Wednesday, September 14

Blueberry & Blackberry Rice Pudding

Helloooooo. I made this stuff ages ago, but I'm only just now getting around to writing up a post. Why? 'cause that's just how I am, haha. But also because working 5 days a week plus full time classes makes me want to blow my brains out.Anyway, as you can tell, I'm really really into blueberries right now. I love rice pudding. I love blueberry desserts. It's a logical progression. I added in the blackberries because I had some in the fridge I completely forgot about (and they're prettier to garnish with than frozen blueberries, haha)
Onto pictures and the recipe!

I couldn't get the last two pictures to look right, but I hate only having one picture, so...:(

Berry Rice Pudding
1/4 cup of rice
2 cups of water
3 1/4 cups of whole milk
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
~ 3/4 mixed berries (I suggest blueberries and strawberries. The seeds from blackberries are a little jarring in the finished pudding)

Put the rice and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, lower the temperature and cook the rice for 5 minutes. Drain it, and set it aside in another bowl.

Rinse out the pot, and add the milk and sugar. Put the pan over medium-high heat. Once it boils, add in the partially cooked rice. Reduce the heat (but make sure it's high enough to bubble slightly), and let it cook, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes.About halfway through, add in the berries and the vanilla.
I like to mash up the berries with my spoon to really get the flavor in there, but it's up to you. The pudding won't be  very thick when it's done, but that's okay, it'll thicken in the fridge. Pour it into a serving bowl, or individual dishes. Place plastic wrap onto the pudding, making sure to make it touch, so it doesn't develop a skin. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Or eat right away. But I find that the berry pudding tastes best cold.


Wednesday, August 24

Blueberry Ice Cream

I suppose you all thought me dead. I wouldn't blame you.

The reality is just that work and school have left me completely drained, not to mention my irritation at not getting decent pictures.

I've finally managed a method of editing that gives me decent results, so that helps. And just for fun, I will show you a straight-from-the-camera shot vs one mostly edited. :)

Anyway, I really love blueberry desserts. I don't like blueberries just...raw, by themselves, but i just love love love blueberry syrup to death. So I make a lot of it, and flavor a lot of things with it. So here I am with ice cream. While it is custard based, it's still really simple, and it's really soft even straight out the freezer (so do eat it quickly, it melts like it's got someplace else to be!)

Blueberry Ice Cream:

3 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups of sugar (I used turbinado, because I'm quite obsessed with it lately)
1 cup of blueberry puree or 1/2 cup of blueberry syrup (blueberries cooked down with a bit of water and a bit of sugar. If you use the syrup, cut back a bit on the sugar)
1 T vanilla
1 T lemon juice

Mix the sugar and half of the cream together and warm it up in a small pot. Whisk the egg yolks , then pour the warmed cream over the yolks while still mixing. Put it all back into the pot and set it on the stove, over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, strain it (to catch any cooked egg bits) into the rest of the cream, and mix. Add in the blueberry, vanilla, and lemon juice. Put it in the fridge until completely cold.
Follow your ice cream maker's instructions. :)
Of course, you can use any fruit you like in this recipe, and add bits of other flavorings...a strawberry balsamic would be nice :)

Here's the before and after and after:



Wednesday, May 4

Super fun chocolate giveaway.

So I recently bought some chocolate molds.
Logically, that leads to experimentation.
And, as what usually happens, I make many many more things than I will eat.
SO HERE I AM AGAIN, to give away things that I have made. :)
I have 13 chocolate bars.
11 are average sized, one is larger than usual, and one is SUPER FREAKING HUGE.
It's like a pound.

Super giant S'more Bar (chocolate, toasted marshmallow, graham cracker)
Large mixed fruit rainbow bar
Crispy Crunch Bar

Turtle Bar (pecan & caramel)
Cookies & Cream bar
White Chocolate & Mint
Milk Chocolate & Mint
Strawberry & Cream
"Chocolate Covered Strawberries)
Key Lime Pie
Cherry Chocolate
Winners of the two larger bars will get only those, other winners get two smaller bars each. And then there's an extra bar that I will just give to someone who wins, depending on which one is left over. :3

So here's how to enter:

Post a comment here with your top three preferences of bars. If you don't state your preferences, I won't know what to give you, and you'll be ineligible to win.
Provide an email address or contact method in your post. If you don't, you are ineligible to win, as I have no way of contacting you
Reside in the US. sorry guys, it's chocolate, and it's iffy shipping it as it is :(

You MAY, for additional entries:
Reblog this (link here) post on Tumblr and post a comment here with the link to your reblog.
Retweet this (link here) tweet on Twitter and post a comment here with your twitter username or a link to the tweet.

