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Darienne

Home Made Ice Cream (2015– )

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9 hours ago, sweettreateater said:

The information in underbelly is great!

 

I particularly liked the 'Discussion' section in Basic Ice Cream Examples, where you showed how a change in the recipe can result in unexpected deficiencies, but then how to counter that effect by changing other parts of the formulation. It really demonstrates the crucial balancing act that ice cream-making is! And it really helps make clear what each part of the formulation does.

 

One thing that I would personally really like to see is an entire posting on Solids: how to calculate them from your ingredient list, how to add them in when needed, how to counter them when they come in too high. I find the whole Solids component the trickiest part to understand well. It was covered in How To Build a Recipe but I wouldn't mind seeing more, especially how to manipulate the percentage.

 

For instance, how would you get enough solids if you were making a watermelon ice cream? You need a ton of watermelon juice to get enough flavor (because it's a relatively non-intense juice next to say, lemon), but then how do you maintain a high enough solid percentage without diluting the flavor?

 

 

Good idea about a post on solids. I planned to make half of the post on sugars about solids, but it ended up seeming like too much information. So yeah, maybe solids gets its own section.

 

The calculator Jo links to is good. I’d love to include excel or google docs spreadheets on the blog, but I don’t know how to program them. And the thought of trying to learn pretty much defrosts my freezer.

 

If anyone’s a spreadsheet whiz who has tips or is interested in taking on the project, please let me know.

 

There’s also a subscription-only calculator at dairyscience.info, and also a bunch of purchasable spreadsheets (they do consultancy for commercial ice cream production)—I’d like to make something with that kind of functionality, tailored to artisanal ice cream, and make it freely available.

 

Right now I mostly just muddle through the math. Which is a bit annoying, because almost every ingredient that you change will change more than one of the variables. For example, if you decrease the milk, you’re decreasing milk fat, milk solids nonfat, and total solids, but you’re lowering the total volume of the recipe, so the relative values of these ingredients might actually increase. 

 

Since I’m basically using grade school math, this process sends me around in circles a couple of times until the values work out

 

 

Re: watermeon ice cream. That’s a great example, and one I haven’t tried. My first thought would be to make a sorbet … which doesn’t solve all the problems, but definitely helps get the most out of the delicate flavor. For ice cream, I’d make an eggless base, no more than 12% fat, use additional stabilizing and emulsifying ingredients, and add a lot of milk powder to get the solids up (think of this as turning the water portion of the melon juice into skim milk). 

 

Then I’d experiment with ways to get the watermelon flavor intense enough. I’d play with mixing a portion of straight watermelon juice with some reduced watermelon juice. And I’d almost definitely add some acid, like lemon, which brings out a lot in that flavor.

 

Then you have to account for the sugars. I’ll get into this more when I post about fruit flavors. I have a table of typical sugar makeup of fruits. 

 

Watermelon is typically 9% total sugars, 1.6% glucose, 3.3% fructose, 3.6% sucrose. So you can figure out the total number of these sugars your adding, and subtract from the various sugars to compensate (notice that watermelon contains the exact sugars I use in the base recipe). 

 

Most of that is just arithmetic; the more interesting problem becomes getting a vibrant, 3-dimensional watermelon flavor. I think it will take some experimenting, but I’m pretty sure you won’t get it with a very rich, custard-based ice cream.

 

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Interesting Sugar post on underbelly.

 

I have quite the sweet tooth so I never think ice cream is too sweet. I only know it's too sweet when it won't stay frozen in my -10 freezer! ;) That's actually happening right now with a coffee ice cream I just made. Even I think it's too sweet. Just kidding.

 

I've been using corn syrup for quite a while but have been curious to try a different kind of invert sugar. I found a smaller sized example (22 oz) of Trimoline for $7.25 at lepicerie.

 

Would you say that the DIY formula for invert syrup on your site is equivalent to a commercial product like the one just mentioned? Is there any difference with the homemade one?

 

Really enjoying the underbelly blog. You do a great job of summarizing and explaining concepts, especially the "trade-offs" with formulation changes. A lot of other blogs and books offer a lot more detail but with less clarity.

