You Made That - Dessert!
Sunday
Jun032012

Vegan chocolate ice cream

Wait! Before you click away at the word "vegan" in conjunction with ice cream, give me a sec. Don't think of it as vegan (unless you are one!) -- think of it as dairy free. Often ice cream is made without eggs and it's perfectly delicious, so it's really the lack of dairy that makes this ice cream unusual.

Unusual, but completely delicious. And -- dare I say it? -- healthy. Yes, you heard that right. Chocolate ice cream that's good for you! Which doesn't mean you should eat the whole batch all at once, or eat giant spoonfuls out of the ice cream maker as you're transferring it to the freezer container. I wouldn't do that. There's no way I did that. 

Ahem. Anyway -- here's the recipe. It's so quick and easy, even if you're still skeptical, it's worth a try. I'd invite you over to have some here, but it's gone. :)

Enjoy!

 

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

Recipe adapted from this one at Savory Sweet Life

Makes about 1 pint

 

1 14-oz. can coconut milk **

1/2 cup agave syrup (or sugar)

3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa 

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds, until smooth. Give it a quick taste and add more cocoa if needed (if you do that, blend again for 10 seconds). Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

** Be sure to buy coconut milk, not coconut cream. I used full fat, not light -- I wouldn't recommend using light, because I think it would really affect the creaminess.

 

Wednesday
May232012

Coconut Waffles with Rhubarb Compote

It's only Wednesday, but who isn't already thinking about the holiday weekend coming up?

If you're looking for something special to make for your honey, your family, or hey, yourself, look no further. These toasted coconut waffles from the famed Bill's restaurant in Sydney, Australia, are a fabulous twist on one of our favorite morning treats. I added the tart-sweet rhubarb compote, which adds a spicy tang from freshly grated ginger -- but the waffles are delicious with maple syrup, too. Slices of juicy mango would add even more exotic flavor. And hey, if you wanted to use them as a base for a waffle sundae with coconut or mango sorbet and raspberry sauce, or chocolate or rum raisin ice cream, I wouldn't judge...

However you enjoy them, I hope you enjoy them!

Toasted Coconut Waffles

Recipe from Bill's Open Kitchen

Makes: About 8 waffles

 

1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)

3 large eggs, separated

1 1/2 oz. unsalted butter, melted

1 cup milk

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract **

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

2 tsp. baking soda

3 Tbsp. superfine sugar (I used granulated)

 

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring partway through. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 200ºF.

2. Place yolks, butter, milk, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut in a bowl and whisk to combine.

3. Preheat waffle iron. Sift flour, salt, baking soda and sugar in a bowl and make a well in the center. Gradually stir in coconut mixture until just combined.

4. Place egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Cook waffles in waffle iron, according to manufacturer's instructions. Keep waffles warm on a plate int he oven while you make remaining waffles.

** I used a full teaspoon. Also, the coconut flavor is very subtle in these waffles. If you want it to be more intense, I'd use coconut extract. Rum extract also could be an interesting choice.

 

Gingered Rhubarb Compote

Recipe by CookiePie

Makes about 1 cup

 

2 cups chopped, trimmed rhubarb (about 8 oz.)

1/3 cup agave nectar

Pinch of salt

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated

 

In a saucepan, cook rhubarb, agave, salt and ginger over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb has softened and begun to break down, but still has some whole pieces. Transfer compote to a bowl and let cool. Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate to serve cold.

Wednesday
May162012

Whole-wheat biscuits

Well, hi there! Nice to see you again after a bit of a hiatus. Obviously things have been very busy, blah blah blah -- but really, I want to know about you. How are you doing? What have you been up to?

As you know, making weekend breakfasts with The Mush is one of my very favorite things to do. (Remember these? And these? And mmm -- this?) She's 3 now, if you can believe it, and becoming quite the baker. Recently I had a hankering for biscuits, so that's what we made. I couldn't find my pastry blender, so we got in there with our hands and smooshed the butter into the flour mixture with our fingers. (Yes, "smooshed" is the correct culinary term. Look it up. ;)

Usually I like biscuits a bit on the salty side, and these were a touch sweet, though the addition of whole-wheat flour helped lend some nuttiness. But the great thing about discovering these biscuits is that they will be perfect for shortcake on a summer afternoon very soon. Freshly whipped cream with a touch of vanilla in it and some macerated strawberries, anyone? Or maybe some lightly sauteed peaches with fresh raspberries folded in? Oh yeah!

