Tags: Dairy Free, Giveaway, Ice Cream Maker, Mango, sorbet, Strawberry, Strawberry Mango Sorbet
The thing I love about having an electric ice cream maker is the speed and ease in which you can whip up ice cream, sorbets, sherberts, frozen yogurts etc. The thing I hate about having an electric ice cream maker is the speed and ease in which you can whip up ice cream, sorbets, sherberts, frozen yogurts etc. Yes, I think you get the gist – it’s way too easy to whip up and way too easy to eat a quart of frozen fat ass sitting in your freezer.
Having said that, let’s stick with ONLY the positive aspects of electric ice cream makers, because I have a recipe for strawberry-mango (or peach) sorbet that is out of this world. I always saw sorbet as the ‘skinny’ frozen treat and gorged on it. Yes, it’s fat free, but the amount of sugar added can sometimes be a little much.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way, but what the heck, this recipe is great, so unless you eat the whole yield in one sitting, you shouldn’t be bouncing around like you’ve got a pogo stick embedded in your..well, you know.. then crashing like a fraternity pledge after a night of quarters.
Let’s get back to the positives…it’s healthy. Well, it’s usually healthy because sorbet is usually loaded with fruit, so at least you’re filling your guts with all kinds of vitamins and antioxidants while cooling off, satisfying your sweet tooth, and bouncing around like you’ve got a pogo stick embedd…okay, won’t go there again.
In this case, we’ve got strawberries and mango (or peach). The best part about summer is the abundance of beautiful, fresh berries that are widely available. I always load up and then try and figure out what I’m going to make with them – once I eat a bushel or three. I have to admit, sometimes I forget about them, and am greeted to fuzzy white and green creatures almost smirking at my forgetfulness. This is why an electric ice cream maker is like a white knight to me – there’s always ice cream, sorbets, sherbets, frozen yogurts etc..to ward off the fuzzy white and green creatures that look like they want to eat my face.
The humidity made it a race to take a photo, but it’s even ‘creamier’ in that ‘sorbet sort of way’, when it’s like this.
A few weeks back (yes, this is one of those ‘entries’ I mentioned in my last entry – the stuff in the freezer and/or photos that sit idly…waiting for their big blog break), after doing everything I could with a beautiful bunch of strawberries, from dippping them in chocolate, making a crisp (another entry waiting to happen) and just eating them out of hand, I still had about a quart sitting in my fruit and veggie bin.
For two days it was threatening me with fuzzies and a final eulogy in the trash can. I also happened to have a mango on hand, just waiting to turn to mush and join the strawberries in garbage purgatory – money wasted because I always over buy with my eyes.
I hit the ‘puter and Googled (yes, still weird that it’s a verb) strawberry sorbet, in hopes that a good recipe, one not loaded with a pound of sugar, would pop up. It did, and ironically, the name of the blog where it comes from is Sugarlaws. Thank you, Sugarlaw gal – you’ve provided me with a keeper of a sorbet recipe, one of which I will use with all kinds of summer fruit bounties.
I understand some people don’t like to add any alcohol to anything they’ll be eating, but seriously, sorbet needs vodka and it”s such a small amount, you won’t be slurring your words and telling everyone you love them. Also, you DO NOT taste it – it’s only a tablespoon, and vodka is smooth and flavorless anyway. You see, to achieve that slightly soft ‘sorbet creaminess’, the addition of a little vodka makes it so it doesn’t freeze into a solid block of fruit ice that you have to chisel off of. We’re not making granita here – although I love the stuff and will probably cover it before summer ends..at some point..I think.
For those of you who are really adamant about ‘not even an itsy bit of alcohol in anything‘, I’ve heard egg whites can give you that fluffy ‘sorbet’ texture too, but truth be told, I’ve tried a sorbet made with egg whites and it was kind of slimy on my tongue and left a weird aftertaste. Then again, there are those who stay away from eating anything containing raw egg, so I suppose you can either pick your poison or run back and forth to the freezer every hour to fork it around so it doesn’t freeze solid after that wonderful ice cream maker churning..
OK, onto my GIVEAWAY! To help in making this rockin’ sorbet and all you can eat frozen goodies until you die (or it breaks), I’m giving away a brand new Hamilton Beach 1.5 QT Ice Cream Maker! Just leave a comment and one week from today (Well, August 14th, 2010) I will use random integer (or maybe my nephew, he likes to point) to choose a winner. The winner will receive it with plenty of time to uhh…use it for a particular challenging thing, IF the winner happens to be part of that challenging thing, if ya know what I’m talkin’ about *wink wink*. 1 comment per person.
