Archive for the 'Dessert' Category

27
Mar
13

Blueberry, Ginger, Pomegranate, Thyme Ice Cream Sundae

I assure you, this is not a candle.

I assure you, this is not a candle.

When I was little, I was a curious child.  I’ve definitely tasted my fair share of things that were either unsanitary, unhealthy, or toxic; playdough is salty, silly putty does not taste like the taffy it looks like, and scented markers don’t taste the way they smell.  You can blame things like my stupidity, curiosity, or simply my lack of self control; if something seemed edible, or even resembled something edible, I would put it in my mouth to see if I could learn from the experience and use it in some dish in the future. Or, at least, I would try to remember what it was so I could get my mom to cook it again.

I remember a distinct moment from my youth when I ran out of my room in a one piece footed pajamas after growing tired of my Teddy Ruxpin toy.  I had gone out to see what the rest of the world was up to (more so how I can get my brother in trouble from my antics) and  high above my head on the bar countertop was a beautiful sight.  A sight so beautiful I forgot about all the things I was going to do to my brother.  A light was beaming down with glitter over a clear parfait glass, through it the beautiful colors mirroring only a world that could be imagined by a child filled with neon trees, crystal waters, and sparkle covered animals.  A mountain on top of the glass was in perfect spiral as it fluffed up to the ceiling of our living room, topped with a perfect ruby orb of a cherry, and pierced with a bright purple straw.  I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and quickly grabbed it.

“I must have this beautiful thing to myself and no one must know it exists.” I looked around and noticed that my parents were in the backyard entertaining the guests, who I could only imagine were the messengers of such a great gift.  I turned my gaze back to the sundae.

“Quickly!  You must take a sip.  Once you put your mouth on the straw, coodie law dictates all.  And in that law if you touch it with your germs, then  you get to claim ownership.”  I grabbed the glass and to my surprise, it wasn’t cold to the touch.  It turns out that it was not ice cream.  However, because of the bright colors and the easy access to it (come to think of it, I had to grab my step stool to get to it), I thought it must be some sort of amazing Asian candy.  My mom would always come back from trips with candy in the shape of other treats.  This was just an elaborate one.  As I pursed my lips towards the straw, I began to fantasize the sugary sweetness that was about to cover my taste buds.

 

I finally leaned in to take my first sip of what I imagined was going to be strawberry flavored because of the aroma. With my first sip, an immediate sharpness hit my tongue and I run to the sink to spit everything out.  A deep red waxy liquid mixed with my saliva is sprayed all over the white porcelain as I try to get rid of whatever evil has taken over my mouth.  It had the taste of camphor, lightly braised in dish soap, with some strawberry scented markers, and a pinch of eraser shavings.

 

“What is this mad trick that these adults are trying to play on me?!”  I inspected this malicious and foul item in my hand and realized that what I thought was the stem of the cherry was in fact a wick;  I had just tasted a strawberry scented candle.  I returned the candle to the bar top as quickly as I could – I wanted to avoid any concerns that my parents would have when they realized I had eaten chemicals and I also was afraid of being humiliated if my brother saw what I had done. I then ran back to my Teddy Ruxpin and began a therapy session with him, confessing to him my new found fear of candles, strawberry scented things, and sundaes.

 

~stuff

 

16 oz pomegranate juice

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1/2 c orange juice,

2 tbs honey

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 c blueberry, fresh or frozen

2 tsp butter, optional

vanilla ice cream

toasted nuts (I like almonds and walnuts)

 

~steps

 

Simmer all ingredients except for butter in saucepan on medium to high heat

 

Reduce sauce until half, about 40 minutes and turn off heat

 

Mix butter in if you want a creamier and shinier sauce

 

Serve over ice cream with a sprinkle of nuts.

 

-serves about 4-

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21
Jan
13

Day 17: Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar

Hello Dairy, we meet again.

Hello dairy, we meet again.

Did you know that 90% of East Asians are lactose intolerant?  I did.  I also know that I am part of that statistic, and I have come to terms with it.  In case you wanted to know; lactose intolerance happens because our body doesn’t have the enzyme to break down lactose or milk sugar which causes the symptoms that the pink stuff can relieve.  Most mammals become intolerant after weaning, we however, will refuse to give up on the milk and all the goodness that dairy provides.  I mean, come on, a life without cheese, cereal, and ice cream?  We reached evolutionary hierarchy for a reason and it’s to enjoy vanilla bean ice cream and a bowl of frosted flakes.

Now, I don’t have real lactose intolerance.  Well, at least I’ve trained myself to think that there is such thing as Acute Lactose Intolerance.  It came in handy when I first found out I was lactose intolerant.  Growing up, my mom and dad always made me drink milk.  I would have a glass every morning and a glass every night. Sometimes I would have it as a snack.

“When is dinner?”

“Not until 6:30.”

“But that’s three hours from now, can I eat something?”

“No, if you are hungry have a glass of milk.”

“But that’s not solid, I didn’t say I’m thirsty.”