All entries must be in separate comments.

Winners will be chosen using a RNG.
I will contact all winners at that time. Chocolates should be sent out within a week. :)
If winners do not respond by the 23rd, I reserve the right to choose a new winner for that item.


Monday, March 28

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Because my work schedule varies so wildly (I either start work at 5:30 pm or 10 am or 1 or 2 pm), so does my sleep schedule.
And because of that, I feel like a zombie.

And zombies don't bake.
I think.

I'm pretty sure they prefer their brains raw.

But I digress.
With this recipe comes another side of excuses. It seems to be my MO lately, but such is life. I finally have enough money to properly bake, but of course I don't have the time to do it as often as I'd like.
Life, eh?

And starting at the end of May, I'll be in culinary school (yahoo!), so there's another obstacle.
But on the other hand, it'll teach me new things to do, though I won't be doing pastry for a while yet.

I kept looking for recipes to use, because I'd never made one of these before, but none of them /seemed/ right. So I just used my own sponge recipe, and my own stabilized whipped cream recipe. None of the recipes I saw for the whipped cream had enough gelatin, and I wanted it to set up really well, so it would slice cleanly.
Anyway, I think I got it, but next time, instead of just slicing the strawberries in half, I'll chop them up and mix them into the cream. It looks nicer sliced, but it's harder to get through them with your fork without smashing the cake to bits, haha.

I really really like this cake better than the American version. I much prefer the delicate sponge over a biscuit base. And the stiffer cream is nicer. And it's prettier. So Japan wins this one :)

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake:

Sponge cake:
3 eggs, separated
1 whole egg
50 g flour
50 g sugar
50 g oil
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
Handful of strawberries, for assembly, later.

This is a super duper easy recipe to remember. 50/50/50, haha.
If you guys don't have a scale yet, get one. For things that are really delicate, it's indispensable.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line an 8x8 pan, or a cake pan. (8 inches should be okay for that, but you'll probably have thinner layers)

Whip the egg whites until really frothy. Add in the sugar, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Beat the egg yolks, whole egg, flour, oil, salt, & vanilla until totally combined.
It should be yellow, and a very very thick and odd texture. If you pick up the spoon/whisk/beater and think "what the hell is this?", then it's right.

Mix a few spoonfuls of the egg whites into that mixture, just to make it lighter and easier to fold the rest of the whites into. Trust me, any time you have to fold egg whites into a really thick batter like this, do that trick.
Fold the rest of the egg whites into it, making sure to fully incorporate them. (I made this cake once and was very lazy and I had random spots of cooked meringue in my cake because I didn't mix it well.) So just make sure it's uniform in color, with no streaking.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. (It's better to slightly overbake this cake than underbake it)

Let the cake cool and get started on the whipped cream.

Stabilized whipped cream:
1 1/2 cups of whipping cream
1/2 cup of sugar (you can adjust this depending on your tastes. I tend to add a bit more because I am a sugar junkie >__> )
2 1/2 Tbsp gelatin (that's generally one packet)
1 Tbsp cold water

Put the cold water in a small dish and bloom the gelatin. (sprinkle it over the water and wait until it's absorbed all of it)
Microwave it for a few seconds, until it's liquid.
Set aside to cool.
Whip the cream and sugar to stiff peaks.
If your gelatin still hasn't cooled down enough (ie, it's still steaming, like mine was), pour a bit of the cold cream into it. Works like a charm.
Pour the gelatin into the whipped cream with the mixer going, making sure to get it all incorporated, but don't whip it so much it makes butter!

Level your cake, and split it into two layers.
put a very thin layer of whipped cream down, then place cut, sliced, or chopped strawberries down. (this helps to keep the strawberry juice from making the cake soggy).
Cover the strawberries completely with more cream.
Put the top layer on then ice the top with cream.
You can do the sides, but I think it looks fine with just the top done :)
Let chill in the fridge for at least a half an hour, so the gelatin can set up at least a little.
Slice into cute little rectangles and garnish with strawberries :)