Persimmon Pistachio Roll Cake

Persimmon Pistachio Roll Cake

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones and lots of delicious food. Did you get what you wanted? After we reach a certain age, Christmas presents must not have the same excitement? I don’t know though, I’m just guessing. I love getting presents and I’m old! It’s always exciting to me to open up the bag or unwrap the wrapping paper with baited breath, waiting to get the first glimpse of the goodies inside.

Persimmons

We were up bright and early Christmas morning to start off our day with our own ongoing tradition, the first showing of whatever the hit movie is that year. This year, Star Wars VIII. As you know we are huge fans so waiting a week to watch the movie was torture. However, I’ve done an opening night movie for Star Wars back when they had their 20th Anniversary. The weirdos that turn up for the opening night; I wasn’t about to put myself through that again. So, we waited, and it was totally worth the wait. LOVED the movie and cannot wait for the next one.

Persimmon Pistachio Roll Cake

In the rush to get up and get to the movie theatre and due to some bad procrastination the day before, I forgot to pull out the chicken from the freezer for dinner. So, in true “A Christmas Story” fashion we ended up in the only open restaurant close by, a Chinese place. No, we didn’t have duck with the head still attached along with badly sung Christmas carols but we did have some bad Chinese food nevertheless. Apparently, many others forgot to take out their frozen turkeys/rib roast since it seemed like everyone in Broomfield was there. When we arrived there were a fair number of people but as we ordered and got our food, the stream of people coming through the door was never ending. The bad part; only one server. She was worked out of her little apron, but then family members started pitching in. We decided it was time to leave. I couldn’t fathom how many people, on Christmas, choose to not cook, won’t cook or can’t cook…or  maybe they just like less than mediocre Chinese food on special holidays. These weren’t just couples and such, while we were waiting on our food, a family came in and asked for a table for 11! For 11?!! Why aren’t they cooking a family dinner at home?? 

Persimmons

After our not very good Chinese food, we went home and collapsed on the sofa. Steaming cups of hot cocoa kept us warm as the snow that was supposed to fall in the morning, finally arrived. We watched TV, drifted in and out of slumber, drank tea and cocoa and enjoyed a cosy evening at home. The snow kept falling; in fact, it fell all night and we woke up to about 4-5 inches. All the melted roads from the last snow storm were all snow packed and icy again. The weather has been so cold that nothing has melted and there is an ice rink right as you reach the bottom of our driveway. This morning it was 6F. Yeah, single digits.

Christmas Eve we were invited to dinner at a lovely friend’s house. It had been so long since I’d seen my friends, I was really looking forward to it. As I lay in bed that morning, my mind whirred away trying to come up with something to make with the ripe persimmons I had sitting on my kitchen counter. We had eaten a few fresh but persimmons can be very tannic and that can be off putting, especially to kids. I wanted to use the rest up in a dessert of some fashion.

Persimmon Pistachio Roll Cake

Pudding, trifle, cake, muffins, cupcakes….all these ideas went through my mind. Since I had only 4 persimmons left, it had to be some sort of filling that was complemented with something else and something the children would eat. But wait, I was headed to a party that evening, I could bring a dessert. That opened up the idea of cake again. I don’t make too many cakes, they never get eaten at our house and I get stuck with them every time. But dinner parties are something else, food gets eaten at parties. I jumped out of bed and got to work.

Persimmon Pistachio Roll Cake

Every year I put a traditional Buche de Noel on my bucket list, and every year it gets thrown out with the dirty water. This is not a traditional Buche de Noel, but it’s a Yule log of some sort. I love roll cakes, they can be a bit tricky but I love them anyway. They are pretty and easy to portion and cut, not to mention delicious! I have a couple of roll cakes on the website.

The persimmons are cooked down a little to concentrate flavours and remove the tannic quality. They are then mixed with some heavy cream, a drop of rose water is added and then filled inside a pistachio sponge cake. Allowing the cake to sit for a few hours before serving makes the sponge soft and saturated from the cream and it just melts in your mouth. The hint of rose water and the pistachio cake add an exotic flair to the beautiful persimmons.

