Archive for the ‘Frozen’ Category

Today is supposed to a beautifully hot day here in Calgary. At least 28C (which is around 85F) by midday – way above for the end of summer. It’s funny how I now think of the end of August as the end of summer. Back east the end of summer is more like the middle of October, but since my little one is starting kindergarten next week (Aghh!) it seems that the time is right for summer weather to start coming to an end. Just not today. So… it’s perfect weather for ice cream. We make a lot of ice cream in this house. I should write more and post way more recipes, but then, there are a lot of things I should be doing. I am a clumsy writer, and find it painstaking to take the time and write as often as I should. I am always amazed when I look at other blogs and people post everyday. Where do they find the time?! I can’t imagine myself ever getting that focused. One can always dream though…  Okay, back to ice cream. I made this a few weeks ago for a BBQ along with some other flavors and this one was the clear winner. After receiving a phone call the other day from my friend for step by step instructions, I promised that I would post the recipe. Andrea (my friend) just bought herself an ice cream maker after our discussion about the benefits of owning one and making your own vs. buying at the store. So I made the base the other evening and whirled this up last night.

When I say this is good, that really is an understatement. It’s rich and creamy, with an almost vanilla pudding like flavor, offset by the bright tanginess of the raspberries. The bits of dark chocolate round the whole thing out. This is one recipe with great “mouthfeel”. What I really love about this is that it does not contain eggs. I am not a big fan of custard style ice cream (sorry David Lebovitz), since  what I really want to taste is cream, not eggs. I find this style much more refreshing than egg based ice creams. So get out your ice cream maker and,  Bake on!

Ice Cream Base

1 Cup (8 oz) heavy whipping cream (32-36%)
1 3/4 Cup (14 oz) whole milk, divided
1/2 c (4 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 Cup (2 oz) light corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
2 Vanilla beans or 1 vanilla bean + 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract or 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 C (3 oz/90 g) chocolate chips (I like to use bittersweet chocolate not so finely chopped)

Raspberry Swirl

1 1/2 c (12 oz) fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 C (2oz) light corn syrup
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

In a small dish, mix together 3/4 whole milk, milk powder, cornstarch and vanilla extract (if using) together, stirring until everything is dissolved and smooth. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, remaining whole milk, corn syrup, and salt. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the cream mixture (save the pods for your sugar bowl or add to your bottle of vanilla extract.
Cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes, until the mixtures gets hot and starts to steam (but do not let it come to a boil). Whisk

the cornstarch slurry

in the cornstarch mixture (also called a slurry), and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil over medium-low heat.  Simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes until it thickens up. Oh, don’t forget to keep stirring; this prevents any lumps from forming. Take it off the heat and pour into a storage container to cool. Getting back to the lumpy thing I just mentioned, if you see any lumps just strain the mixture should a sieve. This should not happen if you stir the whole time, but no big deal if it does..

Once in a storage container, place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture to prevent a “pudding skin” to form. Refrigerate until completely chilled before moving on.

A note on chilling: I pop mine in the fridge overnight to get cold. Not only is it chilling the base but it also lets the flavors bloom. Now, that being said, if you just can’t wait you can always give a cold water bath. To do this, place a metal bowl in the freezer to get cold while you cook the base.  Get a larger metal bowl and fill it with ice and salt (just like the they used to make it). The salt makes the ice colder; don’t ask me how. Place the smaller bowl on top and fill with your hot mixture and stir until the mixture has cooled to below 40 F. Just be careful not to get any salty ice water into your ice cream…

Make the Raspberry Mixture

Combine the raspberries ,corn syrup, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes. Combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and mix well. Add to the raspberries and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until lighlty thickened. Strain the sauce through a sieve to remove the seeds. You should have about 1/2 cup left. Chill until cold.

Make your Ice Cream!

Freeze the base according to the instructions on your ice cream maker. It seems like these days they are all pretty much the same; pour it in and press the start button… I usually check mine after about 15-20  minutes to see if it’s firm and creamy. Add the chocolate and whirl for another minute to combine.

