Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Year's Raspberry Cream Cake

My family loves raspberry cream cake, and we used to get delicious ones at a local bakery. The last one we got was overpriced and underwhelming, so we've sworn off them and I occasionally remember to make one, usually when local raspberries are in season. I used to want to recreate that bakery cake, but I always end up making something completely different. That's okay, because I can still remember the other cake fondly while I'm gorging on raspberries, cake and cream. This one was exactly like the fraisier I made for the July Daring Bakers' challenge. Okay, not exactly. I used raspberries, skipped the almond paste and soaking syrup, and added lots of lemon zest to the cake batter. The verdict? Delicious.
Here's the link to that recipe because I'm far too lazy to type it up.

Update: I am still not home! I'm enjoying my last week in Ecuador, and thinking of all the things I'll miss and making plans to return. I know my last post said I was on my way, but that was a mix-up on my part. I had lots of auto posts scheduled but the death of my computer while I was here buggered that up a bit. Anyway, enjoy some cake and I'll see you in a week or so!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Raspberry and Honey Cranachan

This is my last auto-scheduled post, and I should be on a plane home by the time this is posted. I can't wait to get back to my own kitchen to bake up some Thanksgiving goodies!
I used red and golden raspberries, along with tayberries
Funny name, isn't it? Now, if I was one of those bloggers that did tons of research into how foods got their names, I'd have a story to tell. But I'm not that person. What I can tell you is that this dessert is Scottish and delicious. When I went to Edinburgh for work, this was one of the things on my to-do list. I wasn't sure how to pronounce it, but I knew that any combination of raspberries, cream, whisky and oats was bound to be amazing. I tried it in a few places just to confirm, because I do believe in some kinds of research. I even ate this combination atop hot oatmeal at a very cool spot at the Edinburgh Farmers' Market called Stoats Oats. It was a porridge bar where you could get any number of interesting toppings on your bowl of oatmeal. It was July, but freezing and pouring rain, so this was a Saturday morning treat. Here's the link to the breakfast dish, but I recommend you have the dessert version. This would also be delicious with stewed rhubarb (of course!) or other berries or cherries in season.

Raspberry and Honey Cranachan
Source: River Cottage Every Day
Serves 4
50 grams rolled oats
2 tablespoons whisky
250 ml double or whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
250 grams raspberries
  1. Warm a small frying pan over low heat. Add rolled oats and stir until they are golden and toasted. Watch carefully as they burn easily. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. Stir the whisky and cream together and whisk until it holds soft peaks. Lightly crush a few of the raspberries so their juices run. I didn't crush them enough, so my cream was pale and full of whole berries. Not as pretty, but tasty. Fold all the raspberries, honey and oats into the cream, spoon into small glasses or bowls and serve immediately.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

I love making ice cream, but I don't love eating it. I blame it on my brother. He hit me in the face with a Coke bottle when I was about 7 or 8 and broke my front tooth. It was so sensitive and I still think about it whenever I eat ice cream. So, when I make ice cream, I play with it a bit, and love making ice cream sandwiches. These ones are thin brownies. Brownies are cake's first cousin. Cake is my favourite thing to make. All that cancels out phantom tooth pain. Enjoy! I used the cherry ripple ice cream to fill these, but you could use any flavour you like. I'm thinking coconut for next time...
Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
From Chatelaine Magazine, August 2011
Makes 16

84 grams/3 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
⅓ cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 litres ice cream of your choice
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a rimmed 11"x17" baking sheet and line with parchment. Melt butter and chocolate together in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring. Remove from heat. 
  2. Stir salt, sugar and vanilla into chocolate mixture, then whisk in eggs one at a time, until blended. Gently stir in flour, just until combined. Scrape onto prepared baking sheet and level with an offset spatula to make a thin, even layer.
  3. Bake in centre of oven until brownie appears shiny and is firm, but slightly undercooked, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan on rack. 
  4. Run knife around pan edges to loosen, then cut brownie in half lengthways, making 2 long rectangles. Peel off parchment and place one brownie top-side down on work surface. Now, if you were clever, you froze your ice cream in a shallow rectangular container. I wasn't, so I sliced mine 1" thick and laid the slices on the brownie and sandwiched it with the other, top-side up. Wrap in plastic and freeze for a few hours, until very firm.
  5. Unwrap and trim edges if desired, then cut into 16 rectangular bars. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cherry Ripple Ice Cream

