Category Archives: Dessert

Food Matters Project #41: Kumquat & Orange Sorbet

As the temperatures are warming up, we are all wanting desserts that are cold and refreshing.  Thankfully, my new friend Meg, of Fledgling Foodie, reminded us of this with this weeks Food Matters Project!  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, Meg chose the Chocolate Tofu Ice Cream recipe.  Check out her post here.  Also, take a peek a what other Food Matters Project participants did here.

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet: Kumquat

I took the route of a frozen dessert…but I diverged a bit with a fruity one, rather than chocolate.  A couple of weeks ago I was reading a DC bloggers post about kumquat sorbet.  I’ve never had kumquats before, but the photo’s made it look so delicious.  So I blame Nik, of A Brown Table, for the fact that I didn’t follow Mark Bittman’s recipe.

I’ve been reading Nik’s blog for quite some time- he’s so inspiring by telling stories how he came to choose various recipes, reasons behind particular ingredients, and his amazing photos.  I think I pin most of his recipes on my Pinterest page since they all look so delicious.

Although I have never had a kumquat, I decided to try making this recipe.  I did buy extra kumquats to snack on, and figured it would be a great way to taste this new fruit.  They are sour (more than lemons), a little bitter, and somewhat sweet- definitely something I’ve never tasted before.  To add a little more sweetness, I did add freshly squeezed orange juice.

And now that the sorbet is almost gone, I’m trying to think of other frozen desserts for the summer months.  Any recommendations?  We’ve previously made a Pear Sorbet and Rum Raisin Ice Cream.

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
Adapted from: A Brown Table

Boiling the kumquats takes out the bitterness from the fruit, I highly recommend doing this. 

12 oz kumquats
6 cups water (to boil kumquats)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 inch ginger, peeled
juice of 1 orange

Rinse the kumquats, cut the ends of each fruit- discarding the cut pieces.  Then cut each fruit in half, and pick out the seeds.  Add the kumquats to a medium saucepan, and cover with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then discard the water and repeat this process 2 more times.  Once you’ve repeated this process, drain the kumquats and puree them in a food processor.

In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of water with sugar and ginger.  Continue to stir until the sugar water is boiling.  Once it boils, take out the ginger and pour the sugar water mixture into a bowl, add in the kumquat puree and orange juice.  Place that bowl into a large one, which has ice and cold water in it.  Keep the liquid in the ice bath for at least 30 minutes, or until the mixture is cold.

Then pass the mixture through a sieve, making sure to squeeze out as much juice out of the pulp as you can.  Chill this mixture for about 20 minutes in the freezer.  Then once it’s cold, follow your ice cream maker instructions to prepare the sorbet.  The sorbet will be done once it’s frozen and has a milky orange-yellow color.  Scoop the sorbet into a freezer-proof container, and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.

Happy St. Paddys’ Day 2013: Green Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I hope you all have had a great St. Patrick’s Day weekend this year!  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I ran the Rock ‘n Roll USA Half Marathon (my 10th half!).  The next race I’ll be participating in is the Rock ‘n Roll Nashville Half Marathon in April.  I can’t wait to spend the weekend with some of my girlfriends (who live near and far), including these two awesome bloggers: Becky and Lianne.  If you have any Nashville suggestions for us, please send them my way!  Anyone running this race?

Earlier this week we had some friends over for dinner, and although we made Mexican for the main dish- I thought we needed a something green to brighten up the dessert.  Of course, Pinterest inspired me to try a new cupcake recipe, and fortunately it turned out delicious and green!

Today’s celebration included Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner.  We topped it off with a small dessert- the last 2 green cupcakes to celebrate another great St. Paddy’s Day weekend.

Green Cupcake

Green Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Inspired & Adapted from: She Wears Many Hats &
Serving: 24 mini-cupcakes

For this recipe, I used the same frosting (just smaller amount) as I used on the Banana & Chocolate Chip Cake.

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 package of Jell-o Pistachio Instant Pudding mix

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a stand mixer cream together sugar and butter.  Then stir in the eggs, one at a time; then add a vanilla and baking powder.  Stir in the flour and mix well.  Next, add in the milk, and mix until the batter is smooth.  Lastly, add in the Jell-o Pistachio Instant Pudding mix, combine well.

Spray the cupcake tin with cooking spray.  Then fill in each cupcake compartment halfway with batter.