Persimmon Pistachio Roll Cake-

Persimmon Pistachio Roll Cake

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 10 pieces

A non traditional Yule log made with a rolled pistachio cake filled with a persimmon rose water filling.
Ingredients
  • Sheet Cake:
  • ¾ cup all purpose/plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios, ground fine
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups persimmon chunks (about 4 whole, fresh ones)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon rose water, optional
  • Ground pistachios for decoration
  • Dried or fresh rose buds for decoration
Instructions
  1. Persimmon Filling:
  2. Put the chunks of persimmons and ½ cup water into a small saucepan.
  3. Put on low heat and bring to a simmer.
  4. Let the persimmons soften and break down, mash down with a fork to help them along.
  5. Add the ¼ cup sugar and let simmer until all the liquid has evaporated.
  6. It will take about 20-25 minutes till the persimmons are cooked and the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Put into a small bowl and place in the fridge to cool.
  8. In the meantime, make the sheet cake.
  9. Once the cake is cooled and the persimmon filling has cooled, whip the heavy cream.
  10. In the bowl of a clean mixer bowl, add the 1 cup of cream, once the cream has thickened a little, add the tablespoon of sugar and continue whipping until thick.
  11. You want the cream quite stiff so it will hold the persimmon filling and stay firm in the cake as well.
  12. Fold in the persimmon filling and add the rose water if using.
  13. CAUTION: rose water is strong so start with ½ teaspoon. Too much will over power the cake to just rose water tasting.
  14. Sheet Cake:
  15. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  16. Grease and line with parchment paper a ½ size sheet pan (17.5 x 11.5 inches)
  17. Sift the flour, baking powder and ground pistachios together a few times.
  18. Keep aside until needed along with the sifter.
  19. In a saucepan or a microwaveable bowl, heat the milk and butter together till butter if melted and milk is hot.
  20. I zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds at a time until the butter and milk are hot.
  21. Watch carefully as it can boil over.
  22. Keep aside until needed.
  23. In the bowl of a mixer, add the eggs and the sugar and which until pale, thick and frothy.
  24. This whisking is key to a sponge.
  25. The eggs have to be whipped sufficiently.
  26. Anything under whipped; the cake will not rise enough.
  27. The consistency of the whipped eggs and sugar have to be like softly whipped cream.
  28. Once the egg-sugar mixture is ready, sift the flour over the batter in 3 batches.
  29. Fold in carefully but completely.
  30. Bring the milk and butter up to a steam again (zap in microwave for 20 seconds)
  31. Pour the hot milk mixture all at once into the batter.
  32. Fold the batter thoroughly.
  33. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven.
  34. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is light golden brown and the cake springs back when pressed gently.
  35. While the cake is in the oven, place a clean tea towel on the counter or table and dust liberally with powdered sugar.
  36. Once the cake comes out of the oven, run a knife around the edges of the cake and flip the cake carefully onto the sugared tea towel.
  37. Allow the cake to cool slightly before removing the paper liner.
  38. Once you remove the paper liner, place a large piece of foil over the top.
  39. Use a sheet tray as a support and place over the foil.
  40. Place a hand under the towel and cake, flip the cake over carefully, so the top the cake is now facing you to be filled.
  41. It's easier to fill the cake and roll if the cake isn't on the sheet tray so carefully remove the cake from the sheet tray on the foil and lay on table.
  42. Remove the tea towel from the top.
  43. Fill with 1½ cups of the filling.
  44. Spread the filling evenly over the top, not too thickly though.
  45. Carefully lift up one the short edges of the cake and start rolling tightly.
  46. Use the foil as leverage and a way to help roll and keep the roll compact and tight.
  47. Use one hand to hold the foil and the other to keep the cake tight as it rolls.
  48. It will crack a little at the beginning but the cracking will reduce as the roll gets bigger.
  49. Just keep the roll tight and compact at the beginning even if it crack.
  50. Shape with your hands as you are rolling.
  51. Once the cake is rolled, keep it covered and rolled in the foil.
  52. Refrigerate for an hour in the foil before serving.
  53. Remove the foil, use the remainder of the filling to cover the top of the cake lightly.
  54. Dust with ground pistachios and dried roses if desired.