Spoon about 1/6 the ice cream into an airtight container. Top with a few spoonfuls of the raspberry sauce and repeat until everything is finished and nicely layered.

Serve right away for soft serve of place in the freezer for a few hours to set up. when ready to serve let it sit out for 10 minutes to let it soften a bit for easy scooping. dig in vertically so you get the swirl effect.

One for me….

and one for you….

Recipe adapted from: Scoop by Ellen Brown. A great book to own.

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Summer’s here, and the time is right… for ice pops! Rhubarb ice pops to be more precise. The rhubarb plant out back is gigantic right now, the weather has been sunny and hot, and my little one loves ice pops. The perfect combination.

These are simple to make and so sweet and tangy. It seems almost every store now carries ice pop molds, but if you don’t have any, no problem. Dixie or small plastic cups and wooden popsicle sticks work just as well. All you need to do is pour the mixture in, cover with plastic wrap and then insert the wooden stick in.The plastic wrap will hold the stick upright. For a more grown up version, add a shot of mango liqueur or tequila…


2 Cups (8 oz or about 5 stalks) rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1/2 C (4 oz) granulated sugar
3/4  C  (6 oz)water
1 Vanilla pod
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 C (2 oz) heavy cream

Place everything except the ground in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 15-20, or until the rhubarb is nice and soft. Remove the knob of fresh ginger; discard. Take out the vanilla bean, slice open and scrape out the seeds; place the seeds back into the pot. Rinse off the pod and throw into your sugar bowl (this will fragrance your sugar for the next time you bake). Stir in the ground ginger.

Place the rhubarb mixture into your food processor or blender and whirl until smooth. Add the cream and blend thoroughly.

Carefully pour into your  ice pop molds and freeze until set. Enjoy!

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The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.  The recipe is adapted from one developed by Bennie Sata, a Seattle-area pastry chef who introduced the city to one of its iconic chocolate desserts, The El Diablo. This dessert is composed of a cayenne infused chocolate semifreddo served over a scorched meringue base. Emma and Jenny also served it with a tequila caramel sauce and spiced nuts. Please make sure that you check out their blogs and view the original recipe, it is truly inspiring. For my version I chose to do a mix of raspberry marquise and cayenne chocolate.I skipped on the tequila altogether but did add a dash of Frangelico. The heat of the cayenne works really well against the coolness of the dessert so don’t be tempted to delete it. Instead of topping with spiced nuts as suggested, I made a chocolate heart using a transfer sheet

There are quite a few steps to this dessert, but if you have ever made semifreddo than you can easily make this. Like any other recipe, read through it first so you understand all of the steps. The original recipe provided was for an immense crowd, so luckily it was scaled down to 1/2 and a 1/4.I made the 1/4 amount and found that it would easily serve 4-6 people.  I looked through some of my older cookbooks to try to compare recipes but the only one I found called a marquise was a cake, not a frozen dessert, so I can’t really provide any background on a marquise .  Just try it, you’ll like it. Bake on…

Servings: 6 2″x2″ (5cmx5cm) cubes

3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 large egg
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (40 ml) (40 grams/ 1½ oz) sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (2/3 fluid oz/ 20 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows)
Raspberry base (recipe follows)
½ cup (4 fluid oz./ 120 ml.) heavy cream
½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling) (Note: Make sure it’s a Dutch processed cocoa, not a natural cocoa powder.)


