Froyo Inferno

Banana ChocoFro arrHot and hazy days call for an ice-box favourite ─ say it is so, “ICE CREAM!”  Sweet, creamy and undoubtedly refreshing, who wouldn’t want to indulge in this summertime favourite?  I know I do, but with another ‘seasonal must’ beckoning ─ teenie weenie swimsuits ─ dreaded bouts of foreseeable guilt supersede advanced signs of temptation.  Fortunately, sunny days remain bright with an evasion of processed “sugar-free” and “fat-free” alternatives in exchange for homemade batches of fruit-flavoured frozen treats.

Banana Fro arrRecipes abound, there’s no shortage of instructions that call upon the usual suspects ─ sugar, cream, eggs, vanilla ─ and use of an ice-cream maker.  Having both the ingredients and the machinery ‘chez-moi,’ the common necessities aren’t an issue.  What it really comes down to, however, is the “s” word ─ SUGAR!  And so, I continue to scour the net and happily find an effortless frozen recipe that calls for two things:  bananas, and a food processor.  Ultimately working with a blank canvas, be brave and personalize your soon-to-be congealed treat with tasty additions ─ dash of cinnamon, a handful of nuts for added crunch, and even a tablespoon or two of either peanut butter or Nutella.

Blueberry FroYo arrStarting with the basics, follow these steps:  first peel and slice ripened bananas, then place cut pieces into a freezer-proof container, and freeze for a few hours or overnight.  How many bananas?  Good question!  As a rule of thumb, you can start with three but, just remember:  if you use more, you’ll get more.  So, it really depends on how large a batch you seek.  Once frozen, place the banana slices into a food processor and keep pulsing ─ about three to five minutes ─ until you yield a smooth consistency likened to soft-serve.  Finally, enjoy this naturally sweet delight immediately or store it in the freezer ─ once again ─ for a more solidified confection.  Requiring minimal ingredients but resulting in superior taste, it truly doesn’t get any easier than this.  So easy, in fact, I couldn’t resist dividing my potassium-rich batch into two and by proceeding to blend it with some cocoa powder ─ ‘et voilà,’ my very own chocolaty banana ice-cream.

Strawberry FroYo arrHooked on something wonderful, why stop now?  Equally achievable, making homemade strawberry and blueberry frozen yogurt is next on my list.  Courtesy of Just A Taste, I adhere to directions that call for three ingredients:  four cups of berries, ½ cup of yogurt, and three tablespoons of honey.  Like the banana recipe, begin with your choice of frozen berries and pulse the fruit using a food processor.  Catering to my taste, I combine the frozen fruit purée with ½ cup of thick and creamy Balkan-style yogurt, in addition to Manuka honey.  So far so good, I pour the vibrant batch of semi-frozen yogurt into a temperature-safe container and leave it in the freezer to solidify.  That’s it ─ done and done!

FroYo Palette arrAs for overall impressions, taste is not an issue so much as texture.  Clean and refreshing to the palette, both berry-inspired frozen yogurts are light and far from saturated ─ no cream, no refined sugar, no problem?  Not quite!  As any ice-cream maker well knows, sugar helps reduce the formation of ice crystals.  Honey, on that note, has purposefully been incorporated into this somewhat health-conscious recipe.  Making a valiant appearance, however slight, the ‘sweet stuff’ ─ agave nectar or other sweetener ─ does not share similar proportions as one would typically find in the rich custard original.  That said, the absence of fat and white sugar in this recipe indicates a less than creamy outcome that fares closer to a ‘granita.’  Needless to say, this fro-yo recipe may cater to some but not all.  On the plus side, there’s no denying this:  bright authentic taste of hand-picked strawberries trump any artificially-packed tub load.  So is fro-yo a go go?  I’d say so!  It’s definitely good as-is, and worth repeating using an ice-cream maker, at least for curiosity’s sake ─ churn baby churn!

© DISHFUL, 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

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Irish You a Happy St. Paddy’s!

