The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.

The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.
Bring the finished plates up to the pass for inspection.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pear & Lavender Ice Cream : home style

When making the prefect ice cream, there are many factors to consider and some go very in-depth to prefect the recipe. There are 4 basic categories of ice cream and they are, ice Cream based, egg based, fruit based and then finally there is the sorbet. Each category has it's standard rules of measurements of certain ingredients, which if followed, will guarantee you a unique, pallet smoothing and flavor flowing ice cream that you want. Some of these rules of measurements concerns ingredients such as the percentages of fat contain, sugar contain, dairy contain and sometimes even the % of emulsifiers used to combine fats together. But, do we really need study all this rules of measurement to make a great tasting ice cream dessert? The answer is NO. You can still make ice cream with just a few simple ingredients such as milk, cream and some kind of flavoring. And it will still be quite delicious.

In this case I'm making a simple pear and lavender ice cream with an egg base ice cream.
The Ingredients are simple. You need:
Simple ingredients for home style ice cream.
500g whole milk
200g 35% cream
100g egg yolks
60g sugar
2-3 sprigs of lavender
150g pear puree.

If you can't find pear puree, you can also buy your own pear and cook it down with simple syrup and puree with a hand blender. Or you can also buy pear jams if you can find it in your local market. Just beware if you are using Jams, consider the sweetness level of your jam, you might have to reduce the 60g of sugar if your jam is already sweet.

Start by infusing the lavender with your cream and milk, so in a heavy bottomed pot, slowly bring your whole milk, 35% cream and sprigs of lavender to a quick simmer. Turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid to allow the lavender to further infuse. Steep for about 5 minutes or so, if you want a stronger lavender flavor, you can also steep it for 10 minutes.

Next, make a crème anglaise. So whisk your sugar and egg yolks together when your cream is finished infusing, and temper your egg yolk mixture with your cream. It' important that you keep whisking your crème anglaise while you cook and bring to a temperature of 80-82degree C. This will ensure that you pasteurize your egg yolks and leaving no trace of potential harmful bacteria.

Cooling the creme Anglaise

When your crème anglaise reaches 80-82C, take it off the heat and quickly cool it in an ice bath. Then add in your pear puree when the crème anglaise is at about 35C. Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and follow the machine's instruction. Each ice cream machine is different, but usually it shouldn't take longer than an hour or so for your ice cream to be firm enough to scoop and eat.
After 40 minutes of spinning the ice cream. It's firm enough to scoop.
I really like to play with ice cream flavors, and the combination are endless. It's really just up to your imagination and testing to see what works, and what works better!~ I'm going to go enjoy my ice cream now!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The cure for crumble pound cakes! Why does my pound cake Crumble!

When we think pound cakes, we think rich, we think butter and we think of the dense cake-like texture that is the opposite of a sponge cake. But when my friend made her pound cake the texture was quite crumbly, as if it was falling apart when she sliced the cake. Why?

This crumbly texture of pound cakes is most likely a result of over mixing your cake batter for too long. This is an common mistake for most inexperienced bakers who is unsure when the cake batter is considered "well mixed". Especially, when trying out a new cake batter recipe, the result may not come out as planned.

Table top mixers, like kitchen aids are powerful beasts when used to mix cake batters. Often we forget how fast our pedal attachment is actually spinning per minute at certain speeds. My suggestion is to be patient, do not blast your mixer on high speed to start but instead, start on a moderate low speed. Besides from creaming your butter with sugar, the rest of the ingredients just need to be incorporated until smooth. Any more mixing after your batter is well incorporated will risk the creation of air bubbles, therefore crumbly cake.

And if you are cutting your cake while it's still hot, that's another faux pas. It will also cause your cake to crumble, crack or fall apart. The cake is always at its weakest when it's fresh out of the oven, although it's body structure has been baked set, but the inners with all the moisture is still too heavy for the outer layer to withstand. Allow your cake to cool before cutting and releasing from the mold.