Persimmon Pistachio Roll Cake-

So, what was the best thing you ate over the Christmas holiday? Let me tell you, for us, it wasn’t the Chinese food! This cake was pretty good though, as was the dinner at my friend’s and my White Chicken Chilli that we had on Boxing Day.

I cannot believe 2015 whizzed by in a blur. I am quite certain I was writing this very sentence not too long ago! Be that as it may, the fact is 2016 will be here very soon. I want to wish you all a very happy, safe and prosperous New Year. I thank you for your friendship, your encouragement and your support. Here’s to many, more years together!

Happy New Year!

Peach Tart

Peach Tart | Coffee and Crumpets

I’m kind of enjoying these unexpected breaks I keep taking. I don’t mean to disappear but it’s been really hectic at home with back to school/college, work and keeping up with house and blog.

I think actually, I would prefer to just cook and blog rather than work and clean house! Cooking and then writing about it is a lot more stress free and therapeutic. I would gladly just do this, but alas, I think the guys at work would physically drive over and drag me from the house if I quit. 

Peach Tart | Coffee and Crumpets

They enjoy the food and cookies a little bit too much and any thoughts of me taking a day off is shot down in a hurry. Back during Ramadan, I told them I was going to take the Saturday off for Eid festivities. They looked at me in horror. Then one of them actually asked me if I was being serious and asked what he was going to eat if I wasn’t going to be there. Then he asked if I could cook something at home and he’d come and pick it up! I said “NO!”, quite vehemently! I guess it’s totally my fault; I have spoilt them rotten and now I’m paying for it. But on the flip side, they are pretty awesome guys and really take care of me too. They keep me laughing with their silly jokes and stories, and it’s refreshing to leave the house two days a week to enjoy adult conversation. Keeps my sanity intact.

So, back to school has been hectic with the usual scrambling to get supplies and then going back a million more times to get the rest of the supplies that the teachers don’t mention the first time around. 

Peach Tart | Coffee and Crumpets

Getting up early, racking my brain to pack lunches, dropping and picking up children, all thoroughly exciting. Back to school is kind of bitter sweet; as much as I love the quiet of the house during the day; the early morning lunch making and packing, driving to drop off and then picking up in the afternoon, is something I detest. Oh well, we can’t have it all.

So, onto important matters of food, have you ever come across a dish/recipe that you just can’t get out of your mind once you see it in a magazine or website? I’m talking about one you’ve never tasted and your mind is doing flips wondering what it does taste like?

For me, I see it, I drool over the photos and make a mental note that maybe I’ll make it when I have time (I’m not one for following recipes so it’s hard to commit). Then I realise a few days on, that I can’t get that dish out of my mind. I have to give props to the photographer who did such a great job ingraining that image in my mind!

This is that recipe. I first saw it on Food 52’s Facebook page. It just looked so luscious, glistening with all that amber fruit and golden sprinkles. I filed it away until I had time to explore it further.

Peach Tart | Coffee and Crumpets

A couple of weeks ago, I had some work guys over for dinner and was stuck for a second dessert. My friend had given me a case of Palisade peaches and the lightbulb went off. I could make the tart!

Originally, I wasn’t planning on sharing the recipe because it’s on the Food 52 website and I didn’t think it would be so awesome that I had to share it. But it is. It is pretty amazing. I want to say it’s the Colorado peaches that make it awesome, but it just could be it’s a great recipe. The Colorado peaches definitely take it over the top though.

Please excuse the photos, I snapped them all while prepping and baking the tart, with my iPhone. Not the best photos but I think they get across the lusciousness of the tart.

Hopefully, you can get your hands on some peaches still. Our season is coming to a close but we are still enjoying them while we can. They are so good this year.

All I can say is, make this tart! I have, of course, not followed the recipe completely, but it’s more or less the same. If you want to see the original, it’s here. 

I used my trusty recipe for a regular butter tart pastry and added some ground vanilla to the struesel on top. The aroma while this was baking…Oh. My. Goodness. 