GuinnessCCakes 7 arr“Kiss me, I’m Irish!” ─ well, not quite!  Definitely Irish-ish in spirit, who wouldn’t be?  Painting the town green, St. Patrick’s Day is definitely to be seen, heard and celebrated both near and far.  GuinnessCCakes 3 arrGetting early festivities under way, the baker in me feels equally happy-go-lucky to colour my kitchen with my next must-make-bake-and-indulge Emerald Isle inspired treat.  Kissing one decadent recipe “hello,” here’s a moist cake worth touting:  Guinness Chocolate Cake with Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting.

GuinnessCCakes 4 arrTraditional or not, a beer-infused dessert is to be truly tried and tasted, at least once.  And in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes ─ yes you can switch things up, and make cupcakes!  Courtesy of Epicurious, anyone can take the original recipe and still yield great flavour with a pan swap-out.  Caring to share a taste of Ireland with friends, then, just exchange a round cake pan for a muffin tin and your mini cakes are set by the dozen.  Needless to say, crack open and pour ‘Made in Ireland’ exports, then prepare and evenly distribute the cake batter into cupcake papers for the start of your very own ‘nouveau’ 12-pack.  GuinnessCCakes 5 arr

Lament-free upon a baking session gone right, these Guinness ‘cups’ are undeniably cocoa-rich, infused with dry ebony stout, and baking ‘familiars’ ─ a.p. flour, eggs, butter, sugar, salt, baking soda and sour cream.  Spirits already elated, you may forgo addition of ‘magical’ hints ─ authentic aged whiskey ─ and opt to top solidified pints of brew-baked cake with modest butter cream.   Going the extra mile, however, Bailey’s cream liqueur befits the occasion and mood for a double-double dose of Irish flavour.  GuinnessCCakes 6 arrEnd result, I deem frosted stout cupcakes to be a clover of a dessert find ─ they’re saporous, sweet and simply shamrockin’!

© DISHFUL, 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

To Choux Beginnings!

New year, and more resolutions? ─ “mais, oui!”  Evading déjà vu ─ or not ─ fulfilling delicious goals via classical desserts promises to be the ‘solution’ to make, and keep this year.  In pursuit of a sweet-er life, I start 2015 right with my very own wheel of fortunately scrumptious Paris-Crest.

Profiterole4 arrFar from a coat of arms, I’m referring to the creation of an edible profiterole ring ─ a.k.a. ‘crest’ ─ courtesy of Martha Stewart’s pâte à choux recipe.  Highly achievable, the making of light as air choux pastry requires a happy medium between precision, some elbow grease and simple ingredients:  sugar, salt, water, flour, butter and eggs.  Void of complications, just heed to instructions ─ step-by-step ─ and amaze yourself with a delectable display of soon-to-be sweet or savory cream-filled ‘puffs.’

Profiterole2 arrFrench pastry sounds divine, and is nothing to be feared.  So, pause and pace yourself.  If you feel overwhelmed and want to back out of this baking feat, consider this:  despite its sophisticated appearance, yielding celebratory bites of ‘fancy’ are more than likely, as long as one adheres to outlined procedures ─ no shortcuts.  Quest ─ presumably ─ settled, let’s get baking!  Between gleaming éclairs, towering croquembouche, or layered St. Honoré cake, I’m ready to tackle profiteroles.  After all, there’s something to be said for understated beginnings.  And regardless of desired dessert, the start of all the above encased indulgences boil down to preparation and use of the same enriched, glossy, and light dough ─ choux pastry.

Profiterole5 arrRemember:  fret not, get organized and stay golden!  Recreating the very possible Paris-Crest is a breeze, and practically half-way done with advance preparation. Separate batches of pastry and homemade fillings once made, scoop choux contents into a piping bag while refrigerating the creamy whip and silky custard.  In continuance, pipe 16 pastry rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and brush each circular surface with a coating of egg-wash ─ essentially, a prelude of shiny ‘ringed’ domes to come.  Skipping no step, this sweet bread should bake to an expansive state, and ultimately reveal a hollow interior.  Profiterole1 arrPost-cooling, use a serrated knife to slice the pastry wreath ─ horizontally ─ and proceed by filling the bottom layer with a spoonful of pastry cream in addition to a generous piping swirl of sweetened whipped cream.  To finish, cover the filled dessert with the second half of baked pastry.  For a final touch, decorate the ‘cupolas’ of this gorgeous circular structure with a heavy dusting of confectioner’s sugar.  ‘Et voilà,’ there you have it ─ abundance at its best!  Equally befitting for any occasion, Paris-Crest is more than a delicate round of cream-filled ‘clouds’ ─ it’s the ‘crowning’ reward for a mission thoroughly accomplished.

