Obviously, I did not make this gelato. I bought it for a specific reason, and I’m so glad I did. I wanted to buy some high-end chocolate bars for my husband; but since my car’s air conditioner works whenever it wants to, I was afraid I was not going to make it home in time before the chocolate melted. My solution was to buy something cold to keep in the bag. The only thing I could find in The Fresh Market was ice cream. And in this case, gelato. The least expensive one was Talenti. Being a sucker for packaging helped, too. I also thought I could use the gelato for a photo. So, voila! You have to work fast with frozen desserts, even inside. So I composed the photo with an empty dish before adding the gelato. Since this flavor is toasted almond, I sprinkled some sliced almonds on top. I also drizzled some chocolate sauce to add a little contrast. After I finished shooting, I finally tasted it. I have never, in my life, had better ice cream. Granted, I’ve never had gelato. But if it all tastes this good, it has won me over. But I can highly recommend this brand. I think I paid $5 or $6 for the pint. So it’s not cheap, but not too expensive, either.
I found this recipe in one of my old Martha Stewart Living magazines. I’m going to share the recipe because posted it online. I’m just looking for fun stuff to photograph.
Anyway, it’s pretty easy to make and very tasty.
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
A pinch of coarse salt
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved (I did not have this, so I just dumped several squirts of extra vanilla extract.)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ounce milk chocolate shavings for garnish (I used dark chocolate)
Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, 2 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl until smooth. Whisk in cornstarch mixture.
Combine milk, remaining sugar and vanilla bean scrapings in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly pour milk into egg mixture, whisking constantly. (You’ll want to really pour a little bit at a time here to allow the egg mixture to come up to temperature slowly. Otherwise, they will cook like scramble eggs.)
Return mixture to saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened – about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and transfer mixture to a medium heat-proof bowl.
Whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Set bowl in ice bath, stirring occasionally, until chilled. Serve pudding with chocolate shavings on top, if desired.
I am beginning TWO new projects within my blog:
1: An art project of me wearing the same dress in every photo. (I’ll explain the meaning in a later post)
2: A continuation of my baked goods project, but with other people’s mother’s or grandmother’s recipes. So! If you have a special baked good you would like to share, please send it to me with perhaps why it’s special. I will attempt to make and photograph it and upload it to the blog. Also, if you want to include a photo of your loved one, I’ll include it in the post, as well.
Please send all info to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(By sending me the recipe and/or photos, you agree to have me upload them to my blog. However, if you change your mind later, I will happily take them down when requested.)
Thank you in advance. This project has meant a lot to me with my attempt to help keep the memory of my great grandmother alive. I hope I can do the same for you if you are interested.
Branbury Tarts Reprised
This is the second time I’ve included this recipe, but I felt the photos were not so hot the first time. The goal is to become a better baker, as well as a better photographer. Plus, if you missed it the first time, you’ll be glad you saw it here. These are GOOD!
3 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 3/4 cups flour (I used all purpose)
Strawberry preserves ( I used raspberry preserves)
Pecan halves (I used sliced almonds)
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, salt, vanilla and flour. Mix well. Form into balls the size of walnuts and place on cookie sheet. Dent each ball in the center. Fill dents with small preserves. Top each with a pecan (or several almond slices) and bake in a slow oven 325 degrees until brown.
Tip: it takes about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven when the bottoms of the tarts begin to get crispy brown.
This new art project will primarily be in black and white; however, this photo looks better in color. Ah! The magic of the digital world.
Then why do I feel like I’m cheating?
These are really rich, but delicious. I did not have any prunes, so I used Craisins instead. But they still turned out really good.
1 cup pared chopped apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup prunes (I used Craisins)
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter
2 cups flour (I used gluten-free with 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a saucepan, combine apple, raisins, prunes (Craisins), molasses, orange juice and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick. Cool. Combine remaining ingredients except nuts in a large mixing bowl. Mix at low speed until well-blended. Stir in walnut and fruit mixture. Pour into a well-greased 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and then frost and cut into bars.
Combine 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon grated orange rind, 2 tablespoons light cream and 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed until well-blended. If necessary, thin with a few more drops of cream.
My great grand mother had two date bar recipes, and I can never remember which one is better. I think I like the other recipe better now that this one is made, but this one is really good, too. It does call for cloves, though. Next time I will probably leave them out. Cloves tend to taste a little bitter to me. I like sweet tastes.
1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour sifted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 packages dates, cut
Cream butter, add sugar and vanilla. Then drop the whole eggs in and beat thoroughly. Sift all dry ingredients and add gradually to egg mixture. Lastly, add nuts and dates.
Line square baking pan with waxed paper and pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.
Roll in powdered sugar. (I just sprinkled some on top)
I decided to take a break from my great grandmother’s recipes and try one I’ve wanted to make since the late 90s. This is a Martha Stewart dessert I got from one of her magazines years ago. I probably never made it before now because I did not have a spring-form pan. Ironically, I did not end up using our spring-form pan because it was too big for this recipe. So I used a regular cake pan lined with parchment paper instead. It worked just fine.
This is by far the best dessert I’ve ever eaten. And trust me, I’ve eaten my share of sugar. I probably did not crush up the English biscuits enough, but it does not matter. It is so incredibly good, I will definitely make it again and try to perfect it.
I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate and Biscoff English Cookies with Coffee instead of what the recipe calls for. I don’t have the time or the money to go to specialty shops for certain items. I bought both of these at Wal-Mart. I chose these cookies because they were the only ones that said they were English – close enough for me. Turns out, they’re really good. Also, I substituted vanilla extract for the rum.
Even though this recipe is online, I don’t feel comfortable printing it here. I’ll include Martha Stewart’s link for it here. It’s really easy to make. If it’s summer, though, you’ll need to keep it in the refrigerator or the chocolate tends to melt.