Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category
My friends are food geniuses. Lucky for me, they love cooking and invite me over for dinner. Sarah and Mike recently bought a house in the flats, and are making it gorgeous/livable. The inaugural RitterBrown Town dinner last weekend had a delicious menu, ending with this knock your socks and shoes off home made ice cream. I asked Sarah to send me the recipe to share with all you folks that love to make your own home made ice cream. Thank you, Sarah!
If you don’t have an ice cream machine, worry not. Check out David Lebovitz’s machineless ice cream how-to. I’m sure you can adapt this delicious recipe for all kinds of ice cream making methods.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
- liberal pinch of salt
- about 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Equipment: an ice cream maker
Bring cream, milk, and 1/2 cup brown sugar to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring.
Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Return to saucepan and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not boil).
Immediately strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Stir in Frangelico and nuts and chill custard at least 6 hours.
Freeze in ice cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, about 2 hours.
•Custard can be chilled up to 24 hours.
•Ice cream keeps 1 week.
Even though I’m still off the hard stuff (gluten, sugar, most dairy). I still occasionally bust out some goodness for friends and co-workers. One of my co-workers told a story about being a little kid and asking for a lemon cake with mint frosting. Her parents tried to explain that it might not be the best tasting thing in the world and ended up making her two cakes for her birthday. One cake was lemon cake with a lemon buttercream frosting and the other was a chocolate cake with mint frosting. I made these mint frosted chocolate cupcakes for my friend’s baby shower last month.
A warning when using peppermint extract: the stuff is strong! Seriously a drop or maybe two will do – mix and taste the frosting to make sure it’s not too strong. I made the mistake of using a quarter teaspoon on this batch and the frosting tasted a little too toothpaste-like. Otherwise these cupcakes were full of awesome.
I have to give a shout-out to All Recipes for the simple chocolate cupcake recipe.
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well.
- Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Frost when cool.
Mint Buttercream Frosting:
(Thanks to Big Oven!)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks)
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup of buttermilk
- 1 or 2 little dashes of natural peppermint extract
- a couple of dashes of good old fashion green food coloring
- Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
- Add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, food coloring, and peppermint extract, beat until combined.
- Add more powdered sugar as needed to get piping consistency.
There are times where canned clearance organic pumpkin pie filling and boosting office morale call for creative measures. One of those times happened last week when I felt the need to make something nice to share with my co-workers. I racked my brain thinking of what do with pumpkin pie filling that wasn’t exactly pie: muffins? cupcakes? tartlets?
The stray bag of graham cracker crumbs left over from my dramatic huckleberry cheesecake incident looked rather lonely lying in wait with its healthier companions on my pantry shelf. I felt a twinge of guilt each morning when I’d by-pass the bag of graham cracker crumbs for my healthy friend, oatmeal. I wanted to finally give that little bag of graham cracker crumbs that could a real opportunity to shine. My spring-form pan and I aren’t on speaking terms after our last messy dance around the kitchen. Pumpkin cheesecake bars made in my faithful Pyrex pan seemed like the path of least resistance.
Those of you that scour the Internet know that the world-wide web is a choose your own adventure when it comes to recipes. You can go up-town and check out the now defunct Gourmet Magazine online archive for recipes, cruise the curated food blog recipes on Saveur, pick through the wealth of online information and recipes known as Chow, or just get lucky playing the google recipe slot machine.
I hit the jackpot with this recipe I found on a little online version of New England’s Yankee Magazine.
Recipe from the Yankee Magazine that I tweaked a bit to fit my ingredients:
- 1 cup of crumbled graham crackers or pre-crumbled graham cracker mix
- 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 8-inch square pan.
- Break the crackers into a food processor. (or use the pre-packaged crumbs)
- Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, and process to a fine meal.
- Add the melted butter and process again.
- Press the crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan.
- Bake 10 minutes, then cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (I used organic pumpkin pie filling and it worked just fine)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Cream the cream cheese, brown sugar, egg, and egg yolk.
- Blend in the vanilla.
- Blend in the remaining ingredients until smooth.
- Pour into the crust and bake for 45 minutes.
- Cool on a rack.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours before slicing.
I topped my pumpkin cheesecake bars with homemade pear citrus preserves that my aunt Ann had given me. The bars on their own look a little plain coming out of the oven. If you don’t have an awesome aunt that makes homemade preserves, a freshly made whipped cream topping will knock this dessert out of the park.
I love carrot cake. I love cupcakes, they’re delicious. Do you love carrot cake and cupcakes? I hope so. Are you there Internet? It’s me, Patrice.
I searched for a recipe online for a straight up non-sugar, fruit or honey sweetened carrot cake recipe that didn’t sound like it would end up like a brick. There’s a lot of information out there in this world of Internet fancy food blogs and gourmet food sites. People are totally creative and pretty much awesome when it comes to alternative ingredients. Honestly, I think stevia takes gnarly and I’m not a big fan of soy flour: just throwing it out there, if you like those things by all means eat up!
