Toblerone Gelato for Ice Cream Tuesday

toblerone gelato

Heading into the long weekend, I had no idea what sort of ice cream I’d be making for today. And then I walked down the candy aisle. The dark chocolate Toblerone bars were staring me in the face, and I could not look away.

For straight up eating, I adore the milk chocolate Toblerone, but I was afraid that the milk chocolate would be too sweet and not chocolatey enough for the gelato I had in mind. Besides, I was adding a lot of milk to the chocolate anyway.

For those of you who have never had a Toblerone bar, they contain lovely wee bits of honey nougat and pieces of almond. They are delicious. I underscored the honey by adding just a touch to the base, and a little bit of Amaretto helped to bring out the almond. This gelato is dangerously rich and delicious. It has three bars of Toblerone melted into the base and another one chopped into tiny pieces and mixed in after churning.

I’m calling this Toblerone Gelato because the base is made from whole milk. When I use dairy that’s higher in butterfat, then I call it ice cream. And now you know.


Tahini Swirl Challah for Rosh Hashanah and #tbtfood

tahini swirl challah

tahini swirl challahThe last time my friend Nadine and I collaborated to make the Communion bread for her church, the passages were about sowing seeds and eating rich foods. At first we discussed making brioche, but then I realized that challah would be much more appropriate. After all, Jesus was Jewish, and even though he and his disciples ate unleavened bread at the last supper, they certainly would have enjoyed an enriched bread for other holiday celebrations. And that means challah. The seeds were easy enough to work in. Sesame challah is an actual Thing, so not only did I sprinkle the tops of the loaves liberally with sesame seeds, I also added tahini, or sesame paste, to the dough itself. Nadine’s congregation enjoyed a wonderful communion celebration and happily ate the leftovers after church. And that’s how we like it.

The tahini swirl challah I’m sharing today is based on that communion bread, hence the Throwback Thursday. I also incorporated another element from a recent post. The lovely, lightly sweet Sukkar bi Tahin or Beirut Tahini Swirls I made for Cookbooks&Calphalon a few weeks ago are swirled with a simple 1:1 mixture of tahini and sugar that bakes up smooth and creamy and delicious. After checking with a Jewish friend to see if it’s okay to add a swirl to a challah (she said yes), I married the tahini swirl element with my tahini challah, and Tahini Swirl Challah was born!

Huzzah! it’s sounds fantastic! Tell me how to make it.

Lavender Créme Fraîche Ice Cream with Lemon Blueberry Curd for Ice Cream Tuesday

lavender creme fraiche ice cream

I am an Autumn person. I am happiest when the sun is warm but the air is crisp and cool. Watching the leaves change colors is like a miracle, and I never tire of experiencing it.

But endings are sad, and summer is coming to an end. So while I look forward to the autumn and sweater weather, I can be a bit wistful about summer’s end. So I turned it into ice cream.

What? I did.

Lavender Créme Fraîche Ice Cream.

That sounds delicious. How do I make it?

Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho (Greek Style) for Progressive Eats

grilled vegetable gazpacho

I am so excited that it’s #ProgressiveEats time again! Last month’s theme, chosen by the fantastic Lana of Never Enough Thyme’s Summer in the South Extravaganza was truly spectacular. This month, Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake chose the theme Summer Barbecue, and it will be every bit as delicious as last month’s! With everything from shrimp as an appetizer to two glorious desserts and everthing from salad to bread to spritzers in between this will be one barbecue you will be so glad you attended!

I promise to bring desserts to some of the Progressive Eats parties, but I wanted to use this monthly dinner to stretch myself and get out of the dessert box just a bit.

I just love #ProgressiveEats! Bring on the virtual feast (and the gazpacho)!

Toasted Almond Cookie Dumplings | Dumplings All Day Wong by Lee Anne Wong|Cookbook Giveaway

toasted almond cookie dumplings

I am not a patient person. That’s why I don’t make a lot of cookies. There’s all that scooping and baking sheet after sheet. And God forbid I have to decorate a cookie. Every cookie. One at a time. Until I want to stab myself. Many folks find repetitive activities–knit one, purl two; cutting out cookies; rolling truffle–to be calming and soothing. They say it takes them to a place where they no longer even have to think about what they’re doing, freeing their minds for deep thought or contemplation. For me, it just makes me feel stabby.

Because I have this aversion to repetitive motion–maybe it comes from having to make a billion cheese biscuits every day at the restaurant–I was a little hesitant about reviewing Dumplings All Day Wong. Because I knew I’d have to actually make dumplings. Including the dough. And rolling it all out into wee circles.

Then I remembered how much I adore the few types of Chinese dumplings I’ve had before. Steamed or fried, and usually filled with some sort of pork mixture, I really can’t get enough of the texture or the flavors. The chewiness, the juiciness. Oh! And then I remembered that because I don’t usually enjoy repetitive tasks, I have never given anyone a sweater I’ve knitted, because I’ve never knitted a sweater. We don’t enjoy decorated cookies on holidays, because I don’t make decorated cookies. And the last truffles I made were for the restaurant.