© DISHFUL, 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

 

“A Festive Miracle!”

Festivus Fudge 3 arrSweet mother of decadence:  when in doubt, fudge-it-out!  Traditional and full-proof, silent nights are guaranteed with bonbons made righteous.  And when made especially right ─ sans a candy thermometer ─ quiet consumption is the only indicator to echo volumes of successful homemade batches of soft and creamy goodness.  Fortunately, one need not live in a marshmallow world to whip up mouth-watering morsels of confectionery cheer.  Unrestricted to snowy seasons, the art of fudge-making is an incredibly effortless endeavour for anyone to take on many ‘wonderful’ times of year.Festivus Fudge 5 arr

Getting back to the basics, the starting process for this old-fashioned novelty involves a handful of ingredients and three simple steps:  melt, mix and chill.  Scoring brownie points ─ for closest in flavour ─ the combination of semi-sweet chocolate and walnuts remain a timeless classic.  Cookies and cream, maple, and peanut butter are quite common varieties as well.  Ultimately, adding tasty ‘extras’ or fragrant essences via vanilla, peppermint or other extracts will delightfully transform any fudgy creation.

Rocky Road Fudge 3 arrForgetting not the rest of us, feeling festive for fudge leads me to the making of an edible colour swatch up ─ elegant white chocolate, cranberry and pistachio fudge.  Both palatable yet palette-inspired, this show-stopping sugary delight is sure to fancy any sweet-tooth.  To make your own embellished block of ‘nuit blanche,’ simply get your hands on the “must-haves”:  chocolate, condensed milk, dried cranberries and shelled roasted pistachios.  Chocolate and condensed milk,  once melted, stir in the remaining coarsely chopped ‘friendlies’ until well combined, and proceed to pour the mixture into a parchment-lined refrigerator-proof dish.  With the magic of real-time ─ elapsing of two hours ─ cut the fudge into bite-sized pieces and enjoy.Rocky Road Fudge 1 arr

For a cocoa-rich alternative, fudge can equally be made using either dark or milk chocolate ─ essentially, real chocolate.  Repeating similar steps, rough chop and melt your preferred quality chocolate (750 grams) ─ chips work fine, too ─ with a can of condensed milk (300ml), then combine the mixture with candied fruit and/or toasted nuts.  Adding texture and taste, my interpretation of rocky road is decorated with ─ as expected ─ soft miniature marshmallows, in addition to nutty cascades of toasted almonds and hazelnuts.  Convenient and clearly exhaustion-free, thank goodness for this hectic-free treat.  Finally, a dessert recipe anyone can be proud to ─ intentionally ─ fudge-up.

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Peace, Love & Joyful Desserts

PanettoneBombe2 arrWhen Jamie and Chuck make dessert recipes seemingly easy-to-follow, a spark of hope is all I need to make this holiday season a festive one!  Tried, tested and rewarded with plausible results, here are a few of my favourite holiday ‘star’ treats courtesy of those in-the-know:  Jamie Oliver’s “Winter Pudding Bombe” and “Delicious Chocolate Mousse,” and Chuck Hughes’ – Chuckmas – “Carrot Cake.”

Like most fine dessert recipes, the art of making triumphant sweet-endings for any occasion requires patience and precision.  In the spirit of indulging guests, however, why not add more edible cheer to already scrumptious recipes?  ChocolateMousse1 arrFor the making of the ‘bombe’ of frozen desserts, my take incorporates the necessary Milanese sweet bread in addition to equal parts of holly and jolly – vanilla and pistachio ice creams.  Gloriously fragrant on its own, use of ready-made quality panettone instantly adds light and buttery texture while layers of other ‘must-haves’ heighten this frozen dessert:  sour cherries, pistachios, chocolate, raspberry preserve, Vin Santo and clementines.  Clearly simple to make, if not easier to enjoy, this palatably vibrant dessert lives true to its versatility.  Changing things up – ‘encore une fois’ – I replace the aforementioned glacé citrus with mandarins.  It’s still merry and bright in flavour – I figure – so, why not?