I’ve discovered that using a sifter while working with whole wheat flour is of the utmost importance when making baked goods. This would seem like a pretty common sense, food not bombs kind of educated conclusion. Sifting helps break down whole wheat flour a bit so that your goodies come out less like weapons and more like delicious.
1 cup of whole wheat flour, sifted
1 cup of wheat bran, sifted as much as you can
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1 1/2 cup of grated carrots
1/2 cup of raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup of canola, olive, or vegetable oil
1/4 cup of honey
1 juice of an orange, plus the zest of the orange divided into 2 parts (1/2 for frosting 1/2 for cakes)
1 1/2 tablespoons of molasses
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Fill a 12 count muffin tray with liners, or grease
- use your food processor to finely grind some almonds or chop the heck out of ‘em
- grate carrots or use a food processor for fast grated carrot fun
- sift whole wheat flour & bran into a large bowl with baking soda, salt, & spices
- Whisk 2 eggs together with molasses & honey, then add to flour mixture
- Wash and zest your orange before juicing it, reserve zest and juice
- Add orange juice and half of your orange zest to flour mixture
- Add carrots, raisins, oil and mix well
- Portion out carrot cake mixture into muffin tin using about a large spoonful for each
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting
- A little over 1/2 a package, or 5 ounces of low-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup of agave
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp of orange juice
- Whip cream cheese, butter, agave, vanilla, and orange juice together with the whisk attachment of an upright mixer for 5 minutes
- Refrigerate frosting mixture for at least 20 minutes in a pastry bag , or a plastic bag to be converted into a pastry bag by cutting an edge off for frosting cupcakes.
Delicious after dinner with a stovetop cup of espresso, even more delicious in the morning as a sweet treat breakfast.
The monolith of all desserts, the cheesecake is quite possibly the most delicious and decadent of sweets. There are plenty of other “dirty” contenders, but the cheesecake comes in pretty much on top in the full of fat and deliciousness category. I’d never made a cheesecake before and was admittedly a little intimidated by the awesomeness of this culinary wonder of the world. Cheesecake happens to be my sweetheart’s favorite dessert, so it was time for me to figure out how to make it. I had no shame buying four blocks of cream cheese for this venture. In fact, there was a certain amount of pride in my chubby little heart, carefully placing four blocks of cheese onto a checkout counter the other night.
Dear Reader, take note: the cheesecake in the photo above should be twice as tall & yes, there’s a blueberry in that topping. We picked berries this last summer and there were a few blueberries mixed into our huckleberry haul.
Can we talk about how dangerous the springform pan is? It’s a grenade waiting to go off in your hand! I mixed up all the ingredients, gingerly pouring them into the pan with a deep smug satisfaction. I hastily grabbed the sides of the pan and opened the oven, only to have half of the filling spill out of an open side of the pan. A quick recovery saved half of the precious manna from heaven, while the other half dribbled down the innards and front of my oven.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been so upset in my life. Sure, people die, natural disasters happen, but losing half of a cheesecake? I went through the seven stages of grief several times over, cursing, cleaning, and pushing my dog away from her foiled attempt at what might well have been the best scavenging score in the history of the world.
I’m told the cheesecake turned out to be pretty delicious. The cake ended up being a little browned on the edges and challenged in the height department, but cheesecake nonetheless. Be careful with your springform pan, but by all means do everyone’s cholesterol in your family a favor and make this dessert.
- 1 1/2 cups of graham crackers, crushed
- 1/2 stick of butter, melted
- 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a 9″ springform pan
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in the bottom and press with the back of a fork into a crust
- Using a standing mixer (or by hand) combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth
- Blend in milk, and then eggs, one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate
- Mix in sour cream or yogurt, vanilla and flour until smooth
- Carefully pour filling into crust
- Handle your springform pan with care, make sure it’s locked
- Bake in preheated oven for one hour
- Turn the oven off, and let cake rest in oven with the door closed for an hour or two: this prevents cracking.
- Chill in refrigerator, while preparing topping.
- 2 cups of frozen or fresh huckleberries
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 Tbsps of flour
- 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
- Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring often.
- Once boiling, let simmer 2-4 minutes, turning the pan to low, still stirring.
- Take topping mixture off heat and let cool, one hour.
- Top cheesecake with mixture, chill once more for 20 – 30 minutes.
To make cutting cake easier – dip a bread knife into warm water, wiping lightly with a clean kitchen towel before slicing.
I got the idea from these geniuses, who in turn got it from this brilliant gal with a blog. They all used canned pumpkin to make this recipe. The can of pumpkin I had expired May of 2010, so I was out of luck on that front. I decided to grate up some carrots and add a little yogurt to the mix. Also, I caramelized my bananas in the same iron skillet I baked this glorious dessert/breakfast in.
I portioned out the oat bomb into 8 different little containers as to grab it quickly in the morning on our way to work. That’s four days of breakfast for both of us on the cheap and sweet! But since I made this dish at night I transformed it into the base of a delicious dessert for my boyfriend. Here’s the oat bomb in a fancy party dress. Old oat bomb really cleans up well! ->
I really recommend using greenish bananas for this baked oatmeal dish. I should have followed the original recipe but I’m going with what I have in house. The bananas I had in my kitchen were just about turning brown. I have to be honest, when I took the oat bomb out of the iron skillet it was just about the most unattractive thing I’ve ever baked. As the infamous Channel Bowl once wrote on their white board, “food doesn’t have to look pretty to taste good”.
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 large yellow-green bananas, sliced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp molasses
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup raisins, chopped finely
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped finely
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup of grated carrots
1 cup of low-fat plain yogurt
1 tbsp milk or cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375
- Melt butter in an iron skillet
- Add in the sliced bananas and cook for 2 minutes, gently stirring every now and then. Add cinnamon and 1 tbsp honey, let mixture boil & thicken for about 30 seconds.
- Take bananas off heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together oats, apricots, raisins, pecans, larger portion of honey, baking powder, and spices,
- In a separate bowl whisk egg, milk or cream, add carrots, yogurt, and vanilla.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients, stirring well and adding to the top of banana bottom layer.
- Bake for 35 minutes
- Allow 5 minutes to cool before serving
Olympia is an oasis of rad in a sea of Washington, and has long held a special place in my heart. This last week, Matt and I were visiting friends in family in Portland and decided to make a journey to Olympia. The journey was slightly motivated by the promise of delicious dessert, good company, and a couple of tickets to The Gossip & The Need show. Jess, a long time online/zine friend, blogger, and fashion icon suggested we meet up at the Bearded Lady, before the concert for a bite of deliciousness. It was a great opportunity to meet Jess and her wife Krista, and get an inside look at one of the hottest new kitchens in Olympia.
Alaskans seem to have homing devices that attract other Alaskans in far off lands. Half an hour before my meet-up with Krista & Jess, I had accumulated a posse of five other hungry folks from the great white north eager for dessert. I suggested that I should first meet my new friends on my own, while the Alaskan contingent congregate in a more natural habitat: a bar. It would give me an opportunity to stall the dessert stampede and introduce myself to new folks. The contingent agreed to come back in half an hour or so to experience the glory of the Bearded Lady.
The Bearded Lady sweet kitchen has a quaint dining room tucked in a corner of downtown Olympia like a secret that isn’t well kept. There are five or six tables that provide a welcoming space for diners on their sweet pilgrimage. Brightly painted walls, a handwritten menu on a chalkboard, and framed vintage kitsch instantly made me feel at home as I took a seat. Melanie, one of the owners, gave me a warm welcome and brought me water and a menu while I waited for Krista & Jess. I watched couples and groups of folks enjoying beautifully plated and colorful desserts. A happy couple at a table in the front of the dining room made amorous noises while feeding each other from their respective plates.
When Krista & Jess arrived the whole place lit up. Melanie hugged them and said, “Oh, this is the couple you’re meeting! Great!”
The task of choosing something from the menu was difficult. Everything, and I mean everything, sounded good.
The gorgeous vegan cupcakes and brownies on the counter were calling my name. The desserts on the menu were beyond amazing sounding, but after months of abstaining from regular sugar the comfort and simplicity of a dessert standard was too much to resist.
Krista had the traditional pumpkin flan over brown sugar walnut shortbread cookie w/ candied pumpkin & chocolate whipped cream. I also tasted this and it was mind blowing pumpkin shortbread awesomeness.
The only thing that was compared than the Bearded Lady Food Company in Olympia was the amazing concert that I went to afterward. I’m not even sure I can say that one was better than the other. I loved hearing The Need’s music for the first time and The Gossip was one of the most incredible bands I’ve ever seen live.
I would strongly recommend that if you live in Olympia, or find yourself passing through, to do yourself a huge favor and take time for a dessert experience you won’t soon forget. Check out the Bearded Lady Food Company website if you’re interested in having them cater your special event. Please tell the fine ladies of the Bearded Lady Food Company I say hello and thank them again for their sweetness. Thanks to Krista & Jess for telling me about this great spot and for giving me a heads up about the show!
I recently made my first batch of pear butter with my friend and neighbor, Katie. We found the cheapest pears in town at Costco and bought a couple of flats for our project. We got about 10 cans of delicious pear butter goodness that will last us long into the winter and into the new year. Even after making mounds of delicious fruit butter, there was a pile of pears to use. I adapted this recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, and honestly this tart crust is one of the easiest I’ve worked with.
I brought this tart to a family dinner last night and it was well received. You can modify the filling to your tastes. If you’re using berries, 3 cups is the standard measure. There are some great sales going on around town for apples, ’tis the season. An apple and stilton cheese tart would be delicious, the tart possibilities are endless.