 

 

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Thanks sweettreat. Good question about the commercial Trimoline. I'll guess that it has a higher percentage of inverted sugar, and so its differences from table sugar will be a bit more pronounced. When you make it yourself, you can get about 85% invert syrup ... the rest is just sucrose syrup. Manufacturers probably have a few more tricks (like chemical or enzymatic catalysts) that let them invert more. The other possible variation is the water percentage. I'm not sure what's in the commercial product. The DIY version has whatever water level you want. The hotter you cook it, the drier it will be. I cook to 235–237°F, which gives a bit under 20% water. This is dry enough so that it doesn't add too much water to the ice cream, and so that it has a long life in the fridge, but not so dry that it's completely annoying to work with.

 

Edited to add: please feel free to ask questions like this in the comment section on the blog, also. It will help me clarify this stuff for everyone.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

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On 6/15/2016 at 8:13 AM, paulraphael said:

Re: watermeon ice cream. That’s a great example, and one I haven’t tried. My first thought would be to make a sorbet … which doesn’t solve all the problems, but definitely helps get the most out of the delicate flavor. For ice cream, I’d make an eggless base, no more than 12% fat, use additional stabilizing and emulsifying ingredients, and add a lot of milk powder to get the solids up (think of this as turning the water portion of the melon juice into skim milk). 

 

Then I’d experiment with ways to get the watermelon flavor intense enough. I’d play with mixing a portion of straight watermelon juice with some reduced watermelon juice. And I’d almost definitely add some acid, like lemon, which brings out a lot in that flavor.

 

Then you have to account for the sugars. I’ll get into this more when I post about fruit flavors. I have a table of typical sugar makeup of fruits. 

 

Watermelon is typically 9% total sugars, 1.6% glucose, 3.3% fructose, 3.6% sucrose. So you can figure out the total number of these sugars your adding, and subtract from the various sugars to compensate (notice that watermelon contains the exact sugars I use in the base recipe). 

 

Most of that is just arithmetic; the more interesting problem becomes getting a vibrant, 3-dimensional watermelon flavor. I think it will take some experimenting, but I’m pretty sure you won’t get it with a very rich, custard-based ice cream.

 

I also think a sorbet would be better. It seems like the problem could be in ensuring sufficient solids. Besides sugar, what could you add to increase the solid percentage?

 

With lemon sorbets, the flavor is so sour that you have to add a lot of sugar and I guess that takes care of the solids but that much sugar might overwhelm the watermelon...

 

I usually strain when I make sorbets but maybe if I didn't, that might increase the solids enough without hopefully detracting too much from the final smoothness.

 

I like the idea of reducing some of the watermelon juice.

 

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Pastry chefs often add milk powder to citrus sorbets. You could say this technically makes it not a sorbet, but it stays sorbet-like. I think industrial makers add things like maltodextrin. It's a sugar with a high molecular weight that adds practically no sweetness ... it's more like a starch. It also has very little effect on freezing point. I haven't played with this because I'm sure there are better ways to get solids. I'd go with powdered milk first.

 

Also, I said "watermelon juice" above but should have said watermelon puree. I suspect this would get some added flavor and color in addition to some solids.

 

If you experiment with reducing some of the watermelon let us know how it goes. I'd like to know what that does to the flavor.

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Being lactose intolerant, I would hate to order a sorbet and discover hours later as I am in gastric distress that milk powder was added to it.

 

That being said, polydextrose could also be used to add solids without sweetness. 

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5 hours ago, mgaretz said:

Being lactose intolerant, I would hate to order a sorbet and discover hours later as I am in gastric distress that milk powder was added to it.

 

That being said, polydextrose could also be used to add solids without sweetness. 

 

I think a restaurant would have to put a notice on the menu. Vegetarians also want to know if there's gelatin in the sorbet.

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On 6/20/2016 at 7:37 AM, paulraphael said:

If you experiment with reducing some of the watermelon let us know how it goes. I'd like to know what that does to the flavor.

 

I made a watermelon sorbet and reduced some of the puree.

 

Since I wasn't sure how the reduction would alter the flavor, I reduced only half the puree, and I reduced that part 20% by weight. So the entire amount of puree was reduced by 10%. After reduction, the smell was a little odd and non-fruit like, though the taste was different than the smell and was OK. It's hard to say if reducing affected the flavor but it didn't ruin it either.

 

Overall, the finished product was quite good, taste-wise. The watermelon flavor came through pretty strong. It was a little on the too- sweet side, though. I felt that there were some defects too: it froze a little too cold and ended up too hard right out of the freezer, and the texture was a little crumbly. Once it warmed up, the texture was good and the crumbliness went away.

