Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Almond Chai Ice Cream

I love Chai. For those of you who think of it as just a sweet, syrupy, sticky concoction, you are so wrong.

What makes the perfect chai is really the balance of fresh spices. Adding milk or sugar is just a bonus.

The other day, in the mood to experiment, I decided to try something fun with my Chai. Ice Cream!! I loved Almond Chai, though it is hard to find, so I got out my almond milk & began my journey.

I adapted this recipe from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop, and it came out even more awesome than I could have ever dreamed.

The soft creamy flavor of the Almond milk was the perfect partner for the deep rich spiciness of the Chai. We actually had cups of the tea steeped in almond milk while waiting for the ice cream base to meld, and it was wonderful. We didn’t add sugar, so the tea was lightly sweet, allowing the spices to shine. This was a necessity as it has been raining here like mad.

If you haven’t tried Rishi Tea, they have lots of awesome teas! I had the delightful pleasure of actually getting to try them at the Fancy Food Show and I have def become a fan! It was quite a pleasure to smell all the different blends, which I am now trying as I can.

Luna’s Almond Chai Ice Cream

3 c almond milk

3/4 c cane sugar

2 tsp Rishi Organic Masala Chai

7 yolks

Warm milk through, but do not boil. You can steep your tea while the milk is heating, for a deeper flavor, otherwise, add tea once your turn off the heat & let steep at least a half an hour.

Whisk yolks & sugar, then add strained milk a bit at a time to make sure it doesn’t curdle. Once you have it all combined, turn your heat on low and stir constantly until ‘nappe’, (coats the back of the spoon.) Pull it off the heat immediately, strain & set bowl into an ice bath.*

*I actually did not have an ice bath, it was cold, so I set it under the kitchen window!

Cool, chill, then freeze per machines instructions.

I hope that you make this and enjoy it. If you do, leave a comment, I love to hear from you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Banana Scones

Banana Scones

8 oz whole grain pastry flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

2 oz vegetable shortening

2 oz turbinado sugar

1 med to large banana, peeled, sliced in half and then in bits

2 oz egg (1 large egg)

2-3 oz plain yogurt

set oven to 425.

Combine dry ingredients. Rub in shortening, then add banana to coat. Whisk together egg & yogurt, then combine with dry mix until just combined. Knead lightly.

I use a cast iron skillet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approx 20 min. cut into triangles. Should yield 6-8 scones depending on how you cut them. For a little extra sweetness, you can sprinkle with some extra sugar.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mascarpone Pecan Pie

1 prepared chocolate cookie crust

12 oz Mascarpone

3 eggs

½ c powdered sugar

½ tsp vanilla

2 tsp cream

¾ c chopped pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 f.

Whip first five ingredients until combined. Fold in pecans and then pour into the crust. Bake for 20 minutes, then allow to cool. Serve w/fresh berries and crème anglaise.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ode to a Lemon Crêpe

If all life were simplicity, we might be better off.

I have as a rule always leaned towards crêpes filled with things. Usually fruit. I try to avoid savory crêpes having had some unpleasant encounters.

Let me tell you though that now I have met my favorite crêpe there is a new standard by which all others will be judged. The choice was made quickly. Looking over the menu it seemed so simple. There was one that jumped out at me immediately.

I ordered and watched with delight as my treat was made. The booth owner chatted about the wind and how she could use it to see what areas were cooking faster. I liked that she talked to me as she worked. The dynamics of good food are truly built on the all arounf feeling one gets when in the presence of someone who loves what they do.

The smell of food was all around, delicious and inviting. I didn't want anything I had to think too hard about. (Of course I am writing this at midnight, hours after eating. So I am still thinking very hard about it.)

The crêpe was flipped, spun and then flipped again. Spun a bit more. Then a liberal sprinkling of sugar followed by half a lemon.

Then it was folded in half, a pat of butter inserted under it and gently, delicately folded before being placed in a paper holder & then on a plate. I paid for my food, thanked her and sat down in the sunshine. I opened my book & began to pick apart my food.

I ate it with my fingers, tearing up bits and eating them at leisure. There was music and wind, there was the sun on my back and the sweet sunny lemon in my mouth. I have made crêpes myself and had them served many different ways. I can tell you that yes, this one was wonderful but also perfectly timed.

Everything leant itself so beautifully to the moment it seemed that stop made for food was some sort of divine providence.

It is easy to forget sometimes that even the best food tastes awful in the best of circumstances. And that simple food tastes like that of the gods when the stars are aligned just right.

Photo courtesy

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brown Sugar Cake

There is something infinitely soothing about making a cake. My favorite make to make one that requires no actual thought on my part and can be done so quickly that it boggles the mind to think so many people find it hard.

For me it is not about the end result. Sure everyone loves cake. Since my personal favorite end result is pie, cake is another matter entirely. Measuring, weighing, creaming, folding. The act itself is so satisfying that I could and apparently have, do it in my sleep.

For this recipe, you want the butter and eggs to be at room temperature. It requires a scale and I think it is worth getting the scale out for this one. Once the cake is baked and filling your house with that wonderful scent, you will see it was worth the extra bit of effort.

Luna’s ¼ lb Brown Sugar Cake


Weigh out a quarter pound each of butter, brown sugar, flour and eggs.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. It takes about 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs. Make sure eggs are fully absorbed. This means that the butter looks uniform.

Slowly add flour with the mixer running. Once the flour is incorporated you can stop mixing. Pull out the bowl and combine whatever is on the sides into the mix. Pour or scoop into prepared pans. This recipe yields one 6” square pan or 2 medium small loaf pans.

Bake for approx 30 min. Check them at this point because ovens vary. Mine tends to run rather hot.
Serve with berries, stone fruit, chocolate sauce, whipped cream or whatever gorgeous thing takes your fancy!