Showing posts with label raspberry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raspberry. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 31

Make - {Raspberry Ice Cream}

Although storage is not necessarily an issue thus far, traces of the move still linger in the apartment. Homeless objects are scattered here and there, longing for purpose and dignification but residing, for now, in impractical places. Printers are not often found at the foot of a bed, under a microwave and next to an old fashioned heater, but hey – it fits.

Headbands. A passport. Packs of gum. An address book. Lotions. The list grows longer each day as I inventory the deep box at the foot of my bed. Most of these things used to be kept in or on a desk, but here, as I lack one, they seem destined only for my underwear drawer.

But of course, that bothers me. A bit, at least, because I like to be organized and for everything to have a logical place around me. However, considering the fact that I don’t exactly want to invest money in a desk (don’t worry, Mom and Dad, I have other places to do homework!), nor do I know for a fact that I want one that badly, I’m going to live with it.

Thus, the box will be emptied and the drawers will be filled.

It’s bizarre to see the boxes and imagine them as nothing more than projects and obligations; a sign that I have yet to settle myself completely into my new home and a constant reminder that I’ll have to clear the room of them in some way. In the dark they trip my feet, in the day they are shoved into corners and for over a week they’ve contained the frustrated, lost and purposeless things that I probably didn’t need to bring.

In a word, these boxes are annoying.

But I hate to think in this way because it makes me feel - if you’ll forgive me - old.

It wasn’t that long ago that I would have wanted nothing more than to have these boxes in my life and that organization was just a thing for “grown ups.” It wasn’t that long ago that I would have swiftly dumped the boxes of their contents and run crayons and markers over their surfaces, taped on construction paper and asked for help to cut windows and doors. It really wasn’t that long ago that these boxes would be houses and restaurants, ships and airplanes…

Or was it?

The concept of play has, obviously, changed for me. Although it would probably be pretty awesome to start a blog about things to make with cardboard boxes (I wouldn’t doubt that one probably exists), that’s not what I did because, well, I probably wouldn’t be very good at it. The generic toys of childhood have disappeared from my interests and I’ve turned, instead, to other forms of entertainment, leaving them only to memory.

What made them so amazing to me as a kid was the fact that they could be and do anything you wanted them to. I realize that this sounds really corny and silly, but honestly - they sparked my imagination, and I loved it.

Unfortunately, I can’t appreciate boxes for what they are anymore.

But you know what? I can deal with that too because I have other “boxes” in my life. I’m still inspired by simple things, and I haven’t – and won’t – give up my imagination. I’ll continue to pack and unpack my life, using these memories to hold it together, and enjoy myself regardless of the age I keep.

That’s just how it should be.

Raspberry Ice Cream from Butter, Sugar, Flour with slight changes
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 c (355 ml) half and half
1 c (200 g) sugar, divided
1/2 tsp salt
7 egg yolks
1 1/2 c (355 ml) heavy cream
1 1/2 c (355 ml) strained raspberry puree
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Place the half and half, 1/2 c of the sugar and the salt in a medium saucepan. Put over medium heat and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 c sugar with the egg yolks to the ribbon stage, until lightened in color and texture.
When the half and half has come to a boil, immediately pour about 1/2 c into the egg yolks, whisking the entire time to ensure that you do not curdle the yolks. Continue adding the half and half in small amounts until about half of it has been whisked into the eggs, then pour the egg mixture into the pan with the remaining half and half and cook until thickened, whisking constantly.

Pour the hot custard through a strainer, if desired, into a large bowl. Add the cream, raspberry puree, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk to combine, then press plastic wrap to the surface of the custard and refrigerate until very cold. I refrigerated it overnight, but this recipe suggests that you freeze it within 4 hours of making the custard to preserve the fresh taste of the berries. It is up to your discretion! After the custard has cooled thoroughly, freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Monday, May 31

Buzz - {Meringue Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd}

I don't remember having a "blanky," a "binky," a "dolly," or any number of "fill-in-the-blank-y"s growing up. Sure, I had my stuffed animals, but I never needed them to fall asleep at night. All I really wanted was a goodnight kiss, an open door and the assurance that the Slime Monster (Ghostwriter, anyone?) didn't exist. After my parents left for their room, it was up to me to make sure that I didn't scare myself into consciousness in the early hours of the morning, as I was an easily frightened child. In the darkness, I would convince myself of terrible things, imagining monsters behind my door or scary dolls beneath my bed. Waking from these dreams to shift into the reality of a room bathed in moonlight and shadows was never enjoyable; the simple fear of creatures in my dreams - the ones I knew were imagined - quickly changed into sheer terror when I was dropped back into a world I couldn't control, let alone see clearly.

