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Monday, January 31, 2011

Orange Macarons - Filled with Wealth and Luck for the Chinese New Year


Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) is upon us. This year, it falls on 2nd February 2011 and it will be the year of Rabbit.

Chinese are fond of wealth, longetivity and happiness (in a superstitious way as well). We like to begin the new year with all the possibilities to good things and fortune. Foods served on the day or offered to God and Sprits would have some good meanings and/or names associated with lucks and wealths.

Chinese New Year is a very important event for Chinese. It's the day where family get toogether to celebrate and welcome the new year. Usually, there is a big feast full of symbolic foods. To name a few, noodles for longetivity, springroll which resembles gold bar.  

The house would be thoroughly cleaned before the day to make sure the house is ready and welcome the good things into the new year. It's also the period where Chinese would take times off from work. To work on and during the Chinese New Year is considered a bad luck and that you would have to work hard for the rest of the year.

The celebrations also last for days. There would be the day you go out buying items for the celebration, the day you celebrate, pray to your ancestors, God and spirits for good lucks, and the day you would go out, have fun, take a rest and relax. I suppose traditionally, Chinese are hard-workers and the new year period is the only time of the year that they would take a rest and prepare for the new year. I suppose it similar to Christmas break for the West.  

I remember when I was growing up, as a kid, I always looked forwards to the Chinese New Year. My mom would buy me new clothes to wear on the day. There would be a big gathering of the extended families at our Grandma's house and my aunties and uncles would hand out red packets with cash (Ang-Pao) to the kids. It was the hightlight of the year.

Now, I live in Australia and away from my family, I don't really celebrate Chinese New Year anymore. However, to create some Chinese New Year spirit in me, I thought about what could symbolize lucks and wealth. There were two things that came to my mind, orange and red colour.  I also like to make macarons with Chinese New Year theme. So, here goes, the Orange Macarons with red colour shells.

Orange is a popular choice to offer to guests and God because its Chinese name sounds like luck and wealth. Red colour represents good luck for Chinese.



I used the orange cream filling to fill the red macarons. The orange flavour is sweet and delicate and work quite well with the macarons. I adapted the cream filling recipe from my new macaron cookbook, Secrets of Macarons.


Auspicious Orange Macaron


The cream filling is nice and light. However, I suggested that the filling be made a day in advance as it needs time to set properly. It won't be as solid and firm as chocolate ganache or buttercream, but it's firm enough to sandwich macaron shells together.

If you're interested...here is the recipe.

Orange Macarons with Orange Cream filling Recipe

Note: For more detailed instructions of making macarons, you can visit my I heart Macarons and Basic Macarons Recipe blogs.

make 24 3-cm macarons

Macaron shell ingredients
100 g egg white (about 3 extra large eggs, aged 24- 48 hrs in advance. Take egg white out of the fridge a couple of hours before making to bring it to room temperature)
110 g almond meal (almond powder, ground almond)
160 g pure icing sugar (powder sugar)
60 g caster sugar (fine sugar)
a pinch of red  colouring powder or liquid

Orange Cream Ingredients (for macaron fillings) - make one day ahead
adapted from Secrets of Macarons by Jose Marachal

100 ml orange Juice (I used freshly squeezed orange juice)
1 tablespoon organe zest, finely grated
1 egg, extra large
4 egg yolks, extra large
35 g caster sugar
60 g butter, chopped into pieces
70 g white chocolate, chopped into pieces
yellow and red (or orange) food colouring powder/liquid
*Note that I halfed the recipe in the book and also increase butter, egg yolks and white chocolate in the recipe to help the cream setting.*

Making macaron shell

 

1.   Sifting almond meal and icing sugar together by pushing them through a sieve. You can also grind almond meal and icing sugar together in a food processor to have finer almond meal mixture and it will be easier for sifting. However, this is not necessary.


2.    If using colouring powder, mix it with caster sugar in a small bowl until you achieve the desired colour (note that the colour need to be much more intense than the desired end-result as the colour will fade once mixed with egg white and other dry ingredients)


3.    Using electric mixer, beat egg white on a high speed until foamy, gradually add caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg white until it reaches a glossy stiff peak. If using colouring liquid, put about 10 drops of red and yellow into the egg white mixture and mix on a low speed until well-combined.