In the meantime, here's the biscuit recipe. Enjoy!

 

Whole-Wheat Biscuits

Adapted from this recipe in Gourmet

Yield: 6 biscuits

 

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup plain yogurt (not nonfat)

1/4 cup milk (not skim)

1 Tbsp. milk or cream for brushing biscuits

 

1. Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or Silpat. 

2. Sift both flours, sugar, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips (that's right -- smoosh it in there!) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together yogurt and milk, add to bowl with flour mixture and stir with a fork until just blended (dough will be moist).

3. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and knead 6 times. Flour your hands, reflour surface and pat down dough to a rough 8-by-5 1/2-inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, then cut both halves into thirds (I used a floured bench scraper, but a knife would work just as well). Transfer biscuits to baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart, and brush tops with milk or cream.

4. Bake until biscuits are pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a rack to cool to room temperature.

NOTES:

  • These are best enjoyed the day they're made. We had a fewleftovers, so we put them in a ziplock bag, and they were still delicious that night.
  • You may substitute whole-wheat pastry flour for all of the flour, or use just all-purpose if you don't want whole wheat.
  • I used the yogurt-milk combo because I didn't have buttermilk on hand. If you do, use 3/4 cup.
  • For less-sweet biscuits, use only 1/2 Tbsp. sugar. 

 

 

Thursday
Apr192012

Blog foul!

Hi friends -

Wow, there was a random half-finished post up here for a little while there -- my apologies!

It was about these cookies, which I made for The Mush's 3rd birthday, but it didn't have the recipe or the photo -- yipes! So here are both.

Enjoy!

 

Chocolate-Toffee Oatmeal Cookies

Very slightly adapted from this recipe on the amazing Food 52

Makes: About 48

 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup toffee bits

 

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. In a large bowl, beat butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Slowly add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and toffee bits, mixing well.

2. Using a 1 1/2 Tbsp. cookie scoop, portion cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Freeze until firm, then transfer to ziplock bags and freeze until ready to use.

3. Place oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Silpat. Place about 9 dough balls on each baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, switching sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. (Or bake the sheets one at a time in the kiddle of the oven and just turn the sheet around halfway through.) Let cookies cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies to the racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Monday
Mar192012

Coffee Cookies with Cacao Nibs

Happy spring! Just a quick post on this beautiful day to share these grown-up treats with you. Cookies infused with espresso, studded with chocolate-covered cacao nibs and toasted almonds. What else is there to say except...

Enjoy!

 

Coffee Cookies with Cacao Nibs and Toasted Almonds
Makes: 32

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup chocolate-covered cacao nibs**
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, optional

1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; whisk to mix well. In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla.
2. In a large bowl, combine melted butter and both sugars. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mixture until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, yolk and espresso mixture. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Fold in the cacao nibs, almonds and white chocolate chips (if using). Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour, or cover and chill for several hours, up to overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Using a 1 1/2 Tbsp. size ice cream scoop or 2 teaspoons, portion the dough into balls, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Return any remaining dough to the fridge. Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown around the edges, switching cookie sheets from top rack to bottom and front to back halfway through. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the sheets on a wire rack before removing the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough (you can use the same sheets of parchment).

**I used Sweet Riot cacao nibs coated in 65% dark chocolate. Feel free to use cacao nibs coated in darker or sweeter chocolate, or ones that are not coated in chocolate at all. If you can’t find cacao nibs, or don’t care for them, just swap in chocolate chips.

Note: The white chocolate chips add a nice touch of vanilla and a bit of sweetness that offsets the coffee and the bittersweet cacao nibs. Plus, they look pretty. But leave them out if white chocolate doesn’t appeal to you.