Archive for July, 2010

Daring Bakers-Swiss Ice Cream Cake

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

(Note:  Recipes added at the end of post now.)

This is the baby version, made in a small souflee dish.  We ate it tonight for dessert, and it was yummy, plated on banana slices.


The final cake is in the freezer gelling right now, so I will add a picture to this post when I cut the cake. The Daring Bakers recipes are here http://thedaringkitchen.com/sites/default/files/u11/_Swiss_Swirl_Ice_Cream_Cake_-_DB_July_2010-2.pdf and the Daring Bakers site has picture of the results right now on their site http://thedaringkitchen.com/

After ruminating on what flavour combination I would experiment with, I developed a gluten free peanut butter chocolate version with one ice cream made of peanuts, and the other banana.  I love the combo of peanuts, banana, and chocolate.  I made the sponge cake adapting a recipe from The Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby that normally has almonds, but I added a little over half the nut mix using peanuts.  The resulting cake was excellent, and I will post this recipe soon. It is gluten free, and would also be a great cake.  For the ice cream, I adapted a recipe from Pure Desserts by Alice Medrich that was originally for sesame ice cream.  I had no milk, so I used buttermilk, and this gives an interesting flavour with a hint of sour edge that counteracts the sweetness.  Recipe to come.

I followed the steps in the Daring Bakers recipe, and all worked well. I made some little versions in souflee dishes as well.

I will be adding more to this post soon, but wanted to get this up to meet the challenge deadline for the blogroll.  Thanks to Sunita for an interesting challenge.

Peanut Butter Buttermilk Ice Cream

I should call this a mistake, but really it was because I had no milk so I used buttermilk, and it is really good!

1 cup whip cream

1 cup buttermilk

¼  cup peanut butter

¼ cup sugar

Blend all this, then refrigerate, then process in an ice cream maker or take it out a lot and stir it up while freezing it.  I wanted this to be only semi sweet sue to the other sweet ingredients in the ice cream cake, so taste and add a little sugar if you like it sweeter.

Gluten Free Sponge Cake

This recipe is very useful when you need a sponge cake that you can add flavourings to for compound type desserts with a cake component (tira misu, etc.) Sometimes I use sugar, and sometimes I used the spenda.  This was adapted from The Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby.

Ingredients

Method

½ cup almond meal

¾ cup peanuts ground fine (but stop before they turn to butter)

(Note:  You can use all almonds or a different proportion of the 2 nuts but make a total of 1 ¼ cup)

1 tsp baking powder

6 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup sugar plus 2 T splenda (approx)

  • Put parchment paper and light mist of cooking spray on a jelly roll size pan.  (Or you can use any shape pan, but this should be a thin cake in order to rise best.)Spread grease around with your fingers (ie, you want a really thin layer)
  • Combine the nut meal, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  • Place eggs and sweeteners (sugar, splenda, or a combination) in large bowl and beat with whisk on electric mixer for several minutes until they have a foam that is thick and will hold the path if a spoon is in it (ie, the consistency you would use for sponge cake)
  • Gently fold in the almond mixture.
  • Spread in jelly roll pan lined with parchment.
  • Bake at 350 until done (about 15 minutes or so, depends on your oven. )

Split Personality Ice Box Cookies

Friday, July 23rd, 2010


We had a terrific weekend with our daughter and friends from Toronto, newlyweds Bhaskar and Farhanna.  Farhanna and I had a blast cooking Bengali food (that’s another post coming soon) and we ate all weekend! After the weekend, the newlyweds went to a local resort for a couple days, but I asked them to come back for a care package from me before they headed to Toronto.

So, I wanted something special for the care package, and decided that  some unusual butter cookies with different flavourings would fit the bill.  I love lavender and also grow it in my Muskoka garden.  I grow the English type and it flourishes even here in garden zone 4.  The type I really love however is the French type grown in Provence.  There are also lavender farms in Ontario that are experimenting with different types and their hardiness.  My lavender was in full bloom, so thus my inspiration.  Last year I had tried a lavender sable recipe in a Provence Cooking School Cookbook, and they were scrumptionus, with an unusual menthol taste from the lavender.

The ice box method of making cookies is really easy.  The recipe I started with is adapted from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, one of my favourite and most reliable cookbooks, I highly recommend it as one of the most comprehensive home baking books available.

