Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We've Moved

Yes, Bonnie the Baker has moved. We are very excited about this new site, and would love to have you update your RSS, your bookmarks, or whatever else you used to find this site to the new site!


Can't wait to see you at the new place!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

Oxymoron?  I think not.  First of all, if you haven't met my mom.  Do so.  She has a little blog that she updates from time to time and I must let you know that when she writes, you wont want to miss it.  She is a librarian, an ex-english teacher.  She belonged was a Kappa Kappa Gamma in college, she wore red shoes when I was growing up.  She schools me in the kitchen every time.  Her french fries are amazing, but they don't hold a candle to her chocolate cake.  And that chocolate cake is in a tight race with her hot chocolate. And because I live in a summer all year round climate, I went ahead and made her hot chocolate into ice cream.  This is Mom's Hot Chocolate Ice Cream.  Trust me.  It's different than regular chocolate, and it's creamy, and if it melts, then heat it and it's like your'e drinking a bit of my childhood.

And friends, this would be the perfect addition to my Vanilla Bean Cake.  And that's that.  Like my mom, this post is better left to be experienced.  Please enjoy, and enjoy fully.  What color shoes are you wearing?  It makes a difference when you eat ice cream, I promise.

Pass the marshmallows please.

Mom's Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
5 egg yolks

Place heavy cream, milk and brown sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Heat while stirring continuously until sugar has dissolved completely.  Pour coco powder in mixture and whisk briskly until all powder is not mixed into milk, cream and sugar mixture.  Mixture will turn brown.  Remove from heat, and whisky in egg yolks at a very rapid pace.  The egg yolks should be poured into pan at a slow and steady stream, taking time to mix well.  If you need to break up the mixing, go ahead, it's worth it otherwise you will get eggs in your ice cream.   Place back on heat and let small bubbles form around the edges.  Remove from heat and let cool by placing mixture into bowl and put that bowl over ice.  Once cooled to room temperature, pour into ice cream maker that has been frozen according to manufacturer's instructions.  Serve immediately or store in an air tight container until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Vanilla Bean Cake

The smell of vanilla is one of my favorites.  Real vanilla. Vanilla tea on a Saturday afternoon. Vanilla lotion after getting out of the shower.  Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.  Vanilla bean creme brulee. Some people don't like vanilla and I am very aware of that.  They think it's too plain, or they like to eat it but not use it as lotion. They like the idea of vanilla, but they don't really love the reality of it.  And this, my friends is the very reason I find vanilla to be perfect.  I have people I know that don't really like me.  Or they like me for some things, and not others. I am too plain, around too often, too versatile, or just too vanilla.  And that's ok with me.   Because not everything can be fancy. Not everything can be liked by everyone.  Not me, not you, not vanilla.

But let's be clear. People that love vanilla are tried and true. And bakers. Bakers and cooks love vanilla. They appreciate the black specks of the vanilla bean that declares its authenticity.  They realize and take note of vanilla's versatility.  They see vanilla's potential to mix and mingle with a variety of flavors, yet they understand and accept it's raw, pure beauty. And it's these people that do the same things in us.  They love us. Accept us. And help us by adding this and that, yet they let us just be ourselves.  Vanilla, you and me are so much alike.  Let's always be together.

Vanilla Bean Cake
{sometimes I like to google recipes and then just choose one and see how it turns out. I did just this for this vanilla bean cake, and here is the source that this version is adapted from.}

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean split, seeds scraped
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk

Place flour, baking power and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.  Mix together butter and sugar until well combined.  Add vanilla bean seeds that have been scraped and mix well.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.  Add dry ingredients in small doses until all mixed together, but only barely mixed.  Do not over-mix. Butter and flour bunt pan (or round pans, but  ins't vanilla bean perfect for a bunt pan?). Pour into bunt pan and drop filled pan lightly on counter top to level cake batter.  Place oven rack on the middle shelf, and place cake into preheated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until fork inserted into middle of cake comes out clean.  Let cool completely in the pan and then transfer to cooling rack.  It must be cool before frosting.

