Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For Megan ;-)

I have no pictures because we ate it all. And it was good. Really good. The girl, who doesn't like anything coffee wanted to lick her bowl. The boy wants it in permanent rotation.

Here is the recipe in case you'd like to try it yourself:

Coffee Almond Brownie Ice Cream

2 eggs
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. whipping cream
1 c. milk
3 T. espresso powder (no, that is not a typo. T.)
1/2 c. chopped, toasted almonds
1 c. crumbled chocolate brownies

Whisk eggs and sugar until thickened and pale yellow. Set aside. In a med. saucepan over med-low heat, bring cream, milk, and espresso powder to a simmer. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk into egg mixture. Return all to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let it boil. Strain into a clean, large container. Refrigerate covered until very cold - overnight if possible. Transfer to ice cream maker. Follow manufacturers directions. Add almonds and brownies in the last five minutes and let machine stir them in.


Let me know if you make it and how it turned out!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yet another week where I blow it

We've been making ice cream. Lots of it. Three weeks ago, I chose maple ice cream. Two weeks ago the girl picked fresh ginger and white chocolate ice cream. Although I hate white chocolate, this was really good. Really good. The white chocolate just gave it a sweetness. Last week the husband chose lemon ice cream with a caramel swirl. The caramel did not swirl. I need to work on that. Tonight I made the custard for the boy's pick -- espresso ice cream with brownies and toasted almonds. The ice cream will be made tomorrow.

Needless to say, I did not get to the vanilla ice cream. I was planning on it. I even looked at the recipe. And then I just couldn't make anything that called for six egg yolks AND heavy cream AND whole milk. I'm sorry Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu. I'm sure it's amazing ice cream. And I know you have a lovely picture and the recipe on your blog.

I'll be back next week with a banana bundt cake. I promise.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not a TWD: Instead, it's a Cookie Carnival!

It's been months since I've participated in the Cookie Carnival baking group. Months. And there have been some really good options. Somehow, I've gotten away from it. Well, now I'm back. This month's recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis. It's a Lemon Ricotta Cookie with Lemon Glaze. I love all things lemon. I had to try it.

This was a simple recipe. It all came together in one bowl. Oh, if you don't own a microplane zester, get one. Now. It's a great kitchen tool. I was curious about the addition of the ricotta cheese. It made a very smooth batter. There wasn't a "cheese" taste at all. I could have eaten just the sweetened ricotta pretty easily. I scooped the cookie dough with my 2 T. cookie scoop, which, by the way, is another great tool. Makes it E.A.S.Y.

These are more like little cakes than cookies. That is not a bad thing. I like a soft cookie. I was hoping for more lemon flavor. Even with the zest of a whole lemon and 3 T. of lemon juice, the flavor was kind of mild. Note to self: use more lemon next time. But wait! There's a lemon glaze! I juiced and zested another lemon and added some confectioners sugar. I did not add as much sugar as the recipe called for. NOW I had the lemon flavor I was looking for. These are really good cookies. They will get added to my ever growing rotation. I could easily see making a lime or lemon/lime version as well.

Naked cookies on the sheet pan. Quick! Cover them up!

Whew! Much better.

I love that you can see the lemon zest in the glaze.

Second note to self: Use waxed paper under the cooling rack before you glaze.

I am very sorry, Susan, of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy that I did not make the Raspberry Blanc-Manger with you. I love your blog. The raspberries were just not calling out to me. Go to her blog to see some deliciousness.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Stay tuned, sports fans. I'm curing bacon! It's in the fridge as we speak. Round about Monday, it should be done. I'll have ingredients, photos, and a taste for you then. Well, a virtual taste.

I'm excited! And, clearly, I'm a dork.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TWD: Brioche Plum (Apricot) Tart

This week was interesting. The recipe was actually sort of a hit and a miss rolled into one. Let me explain....

This week's recipe was a cross between a coffee cake, sweet bread, and tart. It had an identity crisis. Essentially, we made a poor brioche. Poor refers to the paucity of butter and eggs. In the brioche world, this was the other side of the tracks. The brioche was topped with fresh apricots and then baked. I had some high hopes for this one. The apricots I bought were ripe and juicy. The brioche dough was doing all the things it was supposed to. But somehow the great components didn't come together. It was nice to look at, but the individual pieces didn't quite work to make a great final product. It wasn't the biggest hit in our house.

On Dorie's fussy scale, this was low and high. Making the dough did not require much work. (Thank you, Mom, for my KitchenAid stand mixer.) But then, it demands to be tended to every half hour for about two and a half hours. I let mine rest overnight where it lulled me into a false sense of ease. The next day was another hour of sporadic attention. The dough needed to be pressed into a tart pan. Then it sits. Then the topping is put on (apricot jam and apricots, almonds and sugar). Then it sits. Then it bakes for 20 minutes, gets covered and bakes for ten more. It smelled amazing.

Sadly, it didn't taste amazing. The weight of the fruit meant that the middle was much more dense than the edges. The apricots were good, but the bigger bites of fruit overwhelmed the sweet dough flavor. That part was the miss. Here's the hit though: we all sat around thinking about other fabulous things we could put on this dough. Raspberry jam with almonds and chocolate chips. Blackberry jam with blackberries. Strawberry rhubarb jam with almonds. Apple jelly with cinnamon and pecans. See! So many good choices! Both the boy and girl picked off the fruit and just ate the bread part with the apricot jam. Lesson learned.

Here it is before baking. I used a mix of halves and slices.

This is after the sprinkle of sugar and almonds. Maybe brown sugar?

Thank goodness for the Silpat! This would have been an ugly mess in the oven. I think I expected the fruit to cook more.

My edges over browned a bit. I'll know to tent it a little sooner next time.

Here's a slice on a plate. See where the fruit has squished down the dough closest to the middle?

I think if we were having brunch company, I would make the dough again. It was easy enough to do with the stand mixer, and I can largely ignore it while I do other things.

Thank you to Denise of Chez Us for choosing this. I was scared away from the previous brioche recipe, so I'm glad to have made one.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

TWD: Tribute to Katharine Hepburn Brownies

When I asked my friend if he wanted to try the Katharine Hepburn brownies, he wanted to know if I used real or imitation Katharine Hepburn. Badum ching! Thank you folks, I'll be here all week. But really, he did ask.

According to Dorie, this recipe is a play on the one Miss Hepburn is reported to have used. She changed things up a bit (added coffee, cinnamon, and chocolate chunks) from one of the three or four "orginals" that she found.

On the Dorie fussy scale, this was really low. It was mostly done in one pot. Yeah! It calls for cocoa instead of chocolate. I used my KAF black cocoa. It is nice and rich. Dorie calls for instant coffee to be added. I used my espresso powder. I used almonds in place of the pecans or walnuts because I like them better. I guess I changed things up a bit as well.

I used my glass Pyrex pan, and it worked out just fine. This are a nice, fudgy brownie that was pretty easy to make. The top is a bit crackly, which was a nice contrast.

Here's a close up of the cut side. See how moist and fudgy it is?

Anyone have some milk?

The boy and girl really liked this brownie. Then again, they are not very discerning when it comes to chocolate and baked goods. This was a nice brownie. Now, I've said before that I'm a huge baking snob. Huge. I don't use mixes. Except when it comes to brownies. Ghiradelli makes a great mix. I usually have that on hand when it's brownie time. Though, if I ran out, I would certainly make this one again.

Lisa of Surviving Oz was our guest chooser this week. It's her lovely design that makes up our new logo. Thanks, Lisa!