4.    Mix egg white into almond meal mixture. Stir quite vigourously to break the egg white into dry ingredients for the first ten stokes or so. Continue to mix the egg white with dry ingredients until well combined (try the motion of lift, fold and push the mixture to the side of mixing bowl). The mixture should be thick, glossy and well-blended. The batter will look like a very thick cake batter.


5.    Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm plain nozzle (size #11).


6.    Pipe mixture onto a tray lined with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat (Silpat) about one-inch in diameter and one inch apart.

7.    Tap trays on a kitchen bench a few times to flatten the piped macarons and remove the air bubbles.

8.    Leave the piped shell uncovered at room temperature for 30-60 mins until you can touch the shell without them sticking to your fingers.

9.    Preheat the oven to 160c/180c (convection/conventional) about 15 mins before baking.

10. Reduce the temperature to 140c/160c (convection/conventional) and bake macarons for about 13-15 mins. Baking time will depend on the macaron size.

11. Remove baking trays from oven. Remove macarons from the tray and put them on cooling racks. You may need a serrated knife to help removing macarons. Spraying a little water onto the hot tray underneath the paper also help releasing macarons (the steam gives that magic releasing power). 

I have found palette knife does a perfect job for removing macarons


12. Once they're completely cool, sandwich two shells together with chocolate ganache. Keep the macarons in a covered container in the fridge. They can be kept upto 5 days (but it will become chewy after 3 days). Macarons taste better after they have been chilled for at least 12 hours. Filled macarons can also be frozen.




Making Orange Cream

1. Heat the orange juice in a saucepan, over low heat.


I used freshly squeezed orange juice

2. Beat the eggs and egg yolks vigorously with the caster sugar in a mixing bowl until it's pale and creamy.



3. Pour the hot orange juice over the egg mixture and mix well. Return the mixture into the saucepan and cook over a low heat until it is thickened, stirring continuously for about 3-4 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and incorporate the butter and the white chocolate. Mix well until the mixture is smooth.

5. Store the mixture in an airtight container and keep it chilled until ready to use.

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year to all.


Have few bites of good lucks and weatlhs for Chinese New Year


Sending this post to Weekend Herb Blogging which is hosted by Janet from TasteSpace blog this week.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coconut Sago Pudding with Fresh Corn (สาคูน้ำกระทิข้าวโพด) - a good reminder of my home


Sago pudding (สาคูน้ำกระทิ) is a typical dessert in Asia. Tapioca, black beans, mung bean, sweet pumpkin, corn (to name a few) are cooked in coconut milk flavoured with pandan. Pandan is the Asian cooking equivilant of vanilla.

I usually don't make much Asian desserts. I suppose I am more excited with something new to me, like western style dessert, something that I didn't grow up with.  It's the curiosity nature in me.

Until S and I went to Thai restaurant and we had the sago pudding and that he raved about how much he loved it (he actaully raved about it even before we went to this place, how beautiful the sago pudding was at this restaurant). Well, I told S that it was so easy and cheap to make and that I had no idea he loved this kind of dessert. It's something seriously easy and can be done at home.

We just started our communual vegie patch this year and the corn is now ready to be picked. So, it was perfect opportunity to make sago pudding with fresh corn. At first, the idea of growing your own vegies was very intriguing for me as well. Coming from Asian background, we don't grow anything because it is so cheap to buy and fresh produces are always available at a shop just around the corner. So, now that I started growing my own herbs and vegies, I just realized how easy it was and how good it was to have fresh produces whenever you want to.

Our vegie patch gaurd


Freshly picked corn cobs are so sweet and it works perfectly well with the sago pudding. It adds texture, sweet taste, more glutinous effect and colour to the pudding.


Fresh corns from our vegie patch


You can buy sago (small tapioca pearls) from Asian grocery store. The same go with pandan leaves, you can buy it fresh or frozen from the Asian store.
Sago pudding is a delicious dessert that is quick and easy to make. All you have to do is dump everything in the pot, let it boil, stir it occasionally and that's it. Here you go, the easiest yummy dessert you can do it at home.




I'm submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Astrid at Paulchens FoodBlog.

Coconut Sago Pudding with Fresh Corn Recipe
สาคูน้ำกระทิข้าวโพด (sa-koo-nam-kra-ti-kao-pode)

INGREDIENTS
3 pandan leaves, tied into knot
1 cup (200 g) Tapioca (small pearl)
3 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup coconut cream
2 fresh corn cobs, remove the corn kernels, or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
pinch of salt

METHOD
1. Soak tapioca in a large pot filled with water (in the recipe) few hours before making the pudding. However, if you run out of time, you can skip this process and add more boiling time for tapioca.

