Churning Away

The new ice cream maker is definitely getting a workout! I made up a "lite" raspberry treat from approximately equal parts simple syrup, yogurt, skim milk, and frozen raspberries. I added a couple of tablespoons of Chambourd and spun away. It's pretty good, but defintiely not as creamy as ice cream. . . ah well, if I don't keep it light we'll need more workouts than the ice cream maker is getting! Posted by Hello


Scones 1: Not My Cup of Tea

I adore any kind of dry, not-too-sweet tea bread, and I've been developing a regular habit of drinking a cup of afternoon tea lately, so I decided a batch of scones was in order. I picked a basic recipe from America's Test Kitchen -- one without the 2.5+ sticks of butter many recipes seem to have! I added a bit of orange zest and orange juice, and, well, struggled to get the dough to come together. The result was a satisfyingly classic scone, but I'm not going to post the recipe as I think this was only a satisfying scone, not a shockingly divine scone. It has a slightly floury aftertaste or something, nothing offensive, but certainly nothing sublime either. I'll keep searching for the ultimate classic scone and report back when I find one! Posted by Hello


February Birthday: A Cool Kitchen Present

Today is my birthday, and I am thrilled to report that my mother gave me the ice cream bowl attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. So of course I had to test it out right away. I wanted to make a light treat, since between Valentine's Day and my birthday we've been eating too much delicious - but bad for us - food. So I picked this little recipe from Martha Stewart's site, added a bit less sugar, and poured a touch of Chambourd over the top. It was a lovely end to a lovely day! I must say, however, that making melting white icy stuff look nice under the flourescent lights in a kitchen a 11PM is a challenge I'm not ready for - so imagine the taste rather than study the picture, ok?
Buttermilk Sorbet
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. Increase heat and bring just to a boil. Let cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar syrup with buttermilk and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions to freeze. When freezing is complete, transfer sorbet to an airtight container and place in freezer for at least 1 hour before serving. Sorbet will keep, frozen, for up to 2 weeks. Makes 1 1/2 quarts. Posted by Hello


Another Great Blog

Just a quick recipe to share with you today. I've been reading this blog a lot lately. The pictures and the recipes are fantastic! They certainly put me to shame. Anyway, I made the Mexican Chocolate Cake this week. I'm afraid I didn't remember to take a picture, but it's not the presentation that's impressive here -- it's the taste. The only real changes I made were baking the cake in a cupcake tin and adding a couple of tablespoons of Kahlua rather than coffee. I froze half of the cupcakes, so maybe when I defrost them you'll get a picture. But it would be better if you just made it for yourself!


Health Kick 1: Bran Muffins

I decided to bake something semi-healthy the other day, and came up with these bran muffins. When Will and I taste tested them, I made an icky face and he made a yummy face. Turns out I have never tasted a bran muffin! Will assured me that, as bran muffins go, they are delicious, and I must admit the taste has grown on me too.
This is my recipe. It is adapted from Bittman's "How To Cook Everything":
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
scant 1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease or line a standard 12 cup muffin tin.
2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat together the egg, butter and milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Combine the ingredients quickly just until moistened. The batter should be lumpy and quite moist. add more milk if necessary.
3. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick interted into the center comes out clean. Posted by Hello


Journey to Ciabatta

Wow! I've just ended an 18 hour baking adventure and I am very pleased with the final result. This lumpy ciabatta is far from the attractive artisanal bread I was hoping for, but it tastes better than anything I've ever baked, ever. This is the first time I have tried a bread with an overnight starter, and the difference in taste is incredible. The bread has a crunchy exterior and the softest inside filled with bubbly holes. I was worried because my finicky old oven won't get hotter than 400 right now, and the recipe called for a 425 oven. While I think that may have left me with a lighter crust, I can't imagine this could taste any better. Posted by Hello