Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Daring Bakers Make A Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cake Bombe!

When I saw this month's challenge I was both excited and a little overwhelmed. Excited because I had always wanted to make a swiss roll and overwhelmed because I knew I was going to need help - both in  the kitchen and out of it. Luckily my good friend/cousin-in-law Adena was available to step up to the challenge. If there is anyone who can give me a run for my money baking something, it's her!

At family get togethers (which always involve food) we always call each other in advance... "What are you bringing?" "I dunno, what are you bringing?" It's a nice little healthy competition, and we both enjoy finding a recipe that the other one loves. Adena makes this lemon cake which I honestly dream about. If she will ever let me have the recipe I promise I will post it!

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.-

Anyway, we really enjoyed this challenge! Neither of us had ever made homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker before, and it was SO EASY!!!! I can't wait to try lots of other fun flavors!!! We decided to go with a Neopolitan theme - chocolate swiss cake, strawberry whipped cream filling, homemade chocolate and vanilla ice creams, and a strawberry preserve sauce! Yum!
It's hard not to use fingers when its melting and falling all over  the place!! 

Making the swiss cake was fun, albeit a challenge. Dividing batter evenly between two pans when you only actually have one is kinda tricky!! Guess that gives me liberty to go out and buy another of these, huh? (Do you think Williams & Sonoma will give me one, now that I've given them a plug? I sure hope so!) The peeling of the parchment paper from the cake was also tricky, I felt like I was doing surgery to try and keep as much cake as possible. Also, the recipe states that you need to roll the cake in a towel to cool. I recommend using a tea towel, or another such towel that is made of a finely woven material. The towels I used had more texture, and while they didn't actually leave any fibers on the cake (that I know of) I felt like the possibility was very high.

The cake turned out spectacularly! I really should have left it in the fridge to harden longer, but I honestly thought it was done. It had been in for 4 hours, like the recipe stated. I really had no choice though, I had already told the family that we were having swiss roll ice cream cake at 8PM, and you cannot make a statement like that and then not follow up it! The cake needed to be served!! And even while it was oozing chocolate ice cream everywhere, and fell apart so terribly that getting a decent photo of it was near impossible, it tasted...heavenly!!

Swiss roll ice cream cake
6 medium sized eggs
1 C caster sugar + extra for rolling
6 tblsp  all purpose (plain) flour + 5 tblsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
2 tblsp boiling water
a little oil for brushing the pans
For the filling-
2C whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
5 tblsp caster sugar

·       Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans ( 9x11 ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.
·       In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
·       Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.
·       Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
·       Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
·       Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
·       Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
·       Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.
·       Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
·       Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processer till nicely mixed together. If you are using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar and extract to the cream.
·       In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick.
·       Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
·       Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).
·       Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.

The vanilla ice cream-
2 and ½ C whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ C granulated sugar
  • Grind together the sugar and vanilla in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, add the cream and vanilla –sugar mixture and whisk lightly till everything is mixed together. If you are using the vanilla extract, grind the sugar on its own and then and the sugar along with the vanilla extract to the cream.
  • Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.
Strawberry Sauce - 
1 pint strawberries, cleaned and stemmed
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cut about 1/3 of the strawberries of half. 
In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine all the strawberries, sugar and vanilla. 
Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.
In a blender, puree about 1/3 of the sauce, then mix back into the remainder. 
Allow to cool before using. Store in fridge.

The chocolate ice cream-

2C whipping cream
1 C caster sugar
3 tblsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
·       Grind together the sugar and the cocoa powder in a food processor .
·       In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and whisk lightly.
·       Place the pan over heat and keep stirring till it begins to bubble around the edges.
·       Remove from heat and cool completely before transferring to a freezer friendly container till firm around the edges. If you are using an ice cream maker, churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instruction, after the mixture has cooled completely.
·       Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.

1. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices ( approximately 2 cms each ).
2. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.
3. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
4. Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour)
5. Add the sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm . ( at least an hour)
6. Soften the chocolate ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set .
7. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.
8. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lime Pepper Chicken


Lately I have been on the look-out for easy to make dishes for dinner. I just don't currently have the time to make the sorts of things for dinner that I used to make (how other foodie bloggers like Smitten Kitchen and Anne Strawberry do it,  I just don't know!). But I still want the healthy, tasty dishes we used to enjoy. You can only have frozen burritos and mac and cheese for so long. OK, that's a total lie. I definitely despise frozen burritos, and don't even have the time to make a box of macaroni.

However, I did happen to come across some great freezer meals (the kind you make in advance, then just thaw and bake when you are ready). If you like limes, and you like not having to think about dinner, then I highly suggest you give this a try. You will definitely be in the mood to slip into your swimsuit and hit the beach with a margarita after this dinner!

