Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Failures

I've just been failing all over the place this last week, culinary-wise. Last week I got it stuck in my head that I just HAD to use my new ice cream maker, STAT! I was so impatient that I didn't let the ice cream bowl freeze for the 15+ hrs recommended. 12 hrs isn't enough? Go figure. I ended up with a sort of ice cream soup. It was delicious, but not ice cream. I used a modified B&J recipe from this book

2 large eggs
3/4 c. sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
2 ripe bananas (I froze mine ahead of time)
1/2 c. peanut butter
2-3 T. lemon juice

Whisk Eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, then whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, until completely blended. Pour in cream & milk and whisk to blend. Take about 1 c. of this liquid and combine with the peanut butter in a separate bowl. Stir until completely blended, then add back to the base and stir again. 

Transfer to your ice cream machine and freeze following your machine's instructions. (seriously...)
Meanwhile, mash the bananas in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. 
During the last few minutes of ice cream blending, add the banana mixture to the machine. Freeze until ice cream is ready.

Like I said, yummy, but more like soup. My own fault, totally. 
I have big plans in the works for my next ice cream adventure. The bowl has been in my freezer for the last few days and the temperature in LA has dropped drastically, so no excuses.

Then on Saturday at Jenn's house she asked me to help with a recipe she was doing for a luau the following day. Some yummy sounding S'mores thing that required her to make her own marshmallows. Does anyone besides Martha Stewart MAKE their own marshmallows? Jenn does. Crazy. Anyway, even the most simple task handed to me (toasting coconut) could not be followed through, and I burnt 75% of the coconut! Wahh! Luckily, or weirdly, thanks to my mom, I have a taste for burnt food and I nibbled away at this the rest of the night. 

Even though I have been less than perfect at some of my recent attempts, I am not going to stop! I know that all the greats have run into hiccups on their journeys, and mine will be no different. Lately I'm starting to feel more like Betty Lehn (my mom... hi, mom!) than Betty Crocker, though. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Recipe Fail

Ever follow a recipe to the T and still get it wrong? I do... all the time. I had planned on showcasing a newly-mastered recipe for stabilized whipped cream, that whippy-frosting substance that comes on some cakes and holds up longer than regular whipped cream. I thought I'd squeeze some of it onto some cupcakes and also try my new airbrushy style frosting colors. None of this happened because I did SOMETHING wrong. I don't know what, and it is driving me crazy!

Here's the recipe I used for stabilized whipped cream. If anyone has ever tried this and succeeded, let me know what I did wrong. I plan on trying this again (and maybe documenting it as sort of a "Recipe Re-Do," but for now I'll have to move on.

1/4 c. cold water
1 t. unflavored gelatin
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 T (or more) white sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract (I used my Vanilla Bean Paste)

Put your bowl and beaters into the fridge/freezer for at least 15 minutes. While you're doing this, combine the cold water and gelatin, and microwave for small increments of time until the gelatin is dissolved. Stir and let cool completely (gelatin should be liquid, but not warm when added to the cream). Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla until you start to see the beater marks. Slowly and constantly add the gelatin to the cream as it whips. Whip until stiff peaks form. 

I did notice after I finished whipping that there were small spots of gelatin stuck to the side of my cold KitchenAid bowl... maybe I whipped too fast and not enough of the gelatin got incorporated with the cream? Not sure if you can tell from my photo, but I did NOT get stabilized whipped cream. What a waste! 
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