PanettoneBombe3 arr“Choco-más?”  Making for a decadent equalizer, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without more chocolate.  Needless to say, serving rich chocolate mousse cups to any chocophile is a bona fide way to make it on the nice list.  And thanks to Jamie, getting more of what ‘yule’ love is accomplished with heavenly spoonful’s of cocoa-induced semi-liquid velvet.  Before getting started, be aware that a conversion chart may prove useful as Jamie’s measurements are outlined in grams.  Eggs separated, chocolate shaved, sugar scooped and set aside, let the magic begin!  Again, this seasonal miracle of a nearly all-chocolate treat allows for alternative ingredients.  For a French twist, my spin on this creamy mousse omits the use of cherries or sesame snaps, and yields equal spike by replacing Amaretto with Grand Marnier – orange liqueur.  Less additions, in this case, means more pure chocolate taste worth celebrating.   CarrotCake1 arr

Last but not least, a banquet feast fit for a king would not be complete without the presentation of a substantial candied maple-walnut crowned carrot cake.  Step-by-step, follow Chuck’s instructions and be amazed by the pro-in-you.  End result:  a moist pineapple, cranberry and raisin embedded, beta-carotene saturated layered cream-cheese frosted – almost – piece of cake.  With a little elbow grease and a spirited mood, these three highlighted crowd-pleasers are sure to warm the first or twelfth day of Christmas with comfort and joy.  This winter, then, happy holidays to all and to all good eats!

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

The Toronto Chocolate Show

ChocShow1 arr“Do you know the muffin man?” Whether you do or don’t, I have met someone better – the chocolate man!  Clearly at the Toronto Chocolate Show, the Mayan Gods have spoken as a day is molded for chocophiles.   To be seen and tasted, a bountiful discovery of cocoa-inspired creations awaits everyone in the mood for all things chocolate.  Finding no place like a homely invite, a visual feast awaits at Dolcini’s.  Here, master chocolatier Joseph proudly presents rows upon rows of magically transformed pods into bite-size spectacular:  handcrafted chocolate sculptures, rich truffles and individual specialty confections. ChocShow2 arr

Options abound, the age-old question hits, “Which is one to sample first?” When it comes to an endless array of chocolate, there’s only one route to take:  some of everything!  Sampling lychee and hibiscus-infused bonbons first, I easily return in queue for more.  Second round, encapsulated coffee flavoured chocolate and dark chocolate dried fruit and nut encrusted mendiant fit the bill. ChocShow3 arr

Four very delicious chocolaty gems already devoured, blood sugar hasn’t peaked – yet! Seeking for more unseen and must-indulge specimens, I venture to Earl’s next.  Men hard at work – melting, stirring, shaping and decorating portions of paradise – it’s no wonder fine quality product carries a handsome cost.  Fortunately, a little patience goes a long way.  Exchanging wait-time for bites of heaven, patrons are generously rewarded with delectably smooth hazelnut ganache squares that are studded with crushed feuilletine cookie, and a hint of refreshing mint garnish.  Caring to share, I take two – one for me, and the other for my ‘friend.’  All in all, both were highly enjoyable.  ChocShow6 arrChocShow5 arr

But, that’s not all. With a name like “Hotti Biscotti,” I had to see what the buzz was about.  Doing just that, I realize this Hamilton sweet’s shop specializes in more than ‘softer’ biscotti cookies.  In addition, cake pops and chocolate coated pretzel sticks offer admirers a selection of both sweet and salty crave-curbing treats.  Living up to pure ‘nutty’ flavour, the peanut butter pop is a moist chocolaty morsel that’s definitely worth a try.

