Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Strawberry Swirl

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Yet another tub of ice cream that I polished off without much help. It made me regret all of the time I’ve spent NOT adding berry swirls to ice cream. I didn’t use up all of my strawberry sauce when I layered it up with the ice cream so every time I spooned into the tub I would pour over some more , ready for the next freezer raid. The sweet corn flavour didn’t come through a whole lot (maybe my corn wasn’t super flavourful?) but it tasted like the best vanilla ice cream, if you’re keen for a stronger sweet corn experience you could double or even triple the amount of corn. The swirl gives you a different experience from just a strawberry ice cream, you alternately get creamy ice cream then tangy swirl, I couldn’t get enough of it. Use whatever berries are in season and cheap, the original recipe used black raspberry’s which I totally would have gone for if they had been at the markets.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Strawberry Swirl

Adapted from Jeni’s Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

Strawberry Swirl:

2 1/4 cups chopped strawberries

1 cup sugar

Combine the strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil for 5-8 minutes (until it reaches 105 C).

Allow to cool slightly then push through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

Cover with cling film (press the cling film on to the surface of the syrup to prevent condensation) and chill completely in the fridge before using.

Ice Cream:

1 ear of sweet corn

2 cups milk

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornflour

3 tbsp cream cheese

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1 1/4 cups thickened cream

2/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbsp glucose syrup

2 tbsp vodka

Husk the corn then cut off the kernels and place them in a medium saucepan, then scrape the corn cob with a knife to collect any remaining liquid (do this over the saucepan to collect it).

In a small bowl mix the cornflour with 2 tbsp of the milk to create a slurry, set aside.

In a mixing bowl large enough to hold the finished mixture whisk together the cream cheese and salt, set aside.

In the medium saucepan where you placed the corn add the rest of the milk, cream, sugar and glucose syrup and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 4 minutes.

Pour through a strainer into a bowl, using a spoon to scrape the kernels and release the flesh from the tougher outer cases.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and put back on medium-high heat, whisk in the cornflour slurry.

Bring back to a boil for 1 minute, stirring until thickened.

Pour the mixture into the prepared bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth, then add the vodka and mix well.

Cover with cling film, pressing it down onto the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin forming.

Chill in the fridge overnight.

Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, then transfer to a 1L capacity container, layering it frequently with the chilled strawberry swirl (I put mine in a squeeze bottle which makes it a lot easier).

Freeze for at least 4 hours before eating.

If you have any strawberry swirl left over add it to the ice cream as you eat it!

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Lime Sherbet

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I nearly spelled the title ‘Lime Sherbert’, good thing I googled it to double check. What can I say, I watched a lot of Austin Powers as a child. I call this a sherbet because the combination of lime juice and creamy dairy creates an ice-cream that almost feels like it’s fizzing in your mouth, like a Fruit Tingle! I came across the original recipe over at Smitten Kitchen, a food blog that has sentimental value for me because it was the first one I ever started reading. Deb’s writing is personal and accessible, her recipes are no different. I have made minimal changes to the ingredients in the recipe but I changed the method from popsicles to a churned ice-cream. The popsicles are divine and so easy to make but I don’t like my ice-cream intake to be restricted to one little popsicle, so I decided to churn it like a traditional mixture. If you are a lover of all things sour and tangy I only have good things to say about this recipe. Popsicles or ice-cream, whip this up.

Lime Sherbet

Adapted from Deb’s Key Lime Pie Popsicles over at Smitten Kitchen.

4-5 limes

1 tin (395g) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup thickened cream

1/2 cup milk

big pinch of salt

Juice the limes until you have 3/4 cup lime juice.

Whisk together the lime juice, condensed milk, cream, milk and salt until well combined (it will get quite thick, don’t worry).

Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours (if all of your ingredients are cold to start off with reduce this time to 1 hour).

Churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer to a 1 L capacity container and freeze for 4 hours before eating.

Lime and Vanilla Cupcakes with Buddercream Icing (Vegan)

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I want to tell you all about a project that a family member of mine is undertaking and is putting all of her passion into. It’s called The Bare Basics and the plan is to publish a cookbook that focuses on moving away from pre-packaged food to easy, nutritious recipes that can be tackled by even the greenest cooks. The brainchild and author is Kelly, a trained nutritionist who just wants people to eat real food without missing out on flavour. Why should you be interested? Well, the recipes are modelled by a group of lovely, oiled up men wearing only the food they’re making. Check out some of the boys here. To get updates and peeks behind the scenes like The Bare Basics on Facebook and if you want to pledge money to get the cookbook published (and get a little somethin’ somethin’ in return) head to their Kickstarter. Kickstarter works by accepting a pledge of money and in return you will be given certain items if the Kickstarter is successful. No money is taken out of your account until the campaign is successfully concluded, if the target goal of money isn’t reached then no one is charged anything. Ever had a dream? Well this is Kelly’s and you can help her out. Give a girl a chance.

