Ice Cream! Ice Cream…
We all scream for ice cream! Especially in the summertime. The heat is on here in Newport so chocolate nice cream is welcome in our house. Recently I made mango sorbet and it turned out yummy so I decided to find out if I can make vegan chocolate ice cream. We love ice cream especially chocolate in our house. As we are eating more plant-based, it is important I can introduce “normal” foods familiar to my guys.
Chocolate Ice Cream is Easy
Yes, it is to my joy. Made with three ingredients: frozen bananas, plant milk, and cacao powder. That’s it. What I love about this recipe and the sorbet is it is ready to eat once done blending. You just need to remember to slice and freeze ripening bananas to have on hand, but other than that it is immediate gratification. Always appreciated when craving ice cream. Another thing I love about it is that it is healthy. You can have your ice cream and eat it too!!
A couple tips:
– Let the bananas thaw for a couple minutes
– Use quality cacao powder for a really luxe ice cream
– Put in freezer for that perfect consistency
My dairy forever son and my toughest food critic gave me two thumbs up. He couldn’t stop eating it.
- - 5-6 medium-sized bananas or 2 cups, cut into slices and frozen
- - 1-2 tablespoons plant milk
- - 1-2 tablespoons cocoa, cacao, or carob powder
- 1. In a food processor or high speed blender, blend the slightly thawed bananas until they start to get smooth.
- 2. Through the chute, add 1 tablespoon of plant milk and more if needed.
- 3. Scrape down the sides and add in the cacao.
- 4. Allow it to process again for another 3-4 minutes, or until fluffy and smooth. You may need to open and scrape down the sides periodically.
- 5. Eat right there or put in air tight container in freezer.
Mango sorbet has become my go-to creamy frozen dessert. Sorbets are naturally lactose-free and for those of us who dairy is not our friends means we can enjoy that feeling of eating a frozen dessert. On my journey to a plant-based lifestyle, my taste buds have evolved. Remember I was a dairy girl. Cheese and ice cream were food groups.
You can imagine how bummed I was when I realized that dairy and I were not compatible. And funny how when you can’t have a favorite food, you suddenly want it more. That was me with ice cream. I suddenly wanted ice cream. I needed to find a win-win for health, waistline, and frankly my wallet. That’s where mango sorbet comes into the picture.
Refreshingly Simple to Make
Mango sorbet is so simple and quick to make. And what I love about it is that it is ready to eat when you finish preparing it. So if you keep the ingredients handy, then when a craving, for me usually after eating a strongly favored meal, hits then you can whip it up in less than five minutes. Also means a great dessert for entertaining.
All it is: frozen mango chunks, coconut milk, lime juice, and maple syrup. Throw it in the food processor blending until smooth. That is it! I use frozen mangoes for two reasons. One, I can’t selected a good mango to save my life. And two, it save time and work.
Chocolate Nice Cream is Next
Chocolate ice cream is a favorite of mine so I’m going to try out making chocolate nice cream using frozen banana and oat milk. Fingers crossed since chocolate is so good. In the meantime, grab a spoon and dig in into the mango sorbet or if puddings are more your thing then try chai pudding!
- 2-3 cups frozen mango chunks
- 100 ml canned coconut milk
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- Lime juice, 1/2 of lime
- Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and pulse until ingredients are smooth.
- Serve immediately or place in air-tight container in freezer.
Don’t regift that Panettone or Pandora Breads
Ever since watching the British Bakeoff Master Classes where Paul made the Italian sweet yeast dough, Pandora Bread, I wanted to make it since it looked tasty and lovely. It is a rich bread made with what flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. What has kept me from making with I lacked easy access to the tin star mold. Panettone with the fruit and raisins are common finds, but the plain one was very hard to find.
Right before Christmas, I stopped in RI Job Lots – a store I can not describe – and there was a shelf full of them. I had to buy it. And I couldn’t wait until Christmas to eat it. That night the box was opened and the Pandora was taken out of the bag. We all were looking forward to it. Well there was quite a lot of disappointment. It was dry and had a flavor we couldn’t figure out. Was it alcohol? We didn’t know.
The Pandora, which was quite large, sat on the counter top. I torn clumps of it as I walked by and I wasn’t putting a dent in it. Something had to be done with it, but what?
I made a Mary Berry Christmas Pavlova for a friend on Christmas Eve. It needed six egg whites. I kept the yolks not wanting to waste them. As I put them in the fridge, the thought came to me: bread pudding. I can make bread pudding with them since it takes six egg yolks. While you could toast the bread or batter them for French (or Italian) toast, I like the option for bread pudding better. It is warm and moist with tons of flavor. And it was a hit.
So don’t throw out your Panettone or Pandora or regift it, but instead make bread pudding with it. Tear it apart soaking it in an egg sugar cream mixture and bake. Sprinkle it with powder sugar and, as we say in this house, “Bob’s your uncle.”
Italian Pandora Bread Pudding
- - 6 large egg yolks
- - 2 cups whole milk
- - 1 cup heavy cream
- - 1 cup granulated sugar
- - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- - 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- - Pandora Bread, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
- - 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
- - Heat oven to 375° F.