But it was reversible. I would squeeze my eyes shut and bury my head under my blanket, sure that if I couldn't see whatever was clearly after me, then there would be no way that it would know where to find me. Sometimes I would cry and venture down the hall into my parents bedroom, but oftentimes even that walk was too much. There were too many doors on the way, and too many chances to be captured. It was usually a risk that I wasn't prepared to take.

But I found that if I waited long enough, there would be noise. The heater would turn on and I would hear a familiar rumbling coming from the vents in my room. Or maybe the dishwasher would change cycles and the sloshing of water within would lull me to sleep. Occasionally I would even hear a train off in the distance, and somehow that was enough to calm my restless mind. Effectively sedated, I would roll back into my sheets and fade into happier dreams.

The sound was comforting.

I can't explain it (of course, it's probably got to do with that whole thing about infants being comforted by sound because it reminds them of the womb), but I'm happy for it. Now, with every clunk of the heater, every chugging rinse cycle and every rumbling train, I am reminded of those nights spent afraid in the dark. Of course, I'm not afraid anymore, but they still have the same effect on me. And, as an added bonus, they allow me to laugh at my younger self for being such a wuss.

It's a win-win situation.

Anyway, it's been proven that scent is the sense that we associate most strongly with memories, but I really can't agree. Perhaps it's because I was cursed with a poor sense of smell, and maybe it's because I've got a thing for fighting The Man, but I find that sound is what bring back memories for me.

Yesterday, after filling up on ribs (awesome recipe! Please check it out!), sweet corn, coleslaw, baked beans, corn bread, potatoes and everything else under the sun, I wandered onto my Grandparent's back porch to keep my dog company. Overhead were clouds and jetstreams, small in size and illuminated by sinking sun in the west. The sound of those planes overhead, though few in number and occasional in passing, always brings me back to their house. Hearing one at that moment made me think of summers passed in their yard, listening to the far-off hum of planes cruising from cloud to cloud overhead competing with the buzz of bees dancing from petal to petal. Summers spent planning naked steps to avoid thistles and pines while picking flowers and watching birds on Grandma's feeders. Grass stains on my knees and twigs in my hair - for me, there isn't a smell for summer. Not even cut grass.

What does it for me is the sound. Simple things like vehicles or animals, and important things like laughter and voices.

So I'm lucky. Because of that, I'm convinced that I will never forget the details of my childhood.

Even the stupid ones.

Meringue Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd adapted from Martha Stewart
I don't remember how I came across this recipe, but I do remember thinking that I had to make them after seeing how ridiculously cute they are! The meringues are on the sweet side, of course, but they're an easy to make and fun to serve, not to mention delicious and fun to eat due to the range of textures they present. Be sure to save your yolks for ice cream!
Printable Recipe

6 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 c (350 g) sugar
Raspberry curd (recipe follows)
Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream and fresh fruit for serving, if desired.

Preheat oven to 225F (110C). Line every other cup of 2 nonstick 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups and coat each with cooking spray. Prepare a large piping bag with a coupler (no tip needed) and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites, vinegar, vanilla, and salt until frothy. Increase the speed and begin adding sugar slowly, a tablespoon at a time, beating for one minute after each addition so the sugar dissolves. Continue whipping until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a plain coupler (no tip), and pipe into prepared baking cups, about 2 inches above rims, finishing with a peak in the centers. Bake, rotating halfway through, 3 to 3 hours and 20 minutes. (Cupcakes should be completely dry on the outside but still soft in the middle. A toothpick inserted horizontally at base of top should have moist but cooked crumbs attached.) Transfer cupcakes in baking cups to wire racks; let cool completely.