Peach Tart | Coffee and Crumpets

Peach Tart

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 1 tart

A luscious peach tart showcasing juicy Colorado peaches.
Ingredients
  • Pastry for 11" tart pan
  • 1 ½ cups/210g flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons/113g butter, cold in cubes
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice water
  • Peach Tart
  • 4-5 medium size peaches (I used 4), sliced medium thick
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour (extra tablespoon if peaches are very juicy)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla seeds or extract
Instructions
  1. Pastry
  2. Quickest way to make pastry crust is in the food processor.
  3. Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the processor and pulse to mix.
  4. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the butter is in pea size pebbles.
  5. Mix the vinegar into a tablespoon of water and add to the bowl.
  6. Add about 3 tablespoons of cold water to start.
  7. Pulse the mixture and check to see if it holds together,
  8. If not, add in tablespoons until the mixture holds together when pressed between two fingers.
  9. Bring the flour butter mixture together into a ball and flatten into a disc.
  10. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  11. After the dough has chilled, roll out the pastry into 14" circle and line the tart pan.
  12. Keep in the fridge until needed.
  13. Peach Tart
  14. Preheat the oven to 425F/210C
  15. Take out the chilled tart from the fridge.
  16. Arrange the sliced peaches in concentric circles, fitting them in snugly.
  17. In a small bowl, add the sugar, flour, salt, ground vanilla and the butter.
  18. Rub the mixture together until crumbly and resembles small pebbles.
  19. Scatter the pebbly mixture all over the tart.
  20. It will seem like a lot but will disintegrate during the baking
  21. Place the tart on a tray and place on the bottom rack of the oven.
  22. Bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
  23. Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream (though it’s perfect without anything)

Peach Tart | Coffee and Crumpets

I’m going to try and post regularly but honestly, I might still be pretty erratic. I’m not free from my commitments until mid November, so…..We’ll see.

Visiting all your sites has been challenging too and I miss all the stories and recipes. I will visit all of you as soon as I can.

I actually get a three day weekend this weekend so I’m excited! I’m hoping to cook a little, hike a little and of course, shop a little.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Stone Fruit Pavlova

These last two weeks have been unexpectedly carefree and relaxing. I took a day off from work for Eid ul Fitr and two of my classes got cancelled because people didn’t sign up soon enough. Of course, on the day of the class itself, we had about 3 or 4 phone calls from clients wanting to come to the cooking class that evening. Uhhh…I need time to shop, prep and plan! There’s a reason for a RSVP. Oh well, the no classes meant I had some free time I wasn’t expecting. 

My days off from menu planning and shopping aren’t any different from my regular days. I still plan menus and shop, but for the blog. Cooking for the blog is a lot more stress free and open to pretty much anything. Right now, I’m insane over all the fresh produce. 

Stone Fruit Pavlova

My mind goes into over drive when I’m at the farm stand or at the produce section of the grocery store. I search out Colorado grown produce as much as I can and we are very lucky to have many farms just within driving distance from us who supply their goods to Whole Foods and other grocery stores.

I often think that I may look a tad strange as I stand there amongst the produce aisles with my little pink notebook and pen and a faraway look in my eyes. I’m thinking, planning, imagining and tasting all in my head.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

How about y’all? Do you like to create, improvise or follow recipes? 

I’ve always had a problem following recipes as such. I think in my life, I’ve followed maybe a handful, and that was when I wasn’t a very good cook. These days, I skim a book or recipe and then completely change it. I think I enjoy coming up with my own flavour profiles these days. Maybe it’s because of the cooking events I do and the demos; I have to plan a menu that can showcase the many features of a brand and sometimes that means changing a recipe or method.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Last night for dinner, I threw together an idea of something I had in my head. I had a pile of turnip greens and beet greens that were leftover when I roasted beets. I threw them on a sheet tray with some olive oil and baked them, some turned crispy, some were still soft but they had a lovely chewy texture to them. I had two little turnips so I sliced them up and threw them into a quick pickle. Sautéed some broccolini with roasted garlic, boiled some pasta, opened a tin of garbanzos and fried up some Halloumi cheese.

The garbanzo beans were mixed with the broccolini and then tossed with the pasta with a few generous glugs of olive oil. I topped the plates with some baked beet and turnip greens, fried cheese and turnip pickles…..oh my goodness…SO good.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Coming up with dishes like this is what’s fun about summer and summer produce. I may not like the sun and the heat but I appreciate all that it produces, like this beautiful, stone fruit pavlova. 

Pavlovas are great to make because I always seem to have egg whites left over. Whip up a meringue shell and fill it with seasonal fruit. This is summer right here. I filled mine with Colorado apricots and peaches, and some blueberries and strawberries for some berry colour. Plums would be great in here too, or some cherries. I didn’t want to make a trip to the store so I used what I had in my fridge.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Instead of filling it with cream, I filled the meringue shell with a great local, yoghurt we get here. In fact, I buy the milk from the dairy they use to make the yoghurt. I chose a cherry flavoured Noosa, and Noosa yoghurts are AMAZING. They are so creamy and dessert-like that you can definitely use them in place of cream in your desserts. I wanted the passion fruit flavour but they were out so I thought cherry would go well with the stone fruits. It did, it worked perfectly.

The stone fruit pavlova was pretty amazing too. We had no problem polishing if off.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: Serves 6

Ingredients
  • MERINGUE BASE
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup/150g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch/corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • FILLING and TOPPING
  • 1 or 2 apricots, sliced or halved
  • 1 or 2 peaches, sliced
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • or assorted berries,
  • plums,
  • cherries,
  • 8 oz/225g container of flavoured yoghurt
Instructions
  1. MERINGUE BASE
  2. Preheat the oven to 300℉/150℃
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and draw a 6"/15 cm circle on the underside.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  6. Add the sugar and beat until glossy and thick.
  7. Add the cornstarch and the vinegar and blend until just incorporated.
  8. Dollop the egg whites onto the parchment paper using the drawn circle as a guide.
  9. Make an indent in the middle to hold the filling.
  10. Turn down the oven to 250℉/120℃
  11. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  12. Turn off the oven and allow the shell to cool completely in the oven.
  13. Once cool, fill the meringue shell with the yoghurt or cream.
  14. Top with the sliced fruit, leaving some whole or halved for aesthetics.
Notes
There's no quantity for the fruit, use as much and what you like. Summer time, stone fruits are great to top the pavlova. I used one 8 oz container and it was enough for us and the small meringue shell. If you like more filling, feel free to use more yoghurt or cream.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Sunday had three of us packing a picnic and heading up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a spot of hiking. It was quite hot in Denver so we relished the thought of the cooler temperatures at the higher altitudes. We headed off only to get stuck in some festival traffic that was moving at a snail’s pace right outside of Estes Park. We took a longer route around and still managed to make our picnic.

Bierstadt Lake

Bierstadt Lake

So, this hike…yeah….we wanted to try a new trail to discover some of the hidden lakes of the park and all went well and we made it to the lake. It’s a pretty lake, quiet and calm. We ate our picnic swatting bugs and watching a mama duck lead her duckies across the lake. The dragonflies were out skimming the foliage with their fast moving purple wings, they are so beautiful. The hike to the lake was about an hour, through mountain forests and some rocky terrain. On our hike back, we decided to hike over to another lake that was a mile out and then catch the shuttle back to our car from there. Yes, my husband the navigator turned us around and we walked, and walked and walked….close to 2 hours through some of the worst rocky terrain. I just wanted to cry. It was exhausting, and all the good exercise I had had earlier for my knees was now replaced by the worst pain imaginable.

RMNP

We made it back finally, but after taking a short cut where we saw the main road! After some leftovers for dinner, a hot shower and a much needed hydrocodone for me, I climbed into bed and was out!

RMNP

Monday was a little slow moving after the rough Sunday 🙂 How was your weekend? Any gruelling hikes for you guys?

Hope your week’s off to a good start! Have a great one!

