Friday, June 27, 2014

Coconut Chocolate Chai Popsicles (Vegan)


IT'S POPSICLE WEEK! Last year I was just an observer, but this year I am a participant, WAAAAHOOO! Once I heard I was in on #popsicleweek, immediately I started brainstorming ideas, however things did not go as planned and it still took me until the last minute to finish, typical. My first idea was to do a roasted strawberry rhubarb popsicle, but  I put too much sugar in and they ended up too sticky and gummy. I melted those pops and used the mixture as jam, it worked and didn't have to waste any! Then I went on my King Arthur Flour adventure, so popsicles fell by the wayside.


After picking up my popsicles from the wayside, I began to try and think of new ideas because I wanted to do a more interesting flavor than strawberry rhubarb. I may still work on those, but I wanted to go BIG in honor of #popsicleweek! I then tried making coconut chai popsicles, which turned out horrible and taught me a few lessons about making popsicles.
First lesson, do not use almond milk for popsicles even if it's late at night and you ran out of coconut milk and want to make popsicles right this second. I should have realized almond milk wouldn't be good for making popsicles from the big fat "DO NOT FREEZE" warning on the carton.
Second, do not use large amounts of spices in your popsicles, they will be disgustingly gritty, even if you try to strain some of them out. It was like eating a chai-sand popsicle…yuck. Instead of using spices, I opted to infuse the pops using chai tea! That is how we landed here, also with the addition of chocolate because chocolate rocks.


Coconut Chocolate Chai Popsicles
Ingredients:
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
3 chai tea bags
2 Tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
¾ cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1.     In a small saucepan, bring coconut milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat, add tea bags and steep in coconut milk for 15 minutes.
2.     Remove tea bags, squeezing them to extract all of the flavor. Add sugar, and return pan to heat, bring mixture just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and add salt, cinnamon, cardamom and chocolate chips. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Then whisk until well combined.
3.     Freeze in popsicle molds for 30 minutes, place sticks in popsicles then freeze for 4-6 more hours, or until hard. Unmold popsicles by running under warm tap water for 30 seconds, then remove from mold. 

Notes
I used full-fat coconut milk, you probably could use light, but the texture will not be as creamy. 
I used Tazo chai tea bags.
These are easily made vegan depending on the chocolate you use, I used milk chocolate, not vegan, but sub in vegan chocolate and you're good to go! 

Recipe Adapted/Combined from the Following


Print Recipe Here 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Goat Cheese and Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream


After putting goat cheese into these cookies, I started thinking about what else I could add goat cheese to. I believe I was sitting on my couch, where I typically blog from, when I got the idea to put goat cheese in ice cream! Originally, I wanted to do a goat cheese ice cream with a lemon curd, but overtime that idea changed. 


Recently, I have been trying to be more conscious of how flavors work with each other. So, the more I thought about the lemon and goat cheese ice cream, I realized the flavors were both of the tart variety. Instead I decided I wanted the swirl to be sweet and work off of the tartness of the goat cheese. And finally the native strawberries are in, so I thought they would be the perfect "swirling" fruit!



Goat Cheese and Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream
Ingredients:
Goat Cheese Ice Cream Base:
8 oz goat cheese, sightly softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Strawberry Swirl: 
3 cups chopped strawberries
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ cup water 

Directions:

