Tag Archives: cream

Daring bakers: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake Pina Colada style

I was totally thrilled when I saw the new daring bakers challenge this month. Sunita from Sunita’s World – Life and food challenged us into making a Swiss Swirl Ice Cream cake. The moment I read the challenge it was about 25 degrees celcius in Belgium Perfect weather for ice cream and some baking. The day I actually made the cake it was about 35 degrees and I almost melted away in my kitchen. But it was worth it! Every drop of sweat, every hot breeze from my oven.. I forgot about it when I finally took a bite of the cake. It was divine, completely divine! One bite brought me into Ice Cream Cake heaven. I even forgot how scared I was about this recipe. I had nightmares about rolling a cake. Asleep I saw the cake fall into pieces when rolling. But this cake was so easy to make and I will certainly try it again.
Because of the tropical heat and the fact that summer holidays have started over here I made a Pina Colada version of the cake.
Like I mentioned in a previous blog post I am the proud owner of an ancient ice cream maker who I fell deeply in love with. I used my dearly beloved machine to make the creamy coconut ice cream and the pineapple sorbet, but don’t be afraid. You can make ice cream without a machine!

One last warning before digging into the mysteries of the Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake. don’t try to make this in one day. Its just to much. J It took me 3 days to complete the challenge. The first two days I made my ice cream. It could be done in one day though, but my machine was not cold enough to make two sets of ice cream. The third day I made the cake and assembled the who thing. On the fourth day I was in ice cream heaven.

 INGREDIENTS FOR THE SWISS ROLLS

6 medium sized eggs
225 grams caster sugar
45 grams all purpose flour
40 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
30 ml boiling water
30 ml rum essence
500 ml of whipping cream
70 grams caster sugar

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CREAMY COCONUT ICECREAM

3 dl coconut milk
4 egg yolks
75 grams of caster sugar
3 dl whipping cream

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PINEAPPLE SORBET

100 grams caster sugar
100 ml cold water
100 ml pineapple juice
250 grams pineapple

FOR THE SWISS ROLLS

Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. The recipe states that you should use 2 square baking pans from 11 inches by 9 inches each. I did not have that and I just used my regular round baking pans, what work pretty well, but I am convinced that square pans would make a better result. Brush whatever baking pan you are using with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper.

 In a large mixing bowl add the eggs and the sugar and beat till very thick. When you lift the beaters out of the mixture they should leave a trail for at least 10 seconds. I timed my beating and it took me about 12 minutes to get the right consistency.

 Now add the flour mixture in three batches while folding it gently in with a spatula.
Then fold in the boiling water!

 Now divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread out evenly. (I had to use 3 baking pans to get the job done. If you don’t have that many baking pans, just let them cool down and bake a second batch in the same pan!)

Now place the pan in the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake if for about 10 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch!

 Spread a clean kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle it with a little caster sugar.
Now turn the baked cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges. (If you use round forms like me, you could trim it into a square form like I did.)

Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Place the roll an a rack, seam side down and let it cool down completely.
Keep repeating this for the next cakes.

Now for the filling! In a large bowl add the cream and the sugar and beat it till very thick and fluffy. Be careful don’t beat it into butter! Halfway trough the beating process add the rum essence.

Divide the cream mixture between the now completely cooled cakes.

Open the cake rolls and spread the cream mixture. Make sure it does not go right into the edges, cause it will poor out when you start rolling.

Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour in the fridge. This will firm them up and make the slicing a lot easier on you.

 Creamy Coconut Ice

In a large bowl add the sugar and the egg yolks and beat until they are doubled in size and all the sugar is evaporated in the mixture.
Now spoon under the coconut milk and the whipping cream.
Poor this mixture into the ice machine and let it “cream” for 25 to 30 minutes.
When done place the coconut ice cream for at least 5 hours in the freezer.
The downside on making ice cream yourself is that the ice cream is very rich and creamy, but also very soft. The problem is solved when you freeze the ice cream for at least 5 hours. Then the ice cream gets the hardness that store bought ice has.

Pineapple sorbet

In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, the pineapple juice and the water. Place the pan over a medium heat and sit constantly, till the sugar begins to melt into the water. Don’t let it boil, cause it will start to caramelize. When the sugar is totally melted into the water turn down the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
In the mean while mix the pineapple with a blender into a puree.
When the syrup is cooled add the puree to the syrup and poor it into the ice cream machine. Let it cream for about 25 to 30 minutes. When done place the sorbet for at least 5 hours in the freeze.