Buttercream (kind of) Frosting
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 bag of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of milk (if that)
Melt butter and pour into mixing bowl with powdered sugar.  Mix on medium high speed, slowly adding milk until desired texture is reached.  If you want a full-frosted cake, then only add a small amount of milk.  If you want a drizzled cake, then add more milk, etc. And done.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

It's been 9 days since my last blog post.  9 days.  That's eternity in delicious food land.  Because if I'm not posting, then I'm not cooking.  Instead, here are 9 things that happened in the past 9 days:

1. Good friends of ours were in Haiti when the earthquake hit. They had to leave their behind son whom they have been trying to adopt for 2.5 years from Heartline Ministries in Haiti.  They have been fighting on behalf of all orphans to get them home to the United States.
2. I was diagnosed with Mono.
3. My horrible headaches that I have had for a month now, still no diagnosis. But I've been to three different doctors, and another one will be hit this week.
4.My best friend Shey came into town and we had a restful, lazy, blast.
5. It dawned on me that we are moving to sweet Old Town Orange in 12 days. 12 days and only 5 boxes packed. Yikes.
6. I realized that I am addicted to sweets.
7. I went through about 6 different shades of hair color that I wanted to change to. I settled on the cheap way out, which is keeping it the same.
8. I've watched more TV, movies, and slept more in the past week than I have in maybe the past three months.  Which, is probably why I now have mono.
9. I survived the rain in Southern California.

And so, it was these mixed emotions of sadness and grief, hope, fatigue, and standstill that fueled my decision to make this ice cream.  It's comforting, it's delicious, my husband requested for a more "regular" flavor, and so, comfort food does the trick.  I cheated and purchased the cookie dough instead of making it.  In my defense, it's the Mono's fault and I chose Simply by Pillsbury.  Have you had it?  It's delicious, and no High Fructose Corn Syrup or Trans Fat.  I'm a sucker for marketing, and this time it paid off, I really loved it.  Just cut those up and put them in the ice cream at the end of the churning cycle.  This is easy, and doesn't take 9 days to make.  It may take you 9 days to eat, but if you live in our house it will take you 3.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

1 cup Heavy Cream
3 cups Whole Milk
5 egg yolks
1/3 and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 package chocolate chip cookie dough

Place Heavy Cream, Whole Milk, and sugar into large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and ingredients are mixed well.  Briskly whisk in egg yolks by pouring them slowly from a small bowl into the pan.  It will help to remove pan from heat while you do this.  Add in vanilla extract.  Place sauce pan in fridge until cooled to room temperature.  Pour into ice cream maker that has been frozen according to manufacturer's instructions. Cut cookie dough in pieces you think are appropriate ( I like a few large chunks here and there) and fold into finished ice cream.  Serve immediately or store in airtight container in freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Roasted Corn Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Salsa Swirl

I do really believe that most anything delicious is even more delicious when frozen and churned to perfection with heavy cream and sugar.  This ice cream, well, is no exception.  Although I have learned something about gourmet flavors: a little goes a long way.  People love bowls and bowls of vanilla ice cream. Not you? Must just be me.  But when it comes to unique flavors, I think small doses really does the trick.  You want your guests to appreciate the flavor. Enjoy the richness of the dessert.  I mean after all, dessert should be rich. Savory. And enjoyed. So here's to a unique flavor made in a small batch so your guests will come back next time expecting something even more outrageous and delicious.

Oh, yes. I forgot to mention where I got this crazy idea.  Being a Foodbuzz Featured Publishers means you can be a part of their Tastemaker's program and opt in for samples from companies to come up with interesting recipes.  This month it was Pace Picante Sauce to make a great Super Bowl dish.  There are so many salty things at Super Bowl parties, I want to throw a little sweet curve ball in the mix.  So I mixed an entire jar of Pace Picante medium salsa (choose your desired spice level accordingly) with about 1 tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper (again, your taste buds will be the judge here) and an entire bar of dark chocolate.  Melt this all together over medium heat, and you have yourself a rich, spicy, dark chocolate sauce that has an after bite that hits you in the back of your throat.  And does so just in time for the creamy Roasted Corn Ice Cream to sooth the spice.