Strawberry-Mango (or peach) Sorbet
1 cup sugar (I tried it with 1/2 cup sugar and it was just sweet enough)
1 cup water
4 cups hulled, chopped strawberries
1 mango, peeled and cubed or two peaches peeled, stone removed, and chopped
1 tablespoon vodka
Juice of one lime
1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then set aside to cool completely.
2. Put the strawberries, mango, vodka and lime juice into a food processor and puree. When the sugar syrup has cooled, add it to the strawberry-mango puree.
2. Lisa addition – Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, unless you like the crunch of some seed bits. – you know, the ones that really get stuck in your teeth because they’re smaller from being chopped up? I don’t.
3. Freeze with your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
*Makes about one pint of sorbet.
*I found it made about a pint of strawberry-mango-sugar syrup liquid and a quart when the liquid was frozen. Maybe I have a heavy hand, but I’m pretty sure you’ll get approximately one quart of sorbet.
Tags: chocolate sauce, Daring Bakers, Fudge Sauce, Ice Cream, Pistachio, Strawberry, Swiss Roll, Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake, vanilla
I just realized something. All of my posts for the past several months have been Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers challenges. I’m a bad food blogger *slapping hand*.
Let me elaborate. I love to cook and bake, and in fact, do both on a pretty consistent basis (I’m always experimenting). I have lots of stuff in my freezer just waiting to be cooked/baked and blogged. I also have lots of photos of non-challenge delicacies that I have yet to blog about – but somehow time escapes me, and the next thing I know, another challenge deadline is approaching, and I have to get that entry up. My lone non-challenge affiliated goodies will just have to wait..for the hundredth time.
Some of the ice cream melted and seeped into the cake rolls when I used a bowl of warm water and a towel to loosen the cake from the bowl and plastic wrap. This left me with a slightly soggy looking cake, as you can see above (my rolls were sliced pretty thin – bad idea). Fortunately, the cake dried out after a few minutes.
Do I ever post without complaining?
On to this months Daring Bakers Challenge, because it’s really cool, both literally and figuratively.
When I first saw a challenge for a swiss roll, I thought ‘Me likey swiss roll cakes’ – memories of those packaged, chocolate covered Swiss Rolls that our Moms packed in our lunch boxes came flooding back. YES, I know..we’re talking REAL swiss rolls, as in baked from scratch and filled with some kind of cream or jam or whatever suits your palate. I had one of those plastic covered swiss rolls a few months ago..and WOW, they shrunk- and not just by a little, but a lot. SHRINKAGE is an understatement! The ones I recall from childhood were huge! Tsk Tsk to Drakes or whichever brand they are.
The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s World – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.-
I digress. I always find a way to segue into every nook and cranny before getting to the point. Back to the challenge. SO, it’s a swiss roll, but not just any swiss roll. You see, we are slicing this baby up, lining a plastic wrap covered bowl with the swiss roll slices, and filling it with ICE CREAM(S) and FUDGY SAUCE (or whatever creative juices..err sauces and ice cream we could squeeze out of our frontal lobes).
The first person I thought of was my father. The man covets ice cream cakes like nobodies business , and he used to live at Carvel (A local ice cream establishment dating back to like 1850, or so it seems). I don’t think I can recall a birthday where one of the cakes wasn’t a Carvel ice cream cake (Never Fudgy the Whale). I don’t think I can even recall a summer where there wasn’t at least one pack of Flying Saucers in our freezer.
In any event, this recipe doesn’t contain those Carvel crunchies. Here’s a little secret, though – they’re made of broken Flying Saucer shells that are drizzled with Magic Shell chocolate. Aren’t you glad you know that now?
Herein lies the problem – the ideas running through my head were not the kind of ice cream cake dear old Dad would like. I decided I wasn’t going to tell him what was in it word for word, and just present it to him and hope he bit. I used Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Biscuit de Roulade (from The Cake Bible) because the challenge recipe called for 11×9 sheet pans. I looked high and low, and could not find any sheet pan in this size. Am I missing something here? (UPDATE – finally found one on Amazon).
Not being in the mood to try and figure out how much baking time and batter would sufficiently fill and bake the cake in a 10×15 or 12×17 pan, I stuck with Rosie’s sponge. I wanted to make a funky swiss roll, one that was flavored and colorful, so when I saw some pink and green swiss rolls on Flickr, I decided to use some of the leftover pistachio butter, from the Daring Cooks nut butter challenge, in one half of the batter, and dried, ground strawberries in the other half. A little green food color, a little pink food color, and voila, a pink and green swiss roll that really tastes like pink and green -well, pistachio and strawberry. No ubiquitous, artificial extracts in this bombe!