2. Place the pot filled with tapioca over medium-high heat. Put the knotted pandan leaves into the pot and bring the mixture to the boil.



3. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook tapioca for another 5 - 8 minutes until the tapioca become translucent.

4. Put coconut cream and corn kernels into the tapioca mixture. Continue cooking for a further 5 -8 minutes until the mixture is sticky and the corn is cooked through.

5. Mix in sugar and salt.

6. Serve the pudding at room temperature or slightly warm, with a dash of coconut milk on top (optional).

Every spoonful of the dessert makes me feel nostagic
Aroy mak (very delicious in Thai)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Joconde Entremet - The Daring Baker Challenge


This is my first Daring Baker challenge. Actually, December’s should have been my first challenge but I was away and had no clue about how the Challenge works.

Being a Daring Baker member feels like I am a member of the ‘Secret Society of Baking” as the Daring Baker’s rule indicates that thou shall NEVER discuss the Daring Baker Challenge with anyone before the reveal date, which is on/after 27th of each month. If you do, your membership to the “Secret baking Society” will be revoked.

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.
Joconde imprime is a decorative paste baked into an almond sponge cake (Joconde).  The sponge cake is then cut into various shapes to line and used to wrap dessert in a ring mould.

I felt a bit overwhelmed when I first saw the long list of recipes and processes I had to follow. It all looks quite foreign and too professional for me. I also can’t give this challenge a miss. It will be bad to miss two challenges in a row and my membership to the Secret Society could be cancelled. It felt that it was rather difficult for the first challenge.

In fact, this dessert/method is very doable and I really enjoyed the challenge. Thanks to Astheroshe at blog accro for introducing us to this. If it wasn’t for her challenge, I wouldn’t have thought about ever attempting this dessert myself.

It was also a perfect timing to make a beautiful dessert for my workmate’s pre-wedding celebration (yippee, killing two birds with one stone). I chose to make Joconde/Imprime filled with dark chocolate mousse and topped with fresh strawberries to be in line with her black-white-red wedding theme. Plus, I love cooking whatever are in season. Not only they cost less, they also taste better. And strawberry is totally in season at the moment.

The finished product was seriously impressive. I couldn’t believe I could pull off anything this pretty. Not only it is so beautiful, it also tasted heavenly. Dark chocolate mousse worked really well with sweet yet slightly tart strawberry. It was an elengant dessert and looked celebrative.



All of my workmates keep asking how I did the print/design on the cake. And I kept telling them “This is a secret, if I tell you, I’ll have to kill you” “I can only tell you after 27th January”.

Please do not feel intimidated by the long recipes. I encourage you to give it a go and visit The Daring Kitchen for more information and varieties that the members whipped up for their challenges. They’re all spectacular to look at.  

These are a number of recipes for the composition of Strawberry Dark Chocolate Mousse Joconde Entremet:
1.       Joconde décor paste
2.      Joconde Sponge
3.      Dark Chocolate Mousse with fresh strawberry topping
4.      Making the pattern on Joconde Sponge
5.      How to put the entremet together

Two invaluable tools for this challenge, pastry comb and palette knife.

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Mousse Joconde Entremet Recipe:

Joconde Sponge Recipe
(from Astheroshe of the blog accro)
Make  two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

INGREDIENTS:
85g almond flour/meal
75g confectioners' (icing) sugar
25g cake flour or all purpose flour (plain flour) 
3 large eggs (about 150g)
3 large egg whites (about 90g)
10g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
30g unsalted butter, melted

METHOD:
1. Whip the egg whites and caster sugar until it reaches firm and glossy peak. Put it aside. 2. Sift almond flour, icing sugar, cake flour (or plain flour) together.  (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl).
2. Gradually add eggs (one egg at a time) to almond flour mixture in a bowl of electric mixer fitted with flat beater. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and light.
3. Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Be careful not to overmix.
4. Fold in melted butter.
5. Reserve batter to be used later.


Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste
(from Astheroshe of the blog accro)
Make two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

INGREDIENTS
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g confectioners' (icing) sugar
100g egg whites (about 3 extra-large egg)
110g cake flour or all purpose flour (plain flour)
Food coloring gel, powder or liquid

METHOD
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a bowl of electric mixer fitted with flat beater.
2. Gradually add egg whites while the mixer is still running.
3. Fold in sifted flour.
4. Mix in colouring liquid or powder until the desired colour is achieved.

Preparing the Joconde- How to make the pattern:
(from Astheroshe of the blog accro)

 

1. Spread a thin even layer of décor paste approximately 1/4 inch (5 millimeter) thick onto silicone baking mat or non-stick baking paper with a spatula, or flat knife. Place mat/baking paper on an upside down baking sheet (The upside down sheet makes spreading easier with no lip from the pan).

2. Pattern the décor paste – Here is where you can be creative. Make horizontal /vertical lines (you can use a knife, spatula, cake/pastry comb). Squiggles with your fingers, zig zags, wood grains. Be creative whatever you have at home to make a design can be used. OR use a piping bag. Pipe letters, or polka dots, or a piped design. If you do not have a piping bag. Fill a ziplock bag and snip off corner for a homemade version of one.

I used pastry comb to make teh stripe pattern


3. Slide the baking sheet with paste into the freezer. Freeze until the paste become hard. Approx 15 minutes.

My freezer is rather small so I used the cooling rack as an insert
so that I can stack two trays in the freezer.

4. Remove tray from freezer. Quickly pour the Joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly to completely cover the pattern of the Décor paste.


5. Bake at 180°c (160°c fan-forced oven) for approximately 15 minutes or until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed (I reduced the baking temperature from what suggested in the recipe and decided to stick with common baking temperature for sponge cake).

6. Leave Joconde to cool down slightly. Flip cooled cake on to a powdered sugared parchment paper. Remove baking mat/paper. Cake should be right side up, and pattern showing! (The powdered sugar helps the cake from sticking when cutting.)




Strwawberry Dark Chocolate Mousse Recipe

INGREDIENTS
455 g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped into small pieces
375 mm (1 ½ cups) chilled heavy cream
1 gelatin leave or 1 teaspoon unflavoured granulated gelatin
25 mm or 1 tbsp + 2 tsp liqueur of choices (I used 1 tbsp coffee dissolved in 25 mm water instead)
75g sugar
1 large whole egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
300 g fresh stawberry, hulled and cut in half
1-2 tablespoons strawberry jam, warmed

METHOD
1. Fill a large saucepan with about 7.5 cm of water and place it over high heat, bring to a boil, and immediately remove the pan from the heat.

2. Place the chocolate in the heat-proof bowl. Quickly set the bowl into the pan, and make sure that the bottom is not resting in the hot water, and immediately begin stirring with a wooden spoon. Heat just until the chocolate is partially melted.

3. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to stir until the chocolate is melted completely. Thh chocolate should be liquid but not hot.

4. Place the cream in the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on low to aerate and then raise the speed and beat until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the whipped cream from the mixer bowl into a clean container. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate until ready to use.

5. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and whip attachment and return them to the mixer.

6. Place the gelatin in a small bowl with cold water to cover and let soak for a minute or two to soften. Drain the soft gelatin and melt it with the alcohol (or coffee mixture). This dilute the gelatin and keeps it from sticking to the bowl when added to the mousse mixture. Set aside until ready to use. 

*Make sure that the gelatin is totally submerged in the coffee texture and completely soften. If not, the gelatin won’t melt and blend in with the mousse texture.*

7. Combine sugar with 25 mm (1 tbsp + 2 tsp) water in a small heavy-bottom saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. Using a wet pastry brush, clean all the sugar crystals from the sides of the pan to prevent the sugar syrup from crystalising during cooking.

8. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook without stirring for about 5 mins, or until the syrup reaches 116°C on a candy thermometer (if you don’t have thermometer, this will take approx 4-5 mins for the syrup to reach this stage). This small amount of sugar will cook quickly, so watch carefully. It is important that the syrup cook undisturbed, as stirring might cause it to crystallise.

9. Prepare the  mixture. Combine the egg and egg yolk in the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on low to blend. Raise the speed and beat on medium until the eggs are thick and pale yellow. Be careful not to overbeat the egg mixture.

10. As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 116°C, carefully and slowly, and with the mixer is  running, pour the hot syrup down the sides of the bowl. Do not let the syrup hit the whip or it may spatter and burn your skin. Beat for a few minutes, or until just warm.

