Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TWD: Vanilla Ice Cream

I LOVE homemade ice cream and I was thrilled when I realized this was my recipe/week to "bake." This week I made a batch of my own vanilla ice cream recipe and it was nice to compare and contrast Dories recipe with our old standby.

Dorie's recipe is a cooked custard-like cream that you cool and then put in the ice cream maker. I use egg beaters in mine and just dump it in and go. I'll admit that I was a little nervous when I realized I was dealing with boiled milk/cream and tempering eggs because of my blundered lemon custard months ago. I was anxious that I would have egg flavored ice cream to serve to my in-laws! I was, however, pleasantly surprised at my success this time around. I think it had something to do with a little more patience when adding boiling milk to eggs and sugar.
When my ice cream maker came to a stop, I was amazed at how creamy the ice cream looked and tasted! My standby recipe is delicious, but never this creamy.
This is my final presentation picture! I had the family chomping at the bit, children begging for ice cream. As we all sat down and started chowing I realized I hadn't taken a picture! Luckily, my brother-in-law, Adam, hadn't gotten too far and I was able to snap a picture of his bowl. The family loved it and our ice cream was devoured in minutes!
I really loved the creamy texture of Dorie's ice cream, but have to admit that I prefer the flavor of my old stand by recipe. I will definitely make this again and play around. I think the mint chip sounds delicious, but wanted to compare this recipe to mine.
If you'd like to see the recipe, check out Cafe LynnLu and her amazing photographs. I am always amazed at the creativity and talents of others.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TWD: Raspberry Blanc Manger

Happy Tuesday!!

Dorie, Dorie, Dorie, always finding new twists and turns in the kitchen. Keepin' it fresh, I like that! The Raspberry Blanc Manger is not something I ever would have thought up or even imagined. I really loved its smooth, creamy texture with raspberries popping with flavor here and there. I know its simple, but we really loved the raspberry coulis too. My kids all lined up for more coulis.

It was pretty easy to make. The recipe was very straightforward. I thought it would be jello-like, but it had a much more sophisticated texture. I served it on plates with coulis for the adults and scooped it like ice cream for the kids.

Something I'm working on: I love the almond flavor, but don't really enjoy the bits of almonds. Do I need to grind the almonds better? I've had this issue with a few recipes. Would a coffee grinder put out a finer granule than my mini food processor? I would also like to try it stacked on a yellow cake layer....

If you want to check it out, you can go to Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy, but I should tell you that hers looks WAY better than mine. You can also find it in "Baking From my home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TWD- Brioche Plum Tart

This was my first attempt at making a brioche dough. When I initially read the Brioche Plum Tart recipe, I was concerned about the amount of time and attention it took to prepare the brioche dough. With four kids, a house and yard to care for, babysitting my brioche dough was not at the top of my priority list! As I read through the P&Q comments on the TWD site, I noticed someone asked if it would work to use the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day brioche recipe and a light went on in my head.

The recipe varied slightly from Dorie's recipe in ingredients. The Artisan Bread recipe used honey as its sweetener instead of sugar, and did not have milk as Dorie's recipe did. Other than that the ingredients were the same. What I liked was I only had to mix it, let it rise once and then put in the fridge until I used it. That's my kind of dough.

I was able to find plums for only 88 cents a pound at Sunflower Farmer's Market (my favorite store right now!), but was unable to find plum jam. I had a jar of Cherry Boysenberry Preserves I had left over from a previous TWD recipe that I decided to use. I wanted to use almonds but didn't have any so I had to settle for walnuts.

The assembly was rather simple and quick. As the tart baked it smelled divine! It came out of the oven nicely browned and the plums were tender and juicy and plump. I made half the Artisan Bread brioche recipe, and used about 2/3 of the dough that I had. I think it was probably more than there would have been with the original recipe.