1.     Wash, dry and freeze ice cream canister according to manufacturer’s directions 24 hours in advance.
2.     In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, paddle goat cheese and salt on medium until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.
3.     In a small bowl combine cornstarch and about ¼ cup of the milk, or alternatively combine by vigorously shaking in a closed container, until smooth.
4.     In a medium saucepan (about 4 quart capacity) combine cream, sugar, honey and remaining milk. Bring mixture to a boil, then boil for EXACTLY 4 minutes, set a timer to do so. After 4 minutes, immediately remove saucepan from heat and whisk in the milk and cornstarch slurry.
5.     Slowly whisk hot cream mixture, in roughly 4 additions, into goat cheese until mixture is smooth with no lumps. Whisk in vanilla pasta and vanilla.
6.     Cover the surface of the ice cream base directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or until cold.
7.     Meanwhile, make the strawberry swirl by combining strawberries, honey, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chill until ready to use.
8.     When ready to churn, transfer chilled ice cream base to a large plastic bag.
9.     Once mixture has chilled, remove ice cream canister from freezer. Cut the corner of plastic bag, pour ice cream base into ice cream machine, and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
10.  While ice cream is churning, line a loaf pan or other container with parchment paper. Spread 2-3 Tablespoons of strawberry swirl in the bottom of the loaf pan. Once ice cream is ready, transfer half of the ice cream to the loaf pan, spreading it into a smooth, even layer. Place half of the remaining strawberry mixture on top of ice cream in pan. Transfer remaining ice cream to pan and top with remaining strawberry swirl. Use a knife to “swirl” the strawberry throughout the ice cream. Press parchment over the surface of ice cream, and freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm.
11.   Prior to serving, let ice cream stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Notes:
Instead of chilling overnight, ice cream and swirl can be chilled in plastic bags using an ice bath. See this recipe for technique.
If ice cream is crumbly when scooping, let soften for a few more minutes.

Ice Cream Adapted from Jeni's via Food52
Print Recipe Here

Monday, June 16, 2014

Introduction to International Pastry Class at King Arthur Flour


Hello! This past week I was up at King Arthur Flour taking a course called Introduction to International pastry. It was a professional level course so I was a bit, okay a whole lot, nervous going into the first day, especially when I turned the corner and saw that everyone was wearing white chef's coats! Fortunately, if you did not have your own coat, King Arthur lent you one! I felt pretty cool wearing my white coat, though I never got to snap a picture in it.


While I was intimidated by it being a professional level class, the instructor, Jeffrey Hamelman was fantastic and welcoming to all of us, no matter our skill level! I seriously cannot say enough about him, he was awesome! I can't wait to go back and take one of his bread baking classes!
Before making a recipe, he either demonstrated or talked us through it, I found this to be very helpful. We then would make recipes with a partner, the person you shared a bench with, or as a large group. We made SO MUCH FOOD, I don't even know where to begin here are just a few: puff pastry, lemon meringue pies, chocolate and vanilla chiffon cakes, Italian meringue buttercream, raspberry mousse cakes, marshmallows, flourless chocolate cakes, palmiers, torta meringata, florentines, almond horns, napoleons and apple galettes! I'm guessing we made somewhere in the ballpark of at least 30 recipes! We took some home with us for sampling and quality control issues, ya know?
My pants were a bit tighter yesterday...


Piping these amaretti was an interesting experience because it was the first time I felt limited by the hand my dog bit last summer. I wasn't able to pipe many, and the few that I did pipe were too small because I had trouble controlling the piping bag. To be honest, it was a little bittersweet to think that while my dog has come so far in her behavior this year, and that while the obvious wounds have healed it, I still have trouble with it. Fortunately, when it came to piping buttercream I had no trouble with that! Guess I need to get one of those hand strengthener things or a stress ball! 


Not my best frosting job, seeing it in a photograph just amplifies how terrible that side looks, oh well, got to keep practicing! I'll just have to make and eat some more cakes for practicing purposes!


These extreme chocolate tarts were one of my favorites! We put a few in the refrigerator and kept some at room temperature to detect the difference when it came time for our tasting. The instructor recommended serving them at room temperature, however a few of us, myself included, liked them better cold. The only thing with serving them cold is that the flavor was duller, but when they were cold  it was like biting into a large and crunchy truffle!


Check out that fluff factor! After frosting these cakes, we went over them with a propane torch, see mine finished here! I also really enjoyed this cake, it was light citrus cake filled with a lemon curd like filling and topped off with torched meringue! Then we got to use some fancy sprinkles on it as well!


How beautiful is that? It is called a pithivier, and it's pronounced completely different than it is spelled. I watched in awe as he demonstrated making this, each one of those lines is carefully cut by hand! I really enjoy almonds so I really loved this dessert because it is filled with almond cream!


