I’ll give you a couple of hints.
I was in London for ten days at the end of April.
And like on every good vacation, I had ice cream.
There’s nothing else in this picture to act as a comparison, so it might not look like as much ice cream as it is. But that is a ginormous bowl of ice cream. Ginormous is the technical term for measuring bowls of ice cream.
This was at the Fortnum & Mason Parlor, where everything was ice cream (except for the things that weren’t, like my amazingly delicious chicken ceasar melt sandwich). But really, everything was ice cream. Case in point, this coffee drink my friend ordered:
And lest you think it’s only the frou-frou drinks with whipped cream that come with tiny cones, here’s a picture of her espresso:
Other ice cream-related vacationing includes the half-time concessions at One Man, Two Guvnors and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour at the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour.
But mostly, it was freezing in London so I drank a lot of tea.
I own a donut maker. When I tell people this, my follow up is that it makes cake donuts, not fried ones. Picture a waffle iron, only instead of the waffle shape, there’s a lot of little donut shapes.
Despite this being exactly the type of ridiculous thing I’d buy for myself, I actually got it in a holiday white elephant exchange at my office. This means around the holidays, it was on sale for about $20.
It comes with a booklet of donut recipes. I’ve made the plain ones with both vanilla and chocolate icing, and around Halloween, when I was stuck home from Hurricane Sandy, I made three batches of Apple Cinnamon donuts.
My most recent donut foray was Olive Oil with Dark Chocolate Glaze and Sea Salt.
The donut maker is easy to use, if kind of messy. And the novelty of homemade donuts never fails to wow a crowd.
One of my friends mentioned that his ideal ice cream would be chocolate with peanut butter and mint, but I wasn’t convinced.
I know that if A=B and A=C then B=C.
But I wasn’t so sure it would work for ice cream. Just because chocolate goes with peanut butter, and chocolate goes with mint doesn’t mean that peanut butter would go with mint.
When said friend invited me over to watch Argo in their building’s private screening room, I figured it was a good time to test the ice cream theory. (And a word of off-topic advice: make friends with people who have private screening rooms in their apartment buildings. it’s amazing.)
The chocolate ice cream is the same recipe as the one I used for Exploding Chocolate Surprise. I had forgotten just how chocolatey it was. If I remembered, I would have toned it down. I thought it was too chocolatey.
For what it’s worth, I was overruled by everyone else at the movie.
For the chips, I used a little more than a half a cup of peanut butter chips and a little less then a half a cup of mint chips. And then since I had them, I threw in some chocolate chips for good measure. I had originally planned to use a half of cup of each, but after pouring out a half a cup of each, I tasted them together and felt that the mint totally overpowered the peanut butter. Even with my unscientific adjustments, I still felt the mint was too strong.
Again for what it’s worth, I was overruled by everyone else at the movie. At least I have the Academy behind me when I saw that Argo was awesome.
I made pretzels.
I followed this recipe here. And even though intellectually I know that bread rises, it was a shock. It was such a shock I had to make a second batch to take pictures, because I forgot the first time.
Ingredients! And before:
When I told my mom about them, she asked for my recipe, because pretzels are difficult and take a lot of steps. I don’t know if I’d agree about the first part, but yes, there’s a lot of steps. They each were boiled on 15 seconds per side before going in the oven. That’s a lot of one-mississipis.
The one change I made from the original recipe was to bake them on aluminum foil instead of parchment paper. The ones I baked on parchment paper stuck to the paper, and I had to cut the bottoms off. I should have known better. I bake everything on aluminum foil. It’s magic. Nothing sticks to it.
I also made the beer cheese recipe at the same link to go with the pretzels. It was incredible. If you have a day to kill, I highly recommend them both.
Sometimes, you find yourself purchasing a nice, expensive, one-size-fits-all bottle of raspberry lambic to make raspberry cheesecake brownies. Except the ‘one-size-fits-all’ is a lie, because your recipe calls for 4 tablespoons (1/4 of a cup) and the bottle is 750 ml (3.17 cups). And you spent a lot of money on it, so you are going to make ALL the raspberry desserts, like raspberry lambic sorbet and raspberry lambic ice cream, and then you’re freezer is too full for any more so you’re SOL, but at least now you’ve used 2 cups of it.
And if you’re wondering the difference, sorbet is non-dairy, ice cream is made with milk and cream.
Raspberry Lambic Ice Cream
(If you’re super-observant you’ll notice it’s the same as the Blue Moon ice cream, only with Raspberry Lambic instead of Blue Moon.)
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup raspberry lambic
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp + 1 tsp corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
1. Mix together corn starch and 2 tbsp on the milk in a little bowl. Set aside.
2. Whisk together cream cheese and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
3. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine lambic, heavy cream, milk, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil for about 4 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and mix in the corn starch-milk mixture.
5. Return to heat, and bring to a boil for about 1 minute while stirring.
6. Whisk hot mixture into cream cheese. Make sure cream cheese is completely incorporated.
7. Cool. (I usually do this in the fridge overnight.)
8. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
Do you know what would be a fun job? Getting to name nail polish colors. They are crazy. There are already colors like adore-a-ball (very pale pink), meet me at sunset (orange), and tiny wine-ey (red). And I would call this puddle of raspberry sorbet (because that’s what it really is).
Raspberry Lambic Sorbet
Recipe adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
1 lbs. raspberries (I used frozen, because it’s the middle of the winter, and fresh raspberries were exorbitantly expensive)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup raspberry lambic
1. Combine all in ingredients in saucepan.
2. Bring to simmer, stirring/smooshing raspberries into a pulp while you go.
3. Once raspberries are more or less liquified, remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl through a sieve.4. Cover with saran wrap and cool. You can do this by putting the bowl in an ice bath or refrigerating overnight or really via any other method.
5. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
6. Transfer to container and freeze for a few hours until firm. Your sorbet will be softer than typical ice cream right out of the ice cream maker and will melt faster than your typical ice cream when removed from the freezer. So…
7. Eat it quickly.