“We know, have a glass of milk.”

“Can I have it with Fruity Pebbles?”

“No.”

“But I’m hungry.”

“Then drink some milk.”

So, it is safe to say, milk was integral to my development when I was young.  I continued drinking milk every morning until my sophomore year in high school.  When I finally realized that I was lactose intolerant, something I learned in an unfortunate incident at school one awkward day during my German class.  I told my dad that I was lactose intolerant and that I probably shouldn’t drink milk anymore.  He didn’t believe me and the next day I saw two gallons of milk in the fridge.  Thanks Dad.

I luckily have been able to understand my allergy better, and can make smart decisions when I am out.  I know not to drink milk when I am out, I will have one dish that has lots of cheese on it, and I will chow down on Ice Cream if I am close to home (or a friend’s home that I trust).  I’m willing to face the symptoms, especially if these strawberries are chilling in my fridge.

~stuff

1 quart strawberries, washed and halved or quartered

¼ c or 4 tbs balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp black pepper, ground

basil, as garnish (optional)

vanilla ice cream

~steps

mix all ingredients except for ice cream and basil

let sit for at least an hour

serve over creamy vanilla ice cream and top with basil if using

-serves 4-

21
Jun
11

maple bacon bourbon ice cream

maple bacon bourbon ice cream

The weather in New York is starting to get humid and sticky which means that my favorite season is about to arrive. And I say “favorite” with as much sarcasm as a 12 year kid has with their parents. But do you know what the silver lining this year vs. the past couple of years is? Well, more like silver linings: I finally bought an air conditioner and my housemate purchased an ice cream maker and offered me unlimited access to it. Life is great, my wallet will not be so happy, but my lactose intolerant tummy sure will be.

I base this ice cream recipe on a donut that I would always eat in Portland when I was going to school in Oregon. The place is called voodoo donuts and they have crazy flavors like breakfast cereal, grape soda flavor, and an Arnold Palmer with lemon and ice tea powder. Yeah, It does sound, and is, interesting and decadent. Now, I’m not saying they where all perfect flavors, but every time I would make a visit to the store, I would always be sure to get the Bacon Maple Bar. I love the flavor combination of maple and bacon. I tried recreating these flavors in the ice cream but kicked it up to make it even more confusing for my tongue.

In order to give the ice cream some crazy layers of flavor, I made the base simple and created a standard maple custard base. It was the chunks/swirl/add-ins that I wanted to have most of the flavor. So, this dish is all about the bacon that goes into it. I candied some bacon with maple syrup, brown sugar, and cayenne to add spice. While I was churning the ice cream, my brother, the genius that he is, recommended a shot of bourbon to give it some added a hint of smoky vanilla. I only needed half the shot, so my brother gladly volunteered to drink the rest. No harm done. What you end up with is an ice cream that is spicy, crunchy, salty, sweet, creamy, and smoky. Amazing.

It's too good to not show in another angle.

Really important, make sure you put the base trough a sieve. Any lumps or grits in the custard will make your ice cream busted. I mean, who wants to eat a scrambled ice cream?

~stuff

2½ cup heavy cream

1½ cup milk

3½ cups maple syrup

¼ cup sugar

9 egg yolk

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp bourbon (optional)

1 lb smoked bacon strips, uncooked

2 tsp cayenne pepper, ground

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup brown sugar

~steps

heat milk and cream in a heavy sauce pan on medium low heat until it is just about to come to a simmer

reduce heat to low

whisk 3 cups of the maple syrup, sugar, yolk, bourbon (if using) and salt and slowly add a ladle full of the cream mixture to the egg while continuously whisking the mixture

continue to ladle in the cream to the egg mixture until half of the cream is mixed with the egg to help heat the eggs up without cooking them

return the egg mixture to the cream mixture in the pot and heat on medium low until the mixture thickens (you want it to coat the back of a spoon)

remove from heat and refrigerate over night

preheat oven to 350°f

arrange bacon on a broiler rack brushed with vegetable oil over a foil lined broiler pan

mix the rest of the ingredients except for the bourbon in a small bowl until a paste similar to wet cement is made

layer the paste on top of the bacon and broil for 15 min or until the bacon is crisp and the topping begins to bubble

remove bacon and let cool on paper towels and cut into small pieces

churn ice cream based on manufacturers direction and when almost done, add in bacon pieces until fully incorporated

chill in freezer and enjoy!

~makes 1½ quarts ~

12
Feb
10

…buttered spiced pomegranate syrup…

...buttered spiced pomegranate syrup...