 Assembly

Cut the Swiss rolls into equal slices (approximately 2 cm each)
Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with plastic wrap.
Arrenge two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm. (I froze them for about 1 hour)

 Take the creamy coconut ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften up a bit. Then take the bowl out of the freezer and remove the film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides to the bowl. Cover again with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour.

In the original recipe you add to add a layer of fudge sauce between the two layers of ice cream. I left that part out, just because I thought that with the flavours I had chosen it was already rich enough.

 Take the pineapple sorbet out of the freezer and let it soften up a bit. Then take the bowl out of the freezer and remove the film cover. Then add the sorbet on top of the coconut ice cream. Spread it out evenly. Wrap again in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Remove the plastic cover and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water.

Slice the cake with a hot knife and serve!

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Fresh Vanilla Ice Cream goes Dame Blanche

The past few days, or is it turning weeks already its been pretty hot in Belgium. Tropical I would even dare to call it. Its so hot that we sleep with all the windows open and without sheets. We eat salads and things that don’t make me stand in the kitchen for longer then 15 minutes. My dearly beloved carnivore and husband even agrees to eat mozzarella with tomatoes for diner. That’s how hot it has been the past few days. And when its hot, I crave Ice cream. No wait, that is not entirely true. I crave Ice cream all year round, but on hot days I have an excuse to indulge myself in lots of ice cream. Midwinter people tend to look at me a little strange when I dive into the freezer and come out with a large bucket of ice cream.
When I was a little girl my mom bought an ice cream machine and made some mango sorbet. I was not very into mango at the time, so I just ate a little scoop and gave the rest to my father, who loved it so much that he brought heavy bags of mango home from work. It was actually the only ice cream my mom ever made and the ice cream machine disappeared onto a shell in the kitchen. But it was still in my mind and my love for ice cream made me ask my mom if I could adopt the ice cream maker. So that’s how I became the proud owner of a 15 year old ice cream machine! The hubby and I tried it out a couple of days ago with big eyes. Would it work? But never underestimate a old timer machine made in the 90’s, when machine where still strong and robust. The old lady made some damm fine ice cream! I can tell you, she wont be enjoying a peaceful retirement anytime some.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE VANILLE ICE CREAM

3 dl whole fat milk
4 egg yolks
75 grams of caster sugar
3 dl whipping cream

1 vanilla pod

 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHOCOLAT SAUCE

100 grams dark chocolate
20 grams butter
1 tablespoon of icing sugar
4 tablespoons of milk

In a large bowl add the sugar and the egg yolks and beat until they are doubled in size and all the sugar is evaporated in the mixture.
Now spoon under the whole fat milk and the whipping cream.
Poor this mixture into the ice machine and let it “cream” for 25 to 30 minutes.
When done place the ice cream for at least 5 hours in the freezer.
The downside on making ice cream yourself is that the ice cream is very rich and creamy, but also very soft. The problem is solved when you freeze the ice cream for at least 5 hours. Then the ice cream gets the hardness that store bought ice has.

In a small saucepan on a low heat melt the chocolate together with the butter. You could do this au bain marie, but sometimes I am just to impatient for that. I don’t like messing around with hundred pots and pan. So for me it works perfectly on a low fire while constantly stirring. When the chocolate has melted remove the sauce from the fire and stir in the icing sugar and the milk. Mix well and poor it over the vanilla ice cream. Top of with some freshly whipped cream and serve immediately.

Daring Baker: pavlova (with infused lavender mascarpone mousse)

Just back from vacation… there was a lot of cleaning up, washing and ironing to do before getting back to work and normal life. But there was also a Daring Baker challenge waiting for me, when I arrived back home. One I could not miss out of. One my husband would never forgive me if I missed out of it. Like I mentioned before on this blog Pavlova is my hubs specialty. So to be completely honest this is my husbands daring baker challenge.
He did all the handy work and I shouted instructions and mingled with the flavours.
And again I changed the challenge a lit bit… I cant seem to control myself…; Every single time a need to get of the wonderful road the challenge is giving me to do my own thing. But after a lovely holiday in France I just could not be bothered with chocolate and more chocolate. I really wanted to try out my newly bought lavender flowers and I thought they would go wonderful with our bottles of Montbazillac. So we left the chocolate for what it was and we made this incredible Pavlova. We also used another recipe for the basic pavlova. I really wanted a marshmallow inside and a crunchy snowwhite outside, so I used my cant fail recipe from Nigella Lawson. We served it on my birthday party and it was received with wildly enthusiastic cheers from our guests!