 

Anyone have any ideas what would cause a crumbly texture in a sorbet? Since the sugar level was comparable to other sorbets I've had success with (particularly strawberry), my guess is the watermelon sorbet was lacking solids. I also used corn syrup as the invert.

 

I opted not to strain it, hoping to retain some extra solids but maybe that is not enough. I am definitely thinking about trying either some nonfat milk solids, or get some stabilizers to try. I wanted to try it with as few extra ingredients as possible but I think a thin juice like watermelon might need a little help. I might get some dextrose as well, to add some FP suppression without adding sweetness.

 

Here was the formulation I tried:

 

(start) 30 oz fresh watermelon puree, unstrained
(final) 27 oz watermelon, after reducing half of it by 20%
8.25 ounces sugar
4.70 ounces of corn syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1/16 tsp pinch of salt

 

Edit: I checked and my strawberry sorbet actually has more sugar in it (37% of total weight vs 30% of total weight). That could partly explain the difference in hardness.

 


Edited by sweettreateater (log)
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Here's my current template for sorbets. I believe there's room for improvement; after some more experimenting this summer I'll do a sorbet post. 

No matter what, all fruits are different, and so this can't be anything more than a general suggestion (this will be pretty close for berries, way off for lemon).

 

I'm glad you did that experiment with reducing some of the watermelon. It sounds like it didn't hurt. I'd be curious to know if it made much positive difference.

 

Crumbly textures are always the challenge with sorbet. You get them because there's just so much water, and therefore so much ice. There's no milk fat making things creamy, and there are usually far lower solids levels displacing and controlling the water. I have yet to make sorbet that's as creamy as ice cream, but it's definite goal. 

 

 

 

For approx. 1000g final product:

 

-70% (700g) puree (after hulling, pitting, straining, etc.) you may need up to 33% more than this in whole fruit.

 

-Total sugar, including sugar from fruit (measure or use chart) should be 18%

    Sugar composition should be:

    -0-30% sucrose

    -40-70% dextrose (reduce or eliminate if using alcohol)

    -20-30% trimoline

    (I’ve been using more and more dextrose, since it’s least sweet and suppresses freezing the most)

 

-Water for syrup:

    -30% minus weight of added sugars 

 

-Stabilizers:

    -0.2 to 0.3% of sorbet stabilizer blend:

    4 :  2 : 1 : 1

    LBG - guar - lambda carrageenan - kappa carrageenan

    for 1000g: 1.5g LBG, 0.75g guar, 0.38g lambda carrageenan, 0.38g kappa carrageenan

 

-0.07–0.1% salt

 

-In citrus flavors, up to 3% / 30g nonfat dry milk

 

-In herbal flavors, up to 0.7% / 7g herbs

 

-up to 1% / 10g lemon or lime juice to balance acidity (optional; taste puree)

 

-1% / 10g fruit brandy optional in fruit flavors

or for alcohol-centric flavors:

-up to 7% 80-proof booze (no more than 3% pure alcohol)

 (reduce water to equal amount)

 

-total solids should be 33%

    -fruit solids: see chart

    -sucrose / glucose solids: 97%

    -trimoline solids: 82%

    -glucose syrup solids: 63%

 

**********

 

 

-disolve all solid ingredients into water (pre mix stabilizers into sugar).

-bring to a simmer and remove from heat

-if using herbs, cover and let cool at room temp for 30 minutes

-chill at least 4 hours

-blend to break gel into fluid gel

-strain any herbs from syrup

 

-puree and strain fruit / add any citrus juice / alcohol. chill.

 

-mix syrup and puree; spin in ice cream machine

-draw at -5°C / 23°F

-harden in freezer

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Thanks for posting your sorbet formulations - super helpful!

 

18% sugar by weight seems fairly low - does that correspond to a Brix reading of 18 as well?

 

Also, I've mostly made sorbets without using a simple syrup, to try to avoid diluting the fruit flavor intensity. Is there any advantage to using the simple syrup vs just dissolving the sugar right in the puree overnight? Now that I think of it, I'm guessing you would kind of need to do it if you are using stabilizers...

