When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays with Dorie: Vanilla Ice Cream July 28, 2009

Filed under: Ice Cream,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:56 pm

100_2204This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu.  She picked Dorie’s Vanilla Ice Cream which is located on pages 428-429 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I actually made this back when we made the Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies at the beginning of the month.

When I made the ice cream I opted to not use a vanilla bean for two reasons: 1) I only had half of a vanilla bean and 2) I am too cheap to go out and buy more 🙂  I ended up using 1 tsp vanilla bean paste and another tsp of pure vanilla extract.  I didn’t use all vanilla bean paste because I have learned that it will taste good, but you will have a crazy amount of vanilla bean specks.

I had one incident with the ice cream.  While it was churning, I wandered off into the computer room and it ended up spilling over the top of the machine.  That is what I get for not reading the directions and seeing if I was putting too much liquid into the machine.  The spill over wasn’t too bad.  Nothing a couple sprays of 409 and a rag couldn’t fix 🙂

The vanilla ice cream turned out great.  I loved the flavor and the texture was great.  I found that when left in the freezer it got pretty hard, so I would zap it in the microwave for a few second, or live it on the counter for 5 minutes to soften it up a bit.  The vanilla ice cream was the perfect combination with the Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies.  It actually cut the chocolatiness (yeah, I made up a word) of the brownie and balanced it out.


Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Milan Cookies and Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies July 27, 2009

Filed under: Cookies,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 2:24 pm
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“Marsh full of marshmallows.” ~ Dane Cook

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Okay! Okay! Okay!

I made the Milan Cookies and I have the base for the Mallows but I keep getting distracted and I haven’t made the Mallows yet.  Good thing is we can do both recipes or just one.  So in the end, I did complete the challenge.  But I am still going to finish the Mallows and I will post an update to this once I finally get around to it.  Which will probably be later tonight 🙂 (more…)


Vegan Adventure #27: Banana Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast) July 22, 2009

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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This post has been postponed for long enough 🙂

When I found out that Isa was coming out with Vegan Brunch, I was VERY excited.  I couldn’t wait until it came in the mail, and when it finally did the first thing I made was the Banana Rabanada.  It was very simple to make and it tasted fantastic.  The only thing that I might add to the recipe is 2 tbsp of sugar to the batter or when you eat the French toast just dump maple syrup on top of it.  Either way, it just needed a little bit more sweetness to it.  Perhaps my bananas could have been a little bit more ripe 🙂

Also, when sprinkling cocoa powder and cinnamon on the French Toast be very careful to dust the toast and not dump it on one side like I did.  There is nothing like a strong blow on the toast to dislodge the excess cocoa powder and cinnamon, and in turn blow it all over the counter.

100_2150Banana Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast)

Source: Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

2 very ripe bananas

1 1/2 cups almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 stale baguette, sliced diagonally in 1-inch pieces

Cooking Spray

Slice strawberries and bananas for garnish

Blend bananas, milk, cornstarch, and vanilla in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Spread out baguette sliced in a single layer on a baking pan.  Pour banana mixture onto the bread and flip sliced to coat.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then flip over and let soak for 10 minutes more.

Preheat a large, nonstick skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray and cook about half of the soaked bread for 5 to 7 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other.  When ready, the toast should be golden to medium brown and flecked with darker spots.  Keep warm on a plate covered with tinfoil while you cook the second batch.

If not serving immediately, cover the toast with tinfoil and place in a 200°F oven for up to an hour.

When ready to serve, mix together cocoa powder and cinnamon and use a small sifter to sprinkle generoudly over each serving.  Serve Rabanada with vegan butter and maple syrup, and topped with fresh fruit.


Vegan Muffins on 3 occasions and Vegan Adventure #28 July 21, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Muffins,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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Lately, I have taken to making a weekly trip to Ellwood’s Coffee.  Each time I go I always get an Americano and muffin.  If you have read my blog before you know that I like to experiment with Vegan cooking/baking even though I am not vegan.  I find it extremely fascinating.  Ellwood’s Coffee carries a line of Vegan baked goods that they make in the Ellwood Thompsons Bakery, which is across the street.  Ellwood’s Coffee also makes vegan paninis and wraps.  Currently, I have only tried their muffins, but I am going to slowly branch out and try some of their other Vegan options. (more…)


What I did before work tonite :) July 17, 2009

Filed under: Cake — pastrybrush @ 11:52 pm


I promise to post about this experience later. But for now, enjoy the wonderfulness that is Harry Potter in cake 🙂


Tuesdays with Dorie: MIA July 14, 2009

Filed under: Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 2:03 pm

Sorry everyone 😦
No Tuesdays with Dorie this week. I am going to take a little break from TWD this week and next.

Please cruise on over to the Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll to see what everyone else did this week, and definately go to Denise of Chez Us because she chose this weeks recipe.   She picked Dorie’s Brioche Plum Tart located on pages 54-55 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.


Because A Girl Needs Her Coffee July 13, 2009

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized — pastrybrush @ 2:47 pm

I have been going down to Ellwood’s Coffee probably once a week now.  I get the usual Americano and some type of vegan muffin that looks tasty.  I will post about the muffins later this week, and include crappy pictures from my phone 🙂

I decided that spending the $3 in tolls to get there and back and then an additional $5 for my awesome Americano and muffin, that I should embark on a new coffee adventure.  About a year ago, a friend introduced me to the Aeropress.  This thing is AWESOME.  It makes a better shot then Starbucks, and an even better Americano.  Every time I would go to my friends place I would use his Aeropress.  Well I haven’t seen him in awhile and I was desperate for some good coffee.  So I ordered myself an Aeropress from ThinkGeek.com and a 2 lb bag of Café Cubano from Mayorga Coffee.  The Aeropress comes tomorrow via UPS and the coffee came today.  I am so excited

I could smell the coffee when it was in the box when my UPS man, Stephan, delivered it.  SOOOO GOOD!!!!!!  I can’t wait until tomorrow when my beloved Aeropress shows up 🙂

Me hugging my awesome 2 pounder :)

Me hugging my awesome 2 pounder 🙂