To serve, carefully cut off caps with a serrated knife and fill with whipped cream, ice cream, raspberry curd, fresh fruit or any other filling you desire.

Raspberry Curd via Martha Stewart
This is an incredibly easy recipe. It makes much more than you will need though, so I would advise you to halve it and save half the container of raspberries for topping the finished cupcakes.

1 container (6 oz or 170 g) raspberries
1 1/4 c (250 g) sugar
4 egg yolks
1 stick (8 Tbls or 115 g) unsalted butter
1/4 c (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until slightly thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain; press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until cold and thick.

Tuesday, December 22

Sweet Treats - {Linzer Cookies}

I've been slacking on making Christmas cookies this year. It's terribly difficult to believe that although I've been home for nearly a week, I've only just pulled my first batch of Christmas cookies from the oven. But between moving out then in, saying goodbye then hello, cleaning then making messes, and baking for every other occasion under the sun (ok, I may be exaggerating a bit), I simply haven't found the time!

By this time last year, I had piles and piles of beautiful cookies haphazardly dotting the beat-up landscape that was once my kitchen. The sweets rested, snugly nestled in boxes, some ornamented with sprinkles or slickly blanketed by royal icing. Among splatters of waedyward cookie dough, a thick dusting of flour and a few of those inexplicable and awful sticky spots that I always seem to find when I'm cleaning up (anyone else come across those? I hate them!), they patiently awaited delivery to friends.


My hips.

But, as I said, I've been slacking. These Linzer Cookies are but one item on a long list of things I hope to bake in the next three (OMG!!) days.

But the cookies aren't lonely in the kitchen; yesterday when P came to visit, he brought a tray of cookies he and his mom had baked the day before and a giant whisk (a Christmas gift - it's amazing. You'd be jealous!). Then, within 10 minutes, he was making bread from scratch, by hand, with no recipe. Very impressive, very good and very pretty. I wish the batteries on my camera weren't dead, because it's so much prettier than any bread I've ever baked!

Anyway, I'm keeping this post short. I've got some errands to run!

I'm hoping I'll be able to bake more Christmas goodies soon, but just in case I don't get the chance, Happy Holidays!

Linzer Cookies Via Joy of Cooking
Printable Recipe

1 c (145 g) blanched almonds
2 c (250 g) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (237 g) butter, softened
2/3 c (131 g) sugar, divided
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1/2 cup (118 ml) seedless Raspberry or Black Currant Preserves or Jam (I made my own using this recipe)

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Toast the almonds on a baking sheet for about 8-10 minutes (or until lightly browned and fragrant). Once the nuts have cooled, place in a food processor and process with 1/4 cup of the sugar from the recipe until finely ground. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg yolks, and lemon zest. Beat in the ground nuts. Add the flour mixture beating just until incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape into two rectangles about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap the two rectangles of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour and up to several days).

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Remove one rectangle of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter cut out the dough. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small 'window or cut out' in the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath.)

Reroll any scraps and cut out the cookies. Remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll and cut out the rest of the cookies. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until they are very lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and lightly dust the tops with the confectioners' sugar.

On the bottom surface of the full cookie (top of cookie will face out) spread with about a 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together, making sure not to smug the confectioners' sugar. Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam.

Wednesday, July 29

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Macarons

I'm still fighting my way through this year's raspberry harvest.

I freeze many of them every year, but it seems such a shame. The berries are so eye-catching and attractive when fresh, but left to fend for themselves in a cold and unforgiving fridge for a few days... Well, it doesn't take long for their alluring and glossy sheen to fade into a dull, unattractive finish. Of course, freezing them does nothing to counteract the process; either left unattended in the fridge or resurrected from a deep sleep in the freezer, mushy raspberries have just a handful of unremarkable futures.

But at least, if frozen, their usage period is extended. I like to dot pancakes with them in the dead of winter, or sprinkle them into muffin batter on particularly dreary afternoons when I'm lusting for just one more shine of summer sun.

