Thursday, July 30, 2009

TWD: Vanilla Ice Cream

MMMMMM....nothing beats home made vanilla ice cream. Pure, unadulterated vanilla ice cream. Dairy perfection.

Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu chose this weeks selection for TWD from the wonderful book:

Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Let me start out by saying...I'm not really much of a plain vanilla type of girl. Well I wasn't until I made this ice cream. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love vanilla flavor and the smell...but as far as ice cream goes...I prefer to have a little something extra when I eat it. My favorite ice cream to order at the ice cream shop is Rocky Road. You have chocolate...something crunchy...something soft...a lot going on the Rocky Road. Even with store bought vanilla I would add something to my bowl. Most of the time it's mini chocolate chips...but never would I eat it undressed.

Well, that my friends, has changed.

There is no need to add anything to this ice cream. The flavor speaks for itself.

The only change I made was to use nonfat milk in place of whole milk, because that is what I had in the fridge.

I also used one of my pleasantly plump vanilla beans. I believe that is the most important step...the steeping of the bean with the milk/cream combo. Sooooo good.

Beat the yolks and sugar together until thick. (I used frozen egg yolks I found in the freezer.)

Cook the egg/sugar mixture together with the milk/cream/vanilla bean mixture until thick and then strain into a heat proof bowl. Only a few scrambled egg scraps! :)

Everything else went according to plan. Chilled the mixture in the fridge. Took the puppy to the vet for her 2nd set of shots. Came back and poured the mixture into the ice cream maker. 40 minutes later....perfection!

I did eat all 3 scoops!

Don't forget to stop here to check out the other bakers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 24, 2009

And finally...

I think I am caught up now.

Denise of Chez Us chose the super yummy Brioche Plum Tart for TWD.

I had to think ahead for this one.

My family was going to Lake Almanor for the week and I really wanted to bring this along. Dorie mentions that this is best eaten the day it is made. What to do? Well...we were leaving on a prepared the brioche dough Wednesday afternoon and left it to sit overnight in the fridge. Thursday morning I got up super early and baked the tart before we left. I loaded up the warm tart into the front of the truck with us (pure torture!) and hauled it up to Almanor. Well, we didn't end up eating it that night...we had it the next night (Friday) for dessert. Yes it was a little soggy but it sure was good. Everyone loved it and there was not one piece left for breakfast!

I didn't have any issues with the brioche dough...but had an issue with lifting the dough from the bowl and letting it fall with a slap. First of was very sticky so there was no slapping involved. Secondly...I couldn't lift it neatly from the bowl...was I supposed to oil the bowl first? Not sure. It ended up all over my hands. I also didn't slap the dough down every 30 minutes for 2 hours. I just didn't have time. I left the dough in the fridge to rest overnight and it all seemed ok.

(Sorry for the's my point and shoot!)

As for the plums....I picked these up at the farmers' market Tuesday morning. They were so pretty inside...white and purple with some streaks of green inside. I also had a handful of red and gold raspberries, blueberries and blackberries that I threw on top of the plums.

I sprinkled the top with turbinado sugar and baked it with a foil tent for the last 15 minutes. The dough browned really quickly.

Another winner!

Check out the others here.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Here's another....

Another TWD that is.

Lisa from Surviving Oz chose the wonderful Tribute-To-Katharine-Hepburn Brownies. She also won the TWD new avatar contest! She is also a fellow American married to an Aussie..just like me! She however is living in Australia...and her blog is wonderful and funny and brings back a lot of memories for me of living in Australia before we uprooted and moved back here!

At any rate....I made these when I was supposed to...just didn't get around to posting. So here we go.

I read all of the comments and still didn't change anything in the recipe. Yes I tasted cinnamon...but just the right amount. Yes I tasted coffee (I used instant espresso powder)...but again, just the right amount. The only changes I made were to leave out the nuts because I don't like them in my brownies...and I only used 3.5 ounces of chopped chocolate instead of the 4 ounces called for. Sorry, but my bar was only 3.5 ounces.

I unloaded the good stuff:

I baked them for about 37 minutes and they came out just right. Not gooey at all.

I cut them into small squares as they were very rich.

Definitely a keeper!

Don't forget to check out what the other's created.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 you thought I'd never be back!

Well....things have calmed down a little around these parts. Not too much, just enough for me to write a few lines about things I have baked up.

Now...I know I am so completely late on all of these TWD but I did bake them before the deadlines....just didn't get a chance to post. So now I will dole them out slowly... :)

TWD: Perfect Party (Cup) Cake

The family and I had a 3rd of July party to attend and I was bringing the dessert. This recipe was calling to be made into cupcakes. I loved the cake part. Very light...a hint of lemon...and the cakes didn't fall apart when I coned them.

Look at all of that lemon

I used buttermilk in place of regular milk and didn't have any lemon extract so I just used vanilla.

Here's the jam I used

The full recipe made 26 cupcakes and I filled the liners about 2/3 full. The cake turned out so pretty and completely white.

I cut a cone out of the top and filled them with the jam and replaced the top.

No problems with the buttercream but I was in a hurry to finish and get to the party so I just slathered the frosting on top...smoothed and added some blue and red kissables....see red, white and blue! No time for filling a bag and piping.

Kinda looks like a smiley face!

In addition to bringing the jam filled vanilla/lemon cupcakes...I brought along a batch of these too.

Martha's S'mores Cupcakes or (Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow).

They were gone in a flash.

I didn't have a chance (or a torch) to brown the marshamallow frosting but nobody seemed to mind!

Thanks to Carol of mix, mix...stir, stir for her choice. Stop over at the TWD site to see what the other on-time bakers have created.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I swear I'll be here....if not today...

then tomorrow!

I know, I know....I'm a total slacker in the blogging department. I have shirked all of my baking club responsibilities for summer at home with 2 kids. This of course involves day camps, swimming lessons, camping with the family and weekends on the boat.

I have baked all of my TWD assignments, just haven't had a chance to post them. I feel a large post coming on.

I will be back this week with photos and musings...thanks for stopping by!