Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rich Chocolate Ice Cream

Or, Carob Ice Cream, which I plan on making.  This is a custard-type ice cream, which gives it richness.

8 squares (8 oz.) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or use 8 oz. carob chips)
2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate (or carob chips) with 1/2 cup half-and-half, stirring frequently until smooth.  Remove from heat.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring remaining half-and-half to a boil.  In a bowl with hand-held mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Gradually pour hot milk over yolks, beating constantly, then return mixture to saucepan.
  3. Cook over medium heat until custard thickens and lightly coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly until well blended.
  4. Pour cold cream into a bowl and strain custard into bowl with cream.  Blend well and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate until cold.
  5. Transfer custard to an ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.  Leave to soften 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sleeping Beauty Cake

I made this cake for my granddaughter Maddison's fourth birthday.  I got the idea from pinterest. The idea from pinterest was to trace on wax paper and spray cooking spray on other side of picture, then outline with frosting.  Take that side and place onto cake so frosting releases onto cake.  That wasn't  working for me.  So what I did was I searched online for a coloring page.  I traced it onto wax paper.  Then I made the copy into a stencil.  I placed the wax picture onto my cake.  I took a toothpick and traced where the cut line were.    

It took me a couple of days to decorate this cake.  It might not look as perfect as a professional bakery, but it worked for a four-year-old.  She was happy with it, and that's all that matters.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

White Sandwich Bread

It took me about five tries to get this bread to look and taste just like Weber's bread.

1 cup water
1/2 - 2/3 cup whole milk (**See Note)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup instant nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons potato flour
15 ounces bread flour (3 cups + 5 teaspoons)
5 ounces cake flour (1 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons) (I used Swans Down brand) (*See note)
2 teaspoons instant yeast 
  1. Heat water and whole milk to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. If using stand mixer, place warm liquid in mixing bowl.  Add sugar, salt and oil.  Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  3. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour flour mixture into liquid and attach to stand mixer.  Attach paddle to mixer, put to stir speed and stir until flour is combined.  Remove paddle attachment and replace with dough hook.  Knead on speed 10 for 5 minutes.  
  5. Place dough in oiled bowl.  Turn dough once to coat on all sides.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size.
  6. Remove dough from bowl.  Shape dough into loaf.  Place in baking pan.  Let rise again until doubled.  (What I do is I shape my dough into a 13 x 10 rectangle and roll up jelly-roll style on the long side.  I pinch the seam closed and place loaf seam side down in my pan.  I have a Pullman loaf pan that I use, but you can shape bread in whatever size pan you have on hand.)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit covered for 25 minutes then uncover and bake for an additional 25 minutes.  Bread should be done when it comes away from sides of pan and should sound hollow when tapped.  (If lid doesn't slide off, just leave on for rest of baking time.)
  8. Remove from baking pan.  Let cool on cooling rack.  Do not slice bread warm.  It will tear.
Makes a 1 1/2-pound loaf.

*Using cake flour makes the bread extra soft, just like sandwich bread you would buy at the store.
**During hot/humid weather use 1/2 cup milk.  During cold/winter weather use 2/3 cup milk.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lemon Supreme Pie

I make this pie every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is my family's favorite, especially Hubby.

1 preformed pie crust (or you can make your own pie crust from scratch)

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
4 drops yellow food coloring
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (or you can use bottled)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon lemon extract, optional (if you like your pie a little more on the tart side)

11 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups Cool-Whip
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or you can use bottled)

For pie crust:
  1. Line your crust with foil, fill with pie weights (or, if you don't have weights, you can use dry rice or dry beans).  
  2. Bake at 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, remove foil and weights, lower oven to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden brown.
For lemon filling:
  1. In a saucepan on the stovetop combine 3/4 cup of the sugar with the cornstarch and salt.  Stir with a whisk to thoroughly combine.  
  2. Add water and whisk to thoroughly combine.  Turn on heat to medium-high and constantly stir until mixture comes to a boil.  
  3. Add remaining sugar and bring to complete boil and mixture is bubbling.  Turn off heat and add butter and food coloring.  Stir until butter is melted.  
  4. Add lemon juice and extract (if using).  Stir until completely combined.  Remove from heat and let cool for 1 to 2 hours.
For cream cheese filling:
  1. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar.  
  2. Fold in Cool-Whip and lemon juice.  
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup for decorating.
To assemble pie:
  1. Evenly spread cream cheese mixture in bottom of pie crust.
  2. Top with lemon mixture, spread evenly.
  3. Refrigerate pie and reserved cream cheese mixture overnight.
  4. Put reserved cream cheese mixture into a decorating bag with a star tip.
  5. Decorate pie to your liking.
Makes 8 servings

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Best Pizza Crust and Best Pizza Sauce Recipes

The pizza crust recipe came from the Fresh Loaf website.   The crust is similar to ciabatta.  If you like your pizza crust light and airy like I do, this one is perfect.  The pizza sauce recipe is from the All Recipes website.  I made a few changes, to our tastes.  This one is also perfect.