 INGREDIENTS

for the meringue base

 6 egg whites
300 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vinegar (white that is!)
2 teaspoons of corn starch
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

 for the filling

 500 grams mascarpone
250 ml heavy cream
2 teaspoons of dried lavender blossoms (make sure these are blossoms you can eat. Not every lavender is meant for consumption!)
6 tablespoons of icing sugar
3 drops of food coloring

topping

strawberries (or any other fruit you like)
250 grams of white chocolate pearls
35 ml of montbazillac whine
1 teaspoon of lavenderblossem

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

 Add the egg whites to a large shallow bowl and beat the eggs on medium high speed until they hold soft peaks. Now start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time while constantly beating the eggs.
When the mixture is thick and glossy, you need to test if all the sugar is dissolved. You do this by taking a little bit of the batter between your fingers and rubbing it gently. Do you still feel some grains, then keep beating! The mixture is ready when it feels smooth like pomade.

Now sprinkle the vinegar, the cornstarch and the vanilla over the meringue and spoon it in with a wooden spoon.

Now line up a baking sheet with some parchment paper and draw a circle of about 18 cm on it.
Spread the meringue gently inside the circle, smoothing the edges and building the pie. Make sure that the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the centre. Cause you want to fill that up with lovely mascarpone cream and fruits!

Place the meringue in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The moment you place the meringue in the oven, you need to turn down the heat to 100°.
After 1 hour and 15 minutes dig in with a little fork or spoon to taste. (Don’t worry about that little Is the top deliciously crunchy? Is the interior thick and lush like marshmallow? Yes, then the meringue is ready! But don’t be to fast! Turn the oven off and let the meringue rest in the oven until it is completely cooled down!

Now for the cream filling… I made fresh mascarpone using a recipe we got from another daring baker challenge. It is lovely in every way, but a good store-bought version will work wonders to… so don’t worry if you don’t have the time to make the fresh cheese.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form and set it aside. Now add the mascarpone, the lavender blossoms and the icing sugar to a bowl and mix it will. I recommend you do not use a mixer for this, because it can ruin your mascarpone. Because of the high speed the creamy texture is broken down and the mascarpone becomes a bit runny.
Now add the whipped cream and the drops of food colouring. The food colouring is not necessary, but we loved that sweet pink cream on top of the heavenly with meringue. It made it all a little bit more sexy. J

Now for the sauce… just add the chocolate chips, the montbazillac and the lavender to a pot and place it on a medium low fire. Its important that the lavender gets some heat to infuse his flavour into the sauce. Its also important that the alcohol disappears from the sauce. And it is very important that the chocolate melts!

While waiting for that you can slices the strawberries, or any fruit you like, so that it is ready to serve.
When the chocolate has melted set it aside to cool down a little bit.

Now it is time to arrange the pie! Spoon the mascarpone mousse on top of the meringue and scatter the strawberries on top of it. Now drizzle the chocolate sauce all over the meringue.
Voila ready for serving!

I hope that Dawn of Doable and Delicious can forgive me the adaptation of her dessert. When I have more time and I am again in a chocolate mood I will defiantly give her chocolate pavlovas with chocolate mascarpone mousse a go!

Lekker hapje cup: Swiss veal with estragon sauce and rosti potatoes

Part two in our cooking challenge held by Lekker Hapje and Swiss is still the country that I defend with heart and soul. It even comes to the point that I find myself googling information about Swiss and I even know some curious facts about this “neutral” country now!
The main course however cost me blood, sweat and tears. Not that you cant find any Swiss products, no they were easy to find. But typical Swiss cuisine just seems to be a mingle of some French dishes, some Italian foods and some German creations.
So my main course is builded around some real typical product, like gruyere and smoked ham. With that I serve rosti, which is actually a big hit in Swiss! And to top it of I prepared a lovely estragon sauce with a little bit of Fendant Du Valais, a lovely dry white wine from the Valais region. Yes they even make wine those mysterieus Swiss people!