When you make these, keep the logs very thin, I like about 1 1/2 inches.  I like the cookies sliced very thin so the calories are also small, but I can tell you they taste just as good a little thicker.  I must warn you that these are very addictive and that I have to ration them unless I want to walk several miles a day.  They freeze very well, but like many shortbread cookies they keep a long time (like I have eaten them even a month old when I forgot them in a cookie can!) in a good tin cookie can).  Experiment with other flavour variations.  Another good combination is anise and orange.

Anyway, the newlyweds like the cookies, so Bhaskar and Farhanna this post is dedicated to you and thanks for such an enjoyable weekend.

Split Personality Ice Box Cookies

This recipe is adapted from a  basic butter cookie recipe from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.  They are very easy to make, and delicious.  Here are two of my own favourite flavor variations, with the lavender being a somewhat different taste for a sweet cookie.  If you don’t want to make two flavours, just double the ingredients and make one flavor for the whole batch.


Ingredients Method
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 ½ cups flour

1 egg

Cream butter and sugar, add salt.

Add  egg, then the flour in batches.

Mix until small crumbly mixture evolves and all the flour is incorporated.

Divide the mixture into two equal size batches.

Flavourings (for ½ recipe)

Lavender Orange:

2 tsp dried cooking grade lavender (ie, don’t use lavender from a bath mix)

1 tsp orange flower water

1 tsp shredded orange rind, avoid a micro grater size, larger such as the type from a little zester is better.

Maple Pecan:

½ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp maple flavouring

½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Add flavourings to each batch.  Press dough together to form a long log about 1 ½ inched.  Roll in parchment or wax paper and refreigerate (or freeze).

To make cookies, roll log in sanding or coarse sugar to coat surface.  Then slice into rounds ¼ inch think.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Cool.

These freeze beautifully but also keep at room temperature for about 10 days.

Nut Butters – Daring Cooks Challenge

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.  The recipes are here http://thedaringkitchen.com/sites/default/files/u11/15_Nut_Butters_-_July_2010.pdf

I have made some nut butters before, but this challenge prompted me to try some additional butters and to use them in recipes.

The recipe for Chicken with Pecan Cream and Mushrooms appealed to me first, so here it is in the above picture.  The pecan butter was easily made in the food processor, and the remaining recipe was easy to do and quick. The resulting taste test proved that this is an easy and tasty meal.  Although this was very good, I might turn up the spicing a little next time as it was a little bland. It is gluten free as long as you serve it on a non gluten starch (I used mashed potatoes, my favourite, after all I am from PEI.)

Newest designer vegetable (I saw this in a cooking magazine headline!) Look at the greens on the plate, they are not green beans, they are garlic scapes from my garden. These are the flowering stalk of hard shell garlic that Greg plants in the fall.  The scapes are usually ready in late June here, and it is important that they are picked when the stalk does a 360 turn and just before the flower bud gets too large.  They are delicious, the flavour is like asparagus with built in garlic.  They freeze well using green bean instructions (ie, parboil, cool in ice water, and bag.)

The next recipe I tried was the Asian Noodle Salad with Cashew Dressing.  This recipe is a definite keeper!  I happened to have some good cashews in the freezer, so I made the cashew version.  This makes a delicious dressing that is good on hot or cold noodles, or as a dipping sauce.  The only change I made to the recipe was to reduce the sugar from three tablespoons and instead used 2 teaspoons.  I do not like really sweet sauces, and anyway with sugar on the healthwise front less is more.  I put them on boiled and cooled whole wheat salba noodles, but this would be a gluten free meal on rice or quinoa instead, I occasionally have to have a wheat fix and let Greg make do with another starch!

For the understudy salad to make the picture appeal to your eyes first (let’s face it, isn’t that what you look at first  on my blog?) I raided the garden for greens (I found arugula, romaine, leaf lettuce, and spinach), even though they are a little bitter given the recent hot weather.  I also added mint leaves and nasturtium garnishes, and they actually added to the taste very well, especially the mint leaves.

Asian Salad with Cashew Nut Butter and Mint Leaves

Thanks you to the Natasha and Margie, this was a really interesting challenge and I am even going to make the rest of the recipes!  Overall, Nut Butter rocks!!

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