In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks and whole eggs. Whip on high-speed until very thick and pale, about 10 minutes
When the eggs are getting close to finishing, make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cook to a softball stage (235F/115C).
With the mixer running on low-speed, drizzle the sugar syrup into the fluffy eggs, trying to hit that magic spot between the mixing bowl and the whisk.
When all of the syrup has been added (do it fairly quickly), turn the mixer back on high and whip until the bowl is cool to the touch. This will take at least 10 minutes.
In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Set aside.
When the egg mixture has cooled, remove half of the mixture to a clean bowl. Add half the chocolate base (reserve the rest for another use) to one of  the egg mixtures and whisk to combine. Try to get it as consistent as possible without losing all of the air you’ve whipped into the eggs. Add the raspberry base the the other half of the reserved egg mixture and whisk to combine.
Fold a small amount  of the reserved whipped cream into each of the the chocolate mixture and the raspberry mixture to loosen it, and then fold into each remaining whipped cream, dividing it up as equally as possible.
Pour into the prepared pans and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn’t allow in any air).I alternated the chocolate and raspberry mixtures in the molds. To marbelize it, I gently swirled a butter knife through the mixture a few times.
Freeze until very firm, at least 2 – 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours). I actually made mine 2 days before unmolding it.
When you’re ready to plate, remove the marquise from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving. While it’s still hard, remove it from the pan by pulling on the parchment ‘handles’ or by flipping it over onto another piece of parchment.
Cut it into cubes and roll the cubes in cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately, so don’t do this step until all of your other plating components (meringue, sauce, and  cocoa nibs) are ready. The cubes need to sit in the fridge to slowly thaw so plating components can be done during that time. They don’t need to be ready before the cubes are rolled in the cocoa powder.

Plate with the torched meringue, the reserved raspberry base and cocoa nibs around for garnish. You want to handle the cubes as little as possible because they get messy quickly and are difficult to move. However, you want to wait to serve them until they’ve softened completely. The soft pillows of chocolate are what make this dessert so unusual and when combined with the other elements, you’ll get creamy and crunchy textures with cool, spicy,  and sweet sensations on your palate.

Chocolate Base –

Since this recipe was already cut down, I just made this as is and only used half. I added the remaining amount to a batch of brownies batter I was making the next day.

Servings: n/a – this is an ingredient for the chocolate marquise, not meant to be used separately

3 oz (85 grams/ 6 tablespoons) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons (90 ml/3 fluid oz.) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 1/2 fluid oz.) Frangelico , optional
1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 1/2 fluid oz.) light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon/(less than 1/4 ounce) cocoa powder (I used a combination of black cocoa and dutch process, but any Dutch-processed cocoa would be fine. Do not substitute natural cocoa powder.)
dash freshly ground black pepper
1/4 oz unsalted butter (1/2 tablespoon/8 grams), softened

Note: here is an excellent article on cocoa powder

Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
In a double-boiler, warm the cream until it is hot to the touch (but is not boiling). Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
Allow it to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Set aside until cooled to room temperature. Do not refrigerate, as the base needs to be soft when added to the marquise mixture. If you make it the day before, you may need to warm it slightly. Whisk it until it is smooth again before using it in the marquise recipe.

RASPBERRY BASE – Reserve 2 tablespoons for plating

 1 Cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Bring all 3 ingredients to a boil over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes. Take off heat and let cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

Servings: Makes about 1 cup of meringue.

3 large egg whites                                                                                     
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) (3½ oz or 100 gms) sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a very clean whisk, gently stir the eggs until completely blended or use your (clean, washed) hand, reach in the bowl and stir the three together, making sure the sugar is moistened evenly by the egg whites and they make a homogeneous liquid.

Over a saucepan of simmering water, warm the egg white mixture.Gently stir with a clean whisk or use one hand to stir the mixture continuously, feeling for grains of sugar in the egg whites. As the liquid heats up, the sugar will slowly dissolve and the egg whites will thicken. This step is complete when you don’t feel any more sugar crystals in the liquid and it is uniformly warm, nearly hot.

Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and return it to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until you reach soft peaks. In the last 10 seconds of mixing, add the vanilla to the meringue and mix thoroughly.

When you’re ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate (or use a piping bag) and use a blowtorch to broil.

For this 2nd plating, I used cubes of the frozen marquise and topped it with a sesame honey cashew.

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                                                                                                                         HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For the past 3 or 4 years, every time I come home to New York for the holidays, I always seem to take out the Martha Stewart Christmas Cookbook. I have made several of the items over the years but have always wanted to try this one. I thought it would be great for a Christmas night dessert. The problem is, it’s a frozen dessert, and my relatives all live at least 30 minutes away, so I have always just turned the page and looked at other things to try. Well.. this year, my mom had her friends over for a New Years Day luncheon and the lightbulb went off in my head (!), and I thought this would be perfect. After a lunch of an Asparagus and potato frittata, mixed seafood salad, cold jumbo shrimp with caper-lemon mayonnaise, and San-Francisco sourdough rolls, we dug into the gingerbread roll. The cake deluxe, but the filling…Oh my! It is a calvados scented semifreddo that is just heavenly. It was served with a spiced cranberry coulis on the side. I though it would be the perfect ending to celebrate  the start of the New Year. And it was.