11. Add the reserved melted gelatin mixture and continue to beat until the chocolate mixture is very smooth and thick. It should be a bit above body temperature.

12. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture using rubber spatula.

13. When the chocolate has been incorporated, remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and using the spatula, fold it into chocolate mixture. At this point, the mousse should be smooth, light and airy, with he consistency of soft-peak whipped cream.

14. Put the mousse aside until ready to use. The mousse can also be made a day before and kept in a covered container in the fridge. However, the mousse texture will be denser/not as light.

Assembling the Joconde Entremet

1. Place a springform pan ring on a large piece of parchment paper laid on a very flat baking sheet. Line the inside of the ring with a strip pieces of parchment paper.


2. Trim the sponge cake of any dark crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.

3. Decide how high you want your “Joconde wrapper”. Traditionally, it is ½ the height of your mold. This is done so more layers of the plated dessert can be shown. However, you can make it the full height.

4. Once your height is measured, then you can cut the cake into equal strips, of height and length. (Use a very sharp paring knife and ruler.)

5. Make sure your strips are cut cleanly and ends are cut perfectly straight. Press the cake strips inside of the mould, decorative side facing out. Once wrapped inside the mold, overlap your ends slightly. You want your Joconde to fit very tightly pressed up to the sides of the mould. Then gently push and press the ends to meet together to make a seamless cake. The cake is very flexible so you can push it into place. You can use more than one piece to “wrap “your mold, if one cut piece is not long enough.

6. Using the cake ring as a guide, cut one or two rounds of sponge, for lining inside of the dessert.

7. Fill half of the cake ring with dark chocolate mousse. Place the round sponge cake piece on top of the mousse. Fill the rest of chocolate mousse on top of that. If another pieces of round sponge is used, top the mousse with the other round cake piece. 


8. Arrange strawberry on top of the cake.

9. Slightly brush the strawberry with warm strawberry jam for a glossy finish.


10. Chill the finished cake for at least 4 hours so that the mousse will set.

11. Sprinkle shaved white chocolate on top of the cake (optional).

Very beautiful dessert that will sure to impress your friends and family







Thursday, January 27, 2011

Soft Butter Rolls - Australian Day Barbie


It's Australia Day and the day when Aussies celebrate with things we love, barbeque, beer and lamington (?). We didn't plan on a BBQ gathering but ended up at one.


We started the day in a lazy way and had no plan in mind but it ended an interesting one.

We came across garage sale when walking back from our breakfast outing. It was my first garage sale and now I'm hooked. My new hobby will be hunting for garage sales on the weekend. We picked up some beautiful crockery and a great outdoor bench, perfect for summer (Is there a summer in Melbourne this year?).

Then, we got a surprise invitation for a barbeque that evening. Our friend's partner is in hospital and he didn't want to be home alone. I decided to make bread rolls to bring to the barbeque. With only four hours before the barbeque, the only option would be a straight-dough bread rolls. I chose the soft butter rolls from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's book of techniques and recipes cookbook.


The recipe needs only three hours to complete from start to finish. So, it worked out perfectly with my tight timeframe.


The recipe called for milk powder which I didn't have so I replaced the water in the recipe with milk and added more flour to compensate the missing dry ingredients (milk powder). I also made the bread rolls twice as big as the recipe suggested as Aussies love to make sandwiches of BBQ meat and the bigger rolls would do a better job.


Rolls with a view, from the balcony



The bread rolls were a hit. They were really nice. I sprinkled Parmesan on the dough before baking and it added more depth, flavour and aroma to the roll, made it even more interesting.



Here is the recipe....

Soft Butter Rolls Recipe
From Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's book of techniques and recipes cookbook

make 12 large bread rolls

INGREDIENTS
Bread flour 525 g
Full cream milk 230 g
Eggs 1 egg
Butter, soft 40 g
Sugar 31 g
Salt 11 g (2 teaspoons)
Yeast, instant dry 3 g (1 teaspoon)
Parmesan, greated 2 tablespoons (optional)
Sesame seeds 1 tablespoon (optional)


Baker Formula
Bread flour 100%
Milk 46%
Eggs 10%
Butter, soft 8%
Sugar 6%
Salt 2%
Yeast .5%


1. Place all the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix on first speed until the ingredients incorporated, about 3 minutes. The dough should be of medium consistency. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for about 5 minutes, until the gluten network is moderately developed. I mixed the dough by hand and it took me about 15 minutes to achieve moderate gluten development.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or plastic bag and leave it to ferment at room temperature for about 1 hour or until it is almost double in size. It took me 1.5 hours for the bulk fermentation.