I used the mini-cupcake tins, so I baked the cupcakes for 15 minutes.  If you’re using a different sized tin, add additional time.  The best way to check for doneness is to insert a toothpick into the center for the dough, if it comes out clean- it is done.  After they are done baking, take them out of the oven.  Allow them to cool before taking them out of the tin or decorating with frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a stand mixer.  Finally, add in the powdered sugar, a little at a time (otherwise it’ll make a mess).

Happy Pi Day!

It’s March 14th, and you know what that means?  It’s Pi Day!  (3.141592)

This is actually one of Sam’s favorite numbers, so we had to have a little celebration.  We’ve made a number of pie’s over the years, but our favorite is Sam’s speciality, the Rhubarb-Blueberry Pie!  We’re enjoying a piece right now and hope you are too!

Rhubarb Blueberry Pie

We’ve also made a Tart Cherry Pie, it was delicious and should be on your list to try this spring!

For other ideas check out The Kitchn for some sweet and savory pies.

Happy Birthday: Banana & Chocolate Chip Cake

I’m not a huge cake person, and I have extremely high standards for them.  Because of this, we didn’t even have a cake at our wedding.  Instead we had fruit tarts- yes, the mini versions of my annual Birthday Fruit Tart for my birthday.

Since I am a bit picky, it was hard to choose the cake for Ben’s (Sam’s brother) birthday.  We had a little get together last Saturday, a couple of days before his actual birthday, and I wanted to make a little treat.

Ben's Birthday Cake

While Sam made a wonderful dinner for Ben and some friends with our new grill, I attempted a cake.  Lucky for me, I was impressed- this turned out great.  The best part of it was that it continued to taste equally delicious (moist, fluffy) days after it came out of the oven.  This cake has the flavor and texture of a banana bread, although a bit more moist, with the addition of chocolate chips and a cream cheese frosting.

Ben's Birthday Cake 2

Banana & Chocolate Chip Cake
Adapted from: Bakers Royale

I’m not a huge fan of frosting, so I don’t use as much.  If you are a frosting-lover, I would double the recipe.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup buttermilk
12 oz mini chocolate chips (1 bag)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until it’s fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time while mixing.  Then mix in the bananas, baking soda and salt, continue mixing.  Next, add in the flour and buttermilk, alternating the two ingredients as you’re pouring it in, continue mixing on low.  Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.

Grease a baking pan with a little bit of butter, then lightly flour it.  If you have two 8-inch round baking pans, divide the batter between them.  If not, pour half of the batter into the pan, bake the first one.  Allow the first to cool and take it out, then bake the second half of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.  Double check to make sure a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.  If it does, then remove the cake from the oven, and allow to cool.  Repeat with the second batter if necessary.

To make the frosting, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a stand mixer.  Finally, add in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time (otherwise it’ll make a mess).

Once the cake has cooled, add some icing in between the two layers.  Then frost the outside and top of the cake.

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

So there is an explanation why Sam and I have been doing a little less cooking…we’ve been busy packing!

Our exciting news is that we’ve sold our condo, and we’ve bought a new home!  We’re still staying put in Washington, DC- but we’re moving to a new neighborhood.  The best part is- our kitchen is getting bigger & brighter!  We’re both very excited for improved photos, how far we’ve come since the start of the blog!

We’ve been packing and trying to clean out our cupboards the last couple of weeks, so we have less to move.  One of the things I had made were these “clean-out the cupboards” chocolate chunk cookies.  They’re a little different- a bit of a nutty flavor from the sesame seeds, and a little extra salt from the soy sauce (yes, you read that correctly).  But they were delicious and soft, not just straight from the oven, but also the next day for an afternoon snack with some tea.

What do you like to eat when you’re packing up and moving?  Any ideas of what should be our first home-cooked meal in the new house?

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from: Joy the Baker

1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp soy sauce
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 3 oz dark chocolate bars, broken into small chunks
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Set up the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and beat together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Then add the egg and egg yolk, and beat until fluffy for about a minute.  Next, beat in the vanilla and soy sauce.  Then, add in all of the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt.  Beat all of the ingredients until they are mixed well, about 3 minutes.  Lastly, add the chocolate and sesame seeds, and fold together with a spatula.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Once you’re read to bake them, preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray.  Then scoop out a tablespoon of the dough, roll it into a ball and place it onto the cookie sheet.  Continue to do this until you run out of room on the cookie sheet, or the dough.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.  Remove them from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack.  Enjoy!