 

Started the base for Bing cherry sorbet today - the Bings are really good this year. According to Migoya, cherries are 19% solids, so I was planning to not strain the puree to try take advantage of the "free solids". But as I was pureeing the last half, I heard the distinct sound of a pit being chewed up so I ended up having to strain about half the the puree to avoid getting bits of the stone in the final product. But hopefully there is still enough solids in there.

 

 

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On 6/20/2016 at 10:37 AM, paulraphael said:

 I think industrial makers add things like maltodextrin. It's a sugar with a high molecular weight that adds practically no sweetness ... it's more like a starch. It also has very little effect on freezing point. I haven't played with this because I'm sure there are better ways to get solids. I'd go with powdered milk first.

 

Is this the same thing as tapioca maltodextrin?  Or are there other types of maltodextrin? 


Edited by cwfenn (log)

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There are other types of maltodextrin. The tapioca version is usually used for solidifying fats (like in instant cake recipes, or experimental dishes). The other kind I've seen comes from brown rice or corn. I don't know the functional differences; I've just heard about it being used to boost solids in industrial ice cream.

 

Edited to add: I just looked around and it doesn't seem like there are any functional differences.

 

Edited again to add: There ARE functional differences. You might have to talk to reps at the manufacturers to sort them out. Here's a bit of info.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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After a lot of years' trying, I think I've finally made a good chocolate ice cream. This is by far the hardest standard flavor, and one that's usually just ok—if you're looking for both intense chocolate flavor and good texture. 

 

The basic principles for were

-very good chocolate (I used Michel Cluizel Vila Gracinda single origin, 67%)

-very good cocoa powder, to increase the chocolate content without excessive amounts of cocoa butter (I used Michel Cluizel dutch process)

-low milk fat, to compensate for the added fat from chocolate (I went to 10% milk fat)

-no eggs. no need for yet another fat source

-all added sugar in the form of trimoline and dextrose. These sugars soften the ice cream, fighting the cocoa butter's hardening effects.

-lecithin as an emulsifier, since there are no eggs

-a stabilizer blend that's tweaked to get the texture right.

 

The results are pretty insane. My only complaint is that it's a bit like pudding when it melts in your mouth, but I'm not sure what to do about that. It IS pudding.

 

Formula for about 1L:

 

460g (1 cup 7 oz) whole milk
45g trimoline

 

50g  cocoa powder (best quality)

65g dextrose powder 

3g soy lecithin
1.2g salt
1.2g locust bean gum
0.6g guar gum
0.6g lambda carrageenan

 

130g (4.7 oz) bittersweet chocolate (best quality, 67–72% cocoa solids, chopped or in pastilles / chips)
240g (1 cup) heavy cream
10g vanilla extract (optional)

 

(Add trimoline to milk. stir together powdered ingredients. add to milk in blender, blending on highest speed for a minute. add chocolate. blend on high for 2 minutes to emulsify. briefly blend in cream and extract. cook to 80°C. homogenize for one minute in blender. chill. It's going to be very firm after aging. Zapping with the whisk attachment of a stick blender will thin it enough to spin in the ice cream machine) 

 

I'll do a more thorough post on chocolate on the underbelly blog. Maybe after a couple of minor tweaks.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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According to many sources, and confirmed by my own experiments, to get really intense chocolate flavor you add some espresso powder.  Given your quantities I'd go with 5 gr and see how like it.


Edited by mgaretz (log)

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2 hours ago, mgaretz said:

According to many sources, and confirmed by my own experiments, to get really intense chocolate flavor you add some espresso powder.  Given your quantities I'd go with 5 gr and see how like it.

 

 

I'd think that would be an interesting hack to compensate for less-than-stellar chocolate. I really don't want to add something like espresso powder to the good stuff.

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Every now and again, you land upon a kitchen gadget of awesomeness that is beyond nirvana. OK maybe not that far, but pretty darn close.

 

Let me first say good pistachio paste is neither available or cost effective in my area. I tried every way possible way using my blender to make decent, smooth paste, without success.

 

Fellow eGulleter "Gap" (also a local for me) suggested I fork out and invest in a Premier Wonder Grinder, and Indian style Wet Grinder. I have no connection to this company, other than a happy user. There are other makes/models which all (probably) do a similar job.

 

Here is the result of pistachios vs grinder:

https://youtu.be/n5vvRC-N3nU

 

What you see is pure pistachio and a tiny bit of coconut oil (ie: 1 tsp to get it started). Absolutely incredible...silky smooth.