Sounds crazy right?  It might be. But it. is. good.  My husband suggested to dip chips it.  Might be too far.  I am gong to suggest to serve it on it's own, or maybe another addition like churros for garnish.  I'm going to make that this weekend and I'll let you know how it goes.  In the meantime, give this a try.  It's fun, easy, and will make your Super Bowl servings stand out from the rest of the block.

Roasted Corn Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Salsa Swirl (Makes 1/2 quart)

1 ear of corn
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 jar Pace Picante Salsa (your choice on spice level)
1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
1 bar 70% Dark Chocolate

Cover ear of corn with butter, so that it looks like you have put frosting on the ear of corn.  Roll buttered corn in brown sugar.  Place buttered, brown sugar ear of corn on to baking sheet and place in 350 degree preheated oven for 14 minutes, rolling the ear of corn around in melted butter and brown sugar half way through heating time.  Remove and let cool, set aside.  Heat milk, heavy cream, and sugar in saucepan over medium-low heat until small bubbles form around the edge of pan.  Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks.  Be sure to whisk fast and pour in egg yolks in small doses, otherwise you will end up with scrambled eggs.  Once egg yolks are mixed in, place back over heat.  But corn kernels off the cool cob, and place kernels into milk mixture.  Continue to heat over medium to low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, and place entire saucepan into freezer for quick cooling, about 1 hour.  Take mixture out of freezer, and stir to mix up ice formations that may have formed on top.  Pour cooled mixture into ice cream freezer bowl that has been frozen according to manufacturer's instructions.  Churn full cycle, usually about 30 minutes.  While churning, pour the Pace Picante salsa into saucepan over medium heat and add Cayenne Pepper according to your desire.  Break up dark chocolate and place into heated salsa.  Stir constantly until chocolate is melted completely.  Taste and add more spice if you so desire.  Remove from heat and leave in saucepan until churn cycle of ice cream is completed.  Remove ice cream from freezer bowl and place in layers into small airtight container.  Place a medium to thin layer of ice cream on bottom, followed by the cooled salsa chocolate sauce on top.  Repeat with layers, ending with ice cream.  You may have extra sauce, depending on how much spice and chocolate you want in your ice cream.  IF you do, keep it and use it as a cooking sauce for a chicken dish, or in burritos.  I'm telling you, it's yummy!  Serve immediately or place in freezer and serve when ready! Enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yogurt Parfait and Other Delicious Snacks

Do you remember that magazine Highlights? And there were always those pages where you had to find the hidden things in the picture?  Well let's play a round of that game.  You find: cheese. In this photo. See it yet?

How about now?  If you say now, I'll know your lying, because I only added maple syrup.  Wait, maple syrup? Cheese? Blueberries?  Welcome friends to my taste buds.  Before I go further, let me please tell you that I am fully aware that this hardly constitutes as "baking", but more on that later.  You see, this yogurt parfait is my to-die-for favorite snack: Greek style Cheese Yogurt, blueberries, and maple syrup.  I have this every single day.  Not joking. Sometimes, I have multiple servings and call it lunch.  Take my word for it.  The cheese and maple taste like a birthday party. Seriously, trust me on this one.

Do you know what else is to die for? Biscuits.  I wish that I could tell you I made these. But I'm too hungry to make the dough, so I got these from Trader Joes. And yes, that thick coating of white is butter. Pure butter. Not to worry though, I used Rice Milk instead of Whole Milk in my coffee today to try and break even with the calories. But then I had three of these biscuits, so I failed in my efforts. Have you had biscuits recently?  I care about your sanity. Have one.

Why, oh why am I writing about things that anyone can make and that are random combinations?  Because this is how I come up with ice cream flavors.  If it's good normal, then why would it not be good wrapped up in heavy cream and sugar?

