Saturday, April 30, 2011
Easter has broken all records in terms of temperature. We had the warmest Easter day since 1901 with temperatures between 25 and 27 C. Also in 1949 we dealt with similar weather conditions. It made us the warmest place of Europe! The beaches and the roads were crowded. A good day to stay home and spend Easter with the (grand)children and.... a perfect day for home made ice cream to cool us down.
I found an interesting ice cream recipe in one of the latest issues of Delicious magazine: Rose Tea Ice Cream. I gave it a try.
Rose Tea Ice Cream
(Rose-flavored black tea has a special aroma and refined taste)
300 ml whole milk
300 ml whipping cream
15 grams black tea with roses
200 grams sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
* Heat the milk, cream, tea and 75 grams of the sugar over very low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Continue to heat the mixture until it almost reach boiling point.
* Remove from the heat, add vanilla extract, cover and let it steep for at least one hour. (for an intense taste let it stay overnight, I did mine 3 hours)
* Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bigger sauce pan. Press as much fluid out the tea leaves.
* Reheat over low heat until it's warm.
* In a bowl, whisk the the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar for about 10 minutes until light and fluffy.
* Slowly whisk the warm cream mixture gradually into the egg mixture and return the cream-egg mixture into a clean sauce pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens. Make sure to not let it boil!!
The cream-mixture should be thick enough to coat a wooden spoon and leave a trail when you draw your finger across it.
* Pour through a fine sieve again and let it cool completely.
* Allow the mixture to chill and place it, covered, in the fridge until required.
* Freeze churn the cream in your ice cream maker.
*If you do not have an ice cream maker do not worry you can create this recipe by hand. Make the ice cream base to the above recipe then chill in the fridge for two hours. Put the mixture into the freezer for half an hour, after which time it should have started to freeze at the edges. Beat the mixture until it is creamy once again and place back into the freezer. Do this process once again and then place back into the freezer until the ice cream is hard.
It's a different flavor and I think you either like or dislike it. Well I love it and will make it again.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
We are spoiled with an early spring this year. It started the end of March and untill now we have nice sunny days. Perfect for "early" morning walks in the polder near my house. The next few pictures give you an idea.
Spring time in the Netherlands means lamb time and tulip time. No glimpse of a tulip on this walk but there were plenty of lambs around.
Aren't they cute?
Mother duck with her ducklings.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Have you ever attended a chocolate candy workshop? That's what I did Sunday and it was so fun and yummy!!! There were five of us. We were welcomed by Corrie in her home with tea and the most delicious chocolate candy.
Now these chocolates are all handmade.
Let's start ........
Before we started she explained how chocolate is made. To make chocolate candy, the chocolate needs to be tempered. Tempering is a process where the chocolate is melted to 88 degrees F and held at that temperature while it is stirred. This will melt the cocoa butter crystals that have formed in it to make it rich, creamy, shiny and easier to work with. The chocolate may be mixed at that point with fillings, such as nuts, creams or caramel. It is placed into molds where it is allowed to cool and harden. Couverture chocolate is mostly used for this.
These two have a cream filling. Two other fillings we could choose from were chocolate and nut/caramel.
We made decorations.
Besides the tiny chocolate cups, we were given three pieces of candy: caramel, chocolate fudge and marzepan. We dipped them into the chocolate for a coating and decorated them.
The red cups you see where filled with a mixture of nuts and handmade fudge pieces. We added chocolate to it, stirred and dropped spoonfuls on the baking paper and they became clusters. Adding sprinkles as a finishing touch.
Aren't they YUMMY looking?????
Last but not least we made another candy. Just dropped a spoonful of chocolate on the baking paper, shaked the paper a bit and it became an oval or round candy. Drizzled some circles over it and made the web pattern by using a wooden toothpick dragging from the center to the outside edge. For the flower design drag the toothpick from the edge to center.