Cherry Cardamom Ice Cream

Cherry Cardamom Ice

We’re over half way through Ramadan now and the tiredness and a bit of weakness is setting in. The hot days make for a tough fast, and it’s been hot almost everywhere. 

In Pakistan, there were experiencing a heat wave a right as Ramadan started and over 700 people died because of the heat. Many also tried to fast during the heat wave and were taken ill. If placed in life threatening situations, then we are allowed to break our fast or not fast at all. I’m not sure why then, especially during a heat wave, people thought it was a good idea to fast. 

Cherry Cardamom Ice Cream

The weeks have gone by pretty quickly and I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of the month. The very sacred last 10 days of Ramadan will start tonight. These last 10 days are the most important as far as increasing our worship goes. We try and pray into the night and increase our good deeds and charity. It’s a true test of faith because the last 10 days are quite hard. Definitely by this time we are tired of the early mornings and late nights. The fasting and the lack of water also drains the energy a bit and to amp up our worship when we feel totally drained is the true test. 

The month does seem to have gone in a blur. I haven’t felt at peace this Ramadan. My mind is in a scatter and and the feelings are flustered. Nothing seems gelled. It’s been hard to get to the Islamic Centre to join in the congregational prayers so I’ve felt disconnected. A lot of the holiday atmosphere comes from being with friends and family, and opening our fasts together. It’s been really just us at home, eating and then pretty much heading to bed.

I have been so preoccupied with work, writing menus, studying manuals, shopping and cooking. I’m so exhausted by the end of this that it’s hardly leaving any time for me to pray extra prayers or to pick up the Quran to read a verse or two. I’m missing out on the true spirit of the season.

Fasting brings out more than just the hunger pangs, it helps you be more grateful and more aware of others around you. You watch your actions a bit more closely and increase your good deeds. For me, my mind is so busy with other things, I’m missing out on all these feelings.

Cherry Cardamom Ice Cream

I haven’t even cooked anything festive. We’re eating leftover food because so much food is leftover when I cook one day or we end up eating out because the daughters have their own plans. 

I did host my dinner last Friday and as far as the food goes, it turned out well. The evening itself, well, it was a bit frantic. We had some energetic and vibrant littl’uns and by that I mean, naughty, very naughty. 

I have never felt so overwhelmed and out of control at my own dinner as I did that evening. It was just loud and everyone seemed on edge by the antics of these kids. We managed to eat and they left in one piece but that’s not how I like my dinners. I like my guests to eat in peace and enjoy their time at my place and feel like they’re pampered. I know I had no control over the evening, but I hope everyone enjoyed themselves despite the noise and drama. Well, it was a learning experience, that’s for sure!

On top of all that’s going on here at C and C headquarters, I’m trying to keep up with all this beautiful, seasonal produce. Our markets and farms stands are bulging with gorgeous, fresh Colorado local produce. It honestly feels so good to eat food grown here. I don’t have my own garden yet but back in Texas I did and one of the most fulfilling things was picking your own food from the backyard. I get the same feeling eating produce grown in Colorado.

Cherry Cardamom Ice Cream

 

I’m kind of torn between posting traditional Ramadan recipes and some summery seasonal recipes. This week I just had to post a summery recipe of local Colorado cherries grown out in the Western Slopes. I love cherry ice cream so what better use for local Colorado cherries. I added a touch of cardamom for some interest and boy, was it good! Sweet Colorado cherries, warm cardamom scent and flavour against a cold and refreshing ice cream. It was SO good. 

I made one batch of ice cream and split the custard between 8 Popsicle moulds and ran the remainder through an ice cream machine. I got about 4 generous servings out of the ice cream maker. 

The cherries are cooked a little to concentrate flavours and reduce the liquid so make sure to get a syrupy consistency with the cherries, I was impatient and so I had more liquid then I should have in the cherries. My ice cream was great though maybe a little bit too ‘icy’. We still had no problem finishing it off. 

Cherry Cardamom Ice Cream

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: about 1 qt.