 3. Divide the doughs into 12 equal portions, each weight about 80 g. Pre-shapre into round. Let the rounds relax for about 5 minutes under a sheet of plastic or cover with tea towel. Shape the doughs into rolls. Place the rolls on sheet pans lined with parchment paper, and cover with plastic to prevent a crust from forming. Proof the rolls at room temperature for approximately 1 hour.


4. When they're risen and light to touch, sprinkle the top of the roll with Parmesan (optional) and sesame seeds (optional). Bake at 200 C for about 20 minutes and turn the trays half way through the bake for an even browning. When it's baked, the crust should be golden but the roll should be soft when gently squeezed.

5. Brush the rolls with melted butter while they are still hot. Cool bread rolls on the rack until they are ready.



Perfect complement to our barbeque dinner!




Great way to finish Australia Day, with firework seen from DP's apartment
This post is submitted to YeastSpotting.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lavender Ice Cream - an aromatherapy dessert



The first time I encountered lavender ice cream was several years ago when I was at a lavender farm in Adelaide with my friend and her cousin, A and P. P was having lavender ice cream and we were amazed that there was such a thing. He was trying hard to convince us that it was nice and encourage us to have a bite. We didn't even want to try as the idea of lavenderish dessert, or any lavender flavoured food for that matter, didn't sound appealing at all. It is perfumery, floral, I just thought that it was not going to work.

That was long time ago before I was into food and cooking. Now, things have turned, I love anything floral, be it rosewater, jasmine, orange blossom and of course, lavender.

I still have culinary (edible) lavender that J, my workmate, gave me. It is the last two precious tablespoons that I have and the lavender ice cream made with the new ice cream maker  would make a perfect choice.


Culinary lavender

The house smells wonderful when I was cooking the lavender cream for ice cream mixture. It was just something that makes me smile and feel relaxed. Lavender is also my favourite aroma. It was then like killing two birds with one stone making lavender ice cream. It was dessert making as well as an aromatherapy.


Lavender cream mixture smells like heaven!

I also send this post to Weekend Herb Blogging which is hosted by Honest Vanilla.
Here is the recipe....

Lavender Ice Cream Recipe
makes about 750 ml

INGREDIENTS
6 egg yolks (I have tried making it with 3 yolks and it was still creamy and tasted as nice)
250 ml (1 cup) milk
250 ml (1 cup) thickened cream (whipping cream with minimum 35% fat content)
100 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar (fine sugar)
2 tablespoon lavender flowers (culinary type)


METHOD

Mix milk, cream and lavender in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to the boil. When the mixture start to boil, immediately remove the saucepan from heat.

Cover the cream mixture with cling film to prevent the milk skin formed. Stand the mixture for an hour to bring out more lavender flavour.

Bring the lavender cream mixture back over medium-high heat until it comes to the boil. Strain the mixture to remove lavender.



In the meantime, beat egg yolks with caster sugar at medium-high speed until it is pale, thick and creamy (the sugar will almost dissolve).


Pour the hot lavender cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir at low speed until well-combined.

Put the mixture back into the small saucepan and cook it over low-medium heat. Keep stirring the mixture until it coats the back of the spoon. It will take approximately 4-5 minutes.

The cream mixture is ready when it coats the back of wooden spoon.


Transfer the mixture to a bowl sitting on top of an ice bath (this is to cool down the mixture and to prevent egg become scramble as egg will continue to cook even though it is off the heat).
Note: I have tried skipping the ice bath and put the mixture straight into the fridge (NOT freezer)  I then wait until it is completely cool down before start the ice cream churning process.

Once the ice cream mixture is completely cool down. Put it into the ice cream maker and follow the instruction of the manufacturer.

Note: If you do not have an ice cream maker, I say, go and buy one now :-) Well, you can actually make an acceptable ice cream without an ice cream maker but there'll be more works, i.e. you'll need to chill the mixture in the freezer and keep taking it out and breaking it with the beater few times before the ice cream has set. This is to break the ice flakes forming.


Beautiful aromatic ice cream!