I’ve been so busy! …I won’t go on and on with all my excuses. However, I will say that we are at this moment packing our bags to head on vacation!! Before leaving I really, reallllllly wanted to post about the paleta’s we made on Sunday for my best friends birthday! Sadly, The photo’s of the prep were terrible and they were next to impossible to get out of the molds (please if you have tips I would LOVE to hear them!!). Because of this, and the sun had gone down there were zero photo’s taken of the finished product. They were delicious! and a perfect treat to bring to a Mexican dinner (if you can get them out of the molds!). We ate the most amazing tacos the recipe can be found on her incredible blog ibbyandpop.com
Sadly my photo’s of Monday night have not captured how beautiful and and awesome the evening was! My besties are twins (gorgeous twins) and they looked incredible. Dinner was in Nic’s super cute backyard, surround by her pretty garden and vases of birthday flowers.
Happy 33rd Birthday to the my bestest friends!!! Have an amazing year XOXO I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
‘Dulce de Leche’ Paleta Recipe:
(6 – 8 popsicles, depending on your molds)
- 2 1/2 cups of dulce de leche
- 2 cans (13.5 oz each) of coconut milk
- Shredded coconut
- Place all the ingredients (except shredded coconut) in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Divide evenly into ice pops molds. Seal and freeze until ready, about 4 hours.
- Sprinkle coconut on baking sheet and place in oven (on low-med heat). Give the pan a good shake through out toasting and make sure you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. When browned take out tray and let it cool
- After removing from popsicle mold from freezer dip Paletas in toasted coconut and serve.
FOR DULCE DE LECHE: RECIPE
On the weekend I made lemon curd!! I’m pretty proud of it. I thought it was going to be really hard. But, It wasn’t at all.
Saturday morning I woke up early (this is my favorite time to watch movies, cause I can watch anything I feel like, and do not have to compromise on my picks!) . This morning it was Frances (1982) which was recommended to me by my manager at work. It was amazing!! Jessica Lange is incredible (it took me half the movie to get a grip on just how stunning she actually is), the story is heartbreaking. I’m happy Chris was still fast asleep as I turned it off (with tear stained cheeks) at the end. I’m a total sucker, I cry watching movies all the time lol.
I was excited to get breakfast started and figured Chris would be awake soon so I started on the lemon curd. I figured it would be the hardest part of our breakfast. I had seen a recipe for “Cornmeal Pancakes and Lemon Curd” on Naturally Ella and really wanted to try it. I made my pancakes EXACTLY like her’s. They were delicious. The lemon curd recipe she had was from Cookie&Kate….I made mine a little different, but the instructions are the same! It’s super easy to do, I can’t wait to use it on all sorts of stuff! I still have most of the jar.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
- In a bowl, cream the butter and syrup until fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs slowly.
- Pour in juice, and pour the mixture into a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan.
- On medium/low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture has thickened.
- Pour into a glass jar and let it cool and store the curd in the refrigerator.
Chris’s birthday cake…was probably the biggest baking project I have ever tried. It was surprisingly super successful!! The directions are long but the outcome is amazing! I followed the directions as closely as possible and it wasn’t necessarily hard, it just takes a while.
Our birthday weekend started with Valentines Day. We started the evening with some champagne then off to Roy Thompson Hall to watch Casablanca with the TSO. On the way we stopped at Seven Lives in Kensington Market to grab taco’s and sat in the car trying our best not to ruin our clothes.
Saturday we had a small gathering planned. We had arranged a dinner at Soos about a month ago, a fun little Malaysian restaurant. They reserved a small private table for us with a strict number of (12) guests. We ate an incredible meal laughing and catching up with bunch of Chris’s friends. Then we strolled up to Dundas West to enjoy some drinks with a few more people at Get Well. We stayed till last call and stumbled home.
I made his birthday cake, the topping and the icing Sunday afternoon (while the birthday boy waited out his horrible hang-over on the couch). Finally Monday (CHRIS’S BIRTHDAY!!) I woke up early to put the cake all together (and of course pile the table with more champagne, gifts, balloons and to get started on a big birthday breakfast). We made eggs benedict with prosciutto, drank coffee, listened (sang along…and there MAY have been some dancing) to our favorite 90’s tunes and of course snuggled with our puppy.
By the afternoon we were ready to try some cake and sip some champagne.
Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake
- 1 batch birthday cake (recipe below)
- 1 batch birthday cake soak (recipe below)
- 1 batch birthday cake frosting (recipe below)
- 1 batch birthday cake crumbs (recipe below)
- Invert the birthday cake onto a sheet of parchment paper or silpat, and peel off the parchment paper backing. Using the 6-inch cake ring, stamp out two circles from the cake. These will be the top and middle layers. The remaining cake “scrap’ will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.
- Clean the cake ring and place it on a sheet of parchment paper or silpat atop a baking sheet. Use one strop of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. Put the cake scraps in the ring and use the back of your hand to press the scraps together into a flat even later.
- Dunk the pastry brush in the birthday cake soak and give the layer of scraps a good, healthy bath of half of the soak.
- Spread one fifth of the birthday cake frosting over the base layer. Then sprinkle with one-third of the birthday cake crumbs evenly over the top of the frosting. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place. Top with another fifth of the birthday cake frosting, carefully spreading it so that it is even, but without disturbing the crumbs.
- With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5-6 inches tall- high enough to support the height of th finished cake. Top with a full circle of cake (save the nicest one for the top layer), brush the rest of the cake soak over this layer, top with another one fifth of the frosting, one third of the cake crumbs, and another one fifth of the frosting.
- Nestle the remaining cake round into the frosting. Cover the top of the cake with the last fifth of the frosting. Give it volume and swirls, or opt for the perfectly flat top. Garnish the frosting with the remaining birthday crumbs.
- Freeze the cake for at least 12 hours to set the cake and filling. (And to make the unmolding much easier.)
- Three hours before serving, pull the pan from the freezer, and using your fingers and thumbs, pop the cake out of the cake ring. Gently peel off the acetate and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. Let it defrost in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. (wrapped well in plastic, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
Birthday Cake, Yield: 1 quarter sheet cake
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup + 2 T rainbow sprinkles
- 4 T (1/2 stick) salted butter, at room temp
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 T light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a rimmed quarter sheet pan by spraying with cooking spray and covering the base with a sheet of parchment. Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 cup sprinkles in a small bowl. Set the dry ingredients aside for later.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs (all at once) and then beat again on medium-high for another 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the wet ingredients (buttermilk, oil, and imitation vanilla) in a steady stream. Increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for another 4 to 6 minutes. The mixture should double in size and turn practically white. Don’t stop mixing until the mixture is completely homogeneous, with no visible streaks of oil or fat.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, and mix for another minute or so until the ingredients are just combined.
- Pour out the batter into the prepared sheet pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbl of sprinkles.
- Bake for 30–35 minutes until the cake bounces back slightly when gently pressed in the corner. The center of the cake should no longer jiggle when the pan is shook. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Birthday Cake Soak
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
- Whisk together the milk and vanilla in a small cup or bowl.
Birthday Cake Crumb
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 T light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 T rainbow sprinkles
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 T clear imitation vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or piece of parchment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Stream in the oil and the imitation vanilla on low speed and continue beating the mixture until the ingredients clump and form small clusters.
- Carefully spread the clusters in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes, breaking up occasionally. They will be slightly moist but will harden as they cool. Let them cool completely before using.
Birthday Cake Frosting
- 1 stick salted butter, at room temp
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
- 1 tablespoon glucose
- 2 tbl light corn syrup
- 1 T clear imitation vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- pinch baking powder
- pinch citric acid
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, and the cream cheese for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
- Add the glucose, corn syrup, and vanilla, and beat the mixture on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and glossy white.
- Add the powdered sugar, baking powder, and citric acid on low speed until just combined. Crank the mixer to high speed and beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is stark white and fluffy.
New Years Eve day is my Dad’s birthday. After a Christmas full of huge meals made by my parents (you can see one of my dad’s recipe posts HERE), Chris and I thought we’d make something or order something for them for the celebration (we ended up doing both). I made a HUGE black forest cake, using Momofuku Milk Bar’s Chocolate Cake recipe and filling it with the traditional black forest cake stuff. We ordered a ton of food from Duckworth’s Fish and Chips (our family’s favorite fish’n chip spot) for a late lunch feast and spent an afternoon sipping my mom’s home made baileys, opening birthday presents and of course pigging out.
This is a big recipe. It isn’t difficult but, there are lots of ingredients. I made the fudge sauce the night before (I doubled the recipe of sauce so I could pour a ton on the top of the cake). I woke up early the morning of and baked the cakes and prepared the filling and then assembled it all at my parents house. I would suggest doing the assembly right before serving. I did mine a few hours earlier…It sorta slide and flopped over, creating an ugly (and yummy) mess by the time we served it. The whip cream can’t hold up this dense (almost brownie like) cake.
- 1 1/3 cups cocoa powder
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% to 72% cacao), chopped
- Pinch of coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% to 72% cacao), chopped
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup grape seed oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons hot chocolate mix
- 1 cup whole milk
- Whip cream (whipped)
- Cherry pie filling (slightly mashed or blended)
Place first 4 ingredients in medium bowl; set aside. Combine cream, corn syrup, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour cream mixture over chocolate mixture in bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Whisk until sauce is glossy, about 1 minute. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Cool completely. Cover and chill. Rewarm just until pourable before using.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Line bottom of each pan with parchment round; coat parchment with nonstick spray. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and coarse salt into medium bowl. Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in large bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs; beat on low speed to incorporate, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add 3tbs of fudge sauce (save the rest to cover top of finished cake). Beat until blended, about 1 minute. Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium-high speed until pale brown, about 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients; beat on low speed just until blended, about 45 seconds. Divide batter among pans; smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pans on racks.
Mix cake wash and use a pastry brush to soak tops of each layer of cake before topping with filling for layers
Layer cake with LOTS of whipped cream then cherry sauce. To top cake pour on the rest of fudge mixture and a pile of fresh organic cherries! Serve immediately! (or wrap cake in plastic wrap until ready to layer and serve)
Thanksgiving weekend officially marks end of summer for me. Although I am sad it’s over the weather has been amazing! the sun has been shining most of the long weekend (except Sunday) and with the beautiful leaves full of color it’s been awesome to wander with our new puppy around our neighborhood. It’s crisp but not at all cold.
Now that summer is over and our weekends are finally quieting down. I have more time to get back to trying to teach myself to cook (and blog). Seems the summer was mostly spent repeating the few recipes I had learned……or us scrambling to make something quick while rushing in and out of the house.
This weekend I made a delicious Plum Torte (originally posted on Smitten Kitchen). I had to switch up some of the ingredients cause we didn’t have some things on hand. But, it didn’t seem to matter. This was super easy and really, really good. I know plums are not a autumn fruit. I don’t care. They should be. …..or look like they should be.
While it baked in the oven I curled up under our big blanket, snuggled in with our sweet puppy to watch ‘Thérèse’ with the beautiful Audrey Tautou. When it was done baking i pulled it out of the oven and headed to our back deck to let it cool. It was bright and sunny outside so Wyatt and i played in the leaves. After we came inside our house was still filled with the most amazing warm scent of fresh baking. As soon as Chris came home we couldn’t resist, we cut ourselves a couple pieces and enjoyed it still slightly warm.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup dark brown sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
10 plums, halved and pitted
½ fresh lime (juice)
2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Heat over to 350°F.
MIx flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light in color. Add the eggs, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into an greased 9-inch springform pan and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lime juice, then cinnamon, and the rest of the sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter (but of course not plum juice), about 45 to 50 minutes.
Cool on rack.
I was so excited to make ice cream. I went out and bought everything days before I had time to make it. I searched through MILLIONS of recipes and put together the best of about 3 different ones. Deciding the perfect flavor was a challenge in it’s self. There is so much you can do and so many flavors I wanted to try. I finally settled on vanilla bean and date.
I spent hours heating, separating eggs, cooling, freezing, stirring, freezing and stirring, and waiting….a lot of waiting. When it was finally ready (minutes before we were ready to head to bed). I ran to the freezer and dunked my spoon into the perfect frozen creamy mixture. Paused. I called for Chris to come try, he hurried into the kitchen “Is it awesome?” he was grinning. “Sure is!” I gave him a big spoonful. With a mouth full he looked confused and worried…. It was then that I broke it to him “It’s awful, what’s wrong with it??” He slowly swallowed…. Another pause, and then cautiously “It’s not very good, babe”. We stood in the kitchen in silence for a moment. Sighing, I went to the couch and slumped down. “Why is it sooo bad??” I asked the universe. Chris joined me a couple minutes later and trying to comfort and help with the confusion “Maybe you need more sugar?”. SUGAR!!! I FORGOT THE SUGAR!! I burst into laughter! Chris just shook his head.
After confessing the horrible mistake to a few others we got some pretty great encouraging feedback, from “stir in some honey to sweeten it” and “dump into a blender, add some sugar and make a milkshake” … Today I took it out of the freezer to try to mix in some honey. It was rock hard so I let it melt a little. I stirred in some honey…then some more…and a little more. It still didn’t taste right. I shoved it angrily back into the freezer. I pulled it out again when it had froze. Still tasted like it was missing sugar. I wasn’t going to waste any more honey on this stupid ice cream. I took some quick photo’s and slammed it back into the freezer. I haven’t the heart to throw it out just yet….maybe tomorrow.
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 CUP OF SUGAR
- 2 vanilla beans ( If you don’t have vanilla bean, use 2 tsp vanilla extract )
- handful chopped (pitted) dates
- Mix 2 cups of heavy and 1 cup of whipping cream in a pot
- Heat it on low
- Slit the Vanilla bean and scrape the seeds
- Add it in the cream mixture
- Chop and add dates to cream mixture
- Remove from heat once scalded ( Boiled )
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar till it is light and creamy
- Pour 1 cup of heavy and whipping cream that we heated, in the egg yolk slowly and keep whisking while pouring
- Add the egg yolk mixture to the remaining heavy and cream mixture, blend in blender then strain back into pot
- Heat this mixture on very low till the custard thickens
- Keep stirring throughout
- Do not over cook, otherwise the eggs will curdle!!!
- Cool the custard in an iced bowl
- Once cooled, mix it with the remaining 3 cups of heavy cream
If you have an ice cream maker, just pour the mixture in the bowl and make ice cream as per manufacturer’s instruction
Making Ice Cream Without A Machine:
1. Prepare your ice cream mixture, then chill it over an ice bath.
2. Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer, and pour your custard mixture into it.
3. After 30 minutes, open the door and check it, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.
4. Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results, or hand-held mixer. But since we’re going low-tech here, you can also use just a spatula or a sturdy whisk along with some modest physical effort.
5. Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes (by hand or with the electric mixer) until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 3-4 hours to be ready to transfer.
6. It’s best to transfer to metal loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Put back in the freezer and leave another hour or two.
7. Scoop and serve!
I guess I’ll stick to the experts for now when it comes to ice cream making. I think the recipe still works and if done properly, you’ll have some deliciously awesome homemade ice cream. I will give it another shot. But, I need sometime to get over my disappointment. I had such high hopes.
I’m so excited about this post! Not only was the apple crisp PERFECT the recipe for the crisp topping was from my amazing bestest best friend ( http://www.ibbyandpop.com/blog/ ) and my crazy awesome boyfriend made the most beautiful video ever! I love it so much I could cry.
- 5 apples (peeled and cut)
- 6 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup old fashioned or quick cooking oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 butter, cubed and softened
*Note from ibby : If you prefer a higher fruit to crisp ratio, cut the topping ingredients in half.
Heat oven to 350. Pour the apple mixture into a greased baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and butter with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple mixture and bake for 30 min. Remove from oven and serve.
*original recipe: http://www.ibbyandpop.com/blog/2013/02/verry-berry-crisp.html
THANK YOU MY LOVE, The video is so perfect & beautiful! I LOVE YOU XOXO