 

And apart from the pistachio paste, I have already found it makes the best pesto, amoungst several other things...

 

Time to dig out those pistachio recipes for some back to back taste tests...

 

Cheers

Luke

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Has anyone tried making pistachio paste with a vitamix or similar blender? I make nut butters all the time in mine, and contrary to what I was told, get results that are as smooth as anything from the store. Results depend somewhat on the oil content of the nuts. Almonds (which are similar to pistachios) need a little added oil to blend smooth. But pecans and walnuts have more than enough on their own. 

 

I wouldn't want to do this all day ... these blenders are irritatingly loud, and a bit of a pain to scrape out. I got a silicone spatula that's the right size for contours of the jug, and I use earplugs. For once a week or so it's pretty painless.

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2 hours ago, Luke said:

Fellow eGulleter "Gap" (also a local for me) suggested I fork out and invest in a Premier Wonder Grinder, and Indian style Wet Grinder. I have no connection to this company, other than a happy user. There are other makes/models which all (probably) do a similar job.

 

I can verify that the wonder grinder makes perfectly smooth pistachio butter. I bought one for the same reason, although an upgraded one http://indichocolate.com/products/chocolate-refiner made to run for longer periods.

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13 hours ago, Luke said:

Every now and again, you land upon a kitchen gadget of awesomeness that is beyond nirvana. OK maybe not that far, but pretty darn close.

 

Let me first say good pistachio paste is neither available or cost effective in my area. I tried every way possible way using my blender to make decent, smooth paste, without success.

 

Fellow eGulleter "Gap" (also a local for me) suggested I fork out and invest in a Premier Wonder Grinder, and Indian style Wet Grinder. I have no connection to this company, other than a happy user. There are other makes/models which all (probably) do a similar job.

 

Here is the result of pistachios vs grinder:

https://youtu.be/n5vvRC-N3nU

 

What you see is pure pistachio and a tiny bit of coconut oil (ie: 1 tsp to get it started). Absolutely incredible...silky smooth.

 

And apart from the pistachio paste, I have already found it makes the best pesto, amoungst several other things...

 

Time to dig out those pistachio recipes for some back to back taste tests...

 

Cheers

Luke

 

Luke - glad to hear that it worked out for you 

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I rarely make ice cream and to be honest I can't even recall the last batch I made, its recipe or the flavour it was. However, I have a Breville Smart Scoop machine and an elderly friend who told me the other day that her favorite ice cream is Orange Pineapple. I asked if she meant sorbet or sherbet and she said no .. ice cream. I, like the sometimes generous fool that I am, said .. oh I will make you some of that (soon).

 

I checked out recipes online and for that particular flavour they are all over the map - custard base, whipped cream base (uncooked), sweetened condensed milk base, fresh pineapple, canned pineapple, orange concentrate, fresh OJ, even Orange Crush .. on and on .. no consistency.

 

I don't want to waste days (and a lot of ingredients) trying to experiment too much with this but a promise made with me is usually a promise kept so I want to at least start with a good idea of what might be the best way to get those flavours combined in the simplest manner to produce a tasty rich and creamy (identifiably) Orange Pineapple ice cream.

 

Another issue is that while this machine is a good one (for home use anyway) the container is rather small and one shouldn't add more than 3 cups of liquid total ... and most of the recipes were for amounts much larger (but not a nice multiple) than that. Some I thought I could reduce in scale and cutting in half went ok till I got down the list of ingredients and then I would encounter things like having to decide if I stay with 2 egg yolks (which was for the larger recipe) or cut an egg yolk in half to get 1 1/2 or 1 3/4's of an egg yolk for a reduced volume.

 

I am not a big ice cream fan myself and Orange Pineapple doesn't especially tick all my boxes so I would prefer to be able to make only 1 batch and not have leftover base to have to dispose of in some manner. Serves me right for opening my big mouth .. but I need some help here, friends ... hoping someone may help me find a simple recipe (or basic technique) that might work and turn out rich and creamy - and have some depth/balance of Orange Pineapple flavours.


Edited by Deryn (log)

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I can't help with the recipe, but I will recommend that you make enough custard base that you don't have to try dolloping out fractions of egg yolks.  I think I froze my leftover base for a later ice cream. If you don't want it, maybe you could make another batch for this elderly friend, or use said base in another dessert altogether. I know you've indicated that you'd rather not do that, but can't the base be used in some baked goods that you do?

