Next Experiment: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (made with Coconut Milk, and Vegan!)

We’re fans of Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss Mint Galactica. Since I have a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, White and got the Ice Cream Maker Attachment. I cobbled together a couple of recipes to create a lactose-free, vegan, (and made with ingredients in my cabinet).

It’s simple. You just need to make sure your ice cream maker is ready to go according to the instructions it came with. For mine, I needed to make sure my bowl was frozen for at least 15 hours. You’ll be relying on the instructions for your ice cream maker for everything but the combination of ingredients.

icecreamMint Chocolate Chip Coconut Ice Cream

1 (13.5 oz) can Coconut milk (full fat)
1.5 oz Almond milk
1 tsp Peppermint flavoring
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini-chips preferrable, or chop up chips into smaller bits)

Combine all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Use the instructions for your ice cream maker to guide when you add the chips.

Simple! Delicious! Enjoy!

More Cardamom Madness (It’s How I Roll)

OK, this is going to be a sloppy post. Forgive my underslept ramblings, but I thought it was really important to let you know that cardamom cinnamon rolls with aquavit soaked raisins and almond icing is a thing, and I made them this week.A_vUlDKCcAAmSiO

See? Evidence! (Which was all consumed by my husband’s coworkers.)

I used the pulla bread dough (refrigerated) that I made in the previous post (and I seriously promise to give a proper write up later!) The short form of it is that I put about 1/2 cup raisins in a dish and covered it with aquavit and let it set for at least 8 hours. Then later, I rolled out 1 lb of the dough about 1/8-/14 in thick, in a squarish/rectanglish shape, and spread a mixture of 1/2 cup softened sweet cream butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 cup sugar over the entire thing (the cookbooks tell me to chill the dough if it’s too soft). Next, I drained the raisins and sprinkled them evenly over the dough, and rolled up the dough from one end to the other (short end to short end.) Finally, I cut 8 even rolls from the tube, then arrange in a springform pan, evenly spaced, and let rise for 2 hours.cinnamonrollunbaked

I heated the oven to 350°F, and baked the rolls for about 45 minutes, until nice and brown.

Finally, I filled a bowl with about a cup of powdered sugar, slowly added milk until it became a slightly runny paste, added about a teaspoon of almond extract, and once mixed, poured it over the rolls. I added sliced almonds as a garnish.

OK, that’s it for now, people. It’s time for a nap!

Experiments in Bread Baking – Pulla (Finnish Cardamom Bread)

My husband gave me the amazing Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I’ve already made three batches of dough using the recipe. He was inspired to get the book for me after I made a few batches of Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread (also found in How to Cook Everything).

It doesn’t take much for me to want to play with a recipe. It was dumb luck that my efforts turned out tasty, let alone, edible to others. I knew I really wanted to make pulla, AKA cardamom bread. I knew that challah shared a lot of commonality with pulla, so I started with the challah recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Below is how I did it.

unbakedpullaIngredients:

1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
4 large eggs lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water)
Large crystal sugar (optional)

Steps:

1. Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, sugar, cardamom, melted butter and milk in a 5 quart sealable container, or large bowl that can be easily covered (not air tight).

2. Mix in flour using a wooden spoon, do not knead! You can use a heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook, but with some patience and a spoon, I did just fine.

3. Cover (do not seal) and let it rest for 2 hours, letting it rise and collapse (or at least flatten on top.)

4. You can use immediately, though some may recommend refrigerating and using cold. You can refrigerate the dough and use within the next 5 days, or freeze in 1 lb portions for up to 4 weeks. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using and allow the usual rest and rise time.

5. The day of baking, butter or grease a cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper or silicone mat. Dust the surface of the dough, reach in and cut off a 1 lb (grapefruit sized) piece. Dust with flour and shape into a ball. Cut the ball into thirds, and start braiding from the center to each of the ends, and tuck the ends under the loaf.

6. You can bake at least two one lb loves on a cookie sheet, which is what I did. Let the bread rest for 40 minutes if you’re using fresh dough, or 1 hour and 20 minutes if you’re using refrigerated dough.pulla

7. Preheat the oven to 350°F twenty minutes before the end of the rising time. For instance, I set a timer for 20 minutes when I start the dough resting with fresh dough. Brush the loaf with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar as desired. I do not prefer sugar, so I didn’t use any on my loaves.

8. Bake the loaves in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes. The loaves should be golden brown, and should have resistance when pressed in the center. The crust should be smooth and shiny.

9. Wait until they’re cool to slice, though admittedly, it’s hard to not dive right in with a knife.

Don’t Despair. Create.

bourbon ballsThis time of year, I always think about local Seattle journalist, Megan Seling from The Stranger and her piece from a few years back . I’ve probably posted about this before. What’s great about it is that it speaks of the things we do to get us through the long winter months of dark and grey. I’m having a great December so far, personally, but it’s been rough in the world around me. Today I’m making (or attempting to make) bourbon chocolate truffles and bourbon balls. The picture is of the last batch of bourbon balls I made a few years ago. The secret is great bourbon and never, ever using any recipe that calls for Nilla wafers. Seriously, it’s just not right.

Wish me luck as I hopefully come out of this day with edible confections!

Vegan Raisin Scone

This morning, my son was not about to let me sleep in, so I made scones! I used coconut milk where you would normally use whipping cream, and flax seed and water for the egg. It turned out to be a light, soft scone, and definitely not as sweet as what you’d find in a Starbucks. You will need one 15 oz can of regular coconut milk to skim the cream.

Vegan Raisin Scones

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or other vegan margarine, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp flax meal
6 Tbsp water
3/4 cup coconut milk (do not shake the can, scoop out the creamy coconut part, when you’ve got all that, top off to 3/4 cup with the remaining liquid)
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit, roughly chopped
Sugar for sprinkling
Almond Milk (or other milk replacer)

In a small bowl, mix cool water with the flax meal and set aside.

Use two medium bowls to for the wet and dry ingredients. In one bowl, mix the 2 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour. Cut the margarine into the dry ingredients until it’s coarse and crumbly. In the other bowl, mix the flax meal mixture with the coconut milk and raisins. Use a fork to mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, until they are just moist.

Lightly flower a flat surface, and kneed the dough until it is mostly smooth, about 10-12 strokes. Pat down into an 8 inch round, and then cut into 8 wedges.

Put the cut wedges at least one inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with almond milk, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake to 350°F for 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown. When out of the oven, remove from the sheet so they don’t stick, and serve warm.