Get the recipe here

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Aahhhh, my favorite time of the month is here yet again. At the beginning of every month I log onto the Bakers Challenge to see what’s in store for me. Okay… I have plenty of time to prepare, think about my twist that I will put on it, maybe even plan a dinner party around it so I have plenty of people to eat it. All right, good to go. Well, in a organized, normal person’s life. So here I am, 10pm on the night of the 26th, once again scrambling to finish on time. The funny thing is, is that I have been baking quite a bit! (Just the wrong things)

This months challenge was hosted by Sunita at  Sunita’s world- life and food. It is a recipe adapted from adapted from the Swiss swirl ice cream cake from the Taste of Home website. Slices of Swiss roll are used to line a bowl and then filled with vanilla ice-cream, hot fudge ice cream topping and chocolate ice cream. The recipe does not require a lot of hands on time, but definitely requires a lot of cooling and freezing time between layers. “You do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe. But if you will be using one, make sure you churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions after mixing the ingredients”. Boy, was I happy when I read this line. Being in New York right now, and my ice cream maker is 3,000 miles away, I panicked when I first saw what we were supposed to be making. This was my first time making milk based ice cream without a mixer. I went to David Lebovitz’ awesome site and did some research on this. It was actually really easy. Beware of the calories in this one. A whole lotta  heavy cream went into this puppy. Since the whole concept of making ice cream is beating the ice crystals while they are forming to make a smooth and creamy concoction, you need a lot of fat in it when doing it by hand. I followed his recipe for the chocolate ice cream, making my mine an espresso chip. I followed  Sunita’s recipe for the vanilla, using dark brown sugar and a touch of almond extract (OMG, so good). I went with a coffee, frappicino-ish kind of flavor for this. What’s better than in iced coffee in the summer? If I make this again, I am going to try to do a red velvet swiss roll with a cream cheese ice cream. This was my original pick but my mom likes coffee a whole lot….

ESPRESSO CHIP- BROWN SUGAR VANILLA SWISS ROLL ICE CREAM CAKE (inspired by the recipe of the same name from the Taste of Home website)

The Swiss rolls- You will need two 9 x 11 jelly roll pans. I did not have this, but I have a 11 x 17  pan. I just cut the cake in half before rolling

Preparation time- 10 minutes
Baking time- 10-12 minutes
Rolling and cooling time- at least 30 minutes
Filling-5-8 minutes
Filling and rolling- 5-10 minutes


6 medium sized eggs
1 C / 225 gms caster sugar /8 oz+ extra for rolling
6 tblsp / 45gms/ a pinch over 1.5 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 tblsp/40gm /a pinch under 1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
2 tblsp /30ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water
a little oil for brushing the pans (I use PAM and parchment)

For the filling-

2C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
5 tblsp / 70gms/2.5oz of caster sugar


Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.

In a large mixing bowl,using your balloon whisk,  add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beater is lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water

Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans. Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch. Spread a clean, slightly dampened kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
Repeat the same for the next cake as well.

Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processor till nicely mixed together. If you are using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar and extract to the cream. In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick. Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).
Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down
Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).


2 and ½ C / 625 ml / 20 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, scraped of it’s seeds (use the leftover bean to scent your sugar bowl),or 1 tsp/ 5 ml/ .15 fl oz vanilla extract
½ C / 115gms/ 4 oz of dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

Whisk all of the ingredients together

Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer about every 45 minutes and  beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 4-5 times and then set completely.

ESPRESSO STRACCIATELLA  (adapted from David Lebovitz)
You can easily make Stracciatella ice cream with Italian-style chocolate chips:
Drizzle pure melted dark or milk chocolate (about 5 ounces, 140 g) over the almost-frozen mixture, then stir, breaking up the ribbons of chocolate as they start to freeze, to create little ‘chips’.