Regarding the pistachios, here’s the really great part. Sam Feferkorn from Ohnuts.com saw my last entry on nut butters. He took sympathy on my poor, mutilated fingers and offered up a free pound of already shelled pistachios, plus a few other nuts and dried fruits of my choice. How cool is that? You’ve got to check out Ohnuts.com, they’re loaded with nuts, dried fruits, chocolates etc… and at reasonable prices!
Well, thanks to Sam, having these ‘ready to go’ pistachios on hand was what helped in my decision making. Why not a vanilla bean ice cream with pistachio nougatine folded in? (AKA – the crunchies..well, my version). I must admit, I cheated a bit.. I only made one ice cream, and used store bought strawberry ice cream. Oh, the shame, but hey, I’ve made a strawberry ice cream for a Daring Bakers challenge before, so that affords me a pass, right?
Here’s a rundown on my swiss roll ice cream cake. First off, as mentioned earlier in this entry, I split the genoise batter and folded some pistachio butter (loosened up with a little warm water) into one part, and dehydrated, ground strawberries into the other. Then I added some food color (pink and green) to each part since neither ‘a little’ pistachio butter or dehydrated strawberries add much color to a batter. After baking, rolling in a towel and cooling, I spread the pistachio and strawberry genoise with a strawberry-chocolate ganache (strawberry jam melted in chocolate and hot cream, then cooled until spreadable) .
I rolled the filled genoise from the long side instead of the shorter side – which is the direction you usually roll a swiss roll from. I did this because I wanted small, spiral slices of the roll, and the diameter of the roll from the long side is always much smaller. My first ice cream was the vanilla bean – pistachio nougatine, and the second was my cheat..store bought strawberry. I made the fudge sauce from the recipe provided to us by Sunita, except I added a little vodka to slightly halt the freezing process so the middle would remain fudgy and somewhat gooey, in lieu of frozen solid, upon cutting.
If you’d like the master challenge recipe for a chocolate swiss roll, the fudge sauce and extremely easy chocolate and vanilla ice creams..click HERE. To see the beautiful swiss roll ice cream cakes other Daring Bakers created, click on the links to their blogs HERE.
5 ounces shelled, skinned salted pistachios
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
4 T unsalted butter
1. Cook the sugar, butter and corn syrup until light amber then add the pistachios. Cook until golden brown.
2. Pour onto a silpat or parchment lined sheet pan (or just a buttered sheet pan) and let cool until hardened.
3. Chop up the nougatine with a mallet or pulse in a food processor (for ice cream) or just break into pieces and eat or gift as candy.
GIVEAWAY ALERT! Speaking of ice cream..keep checking back. Next week I’m giving away a brand new ice cream maker!
Tags: Bakewell Tart, Chocolate, Daring Bakers, Frangipane, Jam, Pastry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla Bean
Just to give you all a heads up, since this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge is a British treat, I’m officially British for this entry – spelling and all. I’m sure my dialect will come from many different regions of England considering I’m just winging this – not to mention, I’ll probably be way, way, way off base with the slang, words etc.. This will be HIGHLY exaggerated, so to my British blogging pals, please feel free to correct and/or laugh at me! Carry on, mates..and enjoy!
Oh, what an absolute joy it was to find out that this month’s DB challenge was something we’ve been enjoying here in the UK for centuries (I think). The Bakewell Tart is such a favourite confection here, that many an argy-bargy will break out when one is down to the last slice! I cannot even begin to tell you how many blokes have ended up on their arse for that slice! Silly wankers, I tell you!
First off, I’d like to pass on my gratitude to the lovely hosts of this month’s challenge for coming up with a…oh dear, I completely forgot about that silly little paragraph we must post so that the computerized little biddy can detect our entries. How funny would it be if I didn’t complete the challenge but pasted these words in a post by itself? Would I still get credit? Oh, mind my manners, I’m being quite a silly nutter!
The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.
Now, a very popular question raised about this Bakewell Tart is, well..shall we refer to it as a tart or pudding? In some preparations, it’s a “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. In another preparation it’s a “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.
The version they are daring us to make is a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavoured shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam. A crust, some jam, a rich, nutty frangipane, and Bob’s your uncle! I absolutely adore this version, and I *stereotype alert #1000* couldn’t wait to sink my wonky British teeth into it!
Although optional, we were also challenged to make our own jam or preserves. Bollocks, I say! I was in no mood to purchase an abundance of jars, sterilize them, and so on and so forth. Yes, yes, I know, a pan jam is easier, and you could always make a jam and use it immediately instead of processing a bunch of little jars that would end up in gift baskets to mates come Christmas, but I simply wasn’t in the mood to make my own jam. I had quite an array of lovely jams from Christmas baskets past, from many a mate or acquaintance, that had yet to be opened. so this was the perfect opportunity.
