A Dedication... well it was supposed to be.

I really wanted to dedicate this blog post to my sister and my sister-in-law. You see they both have their own blogs too. My sister is kind of using her blog like it's a journal. We get to see inside some of her own inner-journey. My Sis' Mel has two gorgeous kids, works and has recently fallen in love with gardening. I love seeing the pics on her blog and these beauties (recently taken in my own garden) are dedicated to her. It means so much to me that she is doing her blog and I'm inspired by the honesty that she writes with.

My Sis-in-law is also an inspiration. She has a blog too. Her blog is about writing and yes... she is a writer. Her first novel was published about 2 years ago and she has been working ever since. She also works, has 3 gorgeous kids and is married to my brother (I won't comment ;-) I can't imagine how she juggles everything and still manages to keep up with a blog that is inspiring a lot of other people to write as well! My Sis-in-law is gaga about chocolate and this post was supposed to be about chocolate.
And it is.
Sort of.
There is chocolate in it.

To be honest, I just couldn't resist this ice cream. Thoughts of summer (I might be seeing them this summer - they all live in Calgary which is pretty far from T.O.) and the sounds of this recipe just caught me and I couldn't walk away. Who can resist caramel and chocolate. I won't lie to you, this recipe called for a little bit of fiddling. Really though, not only was the fiddling more time consuming than difficult, it was MORE than worth it. You must try this ice cream. I wish that I could send it out to my Sis-in-law and my Sis ('cause I think that she might also LOVE this one) so that we could all enjoy it together.

Chocolate Chip Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
adapted from Technicolor Kitchen

2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tbsp salted butter (I didn't have so I used unsalted butter and upped the salt content to 1 tsp)
scant 1/2 tsp sea salt (I used Fleur de Sel)
1 cup heavy cream
5 lg egg yolks
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Make an ice bath - fill a lg bowl 1/3 full with ice cubes and add enough water to make them float. In a smaller bowl pour 1 cup of milk and place on top of the ice cubes with a seive at the ready.
In a medium sized sauce pan (heavy bottomed) begin to cook the sugar over medium heat. As it begins to melt stir until it's dissolved. (the lumps will melt) Continue to stir occasionally until the mixture begins to go brown and starts to smell like it's going to burn. Remove from heat and add the butter and salt. Once butter is melted then add in the cream (slowly, stir as much as you can) and the rest of the milk. Return to the heat.

Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually add to the caramel mixture (could just add some of the caramel mixture to the egg yolks first and then add the whole thing back into the pot on the stove) making sure that the yolks will not cook on contact. Stir the whole mixture constantly until it reaches about 170 degrees F (use the spoon trick - if the mixture doesn't come back together once you run your finger through it off the back of a spoon then it's pretty much ready)

Remove from the heat and pour through the seive into the bowl of chilled milk. Mix thoroughly and add the vanilla. Cover the mixture with cling-wrap (right on top of the custard so that a film doesn't form on the top) and continue to chill in the ice bath. Once it's cooled enough put it to refridgerate for about 8 hrs or until completely cooled.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and cool slightly.
Pour ice cream into ice cream maker and churn until it starts looking solid. Once it looks ready to put into freezer containers, add the melted chocolate and stir just enough to create a ripple.
Pour into freezer containers and freeze for about 4 hrs.
Thaw just a bit before scooping...

Toffee Packaging

Sometimes I do stupid things when it comes to shopping. For example, on numerous occasions I've had things to purchase in my hands, I'm in the line waiting to pay and while I'm there I reconsider, leave the line, put all my purchases back where I found them (that's the really crazy part... I know!!) and leave the store. Sometimes, I'll go back to check something out for months and still never buy it! I'll plan the purchase, budget it out in my head and then chicken out (yeah, it is chickening out... really). Except when it comes to food stuff. I don't shop unwisely but I will spend the money, especially if something looks interesting. So, a while back I picked up these toffee bits in the grocery store. I would love to give you some kind of nice speech about how they are organic, or made with sucanat or whatever... but I can't. These are the awful, processed, teeth rotting things that should make me cringe. BUT... they landed in my house none-the-less.

I didn't think to do anything with them for quite a while. I was waffling about what exactly to do with these things on their maiden voyage in my oven. Anyway, I had a good friend in university whose Grandma gave her great advice when it comes to baking, 'When in doubt, use the recipe on the back of the package'. So, I checked the package and sure enough this recipe is what I found.

It's kinda like a brownie. Sometimes, I find blondies a little too cakey. With this one I added a little more butter (never a bad thing right?) and it turned out more gooey - kinda just right! I think though that the toffee bits just kind of melted into the texture of the whole thing. I thought that they might be crunchier but I couldn't even taste where they were... still, what resulted was good, subtle and just right.

Chipits Toffee Crunch (mmK - mine had no crunch) Blondies
adapted from the back of the chipits package!
As it appears:

1. Beat 2/3 cup unsalted butter with 1 cup brown sugar and 2 eggs until well blended and fluffy.
2. In a bowl, mix together 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix well.
3. Add flour to butter mixture
4. Stir in 1 cup toffee bits and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (really guys, chocolate of choice here)

5. Spread evenly in greased 13X9 baking pan.

6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean
7. (optional) Remove from oven and sprinkle with more toffee bits.

8. Cool and cut into bars...

Blueberry Buttermilk

Admittedly, I'm really clawing my way through this week. There are a million 'gotta-get-this-done' things going through my head and at the end of the day, I'm accomplishing too little and trying to accomplish too much. Summer vacay can't arrive soon enough my peeps. Weekends just aren't cutting it at the moment. At least with recipes like this I won't be drowning my sorrows by spending $ at a coffee joint.

I eyed this recipe on another blog last week and well... it caught my eye - obviously. It was adapted from Gourmet and you all know how I feel about Gourmet *sigh* RIP. 'Eats Well With Others' did a beautiful job with this cake using blueberries instead of the raspberries that it originally called for. Joanne (blog-girl) also made strawberry whipped cream with her blueberry beauty. I didn't bother with that because... well... my arms get too tired. I'm doin' it by hand and sometimes I just can't psych myself up for the job. Remember the burnout speech above?!
Anyway, as it turns out, the cake didn't need the whipped cream (although it really always is a lovely addition even if it isn't 'needed') and we've been enjoying it 'au natural'.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar + 1 tbsp sugar reserved until the end
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk, well shaken (not stirred ;-)
1 cup blueberries (the actual recipe calls for raspberries which would be fantastic too, especially in season)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and butter and flour a 9 inch round pan (I used a springform).

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and beat some more, then add the egg and beat until well mixed and fluffy. Beginning and ending with the flour, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk in 3 batches, mixing well after each addition.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and place the berries on top of the batter. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the berries. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes before cutting or removing from the pan.

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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