Almost done, a ‘final’ stop turns out to be a pleasantly enduring trail of velvety cocoa perfection. ‘Last’ but certainly not falling short on variety, the following vendors show case their finest in edible art:  Indulgence Truffles, The Golden Apple, Two Friends Chocolates, and Brix Chocolate.  From chocolate topiaries and sushi rolls to 24 karat gold leaf topped truffles, there’s no doubt that serotonin compounded cocoa ‘bundles’ are plenty and abound for everyone. ChocShow7 arr Equally enjoying a vast selection of treats, I leave contently full on a happy-meal-of-chocolate.  Without a doubt, mission to delight in chocolate has been successfully accomplished!

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Ma petite citrouille

Pumpkin Truffle 1 arrFind yourself fall-ing for seasonal harvests? Me too!  From pumpkin farm to pie, orange and round are not the only indicators of a very good-for-you veg.  Far from Cinderella’s magically converted carriage-mobile, sweater-weather introduces a modern dose of delicious reality in a mug – PSL.   As advertised, coffee lovers find frothy steamed comfort in a tall order of pumpkin, spice and everything latte.

“Drink your veggies? Don’t mind if I do!”  Pumpkin Truffle 5 arrGiving many thanks, latte lovers will surely cozy up to this flavourful hot beverage.  Fit for a festive affair, some will wait in line for their own drink while others will recreate PSL at home.  This Thanksgiving, I’m feeling equally appreciative:  family, friends, health and a celebration of a particular homemade confection – Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles.

Somewhat like the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but not quite, I take this ingenious drink to different ‘states.’ Calling upon PSL’s spherical cousin, these creamy truffles are a celebratory innovation that combines the best of a coffee-inspired delight into a solidified chocolaty morsel bite-size dessert.  Pumpkin Truffle 2 arrOn that note, all in favour – of short and sweet – say, “Aye.”  Clearly impartial to chocolate, how dare I not say, “Aye” – “I, indeed!”

Online shopping for recipes complete, I tweaked and altered “must-have” ingredients to suit personal preference. With additions, an omission, and even doubled measurements made, my interpretation includes:  1 cup of white chocolate, 4 oz. cream cheese, ½ cup of graham crackers and ¾ cup gingersnap cookies – both pulverized to crumbs – ½ cup pumpkin purée, a generous pinch of salt and spices.  Pumpkin Truffle 3 arrHeeding first to the list of basic items, I omitted powdered sugar altogether given the inclusion of white chocolate – technically not chocolate, but cocoa butter and sugar – is palatably sweet, as is.  Similarly, a taste of the blended mix seemingly required a spicy citrus lift despite the already seasoned gingersnap cookies.  Hence, a little of the following elevated the overall mixture:  ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon each of ground allspice and nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, as well as the zest of a whole lemon and orange.

Pumpkin batch mixed, mingled and thoroughly blended, proceed to refrigerate prior to handling. Pumpkin Truffle 4 arrOnce solidified, remove the mix and use a small ice-cream scoop to measure even rounds.  For a smoother exterior, hand roll the portions to form truffle balls and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet; chill, once again.  To prepare the truffle coating, melt white, milk or dark chocolate shavings over a double-boiler.  Finally, enrobe each miniature ‘pumpkin’ into melted chocolate using a toothpick or fork, place them onto a lined sheet and allow it to set.   And that’s all – no trick, all treat!  Fortunately it’s also no-bake, which leaves for a delectably speedy preparation suitable for any holiday or gathered occasion.  Clearly, a truffle patch worthy of a perennial harvest.

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

“That Monsieur, is a Load of Croque!”

croque-monsieur 3 arrWhich came first, the ‘Cuban’ or the ‘Croque’? Either way, it doesn’t matter!  When it comes to the oozing, gooey and stringy stuff, all you really need is an affinity for coagulated dairy – say, “Cheese!”  All smiles, most do respond to the call of hunger, especially when it includes fondue-happy melting pots of ‘gold’ or marble slabs of sophistication.