INGREDIENTS

1 veal roast
4 slices of gruyere
6 slices of smoked ham
pepper and salt

300 grams of mushrooms
2 teaspoons of estragon
30 ml white wine (I used the Swiss Fendant Du Valais)
200 ml heavy cream
pepper and salt

500 grams potatoes
2 onions
150 grams bacon bits

VEAL ROAST

Use a sharp knife to slice the veal into two parts. Place the gruyere on the inside of the roast and fold it again. Season the roast with pepper and a pinch of salt. Not to much salt, cause the ham will be salty enough.
Now wrap the roast in the slices of ham and bind it with some kitchen string.
Place the roast on a rack and pop it in a preheated oven of 175 degrees for about 20 minutes. (My roast weighted about 450 grams.)


ROSTI POTATOES

Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes one day in advance!

Peal the potatoes and grate them with a mandolin into thin stripes.
Peal the onions and slice them into fine rings.
Heat a little bit of butter in a pan and bake the bacon until they are nice and golden brown.

Take a large bowl and mix the bacon with the potatoes.
Now roast the onion rings until they start to caramelize and add them to the potato mixture.
Season this with pepper and salt. I used some grated gruyere for some extra flavour.

Add a little bit of butter in a non sticking pan and heat the pan well, now bake the rosti potatoes. I made small heaps of potato mixer and pressed them into a pancake form in the pan. When golden brown I flipped them and let them cook for a couple of minutes.

ESTRAGON SAUCE

Heat some oil and a nut of butter in a non sticking pan. Bake the mushrooms until nice and golden brown.
Sprinkle the estragon over them and mix well.
Now pour over the white wine and bring this to the boil.
The wine needs to evaporate for about 50%. Then you can add the cream and let it boil until you get a thick and creamy sauce.
Season with pepper and salt to your liking.

Purslane salad with a creamy dressing and crushed potatoes

In the supermarket I noticed this little package of purslane. Time and time again I held the package in my hands but placed it back in the rack. Because I kept wondering what I could do wit purslane. Obviously it was mend to eat… but how did you eat it. Did it need steaming, bowling, mixing or mincing? I had absolutely no idea. At my recent trip to the supermarket I noticed that the purslane was very cheap so I finally bought a package and told myself “I would figure out a way to serve it later”. The internet suggest 101 different types of recipes, going from purslanesoup over baked purslane to purslane gratin. I also learned that in the US purslane not considered a vegetable and that in Indian it’s a very popular ingredient.
In Belgium it’s a little bit of a forgotten vegetable. Very popular with my grandparents, but the next generations forgot about it totally. Its hard to come by in the stores even. I silently chuckled when I saw the girl at the counter twist and turn my package like seven times to figure out what I actually was buying.
Eventually I gave the purslane my own twist and neglected all the very well meant internet advices. I served it in a lovely creamy salad dressing. And ow boy, did we love it! The leaves are thick and very meaty for a vegetable. They have a lovely light sour flavour that makes me think of a mixture between spinach, chard and endive.
I wont doubt a minute on my next grocery hunt to bring another package!
I served the salad with “Crashed hot potatoes” which is a recipe I got from Ree, the Pioneer woman. She is a wonderful cook and I am always enchanted by the lovely recipes and the way she writes.
The lovely, hot potatoes have crusty skin and a soft, fluffy filling. My kitchen smelled wonderful with all the fresh herbs I used from my herb garden.

INGREDIENTS PURSLANE SALAD1 package of purslane
cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
fresh parsley
fresh chives
2 tablespoons of mayonaise
3 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of harissa (can easely be replaced by tabasco)
1 teaspoon paprikapowder
pepper and salt
Lets start with assembling the dressing for our purslanesalad.
Minced the garlic really fine with a good knife. Do the same with the fresh herbs.
To make life easier on myself I use the following method: take a large glass (type long drink) and place the herbs in the glass.
Now use a scissor the cut the herbs into really small pieces. Very easy and no flying pieces of herb in your kitchen!
Now add the mayonnaise and the sour cream to a small bowl and mix them together.
Then add the garlic, the fresh herbs, the harissa and the paprika powder.
Mix this all very well.
If the dressing is not runny enough you add a tablespoon of cream. (If you like runny salad dressings you can even add a little more.)
Now season this with salt an pepper.

