8/28/16

Jaffa Orange Iced Buns


So I made classic Iced Buns to see what they tasted like (at least what my attempt at classic iced buns tasted like). But my real evil plan was to make an adaptation of Jaffa cakes, one of my favorite British sweets.

I know you'll never believe me, but I planned this bake before the Bake Off even started. When I found out the first episode's technical challenge (12 hours after it aired in Britain, mind you) my jaw hit the floor.


Guys, I'm a baking psychic.



The transformation from plain to Jaffa was simple. I kept the original iced buns recipe for the base. Instead of icing, I made a chocolate ganache and dipped each of the buns in that, which made them all look like eclairs (no regrets). Then I replaced the jam with orange jell-o. For the whipped cream, I added another 1/2 cup to the remaining ganache, and whipped it till paler and fluffy. Voila! 

Ingredients

For the orange filling:
1 pack of orange jell-o mix
1 packet gelatin
1 orange, juice (1/4 cup orange juice)
For the ganache glaze:
4 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preparation

  1. Make the jell-o: Mix the orange jell-o mix with the gelatin in a small bowl. Add 1 cup of boiling water, and stir for 2 minutes until the powders have completely dissolved.
  2. Add 3/4 cup ice water and orange juice and stir. Pour into a 8 x11 inch backing tray and allow to set for 4 hours.
  3. Make the ganache: heat the 3/4 cup heavy cream in a medium sauce pan until simmering. Pour over the chocoalte and allow to melt for 2 minutes. Then mix until smooth. Allow to cool slightly. 
  4. Dip the cooled buns in the ganache like so. Leave to dry for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Heat the remaining 3/4 cup cream and add to the ganache. Blend until thoroughly combined, and room temperature. Beat with a whisk or a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes on medium speed, until soft peaks form.
  6. When ready, slice the iced buns as down the center. With a large knife, cut out 1 1/2-inch by 3-inch slices of orange jell-o. Carefully life from the pan and place in the center of the buns. Pipe the chocolate whipped cream over the top.





Happy baking!

8/27/16

Iced Buns


In celebration of the Great British Bake Off's premiere last week I made myself a batch of iced buns! Ever since season 4 I've been in love with this show. For me it's like watching football.  


Since I'm American, I've never had them before. In fact, I've never even heard of iced buns until they appeared on GBBO (apparently a favorite of Paul's). But an iced sweet roll stuffed with jam and whipped cream sounded just up my alley.

And they didn't disappoint! Squishy, sweet,  these are everything I want from a breakfast pastry. At least, I think they're for breakfast. Not quite sure.


I used Paul Hollywood's recipe from the GBBO website, but I transferred the measurements to the imperial system. Here we go!

Total time: 2-3 hours
Bake time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 buns

Ingredients

For the buns
4 1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 ounces butter
2 eggs
2 packets yeast
2/3 cup milk
For the icing
2/3 cup water
1 cup icing sugar
5 teaspoons water
For the filling
1 cup cream
1/2 cup jam

Preparation

1. Make the dough: mix all of the buns' ingredients, except 1/4 of the water, in a large bowl. Slowly add water until the dough just comes together and is very wet.
2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface or in a stand mixer and knead for ten minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour.
3. Once the dough has risen, shape into fingers. To make the fingers, roll each into a ball, then roll on the counter with your palm until 6 inches long. With the tips of your fingers, fold each in half length-wise and pinch the two sides together. Roll once more till smooth, pinched sides down.
4. Place the shaped fingers onto a lined baking tray, 1-2 inches apart. Allow to proof for 40 minutes, until they have doubled in size and are touching. 
5. This is a good time to set the oven to 420 F.
6. Once the buns have risen, bake them for ten minutes, turning after 7, until an even golden color on top. Place on a cooling wrack to cool.
7. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a wide bowl. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time (you might not need all of it) and whisk until smooth. You want it to be thick enough that the icing doesn't run down the sides of the bun when dip. 
8. When the buns are cool, dip into the icing sugar and smooth with your finger. Allow to set for 20 minutes. During this time, whip the cream until fluffy and smooth. Place the cream and jam into piping bags.
9. Carefully split the buns down center. Generously pipe the cream into the center, than pipe the jam on top. 