Pizza Dough

Flour: 3.25 cups + 1 2/3 teaspoons (450 grams)
Water: 1.5 cups + 1 scant teaspoon (360 grams) (105 degrees F.)
Salt: 1.5 teaspoons (9 grams) (use sea salt, if available)
Yeast: 2 teaspoons (8 grams) (Rapid Rise or bread machine yeast)

Combine water and salt in a stand mixer mixing bowl.  Stir to dissolve salt.  Thoroughly stir flour and yeast.  Add to the with water mixture in the mixing bowl.  Attach paddle to your stand mixer.

Mix on stir speed to form a dough. Once the flour is all incorporated, attach dough hook, turn the mixer to speed 10 and mix with the dough hook 8 minutes. (Do not walk away from your mixer, it will move. Hold on to it).  Divide dough in half.  Transfer to two bowls (I use rising buckets, which have tight-fitting lids) greased with oil (or you can spray with cooking spray), cover tightly with plastic wrap, and proof for one hour.  About halfway through the rising, set your oven to highest degree your oven will go.  Mine goes to 550 degrees.  If baking two pizzas, set pizza stones on the bottom and top rack.

After the full hour of rising remove dough onto parchment papers that is placed on a pizza peel.  If you don't have a peel, you can use cookie sheets. The dough is quite soft and extensible, much like ciabatta.  Handle dough very lightly.  Very carefully form into pizza rounds on parchment paper.  Start from the middle of the dough and gradually work your way around to form the outer crust, called cornicione.  If your hands stick to the dough, wet hands to help form rounds.  Let it rise on paper for about five minutes. Coat the dough with the pizza sauce (see recipe below). Add about 1 cup of cheese (to your liking), then top with your favorite toppings.

Place pizza on stone.  Mist pizza crust with water.  Turn oven down to 475 degrees.  Bake the pizza on the hot stone for 4 minutes, then rotate, remove parchment paper and bake another 4 minutes.  (If you are using two stones to bake both at once, switch positions when you rotate the pizzas.) Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool 5 minutes before slicing. This is important!

Cut and enjoy.

Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.

(If you want to make only one pizza, wrap the other dough half with plastic wrap, place in freezer bag and freeze before the point of letting it rise.  Will keep in freezer for 2-3 months. When ready to make the pizza, cover dough with plastic wrap and let thaw at room temperature for 2 hours or until thawed completely.  When thawed, place dough in large bowl with bowl coated in olive oil to prevent sticking.  Flip the dough so oil is coated on top.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let rise for one hour.  Follow remaining instructions for forming dough.)

Pizza Sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
6 ounces water (from tomato paste can)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
¼ teaspoon dried basil leaves
¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  1. Mix together tomato paste and water. 
  2. Add seasonings.
  3. Keep refrigerated until ready to use on pizza crust.
Makes enough for two (sometimes I can get enough for three) 12-inch pizzas, or use to your taste.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Italian Sausage Lasagna

This recipe is from the Johnsonville Sausage website.  Their sausage is excellent!

12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 16-ounce package Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, lightly packed and chopped (optional)
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or you can use 2 teaspoons fresh oregano)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil (or you can use 1 tablespoon fresh basil)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, lightly oil and set aside.
  2.  In a medium saucepan, sauté the sausage in extra virgin olive oil, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink.
  3. Add onion and garlic and continue sautéing for another 4 minutes until the sausage is cooked through.
  4. Add marinara sauce to the sausage mixture and set aside.  
  5. In a medium bowl, blend ricotta cheese, egg, ¼ cup of the Parmesan Cheese and the chopped spinach (if using); set aside. 
  6. Coat a 9x13” baking dish with olive oil and spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture on the bottom.
  7. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread ¼ of the ricotta cheese mixture on the noodles and layer on 1 cup of the sauce mixture. Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella cheese over this. Repeat this process three more times, starting with the noodles and finish with the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and basil.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  9. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Makes 6-8 servings