Friday, November 30, 2012

Lesson #183: Sweet Potato & Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream

This recipe is for a novelty ice cream. How many times have you tasted sweet potato ice cream? If you are like me, the answer is zero. At least until you try this recipe! :)

It really, truly does taste like sweet potato. That can either be a good or bad thing. The sweet potato ice cream base is flavored with cinnamon and molasses and the toasted marshmallows add a little extra sweetness & smokey flavor. I liked it enough to have a few spoonfuls of it, while my husband ate a few bowls of it. For him, the best part about this is the toasted marshmallows which are folded into the ice cream after it's churned.

LESSON LEARNED: Toast the mini marshmallows over a gas burner or use a kitchen torch. Work quickly - they melt fast!

Recipe for Sweet Potato and Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lesson #182: Chocolate Craving Cupcakes

So, I totally had a chocolate craving the other day. In addition, I checked out the new Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery cookbook from the library. It was a deadly combination!

I've been experimenting with some of the recipes in the cookbook and I just happened to have all of the ingredients for this DELICIOUS cupcake. A more accurate description might be a devil's food cupcake with a chocolate chunk pastry cream icing.

I brought these cupcakes with me to a family Thanksgiving gathering last weekend. They were DEVOURED by the end of the night. That's a good sign that it's a winning recipe :)

LESSON LEARNED: Since this cookbook is written by professional pastry chefs, the ingredients are listed in grams. I wrote the recipe using these measurements - make sure you take the time to measure the ingredients with your digital kitchen scale.

Recipe for Chocolate Craving Cupcakes

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lesson #181: Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn

Whew! Between the craziness of the end of the semester (I'll be glad when I'm not teaching four classes on the same day) and the holidays, it's been hard to find time in the kitchen. Luckily, I've had a little time to experiment with a few new recipes.

As part of the Thanksgiving celebration I hosted, I made this pumpkin spice caramel corn recipe. It was pretty low stress since I used my favorite caramel corn recipe that I've made a dozen times and added pumpkin spice for flavor. I think it appeared more complicated than it actually was to make - just the way I like it!

LESSON LEARNED: You could transform this recipe by adding a teaspoon of your favorite spice to the recipe.

Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lesson #180: Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I had a chocolate craving earlier this week! I whipped up a bunch of these cookies, ate two, and stashed the rest in my freezer for later (probably as part of the dessert table for Thanksgiving).

If you are a chocolate lover, these cookies are AWESOME. They are crispy-chewy like a brownie  - but in a cookie form. GENIUS! They are also studded with chocolate chips just in case the semi-sweet chocolate dough isn't enough chocolate for you. :)

LESSON LEARNED: By freezing the dough in a shallow container for 20 minutes, it makes the dough much easier to scoop.

Recipe for Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lesson #179: Pumpkin 5-Spice Ice Cream

We are in LOVE with this ice cream! Rich pumpkin puree is combined with honey and Chinese five spice in this sweet cream ice cream. Chinese five spice contain warm spices such as cloves and cinnamon with a touch of pepper. I think it tastes very similar to a chai flavor. Since chai lattes are one of my favorite things, this ice cream is pretty darn DELICIOUS!

LESSON LEARNED: You can roast your own pumpkin for this recipe. I was running short on time, so I used the canned variety. It was still delicious!

Recipe for Pumpkin 5-Spice Ice Cream

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lesson #178: Toasted Marshmallow Creme Brulee

Whenever we go out to a nicer restaurant, creme brulee is always on the dessert menu. It's one of those desserts that sounds really fancy, but is super simple to make at home.

This creme brulee custard is infused with toasted marshmallows. YUM! It's sweet and smokey! In fact, this was the first fun thing about the recipe - charring marshmallows over my high power gas burners :) The custard is baked, chilled, topped with liquified marshmallows, caramelized with a blowtorch (my second favorite part!), and chilled again. If you have a little patience this is worth the time!

LESSON LEARNED: This is the perfect make ahead recipe. I kept the finished dessert in the refrigerator for three days with no problems.

Recipe for Toasted Marshmallow Creme Brulee

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