Enlighten me.  What is your favorite snack, meal, breakfast, spice?  Let's collaborate here and come up with some new flavors.  I'm dying to make the two above, because then I can have my snacks in dessert form.  If you suggest it, I'll try and make it.  Let's roll.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberries

I'm going let you in on something my mother and I discussed this past Christmas vacation: the not-so-classy girl of 2009, soon to be 2010.  Call us old fashioned but whatever happened to having a sweet disposition?  Ever notice that now-a-days if you like vintage style clothes, vintage dressers or hair pins then it's a "style", it's not how you are.  Well, it's how I am.  It's how my mom is. It's how my best friend Stephanie is, and we are proud of it.  We like sweet.  We like vintage items, and our tastes are here to stay. Its 2010, and time to show the world just how classy we women can be.  Just how sweet. I'm not saying you have like vintage things to be sweet.  For we all know that being sweet comes from inside, not out.  But here's a good challenge.  Instead of just focusing on ways we can change, improve, and become better fit into 2010,  let's think about the parts of us that we want to keep. The things we like. That contribute to society. That encourage love and maintain peace with conviction.  Let's work on those things, too.  I have a sinking suspicion that if I did this, I would be so much less discouraged when I didn't change right away, and I would love myself just a bit more.

And speaking of women who have come before us, Deb must have been one of those.  This is her saucer that this Olive Oil Ice Cream is in. {I promise I'll get to the ice cream} I wonder where she lived.  What she did. What she loved, what made her laugh, when she cried, and if she liked ice cream.  I also wonder how she would feel that her saucer was sold to a humble baker in Orange County, California.  I doubt that that price reflects the memories that are wrapped up in that saucer, which is why I intend to keep the tag on.  I want Deb to know that this saucer is just as much hers as it is now mine.

Nice job, Deb cause look at how cute those feet are! And mom, kudos to you, you picked this out, and knew I would love it.  And frankly, I think that an elephant foot saucer is the perfect thing to put something as decadent as olive oil into. I love olive oil. And I hope that Deb would too.  This ice cream is a bit like my love for vintage things.  It feels like something new, yet has an old, familiar almost regal flavor.  It's unique, and part of you wants to tell everyone the name of the shop you got it and the other half wants to keep it to yourself, serving it in small portions, wistfully waving your hand when people ask where you got this recipe.  You don't know, it was just "something you had in your recipe book." Go ahead, say it.  I wont care. Shhh, I didn't make this recipe up either. I adapted it, but good ol' technique classes at Williams Sonoma has the patent on this recipe.

Give this a try.  It's odd, it's curious, and it's a reminder that some of the best flavors we can create are things that have been around forever.  I think you'll like it, and while you do, think about the things inside yourself you like. Encourage those. The rest, they can't live without breath.  Inhale.Exhale.Bite.Smile.Repeat.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberries (Adapted from Williams Sonoma)
{makes 1 1/2 quarts}

3 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into medium pieces
enough balsamic vinegar to drown strawberries

In a large sauce pan, stir together cream and milk over medium heat.  Do not let this boil, only form small bubbles on the side of the pan.  In the mean time, beat egg yolks and sugar in mixer with whisk attachment on medium to high speed, until it's triple in size, which is about 5 minutes.  When this happens, it's so beautiful you will want to stop and take a picture.  I didn't and wish I did. So please do, and show me.  Remove milk and cream from heat, and pour 2 cups of milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture changing speed to medium-low.  Add in mixture 1/4 cup at a time and be sure to scrape the sides occasionally.  Mix each time until just combined.  Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream, making sure that it begins to mix into the egg/cream/milk/sugar mixture. Turn the heat on the stove back on to medium heat, and whisk new egg mixture into rest of cream and milk mixture at a slow, but steady pace.  You will see the oil trying to separate out.  No worries, that's just chemistry.  This need to cook for about 15 minutes, until it reaches 175 degrees.  The original recipe says to strain the mixture at this point into a new bowl. I did not do this.  I added a bit of texture to the ice cream, something that I like.  However, if you don't want texture, strain away.  Place pan into freezer for 30 minutes, allowing the mixture to cool.  Once cooled to room temperature or close to this (about 30 minutes) pour into freezer bowl for ice cream and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.  While churning, wash, hull and cut strawberries.  Place into a small bowl, douse in Balsamic Vinegar, and place into fridge.  Once Ice cream as been fully churned (about 35 minutes), fold in strawberries.  Place in an airtight container, and let freezer overnight.  Enjoy!  My mom put a bit of chocolate on it, and loved it.  I hope you will too!