None of these photos are as crisp as I would like, but the lighting in the room was very bright and directly overhead, no option for natural light. Also, because of the pace of the class I decided to shoot on automatic.
I meant to post while I was away, but pulled a total Molly and forgot to bring the recipe that I intended to post with me! Oops!


Then I drove with my sister to Boston, to meet my parents to celebrate Father's day a day early! We traveled with some of the cakes buckled up, got to protect the goods! Also, we rode in a water taxi (above picture), the ride was all of five minutes, but still had my heart racing, boats kind of freak me out, I'll stick to paddle boards and kayaks.

NOT SPONSORED. I just really love King Arthur Flour and had a great experience at this class and wanted to share it with you!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Lazy "Brioche" Baked Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze


Deep frying terrifies me, it's also unhealthy so it kind of works out. I've set our toaster on fire a couple times, so I don't know if I should be trusted around a pot of bubbling oil. I took a deep frying cooking class, and while the class was tasty, it did little to boost my confidence with frying. Therefore, I'm not one to deep fry some doughnuts when the craving strikes, instead I am all about the baked doughnuts! 


This is not to say that I don't enjoy the occasional deep fried doughnut, but deep frying scares me and it's kind of a hassle. At least, it seems like a hassle to a lazy person such as myself, after deep frying your goodies, you have to let the oil cool and properly dispose of it. Sounds like too much work to me.


For those of us lazy bakers, these doughnuts taste like a traditional brioche fried doughnut, but they are made without all the work! That's why I call them "brioche" because they are not technically brioche, but for all intents and purposes they hit the spot!
I think I am going to eat another right now!

Happy National Doughnut Day!


Lazy “Brioche” Baked Doughnuts
Yields 6
Ingredients:
Doughnuts:
¼ Cup milk
½ teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
½ cup + 1/3 cup flour
1 large egg
3 ½ Tablespoons butter, melted

Chocolate Glaze:
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk

Directions:
1.     Grease doughnut pan with non-stick spray or butter. Begin by making the dough. Warm milk in microwave, about 30-45 seconds. Add yeast and sugar to warm milk, stir and let sit. Meanwhile, place flour and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low until combined. Add in milk/yeast mixture, mix until smooth. Scrape down the bowl. Pour in butter, increase speed to medium, mixing until smooth and combined, about 30-45 seconds.
2.     Transfer dough to piping bag. With a knife in hand, pipe batter into doughnut wells, using the knife to cut the dough before piping the next doughnut.
3.     Loosely cover doughnuts with plastic wrap, let rise 45-50 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. When doughnuts are ready, bake doughnuts for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on underside. Let doughnuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool for at least 15 more minutes before glazing.
4.     For glaze, whisk together cocoa, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth. To glaze, dunk doughnuts into glaze, top with sprinkles if desired.

Recipe Adapted from Herevia The Sugar Hit

Notes:
·      My doughnut pan has wells that hold just under 1/3 cup.
·      Next time I would probably use 3 Tablespoons of sugar for the dough because these were not very sweet. Also I would add ½ teaspoon cinnamon, too.
·      When baking the doughnuts, the tops will be pale, but the underside, the part in contact with the pan, is the part you want to be golden brown.

·      Best enjoyed the day they are made. 

Print Recipe Here. 


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014


Last year I made a summer bucket list, but I don't think I accomplished any of it. This year I hope to check a few more off! Over time I may add to this list, so I'll keep ya updated! Also, I would love to hear what is on your summer bucket list! Feel free to link up in the comments! Here goes:

Cook a hot dog over an open fire.

S'mores.

Make homemade hot dog buns.

Stand up paddle board.

Grill fruit.

Garden and eat the produce.

Pick strawberries and blueberries.

Beach it up.

Read.

DIY something and wear it.

Pull out my kayak for the first time in years.

Take pictures with sparklers.

See Frozen.

"Doughvelop" a tasty popsicle recipe.

Laugh a lot.