1 cup milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder (such as Medaglia D’oro)
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.
2. Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill thoroughly, then remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions OR pour the mixer into a stainless steel pan (I used a 9 x 13) and stir every 45 minutes as described above in the vanilla ice cream recipe. After about 2 hours, I drizzled melted bittersweet chocolate (about 3 oz) over the top, let it harden for about 1 minute, then stirred it all in to make the crackle.

1/2 Cup toasted, chopped almonds (optional) for in between the layers


1 C / 230gms/ 8 oz of caster sugar
3 tblsp / 24gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tblsp /15gms/ 1 oz of cornstarch
1 and ½ C /355ml /12 fl oz of water
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
2 oz Bitterweet chocolate
2 Tbsp dark rum (optional)
1 tblsp /14gms/ 1 oz butter
1 tsp/5 ml / .15 fl oz vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, over medium hight heat,put in everything except the vanilla, butter, and rum (if using). Stir constantly, until it boils and thickens – about 2 minutes. Take off the heat, whisk in the butter,vanilla and rum. Let cool completely.



Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices ( approximately 2 cms each ).
Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap
Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour)
Spread the toasted almonds all over the vanilla layer, gently pressing them into the sides so they stick. Add the fudge sauce over this, cover and freeze until firm (at least 1 hour or more).Soften the chocolate ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set .
Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.
Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.

mmmm... ice cream

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While having my good friends Donna and Michael over for dinner last week I made a dessert that I was planning on posting but then decided it was not up to par. It was a blackberry yogurt cake layered with a blueberry “chiffon” and then frozen for a few hours. The chiffon was a variation of a recipe taken from Cooking Light Magazine that is called frozen lemon blackberry chiffon pie. The recipe is a really good one but I wanted something with just a little bit ” more”.  The only problem was that my take on it wasn’t any good! The cake part was just too frozen  and the chiffon part was too soft by the time the cake was ready. Good thought but not good enough. While we were discussing the recipe and how it could be better this is what we came up with. Instead of cake layers I would use a nut laced  meringue which would then get nice, soft and chewy. It would be layered between the berry chiffon, and I would also brush the  meringue with dark chocolate to add  a little crunch. I also changed  the blueberry to cherry (I still have a lot of cherries)

I have an  interestingly shaped springform pan that I wanted to use for this, it is somewhat rectangular shaped and a nice change from the standard circle.IMG_3692 While a springform pan is not absolutely necessary, it would be my first choice. This way you can unmold the cake to slice it, and it makes a nicer presentation.

So…. I have chosen to make this over a few days- it’s just easier for me, maybe not for you. I find meringue a breeze to make but it likes a lot of drying time.  I find that  if  I make it one day and use it later it works just fine. This recipe is definitely a  make ahead one, but isn’t it easier to have your dessert ready before everything else? Don’t be put off by the time it takes, most of it is waiting for the meringue to dry and the chiffon to freeze. the overall work is only about 25 minutes.

 I served it after a meal of pizza on the BBQ, and it was a smashing success. Really tasty with amazing textures, but still light.

Cherry Chiffon and Nut Meringue Torte

Part One- for the meringue

Before you start, take a piece of parchment paper and outline the bottom of the pan your using with a pencil. Flip this over- now you have a template for your meringue. IMG_3680

4 egg whites (I used simply egg whites so I wouldn’t have to find another use for the yolks-they work great)
1 C sugar
1/2 C ground toasted almonds
1/4 tsp almond extract
Whip the egg whites until frothy. Slowly start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until it is all gone and your meringue is stiff and shiny. IMG_3683Fold in the ground almonds and extract. Place into a piping bag and fill in your traced template. If you don’t have a piping bag you can you a large ziploc bag with a corner cut out or just use the back of a spoon to spread the meringue around. There is always a way around things!IMG_3690

Place the meringues in a preheated 200 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes and then turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for a few hours (I left mine in overnight). You want to dry out the meringue, not brown it, hence the low temp. These will now keep for at least 2 weeks in a lightly covered (not airtight-they must be breathe)container.IMG_3694

Part Two- the Cherry Chiffon

4 egg whites (again, I used simply egg whites for this. 8 tablespoons = 4 egg whites) 
1/4 tsp salt
1 C plus 2 Tblsp sugar
6 Tblsp water
3 cups pitted cherries
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp almond extract

Combine cherries,lemon juice and extract in a blender and process until smooth. You will end up with 2 cups puree.