Creamy cherry ice cream with a hint of cardamom.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups/475ml heavy cream
  • 1 cup/235ml milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup/100g sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups Colorado Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, add the cream, milk and sugar.
  2. Heat on medium heat until the sugar dissolves, add the cardamom.
  3. Have the egg yolks in a large bowl.
  4. Once sugar dissolves and the cream and milk are hot, slowly add in a stream to the egg yolks being careful not to cook the eggs.
  5. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan and heat on low until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the custard from the heat and pour into a clean bowl through a strainer to catch any cooked bits of eggs and lumps.
  7. Allow to cool in a water bath or place in the fridge.
  8. In a small saucepan, add the cherries and the sugar with a tablespoon of water.
  9. Allow the cherries to soften and the juice to thicken and get syrupy, about 10-12 minutes.
  10. Cool in the fridge.
  11. Once both the custard and cherries have cooled, it's time to freeze.
  12. Place the custard in the bowl of the ice cream maker and turn on.
  13. Run for about 30 minutes until the ice cream begins to thicken.
  14. In the last 10 minutes, add drained cherries and only four or five tablespoons of the syrup if there's a lot.
  15. Once the ice cream has thickened, transfer to a air tight container and freeze the ice cream for at least 4 hours or over night.
  16. If you want to use popsicle moulds, pour into the moulds and freeze.
  17. I made ice cream and popsicles, 8 popsicles and 4 servings of ice cream.
  18. The custard probably makes about 16 popsicles or a quart of ice cream.
  19. To unfold the popsicles, let them soften outside for a bit and then pull out carefully.
  20. If you run hot water, be careful, it will melt the ice cream quite a bit and you'll lose a lot of the popsicle in a melted puddle!
  21. Leave at room temp for a bit and they should slide out.

Cherry Cardamom Ice Cream

Hope your summer/winter is going well. What are you all eating? What’s your favourite summer/winter dish or food at the moment? 

I will check in next week for the end of Ramadan! Happy eating everyone! 

Lemon Spelt Loaf

Lemon Spelt Loaf

I’ve mentioned  few times how much I love winter. It’s not just the colder temperatures, but the snow (yes, I know), the cloud formations during winter, the ominous Rockies, the white stormy and overcast skies. I love it all, even the bare trees. Yes, it’s dull and dreary but the promise of newly sprung life and the first few glimpses of green make all the dreariness worth it. Aren’t we all super excited when the first bits of sunshiny days appear? We drool at the sight of the first of the spring’s bouncy, golden daffodils and the heady hyacinths, soaking in their beauty and fragrance, awaiting the promise of warmer days. So, I’m not totally crazy.

Lemon Spelt Loaf

Another reason for my love of winter: citrus. I love citrus. That’s not to say I don’t like summer fruit, I love my berries and stone fruit but I also love oranges, lemons, tangerines and I love discovering new kinds of citrus and new varieties. This year I was able to find an heirloom variety of navel oranges. Of course, I promptly bought some and I have to tell you, oh my goodness, they are SO sweet and so juicy. Have you tried the sumo tangerines? They are ugly little things on the outside but oh so delicious inside. I was super thrilled to find Seville oranges for the first time in the US (for me at least) I know they are a rare find so when I stumbled upon them, I grabbed a whole bunch for project marmalade. When I went back to the store a few days later, I glanced over and they were all gone, I haven’t seen anymore.

Lemon Spelt Loaf

Of course, you already know my obsession with blood oranges 🙂 There are quite a few recipes on this site for the beloved blood orange. I use Meyer lemons all the time but haven’t posted a recipe yet. This Lemon Spelt Loaf was supposed to be made with Meyers but I couldn’t find any when I was shopping for this cake. I love regular lemons too, so I used those instead. While I was there, I found some pink lemons but I haven’t used them yet or cut them to see if they really are pink.

I do love a good piece of cake. I’m not a fan of overly frosted, buttercream cakes. I never have been, even as a child I preferred the sponge cakes with a drizzle of cream or custard. I actually cringe when I have to make a birthday cake that requires a traditional cake and buttercream frosting because I will go to all that trouble to make it, a nice Swiss or Italian, and then usually wipe it off before I eat the cake :/

So, I just really stick to cakes I like to eat with tea and coffee, like plain pound cakes, Madeira cakes, sponge cakes and coffee cakes. One of my favourites: a lemon loaf, tart and lemony. I can eat a whole one if left alone with it for long enough.

