Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lemon Cheesecake

This last lemon dessert is the best, in my opinion. That's because not even the tart lemon curd can make me dislike my cheesecake!

I feel I have a great handle on making lemon curd now. I will not be moving on to creme brulee, because I don't want to buy multiple ramekins right now. Instead, I'll be trying my hand at Bavarian cream!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lemon Ice Cream

I wanted to make this ice cream because it was a variation on the lemon curd used for the lemon bars. I was really happy I did, because this time around I bought a fine-mesh strainer to run the curd through. It kept the large peels of lemon zest out, and the bits of egg that had slightly overcooked. The result was a really beautiful yellow cream, that I could imagine stuffing a doughnut with. Unfortunately, I didn't get a nice picture of it, because I made the ice cream at night, and night pictures of food aren't that appetizing.

I tried the ice cream a bit and it's like a really smooth version of lemon ice that you'd get at a ballpark. The bit of dried ginger I added was undetectable. It probably would have been more pronounced if I had used ginger juice, which is what was called for.

Only one more lemon dessert to go, and then I'll get to try creme brulee!

Friday, July 22, 2011

School Time!

Today I came home to find my new books for school had arrived! In the fall, I'll be starting culinary school at the local technical college. I've already cracked open the Professional Cooking book a bit and it's really in-depth.

While I'm really excited about this next step in my life, I'm a bit sad I'll be doing less baking. So I'll have to spend August going through what I really want to do in TSOB.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lemon Bars

Lemon curd is darned easy compared to caramel. I think the only mistake that one could make would be to end up with scrambled eggs because of high heat.

I am not a fan of lemon desserts, and this recipe didn't make me a convert either. Others liked them just fine, especially for their lemon-y-ness.

I'm still going to make a couple other lemon curd recipes: the master curd recipe to combine with whip cream to top a plain cheesecake, and then some lemon-ginger ice cream.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

I HAD to make this cake, which is from Bon Appetit's July 2011 issue. As the magazine says, it's a twist on a pineapple upside-down cake. The combination of the blackberries and orange zest with the yellow cake batter was very delicious.

I was also lucky enough to be able to use fresh eggs from one of my husband's co-workers, who keeps chickens in the backyard. Nothing better than that!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Caramel Souffle

You guys, I finally did it! I mastered both caramel and souffle tonight!

I achieved the perfect caramel color/temperature, then made it into a creamy sauce by adding hot cream, creme fraiche, sugar and a bit of lemon juice. I love TSOB, because this creamy caramel is far better than any milk caramel you can buy in the store. It will be fun making this as part of my next turtle cheesecake in the future!

I also didn't mess up the souffle this time. Last time, I went by the time in the book, rather than what my nose was telling me. I must have a really hot oven because it only took half the time recommended.

So now with caramel mastered, I can go on to the next chapter: lemon curd!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Caramel Ice Cream

Ice cream is a great way to enjoy the 4th! My husband and I enjoyed this caramel ice cream from TSOB while watching fireworks that were outside our window. I have to say that I couldn't really taste the caramel, mostly because of the added amaretto and lemon juice the recipe called for. Not that it wasn't good, but just that I couldn't get past those flavors.

Caramel is still really hard for me to master. In fact, take a look at my first attempt for this recipe:
I knew I had burnt the caramel, yet I still went through the whole recipe, thinking that the other flavors and cream would fix the burned caramel. Nope.

Even when I did get a good caramel color for this recipe, I waited too long bringing my milk and cream to a simmer before I could add it to the caramel, which made my caramel almost too hard to blend with the milk and cream!

I guess I'll have to keep practicing. Up next: caramel souffle. Hopefully this one turns out better than the chocolate one!