Archive for June, 2007

Rose petal ice cream

Last week, I made Vanilla Rose Ice Cream, using the recipe in The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein. I had made candied rose petals in the first place for the purpose of trying this recipe out, but I was sadly disappointed by the taste and texture of the low-fat vanilla ice cream recipe with which he suggests the amended ingredients that turn it into “vanilla rose ice cream”. I had once had vanilla ice cream with red rose petals before, at the Robin Rose ice cream parlor in Fuchu City, Japan.
However, though my candied rose petals proved flavorful if uneven in texture and crystallization, the ice cream base in the recipe recommended in The Ultimate Ice Cream Book was too sugary and cloying for my taste, spoiling the effect I had wanted, as “Rose’s contains less sugar than commercial ice creams – just enough to keep it scoopable and provide a light sweetness.” ,according to
I am going to have to experiment with different vanilla ice cream formulations to find a home made version which has a better texture and is less sweet. I think it is the sweetened condensed milk in the lower fat ice cream formulation that is responsible for the “off” texture and the cloying flavor. Trying this recipe was useful for establishing that I could conceivably make rose petal ice cream at home. The recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book for Vanilla Rose Ice Cream, which I warn you is not nearly as good as that made by Robin Rose, and which I will never make again, follows below:

Vanilla Ice Cream #3 (Lower Fat) makes about 1 quart
Sweetened Condensed Milk replaces cream and sugar in this recipe, reducing fat and calories. Low-fat or fat-free sweetened condensed milk will reduce the fat and calorie contents even further.
2 cups milk (2% or skim)
2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.
Vanilla Rose Ice Cream Add one tablespoon rose water along with the vanilla extract. Proceed with the recipe as directed, adding 2 tablespoons crushed candied rose petals to the machine when the ice cream is semifrozen. Allow the machine to mix in the flowers.

Add comment June 17th, 2007

flat brownies, spilled ice cream

Last night being what will probably be the last cool night of the summer, I perpetrated a baking spree: apricot-cream cheese scones, brown rice crispy bars, and brownies from a mix.  The long (9 by 13?) pan I had greased was originally intended for the puffed-rice treats, and turned out to be too large for the brownies, which turned out to (1)only fill one-third of the pan and (2) came out flat and parts came out hard.  Since there is chocolate and vanilla ice cream in the freezer as well as homemade chocolate sauce in the fridge, I figured we could have brownie sundaes in the days ahead.  The scones (which Michelle had been wanting me to make for a while) and the brown rice crispy bars,1977,FOOD_9936_31334,00.html turned out well enough, but today I had trouble with the cannoli ice cream .

I substituted mini semi-sweet chips for the Baker’s chocolate squares, knowing that big chunks of chocolate would not go down well with everyone in our family. 

First the whipped cream wouldn’t whip, but switching to a more powerful electric mixer did eventually get it whipped. It seems our ice cream maker only takes 2 cups of ice cream mixture and this recipe makes more than that. While it is true that I am not good at estimating volumes and this was part of my trouble, the other part that had nothing to do with the absolute capacity of our ice cream maker (which I had NOT been previously informed of) was the fact that the ice cream mixture came out to be a lot more “liquidy” than the instructions in the recipe had previously led me to believe the end result would be, and at least one cup of it instantly spilled all over my clothes, the countertop, and on the floor (which I had just mopped a few days ago).  Then all of a sudden, I’m “the bad guy” for trying to mix it up too soon (before dinner).  Never mind that I wanted to have the machine running while I did other things and have the finished ice cream waiting in the freezer till the appointed time, and all the utensils cleaned up before we sat down to dinner.  That idea just never occurred to my mother.  Running smoothly and allowing me to accomplish this feat also never occurred to the ice cream machine, which promptly popped off the top , and let the dasher separate from the motor, and repeated the performance every time I tried to get the respective parts to fit together, repeatedly oozing ice cream mix from places it was physically impossible to shed liquid from.  I would just like something like this to actually happen to someone else for a change so they know how it feels.  Then maybe I’ll believe that the mechanical devices of the world are not plotting against me or that I don’t have above-average levels of bad luck.

Add comment June 16th, 2007

Nougat ice cream: a good recipe if you don’t have an ice cream maker

This recipe comes from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein  c. 1999 by Bruce Weinstein (Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, and More), William Morrow & Co. NY

Nougat Ice Cream

makes about 1 quart

This ice cream doesn’t require an ice cream machine.  Simply pack it into a freezer-proof container and set in the freezer overnight to harden.  2 large egg whites

one-third cup honey

one-half cup sugar

one-fourth cup water

One and a half cups heavy cream

one-half teaspoon almond extract

one half cup chopped toasted almonds (which I left out, to the approval of my family)

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Combine the honey, sugar, and water in a small, heavy saucepan.  Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear.  Raise the heat and bring the syrup to a boil.  Boil without stirring for two minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Slowly and carefully beat the hot syrup into the egg whites, pouring in a thin stream.  Continue beating until the meringue has cooled, about 5 minutes.  In a separate bowl, beat the cream with the almond extract until it reaches the consistency of sour cream (I didn’t quite manage that).