And sometimes I even dip them in chocolate.

And then I sandwich them between two pretty pink macaron shells.

Because it's delicious.

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Macarons
This recipe is the same as Tartelette's, but is use a teeny bit less granulated sugar. Oh, and some of mine have dark flecks because I made them twice, and the first time I used unblanched almonds.
Printable Recipe

3 egg whites, room temp
30g granulated sugar
200g powdered sugar
110g almond meal

Place an unlined shiny baking sheet (to prevent browning) onto your oven's top rack and preheat the oven to 300F.

Prepare a piping bag with a round tip. I like to put mine in a glass so I can simply pour in the macaronage/batter and begin piping as quickly as possible.

Beat the egg whites into a foam, and gradually add the granulated sugar. Continue beating until the meringue no longer slides when you tip the bowl, being very careful not to overbeat. Sift the powdered sugar and almond meal over the meringue and fold to combine, being sure to get out quite a bit of the air. Continue mixing just until ribbons settle indistinguishably into the macaronage. Pour into your piping bag and pipe small rounds onto sheets of parchment paper.

Bake 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet below the one already in the oven.

Chocolate Covered Raspberries
Yeah, I know you probably don't need a recipe for this, but I'm including it anyway because I think it's very important that your raspberries are frozen, and I wanted to make note of it. Since they'll be weakened by the freezing process, the berries will be incredibly juicy. They'll practically explode when you bite into them!

Raspberries, frozen

Melt the chocolate, dip raspberries and allow to set on parchment paper.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Please click here for a step-by-step guide to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream and troubleshooting tips!

1/2c sugar (I usually eyeball it :P)
2 egg whites
6Tbls softened unsalted butter, cut into 1/2Tbls
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cook the egg whites and sugar over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it's completely smooth, it's done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. The buttercream mayt turn into a soupy curdled mess, but I assure you it will be ok; just beat the shit out of it for a few minutes. It'll come together, and when it does, you should add your vanilla :)

Partially flatten a chocolate covered raspberry with a butter knife or a similar utensil. Place in the center of a macaron, and pipe buttercream in one circle around it. Top with a similar-sized macaron.

Store them in the fridge, but enjoy them at room temp!

Wednesday, July 22

Raspberry Cobbler


I could say that baking is just a hobby of mine, but I'd be lying to you.

It's a passion, but I suppose that's a bit of a lie, too. It doesn't quite cover it...

In truth, the passion borders on obsession from time to time, considering the fact that I spend, oh, just about all of my free time thinking about baking, reading about baking, looking at photos of what other people are baking and... Oh yeah, baking. There's something intoxicating about the combination of butter, flour and sugar plus a myriad of other fine ingredients that makes my head spin.

But I wouldn't have it any other way.

My name's Kaitlin, I'm 18, and I don't have a gimmick.

I'm just a kid with a whisk, some ideas, a love of baking and a budding passion for photography.

Maybe you'd like to stick around?


Raspberry Cobbler
based very loosely on this recipe. One thing that's important to know about me is that I don't always follow recipes. I know baking is a science, but... I think there's a little room for playing.

Vanilla Ice Cream

It may seem a bit daunting at first, but I assure you that ice cream is very easy to make at home! It's so easy to customize. There's really no limit to the flavors you can create. It's so much better than the store bought stuff, and so worth the small amount of time it takes to make.

1 c (237 ml) milk
1 c (237 ml) heavy whipping cream
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c (99 g) sugar

Put the milk and cream into a saucepan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and vanilla until light. After the milk/cream in the saucepan is steaming and very hot (but not boiling!), temper the yolks by pouring a small amount of the milk into them and whisking simultaneously.

Repeat until all the milk is incorporated.

Pour back into the saucepan and, whisking constantly, continue cooking (but don't let it boil!). To test if it's done, dip a spoon into the mix, hold it up, and trace your finger straight through the middle. When it leaves a trail and the remaining liquid does not fill in the space, remove from the heat and place it in the fridge for a few hours, until it's very cold. Then freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions.