Sunday, May 29, 2011

Matcha Green Tea Cream Pops

Another fantastically easy/lazy-times recipe to follow:

Matcha green tea frozen cream bars! Last summer I spent a long time googling the heck out of ice cream bar molds. There are crazy expensive ones out there, and at the same time there are excellent D.I.Y. ways to make em: how about pouring your treat recipe into shot glasses, freezing them for 15 minutes then jamming a wooden stick in there, then letting them set til ready? Orangette has a lovely tutorial on it.

Or, do what I did ... on a trip to DAISO, which is one of Richmond's excellent dollar-store-esque emporiums,I found the cutest little 4-pop popsicle molds for $2/each. Problem solved! Now, what to put in them??

I combined 3 cups of cream (33%), 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk (my favourite ice cream "creamifier" and sweetener), a pinch of salt, and 2 heaping teaspoons of matcha green tea powder in a medium sized pot on the stovetop, whisking over medium high heat until everything blended together. I then poured the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to strain out any gunk, cooled it for 20 minutes in the freezer, then poured directly into my ice pop molds.

You will want these to freeze overnight for maximum popsicle-ness! I was trying to make these less-sweet than usual, but you can feel free to play around with the condensed milk amount.

Enjoy being lazy in putting together this simple but deliciously creamy and green tea-ey cream pop! Ahhh, the magic of frozen stuff!

Next up for ice cream pops: fresh raspberry frozen yogurt pops! Stay tuned! ^__^

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream & Cake!

Strawberry ice cream... Summery, right? Today was not so summery in Vancouver - pouring torrential rain mixed with hard cold granules of hail... all day! And the teensiest sun break in the clouds around dusk.

Oh man, I cannot wait until it's berry picking season here in British Columbia. Navigating prickly bushes on hot sunny days, plucking shiny blackberries from branches and filling buckets for freshly baked pies and general snacking. Whee, so fun!

This recipe is super simple, and it's taken from David Leibovitz's The Perfect Scoop. It's an interesting little texture straight out of the ice cream maker - super fluffy and airy, almost a mousse-like consistency, not hard like your typical scoop ice cream. You'll need to freeze it for a good 24 hours to solidify it. I used a pound of organic strawberries (I know they are more costly... but they taste sooo much better, amazingly sweet and complex and sour ... unlike their sometimes flavourless nonorganic brothers). The recipe calls for a technique called "macerating" your strawberries - sounds dangerous, right? Not at all! You just slice up those strawberries and mix them all up with your sugar and a teensy blast of vodka, and let sit for 1 hour. This little process helps to bring out the juiciness and sweetness in your berries. Fun, right?

And you get to use vodka.. so if you really wanted, you could take this opportunity to pour yourself a little icy delightful cocktail! I just love a cocktail that's cold and in a lovely glass. Glassware is so important to the enjoyment of my beverage.

Back to the ice cream... sweet, rich, creamy and tangy with that beautiful hue of soft strawberry pink.

{Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream}

You will need:

1 pound of strawberries (fresh, frozen, organic or non!)
3/4 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon of vodka
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of heavy cream (whipping cream - 33% milk fat)
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

to make the ice cream:

1. Slice the strawberries and place in a medium sized bowl with the sugar and vodka. Gently toss to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. Place strawberry mixture in a blender with the sour cream, heavy cream and lemon juice. Pulse to blend so some small strawberry chunks remain.
3. Pour into medium sized bowl and power-chill in freezer for 30 minutes, or chill in refrigerator until nice and cold (1-2 hours).
4. Pour into ice cream maker and mix according to ice cream maker instructions, I churned this recipe for about 25 minutes. Freeze this overnight to get it to a hard-scoop consistency. To keep the mousse-like airiness, eat right away!
5. Enjoy your ice cream and marvel at how freaking easy that was! You feel like a genius!!

and now... the CAKE!

So the real purpose of me making this strawberry ice cream was to use it as a filling for a Mother's Day cake!

I made an 8 inch round vanilla cake, added a little pink food colouring and baked it. Then I was confused. I had never made a layer cakey thing with ice cream as a filling - how do I build it? Do I freeze everything? Do I build it last minute?? I ended up freezing the cake, and still building it last minute. So next time for the ease of cutting the cake (it was ROCK HARD and very hard to cut into, even after 15 minutes of being out! Holy!) I will build it right before serving it!

So here are the layers:

Bottom: pink vanilla cake, with strawberry preserves spread on top.
Middle: ice cream, poured into an 8 inch spring-release pan and frozen overnight to stay extra-set.
Top: pink vanilla cake, with more strawberry preserves.
Very top: fresh whipping cream and fresh sliced organic strawberries.
Extra very top: A little cake bunting I made using Japanese washi tape (colored masking tape) and wooden skewers, in matching pink and grey cuteness! My grandma said it looked like laundry hanging out to dry!

I loved how this cake turned out visually... so cute!

Bye for now Ice Cream Land!

xo Lyndsay
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