Posts Tagged ‘ice cream.’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: How To Salvage a Burnt Cake

December 1, 2015

Don’t cry over a burnt cake.

You know the old saying about how the cobbler’s kids going shoeless or something like that? Well this baker’s dessert game at home has been suffering. The other night, I popped a simple bundt cake into the oven and forgot about it. Since it needs to bake for 1 and 15 minutes, I knew it had a ways to go when I remembered it. The question was, how far? The answer: a little less far than I thought. The first sign was when the cake came out of the pan with a chunk missing. Ok, I thought, I will serve it sliced. Nope, that wasn’t the solution. It was a little dark all around.

The inside, while perhaps just a tad drier than I would have liked, was acceptable. What to do?

Way too lazy to make another one, I was determined to make this one work. (Note of apology to any of my dinner guests who might be reading this. You were worth a better cake. Really, you were.)

I ended up slicing the cake, and used a biscuit cutter to cut circles out of the inner cake. I discarded the dark, outer crust and pretended it never existed. I used the cake to sandwich whipped cream and drizzled it with chocolate sauce. I had purchased some icecream and strawberries to puree into a coulis, but never actually got that far.( I really was a lazy hostess!) I am going to assume that all is well that ends well, as there wasn’t a bite of cake left after the meal ended.

The moral of the story: Be resourceful. There is a solution to every problem. Next time this happens to you, cut the good parts into an interesting shape, or chunks, and top them with icecream, whipped cream and fruit, or a great sauce. Layer them in a cup parfait style, or soak the cake in sweet wine or liquor for a take on trifle. Your guests might just think you made something extra special, on purpose. Oh yeah, don’t forget to smile when you serve it!

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Ice Cream Storage

June 23, 2015


Storing ice cream can be a challenge. We find it is often too hard to scoop, and needs to sit on the counter to thaw a bit before it can be enjoyed. When time is of the essence, (“gotta have it NOW!”) it can be microwaved for very short spurts until it softens a little.

Once it goes back into the freezer, ice crystals start to form as it refreezes, reducing the quality and taste.

There are a few rememdies, that can keep your ice cream fresh and ready to eat at a moments notice.

Many suggest storing the ice cream container in a zip lock plastic bag, sealed tightly with the excess air let out, as a solution to keeping it as soft as it was when you purchased it. Many also suggest that it doesn’t work.

When we make our own ice cream, we lay a piece of wax paper right on the surface before coverering it with something more air tight. This keeps the ice crystals from forming. If you can get a smooth enough area to lay down the wax paper on your store bought ice cream after scooping, it will help. Just be sure to replace the lid as well.

Dipping the scoop in hot water drying it off will help it glide more easily through the frozen mass.

If your ice cream freezes rock hard, put it in the refrigerator at the beginning of your meal. When dessert time rolls around, it should be scoopable.

Last but not least, buy smaller quantities, and polish it off in one sitting!

Photo:  Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Coconut Ice Cream

June 10, 2015


This sweet treat is rich and creamy, with the flavor of coconut. It has very few ingredients, and pairs well with all kinds of fruit. Unlike many icecreams, this does not use eggs and doesn’t require any cooking. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

We served our coconut ice cream with strawberries and mini biscuits for a riff on the traditional strawberry shortcake. It was such a hit that we are sure this one will be in heavy rotation all summer long!

This unrecipe calls for cream of coconut. Don’t mistake this for canned coconut milk. Cream of coconut is thick and syrupy, and very sweet. It is found in the international foods area of most supermarkets, and is what gives this it’s flavor and sweetness.

Coconut Ice Cream:

Mix together 1 cup of milk, 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and a 15 oz. can of cream of coconut.  Mix well in a blender or food processor until it is combined and smooth in texture. Pour into your icecream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Tranfer the icecream into a container and freeze until ready to eat.

You can add fresh shredded coconut, or mini chocolate chips or diced pineapple to customize the recipe at the end of the freezing / churning process.

We use a special attachement for our Kitchen Aid stand mixer, which must be frozen in advance, so be sure you have placed it in the freezer the day before, if you are using that type.

