July links

I think I’m going to post links less often, maybe only monthly. I feel like once a week was too much as I was not posting that many links in one post. We’ll see how it goes just once a month, and I might change it again to twice a month. Feel free to let me know what you like better, too.
Anyway, here are the articles I’ve read this July:

  1. Who Wants Prosciutto Ice Cream?
  2. The Allure of Restaurant Menus
  3. Truck Farming 2.0 | NYC’s Mobile C.S.A.
  4. 12 Reasons to Look Beyond the Usual Wine Selections
  5. The Hors d’Oeuvres That the French Call Cake
  6. For Dessert, Elderflower Pancakes
  7. How to make the most of summer’s rambling raspberries
  8. Comfort food — trendy or timeless?
  9. Just Desserts
  10. Cupcakes get ‘butch’ with sweets for manly men
  11. Fruit pies, perfected
  12. At many restaurants now, you can take your dog to dinner
  13. America’s Unwavering Passion for Ice Cream
  14. 10 Boozy Ice Creams (and Sorbets) That Make Summer a Whole Lot More Delicious
  15. Farallon’s Whole Wheat Flour Carrot Cake
  16. Wood-fired baking with a master in Vermont
  17. More than matzo balls: Kosher cooking revisited

July Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Swiss swirl ice cream cake!

What is a Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake? It is chocolate cake that has whipped cream rolled up inside it (this is where the swirl part comes from) layered on top (though built upside-down!) of ice cream! The challenge included making the cake, whipped cream, ice cream and fudge sauce all from scratch!

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

First of all, many of the recipes in this challenge call for caster sugar, which, according to the DB website, “Caster sugar is finely ground granulated sugar. It can also be found as “superfine sugar”, “fruit sugar” or “quick dissolving sugar”. If you can’t find it, you can make your own by whizzing some regular granulated sugar in the food processor or blender.”

I, of course,  could not find anywhere that sold caster sugar, so I made my own from granulated sugar. I would like to see exactly what caster sugar looks like compared to regular sugar.

Anyway, the cake was pretty easy to make, though I had some trouble removing the parchment paper from the back of it, so I had to do some patchwork, but it all worked out in the end.

The sugar that is used for the whipped cream and the vanilla ice cream (which is really just frozen whipped cream) is vanilla sugar, which (as said in the instructions) is ground sugar and vanilla pod pieces. You can make vanilla sugar anytime by adding scraped vanilla pods (leftover from other recipes) in with granulated sugar. Then you can use that instead of  granulated sugar and vanilla extract in any recipe such as cookies or cake.

I made a half recipe of everything, since I know that I’ll probably be the one eating it all! So, I used half the whipped cream for the filling in the cake and froze the rest for the vanilla ice cream part. It worked out perfectly.

The chocolate ice cream was simple but took much longer to freeze than the vanilla. I think if I make it again, I’ll try whipping it up a bit and then putting it in the freezer since the vanilla was whipped first and then frozen and still worked. It was interesting to make an egg-less ice cream and one that can just be put in the freezer and just stirred every so often rather than using an ice cream machine or some other way of spinning the base. It is a good thing to know in case I ever find myself in need of egg-less ice cream again!

The chocolate fudge sauce that goes in between the ice cream layers (this is not a dessert for someone on a diet!) was also easy to make. Just put all ingredients in the pot and whisk/cook until thick and bubbly.

Altogether, this was a pretty simple challenge, but you really have to be patient and allow for cooling, chilling, and freezing time of all of the components/layers. Since I tasted all of the components individually as I went along, I am sure that it will all be worth it when it is all frozen together! (after 24 hours…) I just tried all of the components frozen together, and they are good. I ended up with more vanilla ice cream than chocolate, but since the cake is chocolate, it ended up being a good balance. Continue reading

Pancakes for one: the quick bread test.