- - Butter or spray a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
- - Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- - Add the bread and chocolate and mix to combine.
- - Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean in 40 minutes.
- - Serve warm or at room temperature.
Overripe Bananas? Make Banana Bread
Got overripe bananas sitting on your countertop? The ones you meant to eat a week ago or maybe longer. Yes, those. While you maybe tempted to put them in the compost or trash bins, do not. Do not waste them, but instead make banana bread. It is a simple quick bread.
Typically, your pantry has all the ingredients for this recipe: butter, sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla, eggs, and yogurt. I usually use whatever yogurt I have on hand in the fridge. Vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry yogurt works nicely with this recipe.
Banana Bread Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 2-3 bananas)
- 4 oz container low-fat yogurt (vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry works nicely)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- Cooking spray
- Heat oven to 350°.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a fork or whisk.
- Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended.
- Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
- Spoon batter into loaf pan coated with cooking spray, butter, or oil.
- Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan.
- Try to cool completely on wire rack.
Making of the Lux French Macarons
I seem to be on the French cooking spurt with the baguettes and now macarons. Perhaps that’s telling me I need to plan a trip to France. Who wants to send me there for a month or so? For Well Worn Apron of course! For the art of food, so I can write about the food experience.
Back to macarons. They are like this mythical treat. Epic with their own cult following. I have to admit I have never had a French macaron until I made these ones. Crazy, I know, but true. I am now a fan.
They are beautiful… crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The flavors and fillings can be anything. I made two types: coffee with Nutella filling and lemon with lemon buttercream. I am going to share the coffee recipe since it was the easiest and quickest to make. If you want me to post on the lemon ones, let me know in the comments or on Facebook. Best to make them 24-48 hours before you plan on sharing them. Allows them to develop their flavor and texture. Fair warning macaron making is an afternoon baking session so unlike cookies you cannot just whip these up last minute.
If you have noticed, recently I have been using weight measurements for baking. I am finding I am getting better end results. Baking is more science than art. Worth investing in a scale.
Coffee Nutella Filled French Macarons
- 120 grams almond flour
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
- 100 grams egg whites or whites for 3 eggs, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 30 grams granulated sugar
- Nutella spread
- Measure the almond flour, powdered sugar, and espresso powder into the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse the mixture to a fine powder, and sift.
- Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium speed until frothy.
- Slowly add the granulated sugar (about a teaspoon at a time), while continuing to whip. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, turn the speed up to high and whip until the meringue looks glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- Dump all the almond flour mixture into the meringue at once.
- Fold together until the batter falls from the spoon.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe rounds about 1 inch in diameter onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Slam the baking sheet on the counter to force out any large air bubbles allowing to dry for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes.
- Cool completely on the baking sheet
- Sandwich with Nutella.
Mary Berry’s Christmas Pavlova
Mary Berry’s Christmas Pavlova is truly a holiday show stopper. While I am not a huge watcher of cooking shows, I enjoy watching The Great British Bake Off. It is a friendly and fun competition. Not like the cooking competition shows in the US where they are cut-throat with yelling and meanness rule. That is not my thing. I like niceness and kindness. Any way back to the pavlova, I saw this on the Master Class program where Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood create desserts by showing you how to make them. The Christmas program was my favorite. A couple recipes I want to try and this was one of them.
I was intimidated by this recipe at first. I have never made a pavlova; however, in Ireland they are a very common dessert. My Auntie Carmel is known to make a pretty amazing one. The recipe is using British ingredients with American English equivalents and measurements. I purchased vanilla bean paste and caster sugar through Amazon. I only converted the oven temps from celsius to fahrenheit. When baking, I am finding it is better to weigh your ingredients than using cups. Baking is more science than art. It is worth investing in scale that does grams and ounces.
Mary Berry’s Christmas Pavlova
- For the pavlova
- - 6 large egg whites
- - 350g/12oz caster sugar or super fine sugar
- - 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- - 1 tsp cornflour (corn starch)
- For the filling
- - 600ml/20fl oz double cream or whipping cream
- - 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- - 50g/1¾oz icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- - 200g/7oz strawberries, hulled and quartered
- - 300g/10½oz raspberries
- - 200g/7oz blueberries
- - a few mint leaves, to decorate (optional)
- - icing sugar or powdered sugar, for dusting
- - Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3 or 285F.
- - Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and draw a 30cm/12in circle in the middle of the paper.
- - Put the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- - Gradually add the sugar a little at a time, whisking on maximum speed until they are stiff and glossy.
- - Mix the vinegar and cornflour in a cup until smooth, then stir into the egg whites.
- - Spoon the meringue onto the ring drawn on the baking parchment.
- - Using a large spoon make a shallow trench in the meringue for the cream and fruit to sit in.
- - Transfer to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 140C/120C Fan/Gas 1 or 250F. - --- Bake for 1 hour–1 hour 15 minutes, until the outside is hard but still white.
- - Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova inside for an hour or overnight to cool and dry.
- - To assemble, whip the cream, vanilla paste and icing sugar until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- - Spoon the cream into the trench in the meringue.
- - Arrange the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and pomegranate on top and decorate with a few mint leaves, if using.
- - To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into wedges.