Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 4: It's Just Another Mango Monday

This weeks flavor is Mango! I asked around the office for someone to pick a flavor and Christina picked it. She said it is one of her favorite flavors so I hope she enjoys it.

The recipe called for store bought mango puree, which she said was available at Indian stores. Since I don't have any Indian specialty shops near me, I concocted my own. I pureed fresh mangoes, added a bit of mango passion fruit jelly, some cinnamon, fresh lemon juice and a little vanilla extract. I think  mangoes themselves have a hint of cinnamon and vanilla essence, so I just pumped up the flavor a bit. I reached a turning point in my base mixture. I think I finally have it at the right temperature to make it the right thickness. Until I had a proper thermometer I would gauge it by seeing if it would coat the back of a spoon before it got to too heavy a simmer. I wasn't allowing it to get thick enough and then wasn't giving it the time to cool down either. I am very impatient when it comes to cooking, which is why I don't enjoy baking. But I think timing is the key to perfection with this. I rush too much and the texture isn't quite right. So this time I took my time, and gave myself a day ahead to do it. By the end of this year long venture, I should be a pro!

I tried it last night and the results were improved. The texture is creamier and their is a definite mango flavor. The only issue I found is that it seems to melt quickly. That should actually work in our favor at work because the freezer is set too high and tends to over freeze it. I think I would have liked there to be chunks of mango in this. While I appreciate the smoothness, I think less mango puree in the base with pieces of mango throughout would be a nice variation. I could also see topping it with toasted nuts (which have been glazed with sugar and sprinkled with cinnamon, maybe?) or coconut to bring out the earthy flavor of the mangoes and give a nice crunchy contrast.

Now, a bit about the recipe selection process. Although I was happy with letting people pick a flavor from the book each week, Caroline made up a new rule that works really well to boost traffic to my blog. Whoever posts a comment to the blog gets to pick the flavor for the following week. So since Caroline posted about Sundae School last week, she will get to choose the next weeks flavor. By what she's told me she likes, it will no doubt be something chocolate!

Just a little useless bit of knowledge told to me by my friend Jon (an even bigger Prince fan than I am), the song Manic Monday released by The Bangles was originally written by Prince.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week 3: Sundae School

I am posting today from possibly my favorite place in the world, Cape Cod. I am here for a birthday getaway, even if it is just for the weekend, and I can't think of a better spot for ice cream than Sundae School in Orleans. Today after kayaking out to the beach, then a long walk down the shoreline and return trip, we were beat (well I was!). The best reward for all our hard exercise was the smooth creamy goodness of black raspberry ice cream in a crunchy chocolate dipped cone. Having tried some of their other flavors, black raspberry is the one I go back to every time. No other ice cream shops' has come close. I only hope I can someday. The creamy texture is perfection and it has amazing rich flavor, which doesn't taste fake like most others I've had. I've been told that black raspberries actually grow here, so it could be made with real fruit flavor. I'll have to ask next time. Had we not been saving our appetites for dinner, Rob would have gotten 3 scoops and I 2. We downsized for 2 and 1, but it was just enough.

There is no other place that reminds me of summer than here. It's too bad I don't live here and that they are only open seasonally or I would be here every day!

I am sad to report that our late departure this evening means no new ice cream for Monday. Sorry, Caroline! But there is still peach raspberry sorbet in the freezer. Don't make me boycott making new ice cream if the previous weeks isn't finished! But I'll be a girl with a plan for next weeks creation. I need to get more prepared to blog by giving myself more time to write and take pictures of the process and finished product. That will be my goal this week.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Birthday (Ice Cream) Cake!

So since I've started this blog, most of what consumes me lately (or should I say what I consume) is ice cream. So because its my birthday I thought what better to have than ice cream cake. The king of store bought ice cream cake is Carvel, so I thought I would see how close I could come to that. I will admit for lack of time and energy I cheated, yes I CHEATED and bought Breyers ice cream because it was on sale. And I also searched various forums to find out how to accomplish the famous crunchy cookie layers. Most recipes called for oreos but I thought that would be way to sweet so I stuck with Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies made by Nabisco. By the way these cookies make awesome ice cream sandwiches when store bought or homemade ice cream lays between them. They aren't picky! I digress, so I made the cake yesterday and am bringing it into work today.

My birthday wish is that everyone laughes at some point in the day, because when you're laughing you forget about what was going on just for a second. Thats how I feel when I'm eating ice cream.

Since I'm going away this weekend I will be posting from the Cape on sunday. I'll be sharing my favorite ice cream shop in the northeast with you, Sundae School! See you then!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week 2: Apricot (well Peach) Raspberry Sorbet a.k.a. New House Sorbet

So entering week two I knew I needed an easier recipe to make. This was a busy weekend and it was nice to have enough time to make it without feeling rushed. Tracy just happened to pick out an easy one. I decided to name it New House Sorbet for her because she just bought a new house and the color of this sorbet matched the highlights in her newly colored hair.

Not thinking it would take long, I went to the grocery store today to buy the ingredients. Very few needed, I mainly went in for the frozen raspberries and the apricot juice (I decided to use nectar). Raspberries, no problem, however finding apricot anything was more difficult. I settled on peach nectar as it was the closest I could find. The result - a tangy but sweet enough sorbet that tasted light and refreshing. It is perfect for summer. Rob compared it to Nerds candy, which it is suprisingly reminiscent of. I like the slightly crnchy texture that the raspberry seeds give it. It is much smoother and significantly less icy than sorbets I've made before. I am interested in seeing how the texture changes once it has had time to harden overnight.

I doubled the recipe this time so there should be plenty to go around. This should be a wonderful Monday afternoon treat.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Week 1: Sour Cream Brown Sugar, How come you taste so good?

So I woke up early because as you probably read, I didn't do so well at getting this done yesterday. I kind of wished that I had made this earlier so that I could have made a double batch. As I am mixing the ingredients last night it seemed like enough liquid to fill the ice cream maker. But as I am filling it this morning it really only went halfway. So from now on I'm going to double the recopies. More is always better when it comes to ice cream. While I am not satisfied with the quantity (sorry co-workers! and boyfriend) I was fairly satisfied with the taste. I like the bit of sour flavor the sour cream adds balanced with the grainy sweetness of the brown sugar. The brown sugar adds a nice texture that makes this more interesting. Otherwise it would taste like regular (albeit slightly buttermilk-y ) vanilla ice cream. What I think I am going to like about her recopies is that they aren't fussy. She uses simple ingredients, and it tastes like quality homemade ice cream should. I'm going for full fat full sugar this time, you only live once right?

Hopefully my co-workers and Rob (we can call them the ice cream gallery for short) likes it. I've asked them to leave comments, so we'll see if they do.

Have a great Monday! See you next week for Round 2!

better late than never

At the beginning of this year I made of list of things I would like to accomplish. Starting a blog was one of them. It took me half the year to figure out what I should write about, so I guess I should do the other half actually writing it. My mom bought me an ice cream maker for Christmas last year. I've dabbled with it a few times with mixed results (because I tried winging it, when I should have followed a recipe). When my friend found out I had started making ice cream she got me this book, Recipe of the Week: Ice Cream: 52 Easy Recipes for Year-Round Frozen Treats. While I oohed and ahhed for months at it - I hadn't started making any ice cream from it, but my co-workers urged me to do this. So if it fails - I will know who to blame. just kidding. Anyway, here we go. I had hopes to start making ice cream earlier in the day because it is quite a long process (as I am finding out), but I didn't soooo right now the ice cream mixture is sitting in the fridge and will cool overnight. I will wake up bright and early and get the ice cream a churnin'! Part of this deal is that my co-workers get to taste test each week and leave their comments on this blog. I think they will be enjoying Monday morning alot more now. My hopes are to make the ice cream each Saturday and write the post about it every Sunday...hence the name. But today will have to be the exception. Not a great way to start, by breaking your rules already, huh Kendra!

I guess I should have given you a preview of the flavor...nah! I'll be a tease and wait till tomorrow. FYI - I'm going out of order from the book so you can't cheat.
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