If you don’t have an icecream maker, or suitable attachment,go ahead and give this a try. Make sure it is mixed really well. Place the mixure into a pan (we think a loaf pan is the perfect size) and freeze for about 30-45 minutes until the edges are starting to freeze. Remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously to break up any ice crystals. Return it to the freezer and repeat this every 30 minutes or so until the ice cream is fully frozen and creamy, and enjoy!

Photo:  Glasshouse Images

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Mini Treats

August 18, 2014

There is a little bit of kid in all of us, especially when it comes to treats. Over the weekend, I made a bunch of indulgent little desserts in kid friendly sizes. They were well received by all ages!


Specially shaped chocolate chip cookies became the base for kid- friendly cookie pops!



Nothing is better than handmade mini ice cream cones.


Except for the ones filled with homemade salted caramel ice cream, that is. The creamiest smoothest ice cream I have ever eaten, if I must say so myself.




In a word: YUM!

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Scooping Ice-cream

August 12, 2014


It’s so annoying when you are ready to serve ice-cream, but it’s hard as a rock. Microwaving it is a slippery slope: it often over melts around the edges, staying hard in the center.
No worries though…here is the scoop on scooping ice-cream that is frozen solid:

Dip a sharp knife in hot water and slice across the ice-cream container in both directions, forming a grid about the size of your ice-cream scoop.

Dip the scoop in hot water, and use to scoop out a section of the grid.

The ice-cream should be the perfect consistency.

To avoid over freezing in the first place, some suggest placing the container in a sealed, ziplock bag.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

August 14, 2013

We have been having a lot of office celebrations lately, prompting discussion of our dream birthday treats. Artisanal ice creams came up and the desire for lactose free or vegan versions struck a cord. There are lots of types of alternative milks, why not use them to make ice cream?
I set out to tackle the challenge. Fresh strawberries and creamy coconut milk provide the base for this luscious ice cream.



Puree 1½ to 2 pints of strawberries in the blender and chill.

strawberry puree

strawberry puree

Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with ½ cup of coconut milk and whisk until well blended.  Set aside.


Place 1½ cups of coconut milk into a large pot and cook just until bubbles start to form. Add 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, a pinch of sea salt and about ½ cup of a natural liquid sweetener, such as organic cane juice, agave or Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

Slowly whisk in the coconut milk/cornstarch mixture and cook at a high heat until thickened and custard-like.

Cook until thickened

Cook until thickened

Cool the mixture for several hours or overnight.

Using an ice cream machine or mixer attachment, churn the coconut milk mixture and the strawberry puree together following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Place the ice cream in a container, and freeze until ready to eat.


This “unrecipe” can be used with any fruit. Try experimenting with different fruits, and different types of milk, such as soy or almond milk. Let us know if you stumble upon a winner!

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The Aisle of Man

July 27, 2012

There is a small supermarket right across the street from where I live, that everyone seems to think is fabulous. I go there when I need something quickly, like when I run out of an ingredient mid-baking. The produce is decent, and they have most items. I just can’t seem to trust them for freshness on things like fish, or prepared foods, and I have had to return cheese a few times due to spoilage. I also find them to be over priced. Yet every time I am in there, I see people I know who went out of their way to shop there. To each their own.

I was surprised to discover that they made marketing news today, by installing a “man aisle” in one of their stores to cater exclusively to male shoppers.  Seriously? Do men need different aisles in the grocery store than women?
Sure, I send a certain someone across the street to grab one item, and he returns 30 minutes later with 3 or 4 bags containing everything you can think of except the one ingredient I asked him to pick up.  He managed to accomplish this without a man aisle, didn’t he?
Worst yet, the “man aisle” features Wheaties, Doritos, beer, barbeque sauce and beef jerky. Does this imply that men have no concept of nutrition what so ever? It also houses razors and condoms and manly deodorant. People are touting the concept as brilliant, but wouldn’t we all be in an uproar if there was a women’s aisle, featuring tampons and ice cream?

Perhaps. But the market is having the last laugh.
Launched yesterday, it has already been restocked.
The chain is looking to roll out the successful concept to 4 other locations in Manhattan and New Jersey.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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