Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vanilla Cake

313. My summer beach reading has meandered through a few classics, food magazines and a surprising memoir by NY Times Food Critic Ruth Reichl, "Garlic and Sapphires"
A dear friend sent me this book and suggested it as good reading.  Thanks Colleen!  Not only have I enjoyed following Ruth all over Manhattan disguised in pseudo personalities but reading the descriptions of the decadent foods she ingested.  My desire to cook, bake and create culinary delights has increased significantly.  My favorite chapter was following Ed Levine, "the ultimate connoisseur of New York food."  

It was a captivating book that was hard to put down.  A delightful addition to this book are the recipes sprinkled throughout the book.
So this is my homage to Ruth Reichl, making her son's favorite recipe "Nicky's Vanilla Cake"
I cut the recipe in half and used my small vintage fluted tube pan.  The batter was thick, glossy and beautiful and oh so aromatic.  Baking for 30 minutes was perfect.

The cake came away from the pan without a fight and was beautiful.

I then made a blueberry syrup using 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water and 1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Once cooled the cake sliced easily and even the crumbs were irresistible.

I whipped heavy cream with a touch of vanilla and powdered sugar.  A drizzle of blueberry syrup and a dollop of whipped cream on top.  Delicious ★★★★

"Always do right. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." 
-Mark Twain

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich

312.  Summer is here and ice cream should always be on the menu!

The recipe I used is one of the absolute BEST chocolate cookie recipes.  They are soft in the center, firm and crispy around the edges.  I made the cookies larger to accommodate the ice cream.

You can find the recipe here:   Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I allowed the cookies to cool to room temperature.

I filled each cookie with a scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream then topped it off with another cookie pressing down to distribute the filling.

Then I rolled the edges in mini chocolate chips, wrapped each in waxed paper and placed them in the freezer immediately.

WOW!  What a delight!  And the cookie paired so well with the ice cream.

Try making your own ice cream sandwich cookies using your favorite ice cream.  You could roll the edges in sprinkles, peanuts or coconut.  Go crazy!

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." 
~ Gen. George S. Patton

Fresh Peach Blueberry Pie

311. A slice of fresh peach blueberry pie is on the dessert menu tonight.  

Using free-stone peaches is a breeze.  You are able to remove the peach pit quickly and clean leaving the beautiful peach in perfect shape.

A little sugar, corn starch and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and dash of cinnamon makes your filling light and perfectly sweet.

Instead of the traditional top crust I'm using my star cutters to make a random pattern, perfect for July⭐️ 🇺🇸.

If the stars are all the same it makes your top crust too uniform.  So I cut three different sizes and star frames as well.

A sprinkling of water and a few corse sugar crystals finish off the top.

With the left over pie crust I cut out little stars and sprinkle a sugar-cinnamon mix over.  My mom would make these for me when she had extra dough. 😋

I used Joy of Cooking to check my ingredients.  The recipes are always spot on and reliable.

And here is the finished product for your viewing pleasure!

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." 
~Steve Jobs, co-founder & CEO of Apple


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