Fold the cream and almonds into the meringue.  Place in a freezer-proof container.  Cover and freeze overnight or until firm.


I made it in the morning and left it in the freezer overnight.  When I served it up for dessert last night, I found that there was a significant unwhipped, frozen and dense portion around the periphery of the container, but the center was the consistency of soft ice cream, and yes, seemed like a nougat.  Almond and honey were the predominant flavors, and while the consensus was that I should have gone easier on the almond extract, the whole family enjoyed it.  For those of us watching our cholesterol, I argue that it must be (reletively) low in cholesterol because it has no egg yolks.  But the counterargument is that the heavy cream has its share of cholesterol.  The cookbook did not have a cholesterol count.  Does any body out there know how to measure this or can you provide a cholesterol count? My whole family needs some low-cholesterol alternatives!

Cross-posting with

Add comment June 6th, 2007

Thumb print cookies with rose jelly, remixed

Yesterday, having seen the corrected version of Recipe4Living’s thumbprint cookie recipe, I made ‘em again with the two cups of flour that the recipe specified.  The batter came out much improved, like scone batter, disperate floury particles which would stick together when formed into balls but not before.  Quite a contrast to the goopy mess that resulted with only one cup of flour.  I also left out the baking powder as per the instructions of the corrected recipe.  But the cookies still rose high and were “homemade looking” with a cracked exterior finish and high rounded tops.  After having given them 5 minutes in the oven, made the thumbprints, and then given them 3 minutes back in the oven, I also discovered that they were in many cases still raw in the middle after that.  I gave them an additional 3 minutes in the oven after that, with the result that they had a total of 11 minutes in the oven, with the break for cooling and finding out that they were still raw in the middle.  It seemed to be about as effective as putting them next to the cat: many of the cookies were still raw in the middle. After throwing out nearly half the batch because of that, I decided to call it quits.  If anybody else has had this experience, please call Recipe4Living on its photo of the cookies: they admitted to me that they ran the recipe because of the photo, but even with the correct instructions, the end result is again VERY far from what is the photo. Is it just me and my ADHD or did this happen to anyone else out there, too?

Add comment June 6th, 2007

A tale of two recipes

A few nights ago, I saw a recipe that I thought would be elegant as well as delicious on Thumbprint cookies with Rose Jelly seemed like it would be a good thing to make, so I started mixing up the ingredients according to the directions, and then I realized something… nowhere on the ingredient list were the flour or the salt mentioned in the mixing instructions! I realized that in order for the cookies to come out as cookies, I needed to add some, but how much? Recipe 4 Living neglected to inform its faithful readers. So, in a panic, I got on the net again, typed “Thumprint Cookies” into Google, and got this recipe from, did a little quick math (using 1 cup of flour to go with the proportions of other ingredients from the recipe at Recipe 4 Living, adding the salt and yes, baking powder (always a good idea in cookies) and breathing a sigh of relief when I had a gooey but credible dough ready to form into balls (as per the instructions on Recipe 4 Living) and following through on the rest of the steps. The jelly ran (but I think that is the fault of the jelly, which has been kept in the fridge too long & has started to separate) and the egg white dipping only made handling the incredibly sticky balls into an incredible mess, and only pressure really helped the crushed nuts stick to the cooky balls. After the time in the oven, they were still quite rounded and high rather than flat, as the picture on Recipe 4 Living showed: Flat, elegant cookies with a jewel-like chunk of rose jelly adorning the middle of each-balanced atop flat cookies- is what Recipe 4 Living implicitly promised. Incidentially, when I opened the oven and tried to make the thumbprints at the end of 5 minutes, it wasn’t long before I burned my thumb and some of my other fingers attempting to do this (they should suggest this to mobsters and professional theives as a method of removing fingerprints from their fingers) so I ended up running to the silverwear drawer for a spoon, with which I managed to form inelegant and totally inadequate slitlike depressions for the jam. Back into the oven and the cookies were still rounded and high, and looking homemade in the clumsy and amateurish sense of the word when it was time to take them out. I wrote to Recipe 4 Living a couple of days ago about the ingredients they left out of their recipe. I just received the following letter of apology today:

Dear Laura,
Thank you so much for your catch on the
Thumbprint cookies recipe.
I can assure you we received many notes on that one!
Our website truly continues
to grow and improve thanks to
involved readers like you.

The editorial team here at
does its best to catch all
errors and omissions in recipe,
but occasionally things slip through the
cracks as everything on the website is
We chose the
thumbprint cookies recipe purely for
its beautiful picture.

I have made the corrections on the recipe,
and I hope you will try it out
now. Let me know what you think!

Thanks again for your note and happy cooking,

Caley Walsh


Add comment June 4th, 2007

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