And then I stopped there and just enjoyed these classic buns thoroughly.

Lol JK like I would do that. (Stay tuned.)

8/25/16

Honey, Pistachio, and Stone Fruit Cake : The Odyssey


"Sing in me Muse, and through my tell the story
Of that man skilled in all ways of contending,
the wanderer, harried for years on end,
after he plundered the stronghold
on the proud height of Troy." 

 I wanted to bake on vacation, but of course forgot to pack my fancy delicate cake stands and spring form pans (woops). But who doesn't like a challenge, right? This bake is inspired by one of my favorite beach reads, Homer's Odyssey. I lug this book, complete with my notes from Freshman English class, to the beach each year. 


Right about now I can hear you collectively groaning, thinking, "Mmmk Haley, sure you do. Please try and get even more pretentious right now." Yeah, I know what it sounds like. But it's true. 

Try it: Plop your beach chair in the surf, flip through the Odyssey, and tell me the poetry doesn't snap into focus with the sand between your toes and the hazy blue horizon stretching out before you. 

 
"But now a breeze came up for us astern-- a canvas-bellying landbreeze, hale shipmate sent by the singing nymph with sun-bright hair; so we made fast the braces, took our thwarts, and let the wind and steersman work the ship with full sail spread all day about our coursing, till the sun dipped, and all the ways grew dark upon the fathomless unresting sea."

When I imagined a cake at Odysseus' table, I pictured something like this (maybe with another tier or two): a rich fruit cake sweetened with honey and piled high with stone fruit and pistachios. I adopted the recipe from this beautiful fig cake at Cake Crumbs & Beach Sand. I so badly wanted to top this cake with figs! But fresh ones are hella hard to find, so I opted for nectarines instead. 

Ingredients

For the cake: 
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup espresso, cooled
1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped

For the topping:
200 gram tub Mascarpone cheese
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar
3 ripe nectarines
Handful of pistachios, roughly chopped
Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the oil, honey, eggs, espresso, and vanilla extract. Add the wet to the dry, and mix until well combined. 
  3. Carefully fold in the chopped apricots and pistachios.
  4. Pour into a greased 8x8 cake tin, and bake for 35-40 minutes until gold brown. Allow to cool completely.
  5. For the cream: Beat the mascarpone cheese, cream, and sugar with a stand mixer or a whisk until thick and billowy. A whipped cream texture. 
  6. Pit and slice the nectarines into eighths. Pile the cream onto the cooled cake top, then arrange slices as you please. Sprinkle with pistachios. When ready to serve, drizzle with remaining honey and enjoy immediately. Without the additional honey, the cake will last while covered in the fridge for 1-2 days.



(The Odyssey is the epic story of the Greek warrior Odysseus and his extremely round-about journey home from war. For 20 years, a few poorly-timed sea monsters, pissed-off gods, and sea witches block his homecoming. It's a tale of resilience, fate, heroism, cleverness, and above all else, revenge. Heavier stuff than most beach reads, but there's no better place to dig in to its 3000-year-old goodness than by the sea.)


Happy Baking!

8/22/16

Summer Seafood Feast

This past week my family and I took our annual trip to the beach! For the past five years we've been going to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. 
While seaside, we always set aside a night to order-in a shellfish feast.
It arrives in nifty silver buckets of goodness.

They include snow crab legs, lobsters, shrimp, clams, crawfish, potatoes, and corn-on-the-cob.

 Bring on duh buttuh.


Ah summer, please don't leave.

8/19/16

Quick Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


After a long day of eating well, it's time for dessert, right? Let's go for a classic flavor, one of my family's favorites, and one that shines all on its own. Mint chocolate chip!


At first I was a little nervous to tackle mint. I thought it would be a difficult flavor to get right, but fear not! This recipe is really, really easy to make and has few ingredients (5). Creamy, sweet, and cooling, with mini bits of dark chocolate swirled through out, it's a near-perfect treat to have stowed away in the freezer. Or eat as soft serve for straight-from-the-machine goodness with no wait time.


Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 2 pints

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup thick cream
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
Green and blue food dye (opt.)
1 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preparation

  1. Whisk the sugar and whole milk in a large bowl until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then add the cream and peppermint extract.
  2. If dying: stir in 2 drops of green food dye and 1 drop of blue for the classic mint color.
  3. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn for 30 minutes, until thick and smooth. Add the chocolate chips and stir until well combined.
  4. Place in a freezer safe container and let set 3 hours, or eat immediately for quick soft serve!



 


And there you go! The end of All Day Ice Cream week. A quick breakfast, a scrummy avocado toast lunch, a fancy shmancy dinner, and now a quick scoop of ice cream! Hopefully you can enjoy these ice creams any time, or have one amazing dairy filled day. 

Happy churning!

8/18/16

Rosé Ice Cream Sandwich


Summer is all about eating light, and eating cool. Standing over a hot stove or amping up the heat in a leaky oven is never what you want at the end of a hot summer day.

Might I recommend a sandwich for dinner then?

An ice cream sandwich.


Time to be the fancy adult you are, and eat your wine ice cream for dinner.
Sweet, pink Moscato wine is infused into an ice cream that pairs beautifully with cheese. It also can, and will, get you tipsy. Eat it on its own, or sprinkle it with red summer berries or parmesan cheese. You can also go for gold and make the Rosé Ice Cream sandwich with parmesan crisps (I'll show you how to make those below).



Total Time: 3 hours
Makes: 2 pints

Ingredients

1/2 cup sweet rosé wine, such as Moscato or Flora
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup dark red wine, such as a Pinot Noir
2 tablespoons brandy
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, add the rosé to the sugar, and whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Then add the dark red wine and brandy. Slowly add the cream, mixing continuously.
  3. Churn in an ice cream machine until the mixture looks like soft serve. Place in a freezer safe container and freeze for 2 hours to set.

To make the Sandwiches:
  1. In a clean frying pan, sprinkle half the parmesan into a 3-inch disk. Fry the cheese over medium heat, until melted and a golden brown color on the edges.
  2. Carefully flip the cheese and continue to cook another 1-2 minutes on the other side. If you are having difficulty with the cheese sticking, try greasing the pan and spatula.
  3. Once both sides are evenly golden-brown, place on a paper towel to catch any extra grease. Repeat with the other half of the cheese. Allow to cool completely.
  4. To make the ice cream sandwiches, place a scoop of the rose icecream on top of one of the parmesan crisps. Flatten the scoop with the back of a spoon, then place the other crisp on top. And enjoy!

And bam, a sweet and salty treat that's unlike anything you've had before. I normally don't condone this, but pair this ice cream with cheese, crackers, fresh fruit, nuts, and dried fruit, for a full on no-bake party time.


Happy churning!

8/17/16

Avocado Ice Cream Toast


Ok, so after that scrumptious breakfast this morning, maybe a lighter, healthier lunch is in order? Avocado toast is always a good choice.


While this ice cream has sugar, it is pretty savory. And savory ice cream, much like savory donuts, are delicious! The coolness of the ice cream blends beautifully with the delicate avocado and sesame flavors. The feta then adds saltiness, and the toast (as always) a lovely crunch.

I adapted this recipe from one in Joy the Baker's Homemade Decadence cookbook. So you know it's gotta be good.


Total Time: 2 hours
Makes: 2 pints

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados, or about 1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whole-Grain bread, toasted
2-3 tablespoons black sesame seeds, for garnish
1/2 cup season feta cheese, for garnish

Preparation

1. Place the avocados, milk, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
2. Add the cream and vanilla extract and blend once more.
3. Churn the mixture in a ice cream maker for 30 minutes, until smooth. Scoop into a freezer-safe container, and allow to set in the freeze for 1-2 hours.
4. To serve, place scoop of ice cream on a plate, and sprinkle feta and sesame seeds on top. And enjoy! Great with a side salad and iced tea.

 This doesn't have to be savory. Although some may wrinkle their noses at the thought of avocado and sugar, many cultures consider it a key ingredient for desserts.The light flavor of the ice cream balances well with softer, nutty flavors like almonds, pistachios, or coconut shavings. Add a bit more sugar to taste while in the blender, to find a sweeter avo ice cream for you!


Happy churning!

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