Nutella Campfire Pops!

It's Popsicle week!

In case you're a newbie, like I was, and don't know. The talented Billy, from Wit and Vinegar puts this wonderful popsicle party together every year. I, sadly, didn't quite have my act together last year, and ended up missing out on all the fun. I was left drooling over the 2016 list. This year though I managed to get it together, and am now part of this talented (hungry) group of bloggers.

I hope you enjoy my contribution to this year's festivities.

 

While thinking of ideas for a fun new Popsicle flavor my mind instantly went to a summer’s night campfire snack; the classic s’mores. There was a glimmer of hope that people might have thought it too cliche to try. So I went through the Popsicle week archives, and sadly stumbled upon a wonderful s’mores Popsicle post. So, doing another s’mores flavor was off the table.

Until... I remembered a few summers back when I forgot the chocolate bar, for a late night snack with friends. Instead of heading back to the store or using up my dark chocolate rations; I grabbed a jar of Nutella. Ingenious I know, and also...good lord! That thing was tasty. Such a simple twist, but it was a delicious enough idea that I felt like it would be a shame to not share with everyone.

So here’s my version of the classic S’mores, a Nutella Campfire Pop! You can check out the rest of the list here.

Key Lime Pie

Good morning everybody, guess what today is?

It's 3.14 day or more widely known for all of us bakers (and eaters) out there, Pi day. I planned this key lime pie especially for today, I haven't been able to celebrate as many national food holidays as I would like. In fact I have been sketching a few ideas for a calendar specifically designed for this dilemma. Time always seems to be just out of reach, it either flies by or I loose track of it all together. 

This pie however has arrived right on time, it's refreshing, bright, and has a hint of green. Which is perfect since winter is officially leaving, and we are diving head first into spring. A season that I am quite fond of, it brings such lovely flowers, rain showers, and most importantly more daylight. It will be nice to get out of work, and be able to see where I am going when I take Koda on a walk.

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Along with a fresh new season this bake also has a fresh new take on a pie pan. I wanted to make something that would hold a graham cracker crust, and not loose it's style. A lot of the pie pans I see without a classic ribbon edge always seemed to be boring, or simple. This design is supposed to be fun and functional. I of course need to make a few more, and work out a few kinks, but I think the unique style definitely shines through.

This recipe is from Epicurious


Key Lime Pie

Serving Size: One pie


INGREDIENTS:

CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups  finely ground graham cracker crumbs ( I used around 10 crackers)
  • 2 tablespoons  granulated sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (around 10 limes)

TOPPING

  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy whipping cream 
  • Tablespoon of granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make Crust: Crush graham crackers and mix in the melted butter, sugar and salt. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie pan (I like to use the bottom of a measuring scoop to pack in the corners). Bake the crust for 10 minutes and cool pie plate on a rack.

Make Filling: In medium bowl with an electric mixer beat the zest and egg yolks until they thicken. (3 minutes). Add sweetened condensed milk and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the lime juice until just combined. Pour onto the graham cracker crust and bake for another 10 minutes.

Make Topping: Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks (add sugar to taste).

Let pie cool completely before you add the whipped cream, and garnish. Chill for an hour or two when done. (it's perfectly fine if a slice or two is missing before you pop it back into the fridge).

 

 

 

Pecan Pie

 

There are quite a few things that I pride myself on doing well for example: painting my nails both right and left-handed without making a mess, my dance moves in zumba, and being able to eat a giant cream cheese cinnamon roll from Clark’s Fork in one sitting.  My accomplishments are great, I know. But then there is the case of pecan pie, something that I repeatedly fall flat on my face every time I make it, which has been at least five times.  Five holiday failures that began with such high hopes, and I still haven’t been able to get it right. It either turns out hard as a rock, or into a gooey nutty mess. 

 However, in spite of all of my failures, I have narrowed down a few of the problems. The biggest one adapted from the last recipe I attempted is the lack of booze. Bourbon to be precise, which not only helped me ease some of the sadness when the pie solidified into a rock, but it added a unique flavor! The next problem has been deciding whether or not to boil the filling. I have tried and failed at both. Which is incredibly upsetting, since I consider myself a pretty good baker. I really just needed to calm down and get back to basics, so a friend suggested a classic, ‘The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook,’ which was an excellent call very simple and to the point. 

 

It called for no boiling, and no bourbon so I just threw back a few shots before hand, and tried my best to relax and stay optimistic. To my surprise it turned out wonderful. I thought i was going to have to go at it for a few rounds, but now i have two extra pie crusts in my fridge ready to thaw, and a whole bunch of pecans to use up.  

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 Below is the adapted recipe with a few minor changes.


Pecan Pie

Serving Size: One Pie


INGREDIENTS:

FILLING

  • 1 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light corn syrup (I used a golden syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Bourbon (optional)
  • 2 cups pecans

 

DIRECTIONS:

Click here for my Pie Crust recipe. When you have the dough thawed, and rolled out in your pie pan.  Line it with parchment paper, and fill with beans or rice and bake it in a 400°F for around 20 minutes. This helps eliminate any soggy bottoms.

Reduce oven to 375°F and Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for around 10 minutes. Stirring halfway through for an even toasting.

In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and the sugar.  Add the remaining ingredients, in order, beating well with each addition. The pecans can be chopped or whole, just make sure you save some whole ones for the top if you want to make a pretty pattern. Carefully pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes or until filling is fairly set, it should feel firm to the touch with a bit of giggle underneath.  Kind of like pushing a stick that's floating on pudding. I understand this is a very strange description, trust me, that's how it feels. The filling should firm up as it cools. Then you can top with whipped cream, ice cream, or whatever your heart desires.