Place salt and egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Combine sugar and 6 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a thermometer registers 250°. Gradually pour the hot sugar syrup into egg white mixture, beating at medium speed, then at high speed, until stiff peaks form (about 8 minutes). Fold in the cherry puree .I like to place the whole bowl then in the freezer for 1/2 hour to firm it up a little.

Part Three- assembly

If neccesary, trim your meringue to fit into the springform pan that you are using. Melt a few squares of dark chocolate and gently spread over this layer.IMG_3696 Place in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up the chocolate. Spread half of the cherry chiffon over this and then place the other meringue layer over this,cover with chocolate, freeze for a few minutes and then spread with the rest of the cherry mixture.

Place this in the freezer for a least 6 hours or overnight. Let sit for 5 minutes before unmolding the cake and slicing.

This was sooooo good!

This was sooooo good!

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Wow, talk about cherry heaven…. While driving down to Lolo Hot Springs, MT this weekend we took Highway 35 (the Bigfork side of The Flathead Lake). We normally take 93 but decided for a change of scenery and I am glad we did. It’s cherry orchards as far as the eye can see…IMG_3576
It was so hard to decide at which stand to stop. One stand advertised the cherries at 65 cents per pound but we couldn’t find it so we ended up stopping for a lovely little old lady waving to us from her stand and was selling her cherries for  99 per pound. Still a big bargain in my book for fresh off the tree fruitIMG_3584The big bags of the Rainer cherries were $20 a bag but I must say, I don’t care for them as much as the dark reds. They don’t have much flavor- what’s the big deal about them? Anyway, I bought a big bag of dark, sweet, juicy reds for 10 bucks and a pound of huckleberrys for another $10. What we really loved was the sign “by the ton”IMG_3586 Was anybody really driving by and saying “Let’s pick up a ton of cherries?” But, it turned out, they sold 2 tons the week before!!

So… I have been busy eating cherries and pitting them one at a time with my dollar store pitter. I have been able to freeze 3 trays so far and made a cherry buttermilk sorbet the other day with my new ice cream maker. My old one gave me 10 years of good service but finally gave out on me.

Cherry Buttermilk Sorbet

Boil: 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar – let cool
Mix with: 2 cups cold buttermilk
3 cups fresh cherries that have been pureed in a blender
Pour into your ice cream maker, turn it on and in about 30 minutes you will have yummy soft serve cherry sorbet -or- put it in a container and put in the freezer for a few hours for firmer ice cream

ANYWAY….. I wanted to make something that I hadn’t made before so I tried a Cherry BBQ sauce. I don’t think I have ever made a BBQ sauce before and thought this might be pretty tasty since I love raspberry and huckleberry BBQ sauces. I made this up as I went along but wrote it all down….

Cherry BBQ Sauce

3 cups pitted cherries
1 cup Ketchup
1 bottle of Beer (I used a lager)

IMG_3594I’m sure you could use any beer but I would think a stronger tasting beer would be nice…
1/4 cup runny Honey
6 Tblsp Molasses
3 Tblsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tblsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Head of Garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/4 tsp Smoked Habernaro powder (Omit if you don’t want it spicy)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, drained

Put everything into a pot and just let it simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.IMG_3596You want to make sure all the flavors have a chance to mellow out and flavor each other. After a few hours very carefully puree your mixture in batches in a blender, or use a  hand emulsifier if you have one. If using a blender don’t put too much of the hot sauce in at once, only half way full at a time. Pour it all back in the panIMG_3614and simmer until it is the thickness that you desire. Since it has a decent amount of sugars in it, this sauce is only for the final basting. I cooked my ribs three quarters of the way and then basted them with this yummy sauce for the final 15 minutes,being careful not to let them burnIMG_3627

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