Can you resist giant baskets of cherries at the farmers' market? If so, you are a stronger person than me. I bring home as many as I can carry and mostly eat them fresh, as I prefer raw cherries to cooked, unless they are sour cherries. That's a whole other story for next year, as I missed them at the market this summer. Anyway, to use up some cherries, I made this ice cream and it was a big hit. And it was much better than the photo indicates, trust me!

Cherry Ripple Ice Cream
Adapted from delicious. magazine, July 2011
Makes about 2 litres/quarts

500 ml/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
6 large egg yolks
375 g sugar
450 g/1 pound cherries, pitted and quartered
30 ml/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
500 ml/2 cups whipping cream
almond extract to taste, I used a scant ½ teaspoon
  1. Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Meanwhile, beat the yolks and 200 g sugar together until pale and fluffy, a few minutes. Gradually stir in the milk, then return the mixture to the saucepan and stir constantly over medium-low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Pour into a bowl, cool, cover and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
  2. Combine the cherries, lemon juice and remaining sugar in a saucepan over low heat and let the sugar dissolve to make a syrup. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the cherries are very tender. Scoop them out and boil the cherry liquid for a few minutes to thicken and reduce it. Add the cherries back in and chill. It should be thick and jammy.
  3. Add the cream to the ice cream base along with the almond extract. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker. Once ready, transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Dollop the cherries on top and swirl in with a spoon or spatula. You can decide how much rippling you want. I didn't swirl too much, as it was so hot the day I made this that it was melting incredibly quickly. Place in the freezer for a few hours to firm up.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Coconut Ice Cream with Passionfruit Caramel

Remember those passionfruit caramel filled chocolates from my last post? They might have been a bit of a disaster, but the very happy outcome was that I got a great recipe for passionfruit caramel sauce. Not that this sauce was immune to the struggles I had that day. The recipe stated 'dark amber caramel' and I thought my caramel was amber but the end result was much too thin and pale. I used golden syrup instead of corn syrup, giving it a darker colour to start with, so this may have been the problem. However, golden syrup has so much more flavour than corn syrup, so it was worth having to boil the caramel for another 10 or 15 minutes after adding all the ingredients. It still wasn't thick enough at room temperature. Oh well. It was so delicious that I was really happy to have almost 500 ml left after making the chocolates. Even though I tested it almost every day, there was still enough left to do something with. I decided to make ice cream and stuck with tropical flavours to make a knockout combination. This is a simple and tasty ice cream, but it makes a very small batch. 2 cups was perfect for me, but you may want to double it.

Coconut Saffron Ice Cream
Source: Delicious Days by Nicole Stich, via David Lebovitz
1 cup coconut milk
⅔ cup whipping/heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
scant ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a small bowl and chill thoroughly.
  3. Churn in an ice cream machine, transfer to a sealable container and place in the freezer to firm up. 

Passionfruit Caramel Sauce
Source: Adapted from CandyBarLab by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives
Makes 3+ cups!

¾ cup + 2 Tablespoon (210 ml/7 oz/200 gm) passion fruit puree
1½ cups (360 ml/12 oz/340 gm) sugar
½ cup + 2 Tablespoon (180 ml/5 oz/140 gm) corn syrup (I used golden syrup--yum)
1¾ cups (420 ml) whipping/heavy cream
6 tablespoons (90 ml/3 oz/90 gm) unsalted butter

  1. Place the sugar, golden syrup and enough water so it’s like wet sand in a medium saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until dark amber in color, about 5 minutes. Use a pastry brush, dipped in water, to wash down sides of pan to prevent crystallization as the mixture boils. Remove saucepan from the heat and gradually whisk in the passion fruit puree, heavy cream and butter. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool.
  2. Serve warm or at room temperature with just about anything you can think of! I found this caramel sauce had a greasy mouthfeel when refrigerated, so I may skip the butter next time, and there will be a next time.