INGREDIENTS POTATOES6 potatoes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
pepper and salt
2 stalks of rosemary
2 stalks of thyme

Purslanesalad 


Potatoes 

These potatoes are so simple and still so very delicious.
And there must be a million ways to combine them. I can imagine that they ll taste wonderful with some bacon or slice of cheddar cheese on top of them.
boil the potatoes (with their skins!) in some salted water. They don’t need to be cooked thoroughly. You just need to be able to prick them with your knife.
Drain them and let them rest for a couple of minutes.
In the mean time get an oven tray ready and drizzle it with some olive oil. (To make this even more delicious I used garlic infused olive oil.)
Now toss in the potatoes, just make sure they have plenty of space around them. Although it is cosy so close to each other, they need the room to go nice and crispy.
Now take your potato masher and press it very carefully down until each potato slightly mashes, now rotate the masher 90 degrees and mash it again.
You will see the potatoes burst open and from the little cracks in their skin the soft, fluffy interior will poor out.
Now brush the potatoes with some olive oil. Sprinkle some black pepper and sea salt on top of the potatoes en plunch in the fresh herbs.
Pop the tray in the oven for about 20 minutes on 175 degrees.

The recipe for the potatoes is from The Pioneer Woman.

Cajun Style Scampi

The Dutch foodblog event of this month centred around the topic “cooking from scratch”. Essentially the challenge was to cook with stuff we had in our fridge, pantry or freezer. Because we only go to the supermarket once a week I tried to come up with some other “rules” I had to obey, cause else it would be a little to simple.
So I made myself cook a meal out of ingredients I always have.
Scampi is one of the things I always have in my freezer I adore scampi and they are so easy to cook and match with almost any dish.
Bell pepper and tomatoes is another thing I just have to have in my fridge, cause else I will go crazy. And not to forget the bag of frozen peas on the second shelf in my freezer. I don’t particularly like a pea all by itself, but it is a really grateful ingredient to use in any kind of dish and in plenty of sauces.
The rest of the dish I builded up with bits and pieces that I found in my kitchen. A little bit of cream that was going to expire, some sour cream I used the day before. Cooking from scratch is the ideal way to get rid of all those leftovers.
In the back of my herb cupboard I found an unopened jar of Cajun spices. I think I bought it some time ago when I saw a fabulous recipe for a Cajun wok on TV. It was about time I gave these spices a try.
I served the Cajun scampi with potatoes skins and a lovely sour cream dip sauce.

INGREDIENTS SCAMPI

12 scampi
3 teaspoons of Cajun spice mix
2 tablespoons of olive oil (I used olive oil infused with hot peppers, for that extra bit of flavour.)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
½ red onion
2 cloves of garlic
cherry tomatoes
300 ml of vegetable stock
200 ml of heavy cream
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
black pepper
salt

INGREDIENTS SOUR CREAM DIP SAUCE

200 ml sour cream
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
Chopped cilantro according to taste
Chopped parsley according to taste
the juice of half a lime
½ finely chopped Spanish pepper
pepper and salt

 

Clean the scampi.
Season the scampi with one tablespoon of Cajun spice mix and mix it all together, so the flavours get a chance to combine.
In te meantime, heat the olive oil and the butter in a large pan or wok.
Bake the scampi on high heat and as soon as they are done remove the from the pan.
If needed you can add some extra olive oil to the pan, but I think in most cases it wont be necessary.
Now add the cubes of bell pepper together with the chopped onion and the garlic.
Let this simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped cherry tomatoes.
Again let this simmer for a while, so the bell pepper has the time to soften up a little bit.
Now remove all the vegetables from the pan and set them aside.
Poor in the stock and stir it well. It is very important that all the goodness that sticks to the bottom of the pan combines with to stock to get a flavourful sauce.
Now let the stock boil until you are left with 1/3 the of the original amount of stock.
Add the cream and bring back to the boil, so the sauce can further thicken.
Season with the left over Cajun spice mix, the cayenne pepper, the black pepper and the salt. Taste it and add some more spices if you like.
Now add the scampi and the vegetables to the sauce and bring it one more time to the boil.

For the dip:

Mix the sour cream with a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Add the finely chopped Spanish pepper, the cilantro, the parsley and the lime juice.
Mix it well so all the flavours combine, taste and finish it off with some fresh grounded pepper and salt.