Friday, June 17, 2011

Lemon Raspberry Muffins

My family had extra lemons from their lemon trees in Sonoma, so I was able to bring some home. I wanted to make lemon bars but I had lost my favorite recipe so I decided to experiment and ended up making lemon raspberry muffins instead. The muffins turned out delicious. I even made a couple into a fruity cupcake by adding cream cheese frosting. They make a perfect afternoon treat. 

What you will need:
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 6 oz pack of raspberries
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees C. 

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and mix. In a separate bowl combine the oil, egg, milk and mix. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix. Then grate the outside of the lemon to obtain as much lemon zest as you can. Cut the lemon in quarters and then add the lemon juice and zest to the mixture. Mix. Finally add the raspberries.

When filling the muffin pan I try and get at least four raspberries into each muffin. Adding some berries near the top of the muffin will allow the raspberries to show at the top after they are done baking.  Bake the muffins four 25 minutes and let cool for another 20 minutes.

If you are interested in turning them into cupcakes make a cream cheese frosting. I don't have a specific recipe for the frosting. It is more of a taste and decide as you go kind of thing. Combine one pack of cream cheese and powdered sugar. Mixing with an electric mixer will create a fluffier frosting. Once you have added enough powdered sugar add either a tsp of vanilla extract or lemon juice. However you will most likely be left with extra frosting, but I don't like to make smaller amounts because it is hard to mix in small quantities without heating. The end product tastes better if you don't melt it.  

This recipe makes about 10 medium sized muffins. 

Nutella Fruit Crepes

A week ago I made crepes with my friends Emma and Heather and I have been obsessed with them ever since. I found a similar recipe online and have been making them regularly as an afternoon snack. The following recipe yield 2 large crepes or 3 small crepes:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
Combine all of the above and mix. Heat up a pan and add oil. Pour the batter onto the pan once the oil is hot as well. Sometimes I use butter instead of oil for the taste. Watch closely and check the underside of the crepe by gently lifting it with a spatula. Once the underneath is cooked to you liking flip it as if it were a pancake. 

Once the crepe is cooked, about 2-3 minutes depending on the heat, let it dry. If the crepe is still oily layer paper towels above and underneath. Once cooled, add nutella and fruit of your choice. I like strawberries and bananas in mine, but raspberries and blueberries are nice as well.

My favorite part of making crepes is the ability to experiment. Once you've made a couple feel free to substitute ingredients. For example, nutmeg instead of cinnamon and cream instead of milk. Experimenting is the best part!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry Ice Cream

So my little sister is graduating high school next week and I have been asked to make strawberry ice cream along with a chocolate fudge brownie ice cream for her graduation party. At the moment I have only worked on the strawberry, but I am going to knock the socks of the chocolate fudge brownie. For the strawberry ice cream I spent at least an hour on trying to find the right recipe, but nothing really seemed to strike me. I wanted a creamy strawberry custard based ice cream, not any of that fake icy stuff. Unfortunately foodgawker failed me, so I made my own. This recipe is adapted from the french vanilla ice cream recipe I previously posted and a bag of frozen strawberrys from Trader Joe's.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb. of strawberries

In a bowl add the egg yolks and half of the sugar. Mix. 

Now make a really intense strawberry smoothie by adding the strawberries and a half a cup of milk in a blender. My blender is on the smaller size so I do one half a pound of strawberries and one quarter of milk at a time. Keep your resulting mixture in the fridge. If you are not using frozen strawberries try not to add the milk for a stronger flavor. The milk is for frozen strawberries. I would recommend not using frozen strawberries, but I do because I am lazy and they are cheaper. If you blend fresh strawberries feel free to strain the resulting mixture- if you don't want seeds. However the seeds are hardly noticeable and you can get away with saying "its natural!"  

Combine all the cream, one cup of milk and the rest of the sugar in a pot on low heat. Continue to heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Stirring or agitating the mixture will make this happen faster. Do not boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, slowly pour this mixture into the bowl with egg yolks and sugar while stirring continuously. Pour the mixture back in the pot and keep on low heat. You are now making the custard. You should stir in figure eight motions for about ten minutes stopping when the mixture has thickened and it lightly coats the spoon. Then strain the mixture into a separate bowl. 

Fill a larger bowl with ice and cold water and place the bowl with your custard mixture inside. This is to cool down the mixture. As the mixture is cooling stir in your strawberries or strawberry juice. You can keep this mixture in the fridge for 24 hours or pour it in your ice cream maker right away following its instructions. 

At the moment I am debating on whether or not to reduce the number of egg yolks. The recipe should work with either 5 or 6 egg yolks. The extra egg will make the mixture creamier and more of a custard but it can taste eggier if not cooked properly.

2 Quarts of strawberry ice cream

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