Monday, November 28, 2011


I love getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Making a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and also making desserts - which is my favorite part! We made all the common ones - pumpkin pie, apple crisp, ice cream - but we wanted something.......chocolate!

Chocolate mousse was our first thought, then chocolate cake (which we are making as well - my mom likes to make as many options in one meal as possible), and then the perfect idea - Tiramisu!

I made my own mascarpone cheese - its super easy, and inexpensive. The recipe is below.

- 2 1/2 cups of strong black coffee, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 pounds of mascarpone cheese
- 2/3 cup of heavy cream
- 14 oz. of ladyfingers (42-60, depending on the size)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa, preferably Dutch processes

Stir coffee and espresso in a wide bowl until espresso dissolves; set aside

In a bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, beat yolks until combined. Add sugar and salt and beat on medium high until pale yellow, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
Add mascarpone cheese and beat on medium speed until no lumps remain. Scrape down the bowl.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

In the now empty mixer, beat cream on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed and beat until cream holds stiff peaks.

Using a spatula, fold cream into mascarpone. Set aside

Working on at a time drop ladyfingers into the coffee mixture, roll, remove, and transfer to a 9x13 glass or ceramic baking dish. (entire process should take no longer the 3 seconds per cookie. You do NOT want to soak the cookies)

Arrange cookies in a single later in the baking dish, breaking ladyfingers if needed.

Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the lady finders; use spatula to spread it evenly. Dust 2 tablespoons cocoa over the mascarpone.

Repeat dipping and arranging ladyfingers; spread remaining mascarpone mixture, and dust with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa. Wipe edges, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

Mascarpone cheese:
You will want to start this the night before you plan on making the tiramisu, since it needs to set 12-18 hours. This recipe makes 1 1/2 lbs of cheese:

- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of cream of tarter, or lemon juice

Put the heavy cream in a saucepan, and heat on medium high until it reaches 180 degrees. Add the lemon juice or cream of tarter and simmer for 3-4 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool down a little.

Meanwhile, line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth or coffee filters, and set over a bowl. Pour the cheese into the strainer, cover, and put in the fridge for 12-18 hours, or till it resembles cream cheese.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

~Espresso Ice Cream~

While walking through a market in Ohio, my family came upon an ice cream shop, that won the Butler Family award for the most unique, and out of the ordinary ice cream flavors. For example, the Gucci Muu Muu ice cream, has curry powder, cocoa powder, and coconut. Also there was the Roasted Pumpkin 5-spice. There were a couple with cayenne.
Regardless of the strange ingredient combinations, these ice creams were amazing (although there were a few we  were a little leery of trying).

Later on, we found that the founder of the ice cream shop, Jenni Britton Bauer, created a cook book. I have been exploring through it, trying some strange, and some familiar flavors of ice cream, but all that I have tried, such as the Sweet Corn Blackberry, and Wild Berry Lavender, have been amazing!

Although we loved all of the ones we have tried, our favorite is still the Black Coffee Ice Cream. Several have commented that it tastes like the smell of coffee, so even some people who don't like coffee liked this:

This makes about 1 quart

- 2 1/2 cups of whole milk
- 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 1 1/2 oz. of cream cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/3 cup of coarsely ground coffee

Whisk about 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch. Whisk cream cheese with salt.

Mix milk, heavy cream and sugar, and pour about 3/4 of a cup into a small pot. Heat on the stove until simmering.

Add coffee beans...

Stir, and let seep about 5 minutes.

Strain with fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.


Squeeze as much liquid out of coffee beans as you can. Rinse pot, and return to stove. Add cornstarch, and whisk until it thickens. Watch it carefully. This will happen quickly. Whisk until smooth. 
Whisk in cream cheese until smooth.

Combine with the rest of the milk, put into a quart baggie, and put in a bowl filled with ice and water, until its really cold.

Spin in ice cream maker.


This ice cream is also great with shaved chocolate! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

~Eggnog Latte~

Finally, I'm writing my first post. Between being busy, and trying to find something to write about,  it took a while to finally sit down and do this.

So, what's a good way to start out.... I thought of talking about the hours I spent, trying to think of an original, one of a kind name, and how my sister just thinks of one in an instant, but since there isn't much to say about that, I'll just start with a recipe. What a cooking blog for anyways?

Yesterday I was longing for a Starbucks eggnog latte, so this morning after looking for a recipe, I made up my own, which turned out to be amazing, and, well, sort of easy.

Here it is:

- 1/4 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of  eggnog (I used homemade. Maybe once I perfect it, I'll post the recipe)
- 2 shots of hot espresso
- 2 teaspoons of sugar

Mix the whole milk, and eggnog, and heat on the stove till barely simmering. Froth until foamy (I use a frother, but if you don't have one, I've heard you can put it in a jar, shake it till it doubles in volume, and microwave without the lid for 30. I haven't tried it though)

Mix espresso and sugar in mug, and pour in the milk. Spoon froth on top, and sprinkle with nutmeg.