This is an updated lemon loaf cake, with unrefined flour and sugar, still tart and lemony but possibly a bit more…dare I say it…healthier?

Lemon Spelt Loaf

So, I’m going to go off on a tangent for a minute because well, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t, but I really hate the word healthy. I think it gets tossed around a bit too freely and really, exactly what does it mean? And is anything really healthy? I also REALLY hate the word, clean eating. Ugh, so does that mean what I eat is dirty? I know what clean eating is but I don’t want it shoved on me. The thing is, I eat food. I buy and eat only organic, I eat local as much as possible, I eat most things in season, I don’t eat prepackaged foods, I don’t eat fast food, I don’t eat GMO foods. I only drink natural sodas, organic teas and coffee sourced from local coffee houses around town. I eat REAL food. So, I don’t appreciate the whole “clean eating” tag. My food is not always “healthy” but it’s definitely not “dirty”!

The way I see it, if you eat real food, organic and fresh, and in moderation, that’s all that matters. This means that when I want cake, made with flour, butter, eggs and cream I make a cake and I eat it. I do have a problem with moderation here, though.

So, are you bothered by all the “healthy” eating we hear about?

So, this cake wasn’t made to make my original cake “healthier”, it was just made because I wanted to use spelt flour in a cake and use some coconut products. The result was pretty amazing though so if you want a healthy cake, this one does fit the bill. Great thing is, it doesn’t feel clean at all, it tastes like a filthy cake.

Lemon Spelt Loaf

Lemon Spelt Loaf

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 1 cake

Soft, moist and tart lemon loaf cake.
Ingredients
  • INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup/140g spelt flour, whole grain
  • ¾ cup/85g almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup/85g coconut sugar, unrefined
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 cup/ 235ml coconut yoghurt
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup/60ml coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup/21g coconut sugar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • ¼ cup/60ml water
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin for candied lemon on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
  2. Line a 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf tin with parchment and grease or spray with non stick spray.
  3. In a bowl, add the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix well.
  4. Wash and dry the large lemon and remove the zest with a micro plane and then juice it, keep aside.
  5. In a large bowl or a bowl of a mixer, beat the sugar and eggs together, till blended.
  6. Add the coconut yoghurt, vanilla, lemon zest and juice.
  7. Slowly add the melted coconut oil.
  8. Add the flour mixture and mix gently but thoroughly.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin.
  10. Place in the oven and bake until golden and brown, about 40-45 minutes.
  11. While the loaf cake is baking, make the syrup and the candied lemons.
  12. In a small saucepan, add the coconut sugar, lemon juice and water.
  13. Bring the mixture up to a simmer on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  14. Add the slices of lemon.
  15. Simmer on medium low until the lemons have softened and the syrup begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  16. Remove from the heat.
  17. Carefully remove the lemons from the syrup and keep aside.
  18. Reserve the syrup for the loaf cake.
  19. Once the loaf is baked and cooling on a rack, pure the syrup all over the loaf.
  20. Allow to soak and cool completely before removing from pan.
  21. Place the cooled cake on a plate and decorate the top with the candied lemons.
Notes
The coconut sugar, oil and yoghurt can all be replaced with their conventional counterparts.

Lemon Spelt Loaf

I hope you are getting to enjoy spring like weather where you are and I hope our Southern friends are getting a reprieve from their scorcher summer. Happy season change to everyone! 

I’m headed to Texas for Spring Break this week and looking forward to seeing my dad and my brothers and all my extended family, We’ve had some new additions this year so looking forward to holding some babies 🙂

I will be absent from the blogosphere for a few days because I’m sure you’ll understand how time consuming family can be! I’ll visit you as soon as I get back. In the meantime, if you’re on Instagram, follow me, I’m sure I’ll be eating my way nicely through Texas.

See y’all soon 🙂