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Green Tea Ice Cream & Orange Sherbet

17 May

I am obsessed with making ice cream these days. Ice cream is a nice balance between baking and cooking–because it acts as a great canvas to play with- and you can be less precise than baking. That being said, my experiments, thus far, never turn out as well as the recipes. For all recipes- basic and inventive- I turn to David Lebovitz. I am super into his book The Perfect Scoop. David posts several of the recipes on his blog– so check there. Also- if you have anything else in mind- email me. But here are two non-David Lebovitz recipes that I want to make again and again. David, fyi, also has a method for non ice cream maker ice cream- never tried- but just a bit more labor intensive.

Also, a fundamental question often asked. Ice Cream generally has Milk and heavy cream. Sherbet only has milk. Sorbet has water. I have been playing around a lot with yogurt too– which tends to retain the tang (for better or worse) not always in commercial fro yo. For me, Sherbet is a favorite– because it tastes creamy,  but I feel a little less bad about it than when I know I have consumed cups of heavy cream. ech. David Lebovitz- has a Chocolate Sherbet recipe- that is dynamite! Oh and while you are on his blog- check out the recipe for Whole Lemon Bars. I didn’t even know I liked lemon bars before those.

Fresh Orange Sherbet- America’s Test Kitchen Recipe. This recipe- nothing like the old-school gross Sherbet you might associate with fruit punch. This tastes like creamsicles.
1 tablespoon grated zest from 1 or 2 oranges
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups orange juice, preferably unpasteurized fresh-squeezed (can buy or do yourself)
3 tablespoons juice from 1 or 2 lemons
2 teaspoons triple sec or vodka
2/3 cup heavy cream

1. Process the zest, sugar and salt in the food processor until damp, 10 to 15 one-second pulses. With machine running, add the orange and lemon juice in slow stream, continue to process until sugar is dissolved, about a minute. Strain through fine-mesh strainer- into a medium bowl. Stir in triple sec, cover w. plastic wrap and chill in the freezer until very cold, 30 to 60 minutes. Don’t let it freeze.
2. When it is cold, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks. whisking constantly, and juice slowly in, pouring against the edge of the bowl. Immediately start ice cream maching and add to canister. freeze to machine’s instructions.

Green Tea Ice Cream- Harumi Kurihara recipe
2 tablespoons green tea powder (macha)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream

1. In a small bowl, mix the green tea powder with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks and remaining sugar.
3. Pour milk into a small pan and gently heat taking care not to let it boil (ideally the temp of the milk should be 176F). Remove from heat and mix a few spoonfuls of the warm milk with the green tea powder and sugar in a small bowl. When you have a smooth paste, add it to the remaining milk in the pan, then gradually combine with the egg yolk mixture. Leave to cool (in fridge).
4. light whip the cream and then add to the cold green tea mixture.
5. Add to ice cream maker and freeze per instructions.


Salted Oatmeal Cookies

9 Apr

I LOVE these cookies– they are a specialty of Jess P. so I’ll let her take it away. Post and pic by Jess P.

These are not those oatmeal cookies – those chewy, nasty ones with raisins in them (I hate raisins in my baked goods!). No, these are buttery, salty, crispy, golden snacks which are easily justifiable as a legitimate breakfast, because after all, they are made primarily out of oatmeal. They’re downright good for you. I love these cookies.  More importantly my family, friends and colleagues love these cookies, so I end up making them all the time. If I need to transport them, I like to wrap them in natural brown kraft paper sandwich bags and then put them back inside an empty oatmeal container.

Cripsy Salted Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Cooks Illustrated

1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg (I make sure this is at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ teapoon coarse sea salt (I use the fleur de sel Tessa gave me ) – this is for sprinkling on top

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated.
3. Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 ½ inches apart (they will expand). Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about ¾-inch thickness.
4. Sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt on each cookie
5. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 12 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

21 Feb

A few weeks ago, I posted a schnitzel recipe from Cliff’s UK Cookery School book. As promised, here is a second recipe from there– Sticky Toffee Pudding. Love this super sweet dessert- and figured since it is an english dessert- might as well use an english recipe. though i did take some pointers from a similar recipe- posted on David Lebovitz site. this is definitely a dinner party/special occasion type dessert. but the toffee can, and should, be made anytime. great over ice cream. or i don’t see why it wouldn’t work in the banoffee pie? or at least a banoffee pie like sundae. yum. Anyway. the most annoying part of this recipe was translating all the UK amounts/ingredients to US but- i did that for you– so jolly good then, carry on. I put mine in 6 individual ramekins, though if you don’t have i’d recommend muffin tins. the 6 are a little big serving so I think 12 muffin-sized would be great. could use paper liners and all. David Lebovitz also makes one in a big round dish- which I think would be good, but i’d imagine wouldn’t have the same good crunchy outside to inside gooey balance- as he also tries it w. one of those maze-like brownie pans too so every piece has an edge.

Cookery School recipe:
200g stoned dates,chopped [1/2 pound, weight is once they have been pitted]
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda [baking soda]
60g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the ramekins [4 tablespoons]
60g light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar* [2/3 cups]
2 eggs
2 tablespoons golden syrup [treacle or light molasses or regular molasses]**
1/4 level teaspoon ground ginger
150g self-rising flour [1 cup of all-purpose flour w. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt]
vanilla ice cream to serve

for toffee sauce:
75g unsalted butter [5 tablespoons]
175g dark muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar* [1 cup]
125ml double cream [1/2 cup]

*Sugar note. Muscovado is basically an unrefined sugar. The books say– “It is a more natural type of sugar and there is more molasses at the center of the grain which gives the dish a more caramel taste.” While I didn’t buy sugar branded as “muscovado” (sold for like, $7 at union market) I bought the organic unrefined sugar— which I think is pretty much the same. Quite a bit coarser than refined sugar.
** this stuff called Lyle’s Golden syrup is friggin delicious. I snuck it back from London last time I was there– but you can get it in some Brit stores in nyc (there are several). It tastes like a magical blend between honey, maple syrup and molasses.

Preheat oven to 350.
1. Put chopped dates in a medium size bowl. Pour over 1 cup of boiling water and baking soda and set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl cream butter and light muscavado sugar together until pale and then gradually beat in the eggs and golden syrup. Fold in the flour (w. your additions to make it self-rising) and ground ginger, and then stir in the soaked date mixture.
3. Grease ramekins w. butter. Pour this sponge mixture into 6 small ramekins.
4. Place the filled ramekins onto a baking tray and put in the preheated over for 20-25 minutes, until the top of the pudding is just firm to the touch.
5. To make the toffee sauce, put the butter in a medium-sized frying pan over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the dark muscovado and stir to dissolve. Finish the sauce by pouring in the cream and cook for a further 2 minutes then remove from heat.
6. To serve. They say you can run a knife gently around and invert onto a plate. Pour sauce over and serve w. a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This did not work for me– plus I like the look of serving w. in the ramekins, so I just did that.
7. If making ahead— reheat your cakes in a 300 oven— and would recommend, as David does, use a chopstick to make a couple holes in each cake and spread me toffee over. Cover w. foil and bake. He says use half toffee for your big cake– and reheat at 300 for 30 mins. For individual I just spread a spoon of toffee on each. Covered w. foil. Heat for 30 or less.
8. Heated the extra toffee up and served on the side.

Scotch Shortbread

10 Jan

Yummy buttery shortbread…oh so buttery. I’ve made this William Sonoma recipe a bunch- it was first given to me by Megan Doyle Carmody. The other day Rach pointed out that I didn’t have shortbread on Snacko Backo- so when Rach’s bday came around– seemed like the perfect opportunity. Plus, these come together super quickly. Basically, there are two shortbread recipes I use- this one and Doris Greenspan’s sandies, which are a french round version and just a touch more involved and slightly different texture, I think. Maybe a month or two ago I went to a Doris Greenspan demo– and she demoed the sandies- so I kept a couple things in mind. Next time I make those, I’ll be sure to post- or just ask me if you want it.

1 1/2 cups flour
butter, room temperature (2 sticks = 16 tablespoons)
1/4 tsp salt. (but I wanted to check out this salted butter that Doris Greenspan recommended- called Vermont Culture- pretty tasty- she said it was the closest to french butter she can find over here. B/c using salted butter, eliminated the extra 1/4 tsp salt)
1/4 cup white sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra for sprinkling
1/4 cup confectioner sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

8 inch square pan– ungreased. Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and continue beating until the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your thumb and finger (mine is never completely smooth- but as close as you can get.) Beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt (Dorie  said that shortbread are the only ones that she sifts the flour for– so I thought I would go ahead and do it too. Note– make sure you sift the measured flour– don’t sift then measure.) Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until blended- don’t overmix.
Using floured (or wet) fingertips, press the dough evenly into an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the 1 Tbs. granulated sugar.
Bake the shortbread until the edges are golden, about 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately use a thin, sharp knife to cut the shortbread into bars. Use a toothpick or the tines of a fork to decorate the shortbread with a pattern of dots. Let the strips cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before transferring them to the rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Cake w. Fluffy Maple Frosting

15 Dec

Photo Courtesy of Nereida.

Birthday Cake!  Well, this was actually for Phil’s Birthday– in September– but celebrated in October in the Adirondacks. That was a fun time. My friends like to call me a neurotic control freak in the kitchen. And they thought I was crazy for making a second frosting– when my first attempt was lackluster– I had thought I could get by just winging maple frosting– didn’t work. So the I did the Magnolia maple frosting– and man oh man– was it so worth it. That shit was way better. It tastes like marshmallows.

Magnolia Chocolate Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (use a double broiler or a bowl-pyrex or metal- on top of a saucepan with an inch or two of boiling water- water shouldn’t be high enough to touch the bowl)
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a pan. 9×13 inch. 2 round pans. Or cupcakes.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth. Carefully spoon the batter into pan.
Cupcakes bake 20–25 minutes
Round Cake pans bake 30-40 mins- if memory serves me the 9×13 take on the longer side of it.
Or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool before frosting!

Magnolia Fluffy Maple Frosting

2 egg whites
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon maple extract

In the top of a double boiler (or bowl-pyrex or metal on top of a saucepan), combine first five ingredients. Cook over boiling water, beating constantly on the medium-high speed of an electric mixer, until mixture stands in peaks (about 5-7 minutes). Remove the pot from heat. Add the vanilla and the maple extracts and continue beating 1 minute more until thick enough to spread.

Golden Graham Treats

7 Dec

Alice and I would make these in college– most memorably, for a munchies party. That’s right, welcome to sophomore year of college. Complete with tapestry- that I legit thought was cool.  Anyway, they taste like s’mores and take about 10 minutes to make. I really don’t know why these never quite got the home-baker acclaim that rice krispy treats did. They used to print this recipe on the box- but no longer. When I tried to find it on the internet, all the recipes were not as I remembered and had corn syrup in them- gross. So I decided I would instead use the proportions in rice krispy treats- and just do as close to I remembered.

12oz box golden grahams
1 bag mini marshmallows (most of bag- save a handful for topping)
1 bag ghiradelli milk chocolate chips (most of bag- save a handful for topping)- Freeze ahead of time!!
3 tablespoons butter

Grease pan w. butter– I used a 11 x 7 pyrex.  Melt butter in big pot. Add almost all bag of marshmallows.  Stir. Cook until melted. Take off heat. Add whole box of golden grahams. Stir to coat. Wait a second so a little cool.  Stir in most of bag of chocolate. Transfer to pan.  Take a piece of wax paper- maybe best to butter it- put it on top of golden grahams and pat down to flatten- or can use damp hands. Peel off. Sprinkle on topping- handful of marshmallows and choc chips- lightly press down. Wait a bit while they cool. Cut into squares.

Jessica’s Marshmallow Clouds

19 Sep

This goes out to two very special Jessicas.  First, the creator of this recipe– Jessica Field’s– Mrs. Field’s daughter. The second to Jess P. whose birthday was last week– and for whom these cookies were made. To quote Mrs. Field’s cookbook, “The Marshmallow Clouds came from Jessica’s idea to wrap chocolate dough around a marshmallow and then bake it. We call them “Clouds” because they are heavenly! Like our own family favorites, each one of these recipes has a memory associated w. it.”  Sam & I made these as kids… though I have to say, they are even fluffier and gooey-er than I remember.

3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter [or 2 sticks unsalted butter + 1/2 tsp salt]
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (12oz) miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips [i used a mix of mini chips, regular chips, and chunks]
8oz mini marshmallows, frozen

Preheat oven to 400. [I lined cookie sheet w. parchment paper.] Until you assemble the cookies, keep marshmallows in freezer- otherwise they thaw too quickly.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cocoa and salt [if using unsalted butter.] Set aside.
Combine sugars in a large bowl. Add butter and blend w. an electric mixer, scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add flour mixture and choc chips, and blend at low speed until combined. Batter will be very stiff.
Gather 4-5 frozen marshmallows in the palm of your hand, cover them with a heaping tablespoon of dough, wrapping the dough around the marshmallows, completely encasing them and forming a 2-in diameter ball.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 2-inches apart. Bake 8-10 mins [I did 8.]  Cool on pan 2 minutes, then transfer to a cool, flat surface [cooling rack.]

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