Thursday, August 13, 2015

Coffee Ice Cream

When I think back to my childhood I have a few ice cream memories that stand out in my mind. 

Every summer my family (including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) would spend a few weeks scattered throughout the summer at Bear Lake.  It was here that we would spend countless hours in our swimming suits, eat sugar cereal like Fruit Loops and Cap’n Crunch for breakfast, water ski, play UNO, dominos (someone was always trying to cheat), and king of the dock.  It was here that we would eat raspberries and cream from red plastic bowls, scones dusted with sugar and smeared with raspberry jam or honey, and of course the best ever ice cream.  I remember hearing the loud churning of the wooden base ice cream machine that sat outside the sliding glass door on the wood deck.  I remember feeling the excitement and anticipation of waiting for that cold, creamy treat.  It always seemed to take soooo long before the churning began to slow and the ice cream was finally finished, but it was always worth the wait.

The next memory is of the night my family moved into our then new house when I was 11 years old.  It was the middle of the summer and I remember my Dad taking me to Ripples, a little burger and shake dive that has been around for years and is considered a Provo landmark.  We didn't go for the burgers, but for their shakes.  It was the kind of shake that you have to eat with a spoon because it's so thick.  I don't remember what I had, but I remember that my Dad had a caramel and marshmallow shake.  He loves caramel in or on his ice cream and still does.

Lastly, I can't drive past a Baskin Robbins without thinking of my Dad and his love for their jamoca shakes.  He's passed this love on to most of his children.  I'll have to admit that those shakes are hard to beat.  Thick, but not so thick you can't drink it with a straw.  My sister Stephanie and her little family moved to California at the beginning of June and before they left we had a family dinner and then we all gathered at Baskin Robbins for one last ice cream hurrah.  Almost everyone ordered a jamoca shake.

This ice cream recipe from Tara O' Brady's Seven Spoons cookbook is a tribute to ice cream memories, a dad's love for caramel, and jamoca shakes for everyone. 

Coffee Ice Cream

1 (14-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Generous pinch of sea salt

Espresso caramel and candied cacao nibs (recipe follows)

Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan set over medium heat.  Heat, whisking often, until the mixture begins to steam.  Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.  Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.  Freeze according to your ice cream manufacturer’s instructions.  Once churned place the ice cream in the freezer to completely set up, at least 6 hours or overnight.  Serve with a drizzle of espresso caramel and candied cacao nibs

Candied Cacao Nibs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat, warm the sugar for a minute, without stirring.  Scatter the cacao nibs over the sugar and leave the pan undisturbed until the sugar begins to melt.  With a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, quickly stir the cacao nibs into the liquid sugar, incorporating any unmelted sugar as you go.  Once most of the sugar has coated the nibs, remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the butter.  Immediately spread the cacao nibs onto the prepared baking sheet.  Let cool.

Espresso Caramel
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan heat the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat until the butter has melted.  Pour in the cream and espresso powder.  Bring to a boil, whisking until the mixture is smooth and sugar dissolves.  Lower heat and simmer, undisturbed for 1 minute longer.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.  Cover and refrigerate until needed, then rewarm gently before using.

Recipe slightly adapted from Seven Spoons

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Roasted Peaches with Glazed Sesame Oats

After my kiddies have gone to bed and I have a few moments (literally moments) before I feel the sandman getting near I love to sit on our couch and read through one of my cookbooks or pull out a stack of printed recipes to browse through.  I always keep a pen and paper near and a stack of post-it tabs to mark the recipes that make my mouth water. 

I've read through these cookbooks and stacks of recipes too many times to count (adding new ones here and there), but it seems there is always a handful that jump out at me depending on the season, time of year, and what meal I will be eating next.

Last Wednesday night I sat on my couch looking through the pages of Tara O' Brady's stunning cookbook Seven Spoons (again) when a recipe for her roasted peaches caught my eye.  In that moment I knew what I wanted to eat for breakfast the next morning.  (My decision was made easy because I currently have a large box of peaches that is occupying a good portion of my fridge and we've been eating peaches for breakfast, lunch and dinner.) 

So while my chocolate chip cookie was warming in the oven (I have a serious weakness for a night time treat) I quickly made the glazed sesame oats for the morning.

That night as I lay in my bed I felt twinges of excitement and tightness thinking about a bowl of cold yogurt, a warm spiced peach, and a scatter of glazed sesame oats.  Sweet dreams.

Roasted Peaches with Glazed Sesame Oats

Glazed Sesame Oats

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup mild olive oil or melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds (I used a mixture of black and white)

Roasted Peaches

4 firm but ripe peaches, halved and pitted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
Seeds scraped from a vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt

Serving Options

Yogurt, greek or regular, plain or vanilla (I use this one), or fresh ricotta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the sesame oats, in a large bowl, stir together the maple syrup, brown sugar, olive oil, water, and salt.  Fold the oats, almonds, and sesame seeds into the syrup mixture until coated.  Pour oat mixture onto parchment lined baking sheet and spread in an even layer.  Bake until the oats are golden and lightly toasted, 15 to 20 minutes, turning the pan once, and stirring occasionally to ensure even toasting of the oats.  Cool on baking sheet for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Once the oat mixture is cool, transfer to an airtight container.

To make the peaches, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange the peaches on the pan, cut side up, with spaces between each.  If the peaches are too cozy they will steam, not roast.

In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, five-spice powder, vanilla bean seeds, and a pinch of salt.  Brush the peaches with about half the mixture-let some collect in the hollow left by the pit, but don't drown the flesh.  Place pan in the hot oven.  Bake the peaches until they look soft, juicy, and singed at the skin, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove the fruit from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving with yogurt, a handful of sesame oats, and a spoonful of spiced maple syrup. 

(The next day I ate a leftover cold peach with yogurt and oats and it was still delicious.)

Recipe from the beautiful and mouthwatering cookbook Seven Spoons