I took “Home Ec” in 7th grade.  It was part of a required electives course offered to wide eye 7th graders entering Middle School.  I was so excited; I finally got more than one teacher, different classmates, and choice of electives.  Well sort of.  While everyone else had already decided on an elective of their choice, I was still clueless so I did the exploratory elective.  I had woodshop for a quarter, then music, then art, and then Home Economics.  It was fun; I learned how to sow a pillow, first aid, and basic cooking skills.  I don’t think I ever finished my pillow come to think of it.
Anyways, we learned basic cooking and safety skills as taught by a real housewife of Orange County.  I’m realizing the humor in it now, because as I recall she came in one day with a bandage because she burned her by resting her hand on the burner at home.  Hm…curious.  One of the dishes that we learned how to make in cooking week was pancakes.  I remember being so excited about this.  I never was into breakfast growing up, especially because breakfast at home was Taiwanese bread or congee.  So this was something new and exciting.  I learned how to make it out of scratch and immediately made it for my parents.  Plus, my previous attempt at pancakes where not so successful.  I had so much fun.  Plus I learned about the importance of baking powder and it’s purpose in cooking.  That was a fun class.

Now, I still rarely eat pancakes in my daily life, but I do have cravings for it now and then.  I’ve been more so cooking them on the fly and making a basic batter without measuring, which creates fun and excitement because the outcome could be good or bad.  But, in the end it still tastes fine and really the important thing is the syrup.  I’ve played around with different kind of syrups and flavors that I can create.  And learned what was good and bad.  A hint for you all, simple syrup with just orange segment is not enough for a syrup.  Actually, it’s just not good.

This syrup is pretty awesome.  It has a nice tang from the pomegranate with a creamy spiciness with the cloves, all spice, and butter.  There is a plus that it is a beautiful deep red that makes anything it is on look sexy.  Or prosperous if you are eating this for Lunar New Year.  You can actually make this as flavored simple syrup and put it in the fridge for beverage making or lemonade/ tea sweetening if you want.  Just don’t put the butter in it.  The butter helps thicken it up, give it a pretty shine, and it’s just plain delicious.  Oh, and pardon the picture of the pancake and picture quality.  One of my lights burned out and I made the pancakes without measurements.  But, it’s still delicious…promise….

~stuff

4 cups pomegranate juice

1 tbs all spice, whole

1 tbs cloves, whole

4 tbs sugar

1 tsp lime or orange zest

2 tbs butter

~steps

simmer pomegranate juice, all spice, cloves, zest, and sugar in a saucepan on high

prepare pancakes using instant or your own recipe while juice is boiling

reduce liquid until about 2 cups remain and the juice is a thick consistency

filter out the spices in lime zest

swirl butter into syrup until melted and completely incorporated

serve over pancakes or waffles

-serves 4-

12
Mar
09

Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

mom's chocolate chip cookies

Growing up, baking wasn’t a big thing that happened in our home. Okay, I lie. Sometimes we would get fresh baked bread in the bread maker. But, other than that, the oven was mostly used for my dad’s delicious turkey, which is a later post, and more recently, my mom’s roasted miso fish, again…another post. There was however, one baked good that my brother and I could count on whenever one of us would visit which was Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Oy, so delicious. These are not your standard Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are made with a sour cream base so they are light and fluffy. My brother explains them as chocolate chip muffin tops. He could be right, the only thing that make these cookies is the shape. It’s actually more like a cake-y consistency or a pancake…go ahead…I know you want to eat them as breakfast, I won’t judge.

My brother and I did some investigating when we didn’t have our Mom’s recipe. We figured out that these cookies have their roots from Houston Texas. Makes sense, I was born there and my family lived there for a little bit. Also makes sense why there is sour cream and butter in it. Those Texans sure know how to have fun with food. I’m reminded of a segment I watched about a diner in some part of Texas that serves deep fried battered bacon served with a Ranch dressing as a dipping sauce. ug… definitely not a later post.

I veered away from my Mom’s original recipe of using margarine. I think she used margarine because it was what we usually had at home, but I just think butter tastes so much better. I also used a Silpat instead of a buttered pan. I thought I might as well cut some corners with the calorie intake, and use a silicone pad. Plus, I just wanted an excuse to buy a Silpat. Kitchen gadgets make me feel fancy.

I don’t recommend using reduced fat or low fat sour cream. It changes it, plus… I mean, if you are going to bake and eat cookies, you might as well go all the way. Plus, if you’re going to put a stick of butter in the cookies…why bother with the fat free? These cookies are going to seem under done when you pull them out…don’t worry. They should be pale in color. The only thing that is golden brown is the bottom of the cookies, and maybe the edges.

Enjoy…no need for milk. Oh, and if you are still worried about the fat content, just think of all the calcium you are getting in return through the sour cream. It’s a good trade off right?

~stuff

1 stick butter at room temperature

½ tsp of salt

1 large egg

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

½ tsp baking soda

1.5 cup of flour

1 ½ cup semisweet chocolate chip cookie

~steps

preheat oven to 350 degrees

mix butter, sugar, salt, and egg till smooth

add sour cream and vanilla and mix

add flour and baking soda and stir

add chocolate chips and stir

spoon on to baking sheet about 1-2 inches apart on your Silpat or lightly buttered cookie sheet

bake for 20 minutes or until edges get slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean when you poke the cookies.

-makes about 2 dozen, depending on size of cookies-




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