magical about brown butter. The process is essentially cooking some butter in a pan until the milk solid caramelize. You basically end up with a very deep flavored, almost nutty, melted butter.

    The nutty qualities of brown butter really transcend baked goods to a whole new level. In this case, it transformed a regular bundt cake into a real festive dessert. The moment I saw this recipe on the Bon Appétit website, I knew that I HAD to make it. The original recipe also adds a crumble topping so you end up using almost two cups of butter in total (approx. 480 grams), which is a LOT of butter. I chose to leave out the crumble and bake this spectacular cake in a bundt shape, which also means that I reduced the amount of butter by 1 cup. I’ve also decided to add some sour cherries to the batter and top the baked cake with a generous load of rum sauce. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

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    The technique of browning butter is pretty simple, you just need to be in close proximity to the pan as you stir the butter along and keep track of the browning process. Just like making caramel – the browner the butter gets, the deeper the flavor is going to be.

    I’ve recently read an interesting article on Serious Eats from the ever so-talented Stella Parks of Brave Tart, about preventing fruits from sinking to the bottom of your baked good. Interesting enough, it turns out that coating the fruits with flour before mixing them into the batter is pretty much bullshit, as it doesn’t prevent them from sinking to the bottom. The way to minimize sinking is adding a layer of cake batter to the pan to cushion it, and then adding the remaining batter+fruits on top. Just to be on the safe side and guarantee an equal spread of cherries, I chose to spread each layer with cherries by myself and alternate it with the batter instead of just fold in the fruits and pour the rest of the batter at once.

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    Brown Butter & Cherries Bundt Cake

    Adapted from Bon Appétit

    Brown Butter

    • cups plus / 2 sticks/24o g unsalted butter

    Cake

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste/ extract
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1 cup sour cherries (frozen/fresh, pitted) 
    • Walnuts, for garnish (optional)

    Rum Sauce

    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup dark rum
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed 30 seconds in the microwave
    • 2 tbsp butter (40 grams/1 oz)

    Method

    Brown Butter: In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter and stir constantly until brown bits form (6-8 min). For deeper flavor, brown the butter a little longer just be careful not to burn the milk solids black. Strain to a clean bowl and set aside until the mixture reaches room temp.

    • Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a bundt pan generously. Sift the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric/stand mixer, beat remaining 1 cup browned butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and thick, 2–3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Stir in flour mix just until uniform.
    • Spoon 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with cherries and alternate until all of the ingredients are used. .
    • Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 45 min- 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of pan to release cake. Turn the cake upside down on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

    For the Rum Sauce

    cook the sugar and water util the mixture reaches an amber color. Gradually add in the warmed cream and rum. cook until the mixture is uniform in texture. Remove from heat and let cool 20 min. Stir/blend in the butter. let cool so it thickens and reaches pourable yet not runny consistency.

    Assemble

    Place the cake on a serving plate. Drizzle the Rum sauce on top, arrange the walnuts on top and powder with powdered sugar. This cake is perefctly scrumptious on its own but will also work spectascularously with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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