The finished product was quite good. The plums were a bit tart, but the sugar balanced it nicely. The walnuts gave a slightly crunchy texture and the brioche was light and tender. This is definitely more a breakfast pastry. Not quite sweet enough for dessert but it made for a great evening snack for the hubby and I and I think the kiddos will enjoy some for breakfast in the morning. At some point I will attempt brioche dough the way it is supposed to be made, but it just wasn't in the cards for me right now. If I were to try it again I would love to experiment with other fruit combinations.

If you are interested in the complete recipe, head on over to Chez Us. Until next week!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lucky Me

My family is moving this week from New Jersey. We have spent the last year living here and I don't think I knew how much I would enjoy it. It has truly been a joy. I am having such a hard time leaving. So in the process of our move my most wonderful neighbors threw the kids and I the best garden party. I really do have the best neighbors!! They set out tables in front of our complex with a bounty of food and drink. I wanted to share some of the goods because they were special. One thing that makes this complex unique is that there are several mothers who stay at home, but each is so different and from different cultures. So my friends shared food from their own culture. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of everything, but here is what I have.

Gunjan made an Indian dish called Pakora which is potatoes and cauliflower breaded in chickpea flour and fried. It was delicious!

Wipha made a Thai dish of pan fried talapia with fried garlic. It was very flavorful. I am just barely starting cook fish and my talapia is not nearly as delcious.

Wipha also made another delicious Thai dish made with Tuna, mint leaves, lime juice, red onion, and lemongrass.

Ulrika served a sweedish dish of sour cream with chives meatballs with Lingonberry jam. I loved the sweet flavor of the jam along with the savory meatballs...yum. I might just eat my meatballs with jam from now on.

Ulrika also served pickled herring and herring in mustard sauce, I have memories as a child of my Dad eating pickled and creamed herring. I can't say I ever tried it as a child. I am glad that I finally got a chance to try it.

Ulrika also served potatoes sweedish style. They were boiled potatoes with dill sprinkled atop. They were pretty and delicious.

Joanne brought a delicious cake from the most loved Bakery in downtown Summit called Natale's. I heard about Natale's from the very first week I moved here. You can check out their delicious website here. Marcus my little non-eater ate up little bits of this cake like crazy.

Ulrika brought some sweedish goodies. So if you want to experience a bit of my lucky day go to Ikea and buy your self some of these Ballerina Kex cookies.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to get to know these wonderful women. There is something unique about the bond of motherhood. I have loved watching these women mother their beautiful children. Each in a different way. It has been so enriching to learn from them. One of the best parts of the afternoon was this beautiful painting Wipha painted for me. She was so incredibly sweet about the resemblance to the uniqueness and beauty of each mother in comparison to the beautiful flowers and how together they are beautiful. I will miss these great women in my life. Thank you for the grand afternoon.

Thank you Ladies!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TWD-Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies

With Rach moving, she has decided to take a break from TWD until they have a house and are somewhat settled in their new place. I kindly offered to take her recipe this month so that she didn't have to worry about it. Who wouldn't want to try a new brownie recipe?

I loved the story behind these brownies. Who would have thought that Katherine Hepburn had a fabulous brownie recipe! I also loved the fact that this entire recipe was assembled in one pan and didn't require the use of a mixer. The less mess the better! I have never made brownies in this method before. Adding all the ingredients to the melted butter pan was new to me.

I made mine minus the coffee for religious reasons. There are some times I will purchase decaf for recipes like this but I didn't have it on hand so I just made do with what I had. When they were finished baking and I took them out of the oven, I could tell they were very soft. I let them rest for the time recommended but they still fell apart when I took them out of the pan. No harm done, they still tasted fabulous. They were rich and fudge-like and required a tall glass of milk. The cinnamon was a subtle, but nice addition to the brownies and you got little chunks of gooey chocolate in every bite.

These are a definite keeper and are a recipe I will make again. Thanks to Lisa at Surviving Oz for the pick this week. Head on over to her site for the full recipe.

Happy Baking!