Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ice cream!

I, a passionate friend of ice cream, have for a long time dreamed about trying to make ice cream at home. Last weekend those thoughts became reality. To be totally unorganized I managed to change the my plans many times as I was looking the perfect recipe and thinking about what flavored ice cream do I want to make. Finally I decided to take a risk and mix 'n match with the different recipes and our final flavor choice was maple syrup & walnut.

5 dl of milk (low-fat)
6 egg yolks
2 dl of sugar ( I used confectioner's sugar)
2 dl of cream

Beat the egg yolks and sugar. Heat the milk and pour into the egg foam and beat strongly. I used a hand mixer and next time will not do that; the milk got a little too foamy. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken. It didn't actually and finally I lost my patience and just moved on to the next stage. Maybe the reason was my own recipe variety and different ingredients. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with baking paper and let it cool down at least for an hour. Stir it during this time. Whip the cream and place it in the fridge and crush the nuts, while you wait.

Freeze for 1-2 hours without a lid on or until it starts to harden. Stir it smooth with a fork. Add the whipped cream ( into which I added the maple syrup just before adding it to the frozen mixture) and walnuts and mix it up. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until the mixture is solid.

There is still work to be done with the consistency of the ice cream, but it tasted delicious and this experience motivates me to try ice cream making again. Next time, though, I will work according to only one recipe and see where that takes me. Step by step, I hope, I will also try to ne unprejudiced with the flavors.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Carrot rolls

This is why I bake! This is why anyone does anything! Success! I have baked bread rolls every once in a while to give a little variety to our breakfast table. Never have my rolls been as fluffy as I have hoped for, though. Yesterday, after having a sudden inspiration to have home made hamburgers and hence using the left-over hamburger meat, I needed to bake sandwiches for them. So on I go to Google to find a perfect fluffy bread roll recipe. I ended up to the baking blog of Juhlatar and choose one of her reciped. As the inspiration came so quickly I didn't have all the ingredients at hand and I made impro choices with the content and size of the dough. They were liked, however, and so I decided to make a re-run today, and to follow the original recipe more true to heart. I made slight changes though and add the recipe the way I made it.

5 dl of milk
4 carrots (Juhlatar had 3 big ones, but I didn't have big carrots)
50 g of fresh yeast
2 tsps of salt
4 dl of wheat flour
a little less than 1 dl of cooking oil
8 dl of roll flour (a mix of wheat flour and crushed grains)

I peeled and grated the carrots. I warmed the milk in a microwave oven to lukewarm and added the grated carrots, the crumbled yeast and salt. I added the wheat flour to the mixture and mixed them up with my hand. I added the oil and 2 dl of roll flour. I kneaded the dough with my hand. I added flour as needed and kneaded first by hand, later with my hand mixer's dough hooks (I unfortunately don't own a proper mixer) as long as the dough was shiny and smooth. I run some warm water into the basin, put the bowl in and let the dough to double under a towel, it took about 30 minutes.

With oiled hands I shaped the dough into bread rolls and let them double on a baking paper before baking them, for about 30 minutes again. After the half an hour, I turned on the oven to 250 C degrees and placed the baking sheet in it as well. When the oven was ready, I drew the baking paper, and with it the rolls onto the sheet and put them into the oven, placing another sheet there to warm up at the same time. After a couple of minutes I lowered the temperature to 225 degrees. I baked them for 10 minutes and repeated the same thing with the second sheet of rolls.

I am more then happy with the end result.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chocolate-oatmeal cookies

I had had a drive to bake already on Friday evening and as Saturday took me to movies, to see The Other Boleyn Girl as a good English major should, and my schedule for going to town didn't allow stops to shop for candy, I decided to bake something for me to eat at the movie theater. I turned to my recipe file and did indeed find a suitable one after a moment of digging.

The recipe I found served as a reference and, I'm happy to say, I improvised in baking the cookies as we didn't have everything at home that the recipe included. I write it down as I did it.

100 g of dark chocolate
50 g of peanuts and cashew nuts
2 dl of flour
1 dl of oatmeal
1 dl of high-fiber bran mix
1 tsps of vanilla sugar
1 tsps of baking powder
little less than 100 g of baking margarine
a full tbs of peanut butter
1 dl of brown sugar
a splash of milk

Crush the chocolate and the nuts. (My "crush", especially with the chocolate, had the consistency of a flour as I didn't do this be hand.) Mix the dry ingredients together.

Foam the soft margarine, peanut butter and brown sugar. (In the original recipe one egg was to be added at this point, but I didn't have eggs in the house so I didn't add it.) Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

The batter was slightly too dry because there was no egg, so I added a splash of milk and mixed it up again. Then I formed cookies with my hands and placed them on a baking tray covered with baking paper.

Bake in the middle of the oven in 175 Celsius degrees for about 10-12 minutes.
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