I wanted to make pancakes, but I know that usually the batter recipes call for 1 egg, and therefore, it is hard to divide a recipe small enough for just one (pan-size) pancake. So, I looked in the book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman and saw that muffin batter and pancake batter are the same except that muffins have twice the fat than pancakes. So, I made the pancake batter and the pancake for myself, and then added some more butter to the mix and spooned the batter into a muffin tin and baked in a 350ºF oven. They were blueberry-corn pancake/muffins so they had an interesting texture, and I definitely added too many blueberries (anyone want some muffin with those blueberries?) so they were tart and moist. But overall, a successful experiment.

Indie Mart: I’m selling my sweets (again)!

I am going to be selling my homemade sweets at this:
INDIE MART JULY 300
I am making chocolate-covered pretzels, pie pops, and cookie sandwiches. Come down to the Mission and get some goodies! :)

Here are all of the details:

July 18th Indie Mart..back with more DIY. more fun. and more antics.
The Indie Mart is hitting the street again Sunday July 18th, from 12-6pm. We got over 90 vendors bringing you the best makers, designers, vintage, handmade unique goodies, art, baked treats and much more. Tons of interactive vendors offering customization or showing you how it’s made. About a third of our vendors are new, keeping to our promise of new vendors from all over Cali & SF.
We also have more DIY! Thanks to all of you who loved up on our woodland creature terrariums. This Indie Mart you can make your own terrarium, make pie in a jar to take home & bake OR you can sew up & create your own Sock Monster with help from WorkshopSF. We also got Broke Ass Crafts with Broke Ass Stuart with all kinds of fun dirt cheap crafts to make. We’re also welcoming Forage SF who host the underground farmers market, who are bringing a few rad vendors with them. San Franpsycho live printing out their badass milktruck. Besides our usual standby’s on stiff drinks, cheap beers & fresh BBQ food from thee Parkside… We got a life size terrarium where you can hang out, drink some beers & kick it with the gnomes, deer and relax. PBR’s forest right next to it, where you can hang out and get some sweet PBR giveaways..did someone say a tallboy sleeping bag?! Puppies & kittens for adoption from WonderDog. Heavy Metal Aerobics pumping at 3pm for all to join in (SF Weekly & 7×7 Best of SF winner). Photobooth. All lady DJ’s outside all day playing hella rock & roll. Bike parking & all kinds of fun!
Bands inside:
Chappo Music from NYC (4:15pm, http://www.chappomusic.com)
The Downer Party (3:30pm, http://www.myspace.com/downerpartytime)
Super Adventure (2:45pm, http://www.myspace.com/superadventureclubmusic)
Microfiche (2pm, http://www.myspace.com/microfichemusic)
DJ’s outside all day: DJ Cherry T, Sassy Mags, Danelle (from Heavy Metal Aerobics) & Resident DJ Rick Moranis (previously Sarahdactyl)
This month’s featured artist: Kelly from Retro Whale. Peep her rad art here!
The Indie-Mart Street Fair
Sunday July 18th, 12-6pm
Thee Parkside- 17th st & all down Wisconsin
Ride your bike, take the 22 Muni Line
Valet bike parking from the SF Bike Coalition
ALL AGES- 21 to booze it up.
$3 to git in!
http://www.indie-mart.com
http://www.twitter.com/indiemart
http://www.facebook.com/people/Indie-Mart/1330994393
JUST GOOD SHOPPING. GOOD FOOD. GOOD MUSIC. GOOD DRINKING. GOOD PEOPLE. GOOD ALL DAY FUN. THE INDIE MART.
http://www.indie-mart.com

Foodbuzz Tastemakers: Buitoni

Foodbuzz has a program called Tastemakers and they gave me a coupon for Buitoni Riserva refrigerated pasta. I got the recommended Quattro Formaggi Agnolotti (basically four cheese ravioli). According to the packaging, they are “generously filled with imported Grana Padano, Parmesan, custom Ricotta and Fontina cheeses with fresh garlic.
I had them with some tomato sauce and they were good. Not too densely filled with cheese and the pasta itself was good too. I am a single lady with a varied schedule, so having a quick and easy dinner to make is great. The pasta can be bought and frozen (or made right away) and they only take 4-6 minutes to cook. I recommend the Buitoni refrigerated pasta to anyone who needs to make a quick meal.