On to the recipe! This is my favourite vanilla cupcake recipe, not just my favourite vegan vanilla cupcake recipe. You want to know why you should try it? No dairy or eggs means that you can make it without having to run to the shops because you’re out of milk or you ate your last egg for breakfast. The original recipe used soy milk but I don’t usually have it in the house so water it is. These cakes are fluffy and moist, something that seems rare in a vanilla cupcake these days. I need moisture, people! The recipe achieves this with a very wet batter so don’t freak when the mixture looks really runny, just mix it really well and scoop away. They rise and form domes just like cupcakes that are full of dairy and eggs, you wouldn’t know the difference by eating them. The best fun is feeding them to people then yelling “THEY’RE VEGAN!’ and disappearing in a puff of smoke.

I always use a medium ice-cream scoop to evenly distribute the cake batter but this mixture is so runny that you could even use a 1/4 cup measure for the same purpose. If Buddercream isn’t to your liking then make a glaze by combining 3/4 cup icing sugar with 2 tbsp lime juice, stir well and drizzle over the completely cooled cupcakes. If you do choose to go the Buddercream route just check the ingredients of the margarine to make sure that there are no dairy products in it. Otherwise you will be guilty of the terrible sin that is secretly feeding animal products to a vegan (so secret that you didn’t even know you were doing it!).

Lime and Vanilla Cupcakes with Buddercream Icing (Vegan)

Cupcakes adapted from Golden Vanilla Cupcakes and Icing adapted from Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting, both from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. 

Lime and Vanilla Cupcakes

1 cup water

1 tsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups plain flour

2 tbsp corn flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 175 C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper liners.

In a bowl large enough to hold the finished batter, whisk together the water, vinegar, salt, oil, sugar and vanilla extract.

Sift in the plain flour, corn flour, baking powder and baking soda and whisk well to combine.

Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure that the mixture is well combined (it will be wet, don’t worry it’s meant to be like that).

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 paper liners and bake for 20 minutes (if you are using small paper liners then only fill them up 2/3).

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lime and Vanilla Buddercream Icing

1 cup margarine (check to make sure it’s vegan)

2 cups icing sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

juice of 1 lime

Beat the margarine with a handheld mixer until fluffy then mix in the sugar and beat for 3 minutes.

Add in the vanilla extract and lime juice then beat for another 5-7 minutes.

Transfer the icing to a piping bag and pipe on to the completely cooled cupcakes.

Lemon Lime Ice-cream (No Churn!)

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I should have called this Cream Cheese Icing in Ice-cream Form but that was too long. This is the first no-churn ice-cream I’ve made and the reason it caught my eye was because it involved sweetened condensed milk. I always appreciate recipes that use a whole tin of condensed milk because if there is any left over then I just end up eating it by teaspoonfuls standing in front of the fridge. The ice-cream mixture was delicious before I added the citrus juices but if you decide to omit them I would recommend serving it with something acidic to offset the sweetness. There’s not too much more advice I can give, the recipe is so simple that you really can’t go wrong. The base of sour cream and sweetened condensed milk is a great starting point for any kind of variation, I’m having dreams about swirling strawberry syrup through the mixture for a strawberry cheesecake vibe.

Lemon Lime Ice-cream (No Churn!)

Adapted from Mandy’s Self-made Sour Cream Gelato over at Lady and Pups.

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 tin (395g) sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

big pinch of salt

juice of 1 lemon

juice of 1-2 limes

Whisk together the sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt until well combined.

Whisk in the juice of the lemon and 1 of the limes, taste and add more lime juice for personal preference (the mixture will thicken up considerably after adding the juice, don’t panic).

Scrapes the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure that everything is mixed in well.

Transfer to a 1 L capacity container and freeze overnight.

Strawberry and Lime Marmalade

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When I first started making jam I would follow recipes to the letter, add pectin and all that jazz. As I’ve got more practice and relaxed a little bit I’ve found that jam is very forgiving and you can get great results without all of the worrying. I never time how long my mixture simmers for anymore and I add a lot less sugar than most recipes call for. The usual weight ratio of fruit to sugar is 1:1 which results in a classic super sweet jam but I don’t find that very appealing anymore. That’s where this jam/marmalade comes in. There is just enough sugar to balance the lime juice, resulting in a very tart and refreshing final product. Most people that I have fed this too have commented on how much they enjoy the sour hit from the limes and the fact that it’s not too sweet. The original recipe calls for lemons but limes are my spirit food so I used them instead. Once when I was low on limes I substituted in some orange zest and it worked beautifully (I wouldn’t substitute orange juice for the lime juice though, unless you wanted it to be less tart). There is no pectin in this recipe so when you refrigerate it the marmalade will be soft set but still hold it’s shape on a spoon. I call this a marmalade because of all the lime zest but it is so small that you’re not chewing on bits of peel like a traditional marmalade (which I prefer).