I decided to play it safe, since I wanted people to actually consume these tarts, using two basic flavours, strawberry and raspberry, for two different tarts, and fiddle with them a bit. I added fresh vanilla bean to the strawberry jam, and OH my giddy aunt, was quite chuffed at the difference it made. I then added a bit of freshly grated nutmeg to the raspberry, and after tasting, decided it was an absolutely brill pairing! *patting self on shoulder*
As you very well know, the key to a perfect pie pastry is that everything be cold, and I do mean COLD, as in cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey or make your jubblies stand up on end. Also, the last thing you want to do is over mix the dough, as that would result in pie crust that would be akin to biting into a pillar of Stonehenge. You want to see little bits of butter in the final dough prior to chilling it, and it should be raggedy in appearance, not uniform. I do swear, on the Queen’s crown jewels, that it will come together while chilling in the fridge wrapped in clingfilm. You want a lovely, flaky, tender crust, so all of the above is extraordinarily key.
When it came to the frangipane, for tart #1, I remained true to the recipe, just adding a titch more vanilla bean to it, and poncing it up with strawberries glazed with some of the leftover jam which I reduced with some kirsch and the addition of bruleed, sliced almonds. I ran out of butane half way through the brulee, hence the remaining bits of sugar around the almonds. At first, I almost soiled my knickers out of frustration, but then realized the bits of sugar lent it a certain something – or as the French say – je ne sais quoi.
Baking it in a rectangular tart pan lent even more of a je ne sais quoi to the tart, confusing my fellow limeys as to what it was at first glimpse. I can be quite a daft bird when I want to be, or so they say! I shall call this tart, quite simply, a Strawberry-Vanilla Bean Bakewell tart. No fanciful moniker, as that’s all hoity toity rubbish.
For tart #2, I must say, I went a little off the beaten path, as you Americans say. I still remained true to the basic frangipane recipe given to us, but suddenly an idea hit me. How about a marble frangipane? I know they go crazy in America for anything marbled with chocolate, so why not? I split the frangipane batter in two, and added a bit of melted dark chocolate to one half, alternating and swirling layers of frangipane over the frozen jam and crust.
Freezing the crust and jam before the addition of the frangipane was recommended, to insure crisp, distinct layers, although, as you can see in the photographs, it did not work very well for me. It seems the frangipane dominated the tart, covering most of the jam when baked, but that’s completely my fault since I only used about 1/4 to 1/3 cup jam per tart! Apparently I missed the part where it states you could use up to 1 cup of jam.
Bloody hell..what a load of cack! Next time I’ll remedy that and load it up with jam, but for now, you’ll just have to look at my measly, little strips of jam begging to get out from under the stampede of frangipeople rushing the stage to get closer to the band. I should have entitled this entry ‘Lisa lacks what it takes to JAM’.
Having said that, the marbled frangipane turned out quite nice, so again, I was rather chuffed. Usually, your basic Bakewell tart is topped with some sort of white icing, commonly made with icing sugar, and finished off with a sad looking little maraschino cherry. I came to the conclusion that a chocolate topping would be tastier and much more appealing.
What better than a shiny, rich, chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries since this was well, the tart with the raspberry jam, and the tart does contain chocolate frangipane. It’s always nice to showcase what’s inside the dessert, on the outside. A rather exciting preview of what’s to come. I decided to call this one my Raspberry Chocolate Marble Bakewell Tart. Not very original, but who needs fancy monikers?
To sum it all up, this was a wonderful recipe for the Bakewell, and everyone who tried both versions was utterly gobsmacked. According to them, it went down a treat! I must admit, it was quite scrummy!
Now, as always, don’t forget to check out the outstanding creations by my fellow Daring Bakers by clicking on their links at the Daring Bakers Blogroll!
Well, I must be on my way, so toodle pip, and have a delicious, lovely day! Cheerio!
Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds
Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.
The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.
When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It’s a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn’t have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).
Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
• I make this using vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.
• If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of vanilla paste or one teaspoon of vanilla extract for the almond extract.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.
• Add another five minutes or more if you’re grinding your own almonds or if you’re mixing by hand (Heaven help you).
OK..I’m American again, and I’ve abandoned Mary Poppins (which a reader perfectly pointed out). I highly recommend you all try this tart because it’s pretty amazing. Play with it, put your own take on it, make it your own — (the notorious Paulaism, even though I stopped watching that show long ago). *Opening umbrella and taking off while humming A Spoonful of Sugar*
RIP MJ, your music was woven into the fabric of my life – every thread in a quilt of so many emotions. Although you became a kind of freakish shell of the superstar we all once knew, you never lost your gift. I looped ‘Rock with You’ the night I heard you died…and cried.