“Is it Gouda or Havarti, for you?” Certainly nutrient-rich, there’s no denying of this ancient food’s benefits.  Even better, there’s something for everyone!  Going international, cheese knows diversity.  An arduous process left for experts, production methods are uniquely complex as are endless varieties.  Still, there’s no fooling a connoisseur or their acute senses; incredibly, despite the year or origin, genuine cheese whizzes accurately distinguish among cured, wheeled, and curdled artisan favourites.  Between aged pungency and sharp carvings from an old block, cheesemongers highly revere the object of their trade – inarguably, an epicurean admiration that amicably stinks! croque-monsieur 1 arr

Proudly made or devoured, enthusiasts of all sorts rejoice in impressionable national darlings – possibly, more than ‘la vâche qui rit.’ As seen and delighted in a Parisian boulangerie, one soon learns nothing beats the aroma and taste of steaming hot and crusty – baked on premise – French baguette.  But then, the French outdo themselves and entice you with something exquisitely simple:  torn baguette that is buttered and filled with mildly fragrant rind-encased soft-ripened regional Brie.  In essence, a semi-soft ivory treat that evokes pure AOC certified authenticity.   croque-monsieur 2 arr

Fortunately, a sumptuous Parisian snack need not be in-house or ‘à emporter’ – to go (food) – from a local bistro. Like the American grilled classic, pairing bread and fine quality cheese can easily be prepared in the comforts of one’s own kitchen.  As for my take, and in ode to a cheesy memory, my menu is set on recreating the one and only ‘mister’ of widely popular sandwiches – le croque! Precisely, it’s ‘Monsieur’ – le Croque Monsieur.

Definitely getting bites of ‘crunch,’ this sandwich is typically pan-fried to a golden crisp exterior from which it derives its name – ‘croque’ is for crunch. As multifaceted in texture as in flavour, a true croque-monsieur is an irresistibly elevated ham and cheese sandwich.  Equally non-partisan, Emmental or Gruyère are traditionally the choice of hard yellow Swiss cheeses to be used in the making of this ‘tosti.’  croque-monsieur 4 arr While some give their sandwich a French toast-like treatment – an egg and milk batter coating prior to frying – I forgo the making of a Monte Cristo.  Courtesy of Béchamel sauce, a generous pouring of lusciously creamy nutmeg-kissed roux instantly enriches undressed deli.  And for added elasticized pull, sprinkling more crafted cheese shavings makes for a successfully honed day of cookery.  ‘Mister-men’ lined-up and enrobed with dairy accompaniments, the prepared tray is baked-off into the oven until the bread’s toasted and the sauce reaches a bubbling boil.  Once cooled, anticipated bites of infused personality allow for an incidence of welcome déjà vu.  Clearly, if ‘cheese-eyes’ or holes – as prominent in Swiss types – are the windows to a glutton’s soul, there’s no refuting the obvious:  a croque-ful will goes hand-in-hand with a touch of ‘whey!’

© DISHFUL, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Once You Go Stack, You Never Go Back

“What would you do…?”  For a Klondike Bar, to buy and eat it – both – are plausible answers.  As for me, I’d get inspired and make my own – only proportionally mountainous!  Requiring no arduous trek, venturing unexplored territory – in baking – is simply too irresistible to ignore.  In response to the delectably infamous ice cream cookie sandwich, why not add a ‘well-rounded’ hit to an existing ‘discography’ – cookie repertoire – with the creation of my very own ice-box-worthy treat?ICS 2 arr

Since I can, I will – end of story!  The concept first started upon a midsummer’s craved dream.  Taking a cookie ‘n’ cream sandwich to higher elevations, my interpretation – like the original – still embodies crumbed goodness and frozen dairy contents.  For an even better spin-off, I present an overhaul of chocolaty bliss – the Big Stack Cookie Monster Sandwich.

Just imagine:  triple decker, mammoth-size homemade chocolate chip cookies – times three – embedded with a trifecta of palatably dense vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream.  Inexcusably decadent, this oversized ‘wide load’ knows no limits.  And to a sweet tooth’s delight, this colossal frozen dessert’s exterior is further enrobed with all that appeases one’s taste – dark chocolate shavings, chopped toasted almonds, and rainbow sprinkles.