So I said yes.

I love dumplings. I really want to win this book!

Caramel Coffee Mousse from Passion for Coffee

caramel coffee mousse

I hope you guys remember the cafe bomba from Passion for Coffee I made awhile back. I went on and on about how impressed with Passion for Coffee I am. And nothing has changed. I’ve read more of the recipes, made that delectable coffee Anglaise a few times and this this book is just about the most comprehensive coffee cookbook you’re apt to find.

I chose to share the recipe for Caramel Coffee Mousse because I had never before seen this technique. When I think of a mousse, I think of a dessert based on whipped cream and meringue. Lighter and rich at the same time, made and served cold. As I read through the recipe fr Caramel Coffee Mousse, I was intrigued. The base is mainly egg whites whipped with powdered sugar, flavored with caramelized sugar, coffee and almond. The whole poofy mass gets put in an oven-safe caramel-lined bowl and then baked for an hour in a water bath.

I’m intrigued and must know more!

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream with Dulce de Leche Swirl for Ice Cream Tuesday

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

As summer starts to wind down to fall, I feel like I am reaching the end of Ice Cream Tuesdays. I have plenty more ice cream left in me, but I am pretty sure I will wind down the series for this year in another couple of weeks or so. Before I wrap things up, I wanted to make at least one more ice cream for my vegan friends.

And not some icy, consolation prize ice cream either. Creamy, rich, dense as “premium ice cream” and decidedly decadent. I actually got the idea from my friend Adrienne Urban from Whole New Mom. We follow each other on Google +, and she has been a huge supporter of Ice Cream Tuesday from the very beginning

Thanks for remembering us vegans. Bring on the ice cream!

How Do I Choose The Right Kind of Flour for #Fundamental Friday

How to Choose the Right Kind of Flour

Susan of Olives and Figs Chronicles asked me this question the other day on the fan page. I gave her a brief answer and said I would go into more detail for Fundamental Friday. So here I am. First, let me share the short answer I gave Susan on Wednesday:

In short…the finer and more tender you want your end product to be, the “softer” (less gluten) and the finer mill you want in your flour. From highest protein bread flour for hearty and/or chewy breads down to lowest protein pastry flour for short and crumbly shortbread. All purpose is sort of in the middle, so it will make a nice loaf of bread or a pretty nice cake. But when I want a fine, even crumb, I tend to use cake flour.

There are lots of different flours available to commercial bakers across the spectrum from high to low protein, but for consumers (which is me, too), there are really three basic types: bread flour, all purpose and cake flour.

Happy to get into more detail on Friday, but I hope this has helped some!

There’s more to know? Tell me!

Orange Mocha Zebra Cake (with a Twist) for #tbtfood

orange mocha zebra cake

When I was a very small girl–and I know had I had to have been very, very young since my grandmother died when I was five–my grandmother used to tell us stories about Daisy, Maisey and a Cow named Bongo. We would get up early on weekend mornings and crowd into the twin-sized bed with Grammie. We’d drink tea with milk and sugar, and she would share another of Daisy, Maisey and Bongo’s adventures.

In one such story, Daisy got locked in a secret closet in an old mansion. All the adults came and tried to get her out. They beat on the door which was covered in wallpaper and looked like a part of the wall. They pounded with their fists. They yelled in their adult voices, although I still have no idea what they thought yelling would accomplish. After the adults all backed away to regroup, Maisey looked carefully at the wallpaper, and she saw a small catch cunningly hidden in the pattern of the wallpaper. She pressed the latch and, voila, Daisy was freed.

Let’s hear it for Daisy! Now, where’s my dessert?

Horchata-Abuelita Swirl Ice Cream Tacos for Ice Cream Tuesday AND Taco Tuesday: Guest Post on Chez Us

ice cream taco

Happy Ice Cream Tuesday and Happy Taco Tuesday! My friends Lenny and Denise from Chez Us invited me and several other fantastic bloggers to guest post for them on Taco Tuesdays while they are off and away on a big old vacation. I hope they’re having a fantastic time. Hi guys! Anyway, for my offering, it seemed only natural to post a recipe that can do double-duty for both Ice Cream Tuesday and Taco Tuesday: ice cream tacos!

My version is a vanilla-fudge swirl ice cream with a Mexican twist. The vanilla is played my milky-creamy-cinnamon-scented horchata ice cream and the fudge swirl is played by a concentrated version of the Mexican hot chocolate drink, Abuelita. The two marry perfectly and live in a cinnamon “waffle cone” taco shell. Waffle cone in parentheses because I don’t have a waffle cone maker. Still, they work just fine when you spread the batter out really thinly onto parchment and bake them at 350F.

Ice Cream Tuesday and Taco Tuesday?! Hooray for guest posts!