Posts Tagged ‘almond’

Banana ice cream with sea salt caramel and peanut butter maple almond swirl

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Banana Peanut butter almond caramel ice cream

Brian’s family loves ice cream.

When we go to his parent’s house (which is somewhat often, though less often than you might expect considering they live no more than a couple hundred yards away) I have never seen less than three cartons of ice cream in their freezer at any given time. They are ice cream people.

Me? Ah – it’s not that I don’t like ice cream. I do. But I rarely crave ice cream. So really it’s my perfect dessert. One that I will eat and enjoy, but not feel the necessity to return to the carton to for seconds, or sneak bites from shortly before midnight when I am double checking all the doors, Jonathan, lights, the oven, etc. etc. before I drop into bed.

Banana Peanut butter almond caramel ice cream

Except I’m presently a bit concerned about my previously ambivalent relationship with ice cream.

For Father’s Day this year, I thought, “What would be a better gift than an ice cream maker for someone who inherently adores ice cream?”

I can make Brian ice cream till his heart is content, all the while not having to worry about my own over indulgence (selfish – eh?), since I normally have no problem passing on ice cream if my shorts are feeling a bit snug that day.

The problem is, no one told me how much better homemade ice cream is than regular ice cream!

We are loving experimenting with different flavors, and I made this banana, caramel, peanut butter, and toasted almond concoction to take over to Brian’s parent’s house tomorrow for the 4th. It took less than an hour total to prepare and I’m already having a hard time walking by the freezer.

Happy 4th of July!

Banana Peanut butter almond caramel ice cream

Banana ice cream with sea salt caramel and peanut butter maple almond swirl

2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups half and half
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
generous pinch of sea salt (1/8 teaspoon)
1 recipe for peanut butter maple almond swirl (see below)
1 recipe for sea salt caramel (see below)

Combine heavy cream, half and half, sugar, banana, pinch of sea salt and vanilla and stir until sugar has dissolved. Pour mixture into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker and process according to the ice cream maker directions. When ice cream is frozen and of a medium to firm soft serve consistency pour slightly cool caramel and room temperature peanut butter mixture on top and using a knife or spatula, gently swirl into the ice cream, pulling the bottom ice cream to the top on all sides once to evenly distribute caramel and peanut butter. Do not completely combine – allow swirls and separation between the ice cream, caramel and peanut butter mixture. Freeze completely (2 + hours) and serve with reserved caramel sauce. Makes 2 quarts.

Peanut butter maple almond swirl

1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (if your peanut butter is already runny, start with 1 tablespoon and add more as needed)
1/3 cup chopped toasted almonds
sea salt (my pb was already salted, but if yours is not, I would add a pinch of salt to taste)

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.

Sea salt caramel

1 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons organic heavy cream warmed slightly (not boiled) or at room temperature
1/4 + 1/8 (3/8) teaspoon sea salt

Have all ingredients out, measured and within reaching distance of your cooktop. Caramel gets very hot, so use oven mitts, be mindful of your arms and eyes, and keep all little ones away for the few minutes this takes to make.

Distribute sugar evenly in a large, even heating saucepan or pot (to allow room for hot caramel to foam up) and begin heating over medium high heat. Keep an eye on the sugar, as when it begins to caramelize, it is a quick process that will need your constant attention.

Within a few minutes, the sugar will begin to melt and caramelize. As large patches of sugar turn to liquid puddles in the pan, stir only often enough to aid even caramelization (because sugar is comprised of crystals, it tends to clump together as it is melting and stirred). As soon as all of the sugar has turned to liquid (aside from any stubborn clumps that will dissolve later or can be strained out) and resembles the color of copper, and is just starting to think about simmering around the edges, remove from heat and immediately add butter and sea salt, stirring vigorously. Add cream and stir until completely combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of caramel to serve alongside the ice cream. Cool the remaining caramel to slightly cooler than room temperature before adding into ice cream (you can put it in the freezer or fridge for 10-30 minutes to accomplish this).

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Posted in Dessert | 11 Comments »

Whole grain oat nut pancakes

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Whole grain oat pancakes vertical by lkwm on dRc

There are a few things in life I hold sacred. This pancake recipe is one of them. During my graduate counseling practicum, completed at an inpatient hospital psychiatric unit, one of the long serving psychiatric nurses was retiring, and the behavioral medicine crew threw her a casual goodbye party held in the ubiquitous, stark white, staff/snack/coffee/break/lunch/locked off from all the patients – room.

Whole grain pancake ingredients in ramekins by lkwm on dRc

Ironically, it was the retiring nurse who brought the food for everyone. Apparently, she had gained quite a reputation for a certain oaty, nutty, whole grain buttermilk pancake recipe, and it was tradition for her to tote in gigantic bowls of raw pancake batter and cook up some homey, bathed in sunlight, pancakes, right in the middle of that cramped, cold, and barren psych unit break room.

Oat nut pancake ingredients in ramekins by lkwm on dRcOat nut pancake ingredients in ramekins vertical by lkwm on dRc

But I was suspicious. I can try to deny it, but in fact, I’m a bit of a pancake snob. Great pancakes need distinct flavors and texture, they must be moist – yet light, and most importantly (of course), they cannot remind me in any way of the texture or imagined taste of cardboard.

Almonds, pecans and oats by whole by lkwm on dRcAlmonds, pecans and oats by whole by lkwm on dRcAlmonds, pecans and oats ground by lkwm on dRc

Boy, were my suspicions unfounded! These pancakes were amazing, incredible! I had to have the recipe. You can imagine my disappointment and frustration when, upon asking for said recipe, I was told, “Oh, it’s a whole grain pancake recipe off the internet – I don’t know which one.”  No! I needed to be able to recreate it to perfection, and I am not one for ambiguity.

Pretty little egg by lkwm on dRcWhisking dry ingredients into wet by lkwm on dRcWhisking dry ingredients into wet by lkwm on dRcWhisking buttermilk and egg by lkwm on dRc

However, with a bit of poking around, I found a promising start. But there were some issues – the leavening proportions were all wrong (I want to taste pancake, not baking soda), I didn’t like the nut combination, there was an unduly amount of oil and sugar, and I preferred white whole wheat flour to standard whole wheat. But I persevered, because I knew getting this recipe right would be worth it. And it was. These pancakes have layered flavor from the whole wheat, oats and buttermilk, and a wonderfully satisfying nutty texture. Plus, they are full of dietary fiber and protein. I hope they become a household tradition for you and your family, as they are for mine, and that perhaps you will wake a few minutes early this Sunday and make something that will warm both the hearts and the bellies of those you love most, on Valentine’s Day.

Sizzling pancakes by lkwm on dRcOat nut pancakes in pan by lkwm on dRcWhole grain oat nut pancakes by lkwm on dRc

Whole grain oat nut pancakes

3/4 cup rolled oats, ground (oat flour is not a good substitute – I’ve tried)
3/4 cup white whole wheat or standard whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
2 Tablespoons natural cane sugar
3 Tablespoons finely chopped or ground pecans (1 oz.)
3 Tablespoons finely chopped or ground almonds (1 oz.)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (plus or minus 1-2 tablesoons. depending on preferred thickness)
1 egg
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
salted butter for cooking

Grind oats and nuts (or you may use pre-ground nuts) to a powdery consistency in a mini chopper, leaving a few small bits for texture. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk egg until pale yellow, then add oil and whisk to combine. Add buttermilk to the egg and oil and blend. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Allow batter to sit for 10-15 minutes to give the leavening time to react and thicken the batter. Preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat, grease with salted butter, and turn heat down to medium. Ladle 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter onto pan for each pancake. Pancake batter should sizzle a bit when poured into the pan, but not smoke. Turn heat down to medium low and allow to cook until edges just start to dry and bubbles appear throughout the pancake, then flip and cook until set in the middle. If pancakes are over-browning, and not cooking through, turn the heat down on the pan and increase the cooking time. Cooking time on the second side will be less than on the first. Repeat with more butter and batches, until batter is finished. This makes about 9-10 four inch pancakes. Serve with maple syrup, butter, and fruit, if desired.

Variations:  try it with a mashed banana, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup brown sugar subbed for natural sugar, or unsalted butter rather than vegetable oil.

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Posted in Breakfast | 26 Comments »