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vanilla

    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.

    icepop (2 of 4)

    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.

    icepop (3 of 4)

    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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    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.

    Itstaba (15 of 38)

    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.

    Itstaba (33 of 38)

    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.

    Itstaba (25 of 38)

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    Creams & Puddings

    Two-Tone Magic Bundt Cake

     

    Happy Thursday all! As the weekend draws near I have an amazing simple yet impressive cake for you to make.

    I’ve been fantasizing about a bundt cake pan for a while now, but have yet had the courage to buy one due to its relatively high price. I’ve been eyeing this Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Original 10- to 15-Cup Bundt Pan , but the shipping price deterred me from making a purchase. If you hear of a website that offer low worldwide shipping options then please let me know!

    Anyways, so I was at a shopping centre the other day and couldn’t resist entering a homeware store that had a huge 50% off banner up front. So I did end up purchasing a fairly nice non-stick bundt pan for a very good price, and went home happily to play with my new toy. There is something magical about bundt pans – they look so majestic in my eyes and give you that tall castle look without looking too childish. And the options are endless – lemon pound cakes, dotted with blueberries or raspberries, yeast cakes, marble, green tea and so much more. The sky’s the limit when it comes to these cakes. Their real advantage is also in the ability to fill the cake’s center after it’s baked with fresh fruits, whipped cream, edible flowers and more.

    croissant (1 of 17)

    This next cake I found in the amazing blog Sweet Gula, which, although in Portuguese, is so beautiful, that I couldn’t help not to make it and used google translate feverishly until I cracked the recipe.

    croissant (15 of 17)

    This cake is from the “magic pudding cake” family, in which the pudding sinks down to the bottom of the pan during the baking process and the cake part end up at the top. Once turned over on a serving plate, the cake part becomes the base of the cake and the pudding part its top.

    What I liked about this cake is the fact that the “pudding” part has a real body and is an actual creme caramel/ flan which is enriched with condensed milk and cream cheese. The cake part has a strong strawberry taste and a pink hue so you end up -in my eyes- with the perfect strawberries & cream dessert.

    croissant (13 of 17)

    Two-Tone Magic Bundt Cake

    Ingredientes
    {for the flan}
    1 can sweetened condensed milk (397 grams/ 14 oz.)
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    4 Large eggs
    200 grams/7 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
    1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or 1 vanilla pod, cut lengthwise and seeds scraped)
    pinch of salt
    {for the cake}
    4 Large eggs
    140/ 5 oz. grams sugar
    3 tbsp  strawberry Jam, blended until smooth
    1 pack instant strawberry flavored pudding (80 grams)
    200 grams/ 7 oz. cake (soft) flour
    16 grams/0.5 oz. baking powder
    200 ml heavy cream
    pinch of salt
    Few drops red food color (optional)

    {flowers/fresh fruits/whipped cream for decoration}

     

    Method 

    preheat the oven to 175C/345F.

    make the flan: in a bowl, mix the cream cheese with the salt and gradually add in the sweetened condensed milk (to avoid a lumpy texture). Once combined, add the eggs (one at a time), vanilla, milk, and cream. Set aside.

    Make the strawberry cake: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whipping attachment, beat the eggs on medium high speed. Gradually rain in the sugar and keep beating until the mixture becomes light, fluffy and double in size. Sift the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. blend the heavy cream with the strawberry puree. In three additions, gradually fold in your dry sifted ingredients and heavy cream into the egg mixture, beginning and finishing with the dry ingredients.

    Assemble the cake: Butter a bundt pan. Pour in the cake mixture and top with the flan mixture. Bake for 45-50 min until the cake is springy to the touch and baked throughout. Chill in the pan overnight (or at least 6 hours). Flip the cake on a serving plate, decorate and serve.

     

     

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