ICS 3 arrWasting no time, then, the order of priority follows in three steps:  bake, make and decorate – Scout’s honour!  First thing’s first, take your preferred cookie dough recipe – any kind – and whip up three batches.  A childhood favourite – for most – I use Martha Stewart’s reliable “Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.”  While this speckled dough is normally arranged by the tablespoon, hand-held treats are not what I’m after – essentially, “Go big or go home!”  This time, I prepare and refrigerate three separate batches of big and beautiful.  Time-elapsed, the chilled ‘discs’ are easier to handle with which I evenly spread out onto a parchment-lined pizza dish; and when bake-ready, the trays are placed into a preheated oven.  Word of caution:  this cookie dough will rise and expand, so avoid thin crust styled ‘pies’ as they will burn; definitely not – for this hefty layered confection – a “good thing.”  Advisory noted, attentive watch yields triple a dreamy outcome – three ‘fortunate’ cookies – that evidently, is revealing of a crisp circumference and a chewy middle center.  Almost famous, cooling ‘hot stuff’ is a must prior to assemblage of a three-tier towered masterpiece.

ICS 1 arrMelting over double chocolate and mint chip, instead?  Aside from obvious compatible ‘couplings,’ anyone can actualize their own match-made pairing of tempting cookie and ice cream flavours.  Options abound, just think fast and brainstorm your way to a successful baking session.  Once complete, finish stacking those sugared ‘plates’ with your choice of frozen dairy or alternative filling, and – for fun – a final touch of textured ‘extras.’  Hands down, this rocky road novelty is not only sky-high, but a sandwich that measures up in pure taste and sliced portability.  And while best enjoyed immediately, you can always tightly seal this ‘deal’ – quantified quality dessert – with plastic wrap, and save it in the freezer.  Bottom line:  a Klondike-esque sugar rush validates that dreams, however sizeable, can be realized.

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

No Baked Alaska!

Frozen – in time – shaved iced is clearly nothing new.  Pleasantly evolved,  Häagen-Dazs bars and the unfailing Baskin Robin’s Mocha Almond Fudge – preferably, two scoops in a cup – are among some frozen desserts that persist to amaze.  Tried and true to taste, real cream dairy favourites, yoghurt alternatives, and even gelato are a must in anyone’s freezer.

As young and old scurry to stockpile their icebox, the pursuit of a happy summer leads me to another hot craze.  It’s no Baked Alaska, but comes close – no-melt ice cream cones.

Welcome to mess-free country!  Napkins saved, this melt-free edible table fixture is the ultimate must-have treat to top off any backyard b.b.q.  To make, you’ll need:  ice cream cones, cake batter, frosting, sprinkles and your choice of toppings. Cone Cake arr

“I’ve got the power”… to decide?  Exactly, and so do you!  This versatile recipe leaves you with endless options.  Chocolate, vanilla, red velvet or any other batter you can think of, decisions are truly yours to make.  Still holding the reigns, choose between homemade batter or some help from a boxed Betty for a guilt-free – cake mix approved – treat.

For my not-so-dirty dozen, I whip up two separate batches of batter and frosting – chocolate and vanilla.  Oven preheated, I proceed to line up and leave – flat bottom – cones standing in a muffin tray.   Simply pour the batter into the cones – three-fourths full – and proceed to bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Next, allow the plain Janes to cool.  This stage is critical, as even slightly warm cone-cakes will – in fact – melt the frosting.  So, to ensure a ‘no-melt’ appeal, calmly dress the cooled and collected bunch using a filled piping bag.  Different tips will undoubtedly reveal distinct designs – again, you decide.  Tearing a page out of good-old fashioned value toppings, my retrolicious cone-cakes are made complete with a dash of rainbow sprinkles and maraschino cherries – of course!Cone Cake Plain arr

Time well spent?  I’d say so!  Hands-free – of dripping liquefied sugar – in addition to a cleared dessert plate, no-melt ice cream cones are a definite crowd pleaser.  Caring to share, transport of these ‘sundaes’ is made easy.  How?  Follow suit by using paper ice-cream trays – got mine at Mickie D’s – and, carefully set these ‘beauties’ into place for convenient carriage to its anticipated destination.  Long story short, “no” means “no!”  In this case, averting disastrous situations – brain-freeze, melt-downs and hot messes – are affirmative indicators of one triumphant summer afternoon get-together.  In continuum of happy snacking, then, cone-cakes are the ideal addition to any sweet’s bar – with a cherry on top!

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.