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

I can't help with the recipe, but I will recommend that you make enough custard base that you don't have to try dolloping out fractions of egg yolks.  I think I froze my leftover base for a later ice cream. If you don't want it, maybe you could make another batch for this elderly friend, or use said base in another dessert altogether. I know you've indicated that you'd rather not do that, but can't the base be used in some baked goods that you do?

 

Thanks, Smithy. Hadn't thought (doh .. not sure why not) of conceptually/physically separating the 'base' from the 'added flavourings', probably since I kept looking at recipes just for Orange Pineapple (or Pineapple to which I figured I could add Orange or Orange to which I figured I could add Pineapple) and was taking them as the whole recipe that perhaps had to be done just as prescribed to succeed. Your idea however should work if I go with a custard base (though if I freeze that isn't it essentially 'ice cream' anyway?). Then I guess all I have to do is figure out how to put together the fruit element to add to it and churn it up.

 

Frankly making ice cream here with the temperatures rarely even hitting 70 degrees (and when they do there is invariably one of our famous winds to cool it down on the 'feels like' scale) just hasn't been a priority for me this summer. But, I know some people like ice cream regardless of the weather (or maybe they are pretending we are actually having a summer .. who knows).

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1 minute ago, Deryn said:

<snip>

Frankly making ice cream here with the temperatures rarely even hitting 70 degrees (and when they do there is invariably one of our famous winds to cool it down on the 'feels like' scale) just hasn't been a priority for me this summer. But, I know some people like ice cream regardless of the weather (or maybe they are pretending we are actually having a summer .. who knows).

 

I certainly understand that!  It's been mostly cool and wet here too.  I haven't been inclined to bring my ice cream maker out of storage yet, although the beautiful stone fruits - and plenty of rhubarb in the stores - are making me think it's time regardless of the temperature.  

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      Mix together the dry ingredients of the muffins: flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix together the grated pumpkin, oil, milk and egg in a separate bowl. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix them in. Put the dough into some paper muffin moulds. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Decorate the muffins with the chocolate.


    • By Kasia
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for swift autumn cookies with French pastry and a sweet ginger-cinnamon-pear stuffing. Served with afternoon coffee they warm us up brilliantly and dispel the foul autumn weather.

      Ingredients (8 cookies)
      1 pack of chilled French pastry
      1 big pear
      1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon
      1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
      2 tablespoons of milk

      Heat the oven up to 190C. Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper.
      Wash the pear, peel and cube it. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and one tablespoon of the brown sugar. Mix them in. Cut 8 circles out of the French pastry. Cut half of every circle into parallel strips. Put the pear stuffing onto the other half of each circle. Roll up the cookies starting from the edges with the stuffing. Put them onto the baking paper and make them into cones. Smooth the top of the pastry with the milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. bake for 20-22 minutes.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Chocolate cake with plums
       
      The first cake I ever dared to bake by myself was a chocolate cake. I have since baked it many times, always using the same recipe, and many times I have spoiled it at the beginning of preparation. It is necessary to cool down the chocolate mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients. On a hot summer day this process is very long, so I accelerated it by putting the pot with the mixture into some cold water in the kitchen sink. Many times, by mistake, I turned on the tap and poured water onto the cooling mixture. In hindsight these situations were amusing, but at the time it wasn't funny.

      This chocolate cake is excellent without any additives. You can enrich it with your favourite nuts or butter icing. Today I added some plums to the top of the cake. It was great and its sweet chocolate-plum aroma lingered long in my home.

      Ingredients (25cm cake tin):
      200g of flour
      150g of butter
      3 tablespoons of cocoa
      120g of brown sugar
      15ml of almond milk
      100g of dark chocolate
      1 egg
      1 teaspoon of baking powder
      plums

      Heat the oven up to 180C. Smooth the cake tin with the butter and sprinkle with dark cocoa.
      Put the butter, milk, sugar, cocoa and chocolate into the pan. Heat it until the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients have blended together well. Leave the mixture to cool down. Add the egg, flour and baking soda and mix them in. Put the dough into the cake tin. Wash the plums, cut them in half and remove the stones. Arrange the plum halves skin side down on top of the cake. Bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar before serving.

      Enjoy your meal!

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