Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

In honor of St. Patty’s Day today, I have made something green! Okay, sure, this ice cream is barely green, but for what it lacks in colour, it makes up for in taste! Trust me when I tell you, this is better than the frozen aisle variety!Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mint chocolate chip ice cream has always been my favourite flavour, so I guess it is no surprise that it is the first thing I attempted when I bought myself an ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid.

The best part about this ice cream is that it has no artificial flavouring or colouring, and I made it with fresh mint leaves from the backyard!
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

As we’ve already begun enjoying beautiful Spring weather in Vancouver, I can’t think of a more refreshing treat to enjoy on a sunny afternoon!Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Source: adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves, chopped and/or muddled
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 5 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium, heat the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream and salt until the mixture begins to steam. Stir in the mint leaves, cover, and let steep for an hour.
  2. Once steeped, strain the mixture into a medium saucepan, pressing the mint leaves against the side of the sieve.. Discard the mint leaves, and rinse the sieve for reuse.
  3. Rewarm the mint-mixture over medium heat until it begins to steam, and then remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until combined, and smooth. Continue to gently whisk the yolks, as you slowly add the warm mint-mixture to the bowl. Return this mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Note: stir the mixture & scrape the bottom constantly, so to avoid cooking the eggs to a solid state.
  4. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl and place your sieve on top. Slowly pour the egg mixture through the sieve (to remove any solid bits of egg), and the stir the mixture until incorporated.
  5. Place the bowl in an ice bath, and stir until cooled. Refrigerate until completely cool (overnight works best!).
  6. Once chilled, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In the final minute of churning, add the chopped chocolate.
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Dr. Seuss Baby Shower Cupcakes

I have a confession to make: I actually made these cupcakes last summer. Why, you ask, am I only showing them to you now? This set of photos has been one of the most daunting folders on my desktop, for ages…I haven’t known where to start! However, with one midterm under my belt as of today, I am happy to announce that my schedule just freed up a little bit, and I was able to check this post off of my To-Do list once and for all!

I was approached last summer with a request for some gluten free cupcakes for a Dr. Seuss themed baby shower. More specifically, the theme was specific to the One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish book, with an adorable New Fish baby shower twist!

Dr. Seuss Baby Shower CupcakesThe design was left up to me, so after checking out this book thanks to youtube (I confess, I had never read it before) I created this set using fondant, a paint brush, and black gel food colour. Dr. Seuss Baby Shower Cupcakes
The best part about making these cupcakes, was the painting step! They literally came to life before my eyes, much like the pages of a well-loved Dr. Seuss book! The only downside of this order was duplicating 3 dozen of them!Dr. Seuss Baby Shower CupcakesDr. Seuss Baby Shower Cupcakes

Dr. Seuss Baby Shower Cupcakes

Hello Kitty Cupcakes

Quite a long while back I had an order for some girly Hello Kitty cupcakes! I quickly got to work researching how I was going to make the little toppers out of fondant. Right away I found some awesome Hello Kitty cutters on amazon, and I ordered them from Japan without hesitation. I added the bow (which I made using a separate mold that I have), and completed the face details using royal icing. I even steamed these little kitties to make them shiny and extra fabulous 🙂Hello KittyHello Kitty

What made these cupcakes even more fun was unwrapping the liner to reveal the pink confetti cake inside!Hello Kitty CupcakesHello Kitty Cupcakes

 

2013 Holiday Baking

I promise this is the final post in my 3 day posting binge! I had an extremely jam-packed holiday schedule this year (last year..?) and as a result, haven’t had time to write posts until now…as it is already two weeks into 2014 I figured I would just publish them all at once before it is too late! Don’t worry, knowing me, I probably won’t get around to another post for at least 2 months :).

The night that I finished writing my last exam, I started a baking marathon that involved 14 dozen sugar cookies for my Dad’s work. 14 dozen might not sound so bad (or maybe it does), but I can assure you this was a very time-consuming endeavor! Keep in mind I used a standard sized oven, and decorating was a multi-step process. In the end, the effort was worth it, as everything came together on time, and my “clients” were happy with the result!

On a whim I decided to make some last minute mini cupcakes on Christmas Eve. The flavours were chocolate and gingerbread, and the icing was ginger-cinnamon. Delicious! All of the toppers were made out of fondant and decorated with edible markers.

Christmas Mini Cupcakes

I also made 3 different kinds of chocolate bark this year: Peppermint, Dark chocolate with pistachio and cranberry, and milk chocolate with mango, papaya and coconut. I failed to temper the chocolate, so the bark was in perfect condition as long as it was in the fridge, but had some unfortunate blooming if left out at room temperature too long. Lesson learned!

Simple Scalloped Birthday Cake

Scalloped Cake

Happy Friday!

Last night I made a cake for my Dad’s birthday. He’s what you would call a “no-fuss” kind of guy; in other words his birthday cake request is usually nothing more than “vanilla with chocolate icing.” If he had it his way, it would have been a Betty Crocker cake mix with pre-made icing, but that would have been way too easy. However, I decided not to do anything too elaborate with the cake this year since my sister and I have promised to cook and bake our Dad some of his favourite Austrian treats this weekend, so I didn’t feel the need to go overboard…perhaps Father’s Day will be a different story? 🙂

 

I’ve been seeing  a lot of scalloped cakes on Pinterest lately, so I figured this would be the perfect time to try out what seemed like a really easy but attractive technique. I am happy to report that it not only looks good, but is indeed super easy to execute (and has nothing to do with sea creatures or cheesy potatoes ;)). All you will need is:

Once you have a thin base layer of icing on the cake there are only 2 repetitive steps involved in the scalloping technique:

Scalloped cake

 

What you choose to do with the top of the cake is completely up to you…I chose to scallop the design in towards the center, and finished it off with a dot. Scalloped Cake

 

Happy Scalloping!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Avocado Frosting

 

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Happy Chocolate Cake Day! I’ll bet you didn’t even know there was a such thing.  According to the internet there are no shortage of food holidays (most of which are American) throughout the year.

What does this mean? It means that you don’t have to feel bad for missing “Chocolate Cake Day” because “Chocolate-Covered Cashew Truffle Day” is just around the corner (no, I am not kidding, it is on April 21st; there is even a “Lima Bean Respect Day” on April 20th). You can view a full list of American Food and Drink Holidays here.

Although I don’t live in the States, I thought it would be a shame not to celebrate Chocolate Cake Day, so I rose to the challenge and made these vegan chocolate cupcakes with chocolate avocado frosting.cake4thought: Chocolate Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting

Yes, you heard me correctly, avocado frosting. Just think of how much fun you can have asking people to guess the secret ingredient! 

cake4thought: Vegan Chocolate Cupakes

DSCN4669

 

Left over frosting? Fear not my friends, it doubles as a guilt-free mousse! So grab a spoon and eat up!

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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Source: Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp chocolate extract*
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners

2. Whisk together milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.

3. Add the sugar, oil, and extracts to the milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together remaining ingredients and add to wet ingredients in 2 batches. Beat until no large lumps remain.

4. Pour into 12 cupcakes liners and bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

*note: chocolate extract is totally optional. Feel free to add an additional 1/2 tsp vanilla extract if you don’t keep chocolate extract in your cupboard.

Chocolate Avocado Frosting

Source: adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ Chocolate-Avocado Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a bowl of boiling water.

2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Decorate cupcakes!