Tag Archives: dessert

Sweet Corn Ice Cream Shortcakes with Blueberry Compote, seriously!


When I think of summer eating, several things come to mind. Sweet corn, fresh tomatoes on the vine, watermelon and…least we forget- ICE CREAM! Lots and lots of homemade ice cream. When I was a kid, homemade ice cream meant the hand churned kind. You would spend an hour, or so, sweat beading up on your fore head, turning that crank over and over, until it happened. Cool, creamy magic!

The summer time harvest was never short of fresh, delicious flavors to include in your cold, refreshing treat. Honest to goodness vanilla, decadent chocolate, an assortment of fresh fruit, berries and let’s not forget fresh mint! Never did it cross my mind, until this past week, to include sweet corn to that list. That is, until having read an article in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine- Always crafty and inventive, that Martha.

Working from her suggested recipe, I put a few spins on it to call it uniquely mine. I am a bit partial to the use of various liquors when formulating my dessert recipes. As was the case with this corn ice cream, I added another rich, decadent layer by including a wee splash of  The Kracken Black Spiced Rum along with a bit of black sugar. What exactly is black sugar? It’s essentially a homemade brown sugar which includes the addition of Blackstrap Molasses. Similar to Fancy Molasses, it is dark and has a slightly bitter, robust flavor. It is even taughted for its health benefits.

I have to be honest; initially sweet corn ice cream didn’t present itself as being all that appealing. But come on, when is Martha every wrong and pair it with something sweet like this blueberry compote, and it was a sure fire winner! I experimented with the family, a tough batch of food critiques for sure, at our Fathers day gathering yesterday. It was voted a hit hands down!

If you are looking for something a little different in the dessert department, then this will fit the bill nicely. Speaking of dessert, a HUGE thank you to my children for gifting me with an excellent, new cookbook for Fathers day featuring said meal course. I will put it to good use RIGHT AWAY!

Ingredients:

FOR THE ICE CREAM

4 ears corn, shucked

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon The Kracken Black Spiced Rum

2 teaspoons black sugar (see instructions)

1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

¼ teaspoon pink peppercorns

9 large egg yolks

FOR THE SHORTCAKES

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cups low-fat butter milk

½ cup whole milk

Heavy cream for brushing

Course sugar, for sprinkling

FOR THE BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

1 pint fresh blueberries

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preparation:

Make the ice cream: Carefully cut kernels from cobs, transfer to a saucepan. Break cobs in half; add to saucepan. Stir in milk, cream, ½ cup granulated sugar, rum, black sugar, pink salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Let cool; discard cobs.

Place corn mixture in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk together egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl. Whisk 1 cup corn mixture into yolks, then return entire mixture to saucepan, whisking constantly, until custard thickens and can easily coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

Strain custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down solids; discard solids. Transfer bowl to ice-water bath, and refrigerate for an hour.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

Meanwhile, make the shortcakes: Preheat oven to 400°. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and 1 ¼ teaspoons salt twice into a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small clumps form. Make a well in the center, and pour in buttermilk. Mix until a shaggy mixture forms.

Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, spoon in batter until about ¾ way full. Place in the oven and cook for about 16 minutes. Brush tops of the shortcakes with heavy creak and sprinkle with course sugar. Finish baking for two to four minutes, until cakes are golden brown.

Make the blueberry compote: Bring 1 cup of blueberries, the granulated sugar, water, and lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until berries burst and liquid thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining blueberries. Let cool.

Split shortcakes in half, top each with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of blueberry compote, then sandwich with shortcake tops.

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Filed under dessert, Ice Cream, Vegetables

Avocado Cheesecake- Believe It or Not?


Avocado Cheesecake is sure to surprise!

The Element of surprise, Robert Ripley, the creator of the Ripley’s “Believe It or Not!” francise made an entire career out of it. The stunning and shocking discoveries made by his francise as a television show, in books and museums baring his name worldwide have fooled and baffled for almost 100 years. Life is full of strange and unusually things and occurrences which happen every day.

 

When Leslie and I  recently decided to treat several of our friends to a dinner party gathering (a rather rare occasion in our world as it is, busy schedules and all) you can imagine the looks of puzzlement as we announced our dessert selection for the evening. The mere thought of it intrigued me when I came across a similar recipe, having  decided to try it out on the unsuspecting and usually very adventurous group of creatives we call our Compadres.

 

I have to admit, the thought of avocado cheesecake seemed a bit off even to a bon a fide fruitcake like me! I have been known to delve into the unknown myself quite frequently but this even seemed to defy my better judgment. Nevertheless, I love nothing more than seeing the blank expressions on the faces of folks when I attempt to step outside the boxes of conformity. There lives a rebel streak in me a mile long…

 

On this occasion, the avocado cheesecake pulled through in spades and proved to be quite a pleasant surprise. We coupled it with a Raspberry Coulis, an additional unusual Elderflower Anglaise cream sauce and handmade fresh mint ice cream. It was either fate or a small miracle all these chances paid off, but I had a group of friends who where all fighting to take the last few bites of our decadent dessert home.

 

If you’d like to taste all this madness for yourself, here are the recipes that bore them.

Avocado Cheesecake

Ingredients:

¼ cup sugar

14 oz. cream cheese

2  ripe, Fresh California Avocados, peeled and seeded

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4  eggs

1 tsp. lemon zest

Graham Cracker Crust (see make-ahead recipe below)

Graham Cracker Crust

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

½ cup Ritz Crackers

⅓ cup butter

1 Tbsp. butter, to grease pan

Preparation:

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. With a paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese over medium-high speed until smooth, approximately 3 minutes.

Add the avocado, sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Mix in the lemon zest and pour filling onto Graham Cracker Crust and smooth top with an offset spatula.

Place on top of a baking sheet and bake at 300ºF for 45 minutes or until set. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. In a small bowl, crush Graham and Ritz crackers into crumbs. Combine crumbs and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat and mix into crumb mixture with a spoon until well combined.
  3. With the remaining butter, grease the sides and bottom of a nine-inch spring form pan.
  4. Cut out a parchment paper circle to fill in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Pour the crumbs into the pan and press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers.
  6. Bake at 300ºF for 5 minutes to set the crust and cool to room temperature.

Elderflower Cream Anglaise Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup white sugar

Preparation:

  1. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream, St. Germaine’s  and vanilla until bubbles form at edges.
  2. While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon

*St. Germain Elderflower liqueur is made with fresh wild elderflowers picked in the Alps. It’s used here as a mild flavoring.

 

Raspberry Coulis

Ingredients:

1 pint fresh raspberries

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients. Blend or process in a food processor. Strain and chill for several hours before serving.

And last but not least. Here is a link to the Fresh Mint Ice Cream I had made a week before the dinner party.

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Filed under Anglaise, Avocado, Cheesecake, Coulis, dessert, sauces