Lime Pepper Chicken

6 chicken breasts
zest of 1 lime
3 cloves minced garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp basil
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a freezer container or Ziploc bag.

Either marinade for 1 hour, turning frequently or throw in the freezer. 

Instructions from Freezer:
Allow to thaw for 24 hours in the fridge. 
Pour contents of bag into a casserole dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve.
Great with rice!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Daring Cooks Make Nut Butters! And then use them!


I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to complete this month's Daring Cook's Challenge, what with being busy cuddling my new little cupcake and all. Ok, in reality most of my time is spent feeding, changing diapers and trying to catch up on my sleep. Luckily my parents came into town this past weekend, allowing Grandma to tend little WiggleWorm, and Grandpa to help me in the kitchen! So yes, Daring Cook's was my first foye into the kitchen in over three weeks! Thank God this was not an all day overly complicated challenge!!
The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

This was my first time making a nut butter, and I thought it was fairly easy. I remember my grandmother used to make homemade peanut butter all the time, and I relished it when we could go to her house for the day! I was really sad when she stopped making it! I never attempted it because I thought it would be an overly complicated and involved process (I don't know about you, but I always think of my grandmother's homemade from-scratch things as being overly complicated and involved). But turns out, it's not really that hard! 

This was a great meal, it wasn't that hard to prepare at all, only took about 30 minutes, and was good! It was very nutty and smooth. The pecans and thyme worked really well together, which I was surprised at. My only complaint was that it needed more sauce, I don't like my pasta overly dry. If I'm going to spend my time making homemade pasta sauce, I want some sauce!!! Next time, I think I will play with the sauce a bit - saute the mushrooms and shallots in butter (butter is always better!), and replace the water with some cream (how can a "cream sauce" be a cream sauce without any cream?!) and add a splash of bourbon! 

Chicken with Pecan Cream and Mushrooms
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe notes: Substitute your favorite pasta or rice in place of the egg noodles. Use fresh rosemary or parsley in place of thyme if you prefer.
Pecan Cream:

3/4 cup (180 ml) coarsely chopped pecans*, toasted

1 cup (240 ml) water

¾ teaspoon (3 ml) salt, more as needed
½ pound (225 g) egg noodles or pasta

4 (6-ounce / 170 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil, more as needed

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon (15 ml) deglazing liquid (water, broth, wine; optional)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil, more as needed

1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped shallots

½ pound (225 g) mushrooms, sliced

1 Tablespoon (15 ml) fresh thyme leaves

Chopped pecans, (optional garnish)
Grind pecans in a food processor for about a minute or so until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed.
 Add water and 3/4 teaspoon (3 ml) salt; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Set aside pecan cream. (*If starting with prepared pecan butter, blend ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (90 ml) pecan butter with the water and salt until smooth.)
Cook noodles according to package instructions in salted water. Drain, rinse, and keep warm.
Sprinkle chicken with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. 
Heat 1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in until golden  brown and thoroughly cooked. Set aside cooked chicken on a clean plate, cover to keep warm.
Add deglazing liquid to pan if using and stir up any browned bits. If needed, add another teaspoon (5 ml) of oil (or more) to pan for sautéing the shallots and mushrooms. 
Sauté the shallots and mushrooms over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and starting to brown. 
Add fresh thyme to the pan. 
Stir in pecan cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 minutes till reduced slightly.
Slice chicken into thin strips. Divide the noodles among serving plates. Add a scoop of the mushroom pecan sauce on top of noodles. Lay sliced chicken on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and/or a pinch of chopped pecans if desired.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



I won't lie to you. I did not make these. My mother did.  But I have been eating them! And eating them. And eating them.

I can't quite seem to stop cuddling with my little cupcake long enough to actually make it into the kitchen to do anything besides grab a snack or a glass of water.

But I can guarantee that these are good! We took a HUGE pan of them to a family fourth of July party, expecting to bring some home at the end of the evening. Imagine our surprise when I went to get one at 7 and the entire pan was empty! Gone! It wasn't even dark yet!

Thankfully I managed to convince my mom that we definitely needed some more, and she made a second pan.

1.5 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
6 cups rice crispies cereal
1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips
1 2/3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
In a large saucepan combine the peanut butter, sugar, corn syrup, and 2/3 cup butterscotch chips. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat.
Add the cereal and stir until thoroughly coated.
Press into bottom of pan.
Microwave remaining butterscotch chips and chocolate chips on  high for 1 minute. Stir well to evenly distribute heat and make sure it is all melted.
Spread over cereal mixture.
Refrigerate 10-15 minutes until coating is firm. Or let sit on the counter until set.


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