 

 

Chocolate Souffle with Blackberries


Oh my goodness! The level of fear that goes into the thought of even making a souffle! I may be freaking out more than I should, but somehow this dessert has ended up on top of my baking pedestal. I mean a really high shiny pedestal, covered in gold, with doves that fly out from behind it. I can even hear a lovely orchestra playing when I think about it. The problem is I can’t stop imagining the worst; I can see it in my head, a happy fluffy souffle just sitting on it’s glorious seat, but then I notice it’s really close to the edge, actually it’s way too close. I see it starting to tip over, and I catch my breath. I reach out with my hands in an attempt to stop it falling from its throne, but it’s just too high. All melodic singing comes to an abrupt halt. As it hurtles downward, the doves are shrieking and fleeing from the scene. With a crash it lands deflated and sad on my kitchen floor, and I am left watching as a few random feathers float down onto the disheveled mess in front of me.

Sorry if I sounded a bit dramatic, my nerves somehow got the best of me. Which is so silly because souffles are surprisingly easy to make.  They’re fluffy, delicious, and incredibly fun, I can’t believe it took me so long to make them in the first place. I also really love seeing them poof up in the oven, such an exciting bake.

Recipe below is from Sugar Rush with very slight changes

 

Chocolate Souffle with Blackberries


Serving Size: makes four 6-oz ramekins


INGREDIENTS:

  • Butter, greasing the ramekins
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for the ramekins
  • ½ cup fresh blackberries
  • 4 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao) chopped
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Confectioners’ sugar for the sprinkling

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease four 6-ounce ramekins and coat in granulated sugar, making sure to get rid of any excess sugar. Put 6 or 7 blackberries on the bottoms of each ramekin, and then put them in a roasting pan. (there is going to be lots of multi-tasking so read ahead, and be ready.)

Chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl over a simmering pot of water, stirring until just melted. Remove from heat.

Whisk together egg whites, 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar, and the cream of tartar into a standing mixer bowl, and turn the speed onto low.

In a saucepan, bring the milk and cornstarch to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly so the milk doesn’t curdle. Remove from heat and stir the hot liquid into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the egg yolks and stir until completely smooth.

Increase the mixer to medium-high, and add another tablespoon of granulated sugar. When it gets really frothy, sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar and whip until they hold soft, fluffy peaks. Add around a quarter of the whites to the chocolate mixture, and stir gently until mixed well. The fluffy egg whites lose their fluff in this first part, but don’t worry it needs to happen to create a smooth texture. Add in the remaining whites and fold gently, until you can’t see any more white streaks.

Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, and trace a finger around the top of each rim. This will pull the batter away from the rim and help promote an even bake. Pour hot water into the roasting pan, until it is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Carefully place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t open up the oven, but you can turn the light on and watch the magic poof happen. When it is done the tops and sides should look dry, but the inside should still be moist.  Carefully take them out of the oven, and then even more carefully take them out of the water bath to dry the outsides of each dish. Sprinkle with lots of powdered sugar, and pretend it’s snowing. Then pick a ramekin to hoard all to yourself and start eating it immediately.

I have conquered my fears! Here is a fluffy delicious souffle that can now come down from it’s pedestal. Is there anything you have ever been afraid to bake??

Bee Sting Coffee Ice Cream

Once upon a time, in a land called 24 years old, I worked as a barista.  Let’s just say coffee has a special place in my heart. Besides getting to learn about the proper way to foam milk, and pull shots of espresso, I also got to make a few observations.  I am a firm believer in a person’s coffee choice determining their personality. For instance, straight black coffee drinkers tended to be the minimalist type, simple, straightforward, focused. Latte drinkers were the norm, they were taking a break to enjoy the finer things in life. The espresso drinkers ranged from the practical, hardworking, type-A personalities, to concise, perfectionists; ya know, the type of people who bark their orders. Then there are the blended frappe drinkers. These people were the wild ones. Adventurous, full of energy, or they just really needed that sugar.

During my years of habitually analyzing my customer’s coffer orders, I came across this one lady who always ordered the same thing called a bee sting. Basically, it’s espresso and honey, with a dash of cinnamon (or cayenne). I remember she liked it iced, so I would have to mix together the honey, cinnamon, and espresso before adding the ice. The smell it produced was amazing. It really was a wonderful blend, that was enhanced further with the inch or so of half & half that she topped it off with. The swirl of coffee, honey, cinnamon, and cream all blended into a lovely caramel color.

For some reason this drink has stuck with me throughout the years, not that I order it often. It doesn’t quite fit my daily routine. However, while I was making my honey pots, and trying to figure out what I was going to bake, this image of swirling flavors popped into my head, and a light bulb went on; this would make a lovely ice cream flavor. Since I have never made ice-cream before I modified a recipe from Martha Stewart. She tends to know what she’s talking about.

What's your favorite cup of coffee?

 


BEE STING COFFEE ICE-CREAM

Serving Size: Makes 6-8 servings


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup brewed espresso
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons of cinnamon
  • ½  cup of honey
  • ½ cup of chocolate covered coffee beans , or bar of dark chocolate with coffee beans (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS:

1.) Make an ice-bath. Combine milk, cream,  the espresso, vanilla bean, honey, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl.

Gradually whisk half the hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Pour egg-yolk mixture into saucepan, and whisk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Strain through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl set in ice-water bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Press plastic wrap on surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate 2 hours.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Add in cut up pieces of the chocolate covered coffee beans. Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.