I got the chance to make this because we spent a night at the farm of a friends parents and her step-father was nice enough to tip me off to a local strawberry grower with great prices (Thanks Glenn!). I picked up 1.5kg of strawberries for $10 and I knew that this marmalade would be the first thing I made with them. If strawberries aren’t in season in your part of the world then experiment with other fruits while you wait, or even go for frozen strawberries if you can’t be patient.

Strawberry and Lime Marmalade

Inspired by Lindsay and Taylor’s Strawberry and Meyer Lemon Marmalade over at Love & Olive Oil.

2 1/4 cups chopped strawberries

1 cup caster sugar

zest of 6 limes

1/2 cup lime juice

Mix the strawberries and sugar in a large saucepan, allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cook until the mixture reduces by about half, approximately 30 minutes.

If you would like smaller pieces of strawberry in your marmalade, mash with a potato masher until it reaches desired consistency.

Sterilise two small jars and transfer the hot marmalade into them.

Screw on the lids and allow to cool at room temperature, if you hear the lids pop then they have sealed and your jam will keep for around 3 months, if you don’t hear the lids pop then keep in the fridge and use within 3 weeks.

Orange and Poppyseed Cake

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Cakes without icing may look nondescript but I usually find my expectations are blown out of the water whenever syrup-soaking is involved. Even if you over bake the cake a syrup can save the day and re-moisten it back to perfection. This cake is a perfect little somethin’ somethin’ to have with tea in the afternoon and because there is no icing it’s easy and stress free to transport.

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Lemon and poppyseed cake is an old favourite of mine, we used to help make it as kids, always in the same cake tin and after it was baked, always on the same cake stand with a glass cover. The excess syrup would pool around the base of the cake, making the glass cover stick and you would have to pull it a certain way to release it. Then you were free to spoon up all of the lovely, sticky syrup that you could get your hands on. To be honest I was usually more interested in the syrup than the cake itself but now that I’m older and wiser I know where the goods are. Woes me, I’ve lost part of the old cake tin so I’ve improvised with a loaf tin. Bake your cake in whatever shape you would like but be aware that baking times may vary a little bit.

Orange and Poppyseed Cake

Cake recipe adapted from Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake over at BBC Good Food. Syrup recipe origin unknown.

Cake:

50g poppy seeds

185ml warm milk

220g caster sugar

3 eggs

300g self-raising flour

200g butter, softened

zest of 1 lemon

pinch of salt

Syrup:

zest of 2 oranges

juice of 2 oranges

juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup caster sugar

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 C, line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Combine poppy seeds and milk, allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Beat the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy then beat in the eggs, lemon zest and salt.

Alternately beat in the flour and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin, spreading it into an even layer.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer poked in comes out clean, leave in the tin.

To make the syrup, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to bubble for 4 minutes.

While the cake is still hot, poke a large number of holes into it with a skewer.

Spoon the hot syrup over the cake a small amount at a time, allowing it to soak in before continuing.

Let the cake sit in it’s tin until it comes to room temperature, this will give the syrup time to soak in.

Black Forest Cupcakes

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I’ve got some chocolate-on-chocolate-on-chocolate action for you, with some fruit hidden away just so you don’t have to feel bad about it. Three cupcakes is a whole serving of fruit, how neat is that? I was a doofus and used all of my cream for something else so the topping in the picture isn’t actually ganache but just dark chocolate and a little coconut oil. After melting the chocolate and oil together it was taking forever to get to the right consistency so I left it by the open window to help it along a bit, nek minnit it’s almost solid and I have to re-melt it. Apparently the Queensland winter is chillier than I gave it credit for.

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My man suggested putting some jam in the middle and I would have to agree with him. These little beauties are decadent but they could really use some more cherry flavour. Adding different berries would be nice as well, I think that blueberries or raspberries might have a bit more oomph than cherries.

Black Forest Cupcakes

Cake recipe adapted from The Wicked Black Forest over at Lady and Pups.

Cupcakes:

60g butter

3/4 cup hot water plus 3 tsp decaf instant coffee

3/4 cup milk

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups frozen, pitted cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 175 C, line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine the butter, hot water and instant coffee then stir until the butter has melted.

Mix in the milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.

Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt directly into the mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Add the cherries and give one final mix, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Fill the paper liners 3/4 full and bake for 25 minutes, checking at 20 minutes.

Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ganache:

200g 70% dark chocolate, chopped

200ml thickened cream

100g milk chocolate, chopped

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream just to a boil, remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate.

Stir until smooth, then allow to cool until it is the consistency of peanut butter, or until you can spread it on top of the cupcakes without it dripping down the sides.

Divide between the cupcakes, spreading it over the top.

While the ganache is still warm, divide the milk chocolate between the cupcakes, sprinkling it over the top.