Archive | frozen treats

Brown Butter Caramel with Maple Syrup Fro-Yo

I thought this post would never published, or if it would it would just be the photo with a sorry note attached to it.  For a couple of days I could not find (or remember) where I wrote the recipe for this magnificent (ok, I’m completely biased) frozen yogurt my brain spit out (glamorously said…). I made this two nights before the party when I began the flurry of cooking, and I put everything away during the clean up. Oops. That’s why it’s always a good idea to create a draft in WordPress of the recipe right after making something in the kitchen. I’ve lost many recipes  just because I didn’t write them down immediately or worse, lost them. Does that happen to you?

I made two flavors of frozen yogurt for my birthday: the raspberry one for something light and summer-y, and this for something sweet and creamy. It was interesting to see how our guests reacted to them. Some found the raspberry too tart for their taste, others find it welcoming on that hot summer evening. I also found out that one friend has an aversion to maple syrup because of a cleanse we both did. Go head, name that cleanse!

I love feeding a lot of people and hearing their feedback in one evening. The truth is–but I hope this won’t tarnish my “street cred” (haha!)–I don’t think my family or close set of friends have ever used any of the my recipes. Not a lot of them cook, and some just zone out when I start to talk about how to cook something. So really, cooking for friends and family is the best, if not only, way I will get to hear what they think about the dishes I make. Sadly. Thank god really, for my “online support group” called Twitter and this blog. Then again, I’m thankful for this spice of life! It wouldn’t be an adventure if you can find everything you need in one store, right? ;-) Always the positive thinker….and my glass is always half full–of something good:

Brown Butter Caramel with Maple Syrup Frozen Yogurt

Oh, yeah. A soft and smooth–no, SILKY–frozen yogurt that tastes and smells like caramel popcorn. Hello lovah! It goes really well with OR in coffee, between two pieces of Oreos, with rooibos tea, with hot chocolate or chocolate syrup, but I haven’t tried it with caramel popcorn. Hah.

People started calling it the Butterscotch ice cream at the party, and then later asked what exactly is in the butterscotch. Or if I put scotch in it. And caramel, too? Oh god, such a fun night of friends and family coming together to eat and laugh…

On a food geeky note: What is the difference between butterscotch and caramel? I wanted to know after being stumped at and after the party. According to whatscookingamerica.net, the difference is in the sugar used:

The flavor of butterscotch is a blend of butter and brown sugar.

Caramel is a mixture produced when granulated sugar has been cooked (caramelized) until it melts and becomes a thick, clear liquid that can range in color from golden to deep brown. A soft caramel is a candy made with a caramelized sugar, butter, and milk.

Basically the difference is the type of sugar used.

According to baking911.com, the difference is in the cooking temperatures:

Q: What’s the difference between caramel and butterscotch ?

A: Caramel is produced when sugar has been cooked (caramelized) until it melts and becomes a thick, clear liquid that can range in color from golden to deep brown (from 320° to 356°F on a candy thermometer).

The flavor of butterscotch is a blend of butter and brown sugar. It is popular for cookies, ice-cream toppings, frostings and candies. (Soft Crack Stage 270 to 288 degrees F)

Now, if you really want to complicate things (ah, research), here are the differences between caramels, butterscotch AND toffee from thenibble.com:

* Butterscotch and toffee are made by combining sugar, butter and water.
* Classic English toffee has no other ingredients than those—no vanilla, no chocolate, no nuts.
Toffee, made in a slab and broken up. Commercial toffee is made in a mold.
* Butter toffee is a redundant term: Toffee is made with butter, except in situations where mass marketers substitute cheaper fats.
* Butterscotch and American-style toffee, as opposed to English toffee, can add vanilla and other flavorings. Butterscotch is then boiled to the soft-crack stage (270°F to 290°F on a candy thermometer), toffee to a hard-crack (295°F to 310°F).
* Caramels add milk or cream (and sometimes, flavors) and are cooked at a lower heat, to the firm-ball stage (248°F). Both of these factors make them softer and chewier.
* If it’s soft, it’s caramel. There are numerous candies on the market called “toffee” that are actually caramel. More than a few caramel apples are erroneously called “toffee apples.” Feel free to point out to the vendor that if, in fact, there were toffee on the apples, you wouldn’t be able to bite into them.

Why did I even start to look these up? After talking to people, I wasn’t sure what to call this baby. Is Brown Butter Caramel correct? I’d hate to call it Brown Butter Butterscotch (tongue twister!). Why do I even insist on using “brown butter”? The brown butter makes this fro-yo The Fro-Yo. I eventually stuck with the first name that came to mind while I was making it, because it reminds me of caramel popcorn, with lots of brown butter. It tastes AND smells delicious! Yummy!

Finally, recipe time!

Brown Butter Caramel with Maple Syrup Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients:Download print-ready PDF file

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk (cold)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (cold)
  • 500 grams of Fage 2% greek yogurt (it’s the big/tub container) (cold)
  • pinch of salt

Preparation:

1. In a small saucepan, cook butter in medium heat until it’s fully melted, the solids turn golden brown and the scent you can smell from it is not milky-buttery, but nutty — then you have brown butter. Immediately add the brown sugar and a pinch of salt, and wait for it to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set it aside on a trivet to cool, about 20 minutes.

2. In a blender (I used a Magic Bullet because of the small volume), blend the brown butter mixture with milk, until the sugar is fully dissolved and you get a homogeneous mixture. You will notice at the beginning that the sugar settled down at the bottom of your saucepan. You don’t want to taste solid sugar crystals in your frozen yogurt, so blending might take a few minutes to dissolve the sugar but it will be worth it. Cool it in the fridge or freezer afterward, depending on how patient you are, and just before mixing in the next step, pulse it.

3. In a large bowl, blend all the butter and milk mixture, yogurt, and maple syrup with a beater until well-combined. Transfer the mixture your ice cream maker according to its instructions and churn for 20-30 minutes, until thick. Mine thickened quite a bit faster than my fruit frozen yogurt, so just keep an eye on it.

4. As always, I recommend letting it rest for 24 hours before serving. However, you can always lick the ice cream maker, paddle, and spatula clean! ;-)

Posted in coffee buddy, dessert, experiments, food g33kery, frozen treats, original Gourmeted recipe, snacks16 Comments

Verrry Raspberry Fro-Yo

It took me a week to fully recover from my home-cooked birthday party and the blogathon, but it was well worth it. A huge thanks for my family and friends who came to celebrate with my mom and I for our July birthdays, and for those who sponsored me for Blogathon 2009 for the benefit of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. The party actually looked like a Facebook meetup, really, with my different groups of friends finally meeting each other after sort-of knowing each other on my Facebook wall and photos. Funny how this social networking goes. We had a fun party and I’m so glad that everybody was enjoying themselves and the food. That’s all that matters to me.

This Verrry Raspberry Frozen Yogurt was one of the desserts I made and served at the party. It’s so absolutely refreshing! Try it with (sweet) fresh blueberries…Oh my! Cold heaven in a mouthful. If you like a little bit of tartness with fruit, here’s your wish! It’s just a tad tart because of the yogurt complementing the yogurt’s tartness. A lot of our guest liked this over the sweeter and creamier flavor I made.

Verrry Raspberry Fro-Yo

And I know why: This is the Perfect “cure” for the heat wave!

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest like I am, you know how excruciatingly hot and painful to bear this week has been, especially if you don’t have A/C. So come on take out your ice cream maker if you haven’t already, and make this! Put yourself out of misery now.

This is easy to prepare for your ice cream/frozen yogurt maker:

Verrry Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

IngredientsDownload the print-ready PDF recipe

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3//4 cup water
  • 350 grams fresh raspberries
  • 500 grams 2% Fage Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cold milk

Preparation

1. Make a simple syrup by boiling water and sugar in a medium sized saucepan until all the sugar crystals are dissolved; no need to stir.

2. Add the raspberries and cook in medium heat until it starts to boil, then decrease to low-med heat. Stir with a heat resistant spatula, and occasionally pressing the berries against the bottom of the saucepan. You can mash it as fine or as chunky as you like. Cook until the mixture becomes thick, but not as thick as jam. Set aside to cool on a trivet first, then in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

3. In a medium sized bowl, pour all the (cold) ingredients and mix with a spatula first to avoid splattering, then with a hand mixer until well blended. You can add more fresh raspberries at this point if you like. Pour into prepared ice cream maker and mix until thick, about 30-35 minutes. You will notice that this does not thicken as fast as your usual creamy ice cream or frozen yogurt, but don’t worry.

Best if frozen at least 48 hours before consuming, but I won’t tell if you eat it right away!

Posted in dairy, dessert, frozen treats, fruits, healthier choices, original Gourmeted recipe13 Comments

4th of July Munchies

I rarely make lists as posts, so consider this a treat.I didn’t even make one for Canada Day! Shame shame. Anyway, if you’re still looking for ideas for the weekend, here are some easy peasy suggestions, ye American neighbors.

Here are recipes for dessert (or snack) that require a little more work, but you will get a lot of love from the people who will enjoy it:

Or if you want to bake something that’s easy and still be good, try these Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes or Honey-Cheese Corn Muffins.

Yes, it’s true, when you come to my party you won’t see the usual fares. :p

Happy Independence Day weekend, friends!

Posted in appetizer, chocolate, dessert, dips and sauces, events, frozen treats, fruits, healthier choices, original Gourmeted recipe, poultry, quick & easy, salads, sweets0 Comments

Strawberry Fro-Yo

First things first:

BlogHer Food 09

We’re going to BlogHer Food in SF this September! It will be the first blogging event we’ll go to, so we’re very excited. See you there? :)

Last weekend, the sun shone and it was beginning to get too hot for comfort in the house that there’s really no other thing I’d rather make with Fage yogurt** than strawberry fro-yo. I may be the most boring and redundant frozen yogurt maker, because I’ve posted about the same (yawn) flavor twice last year and coincidentally, around the same time, too! Can you blame me? I really truly believe that with a 2-cup tub of Fage, strawberries, some sort of sweetener and an ice cream maker, it’s HARD to get it wrong.

After I made this, just to spite me, you know what the weather gods gave us? Gray skies, rain (downpour!), aaand sunshine with hail. Snow would have completed the whole package, but that’s enough, thanks. I know you–yes, you Weather Guy up there!–made your point that Vancouverites can’t rejoice over good weather that much, but we still love it!

For the ‘recipe’, I just relied on my own ratio of:

one container of Fage : (maximum of) one Fage container of other liquids

[Speaking of ratios, I'll be talking about Michael Ruhlman's book called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking this weekend. In a gist: I highly recommend it so go grab a copy!]

First, I made a simple syrup by heating 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water, then added about 1 1/3 cup of strawberry puree***, 2 tablespoons honey, and a teaspoon of lemon juice and cooked it until it looked like this:

Strawberry Fro-Yo

I cooled it in the fridge for 30 minutes before blending all the cold ingredients with a hand mixer in a big bowl:  yogurt, sweetened strawberry puree, and 2 tablespoons of half and half light cream. Put it in your ice cream maker and churn it for 30-35 minutes, or until thick enough. Pour in a freezer-safe container.

One advantage of having a mother who shops for all sorts of things are finds like the thick metal fresh ice cream container that is so darn cute.

Strawberry Fro-Yo

Freezing and letting the frozen yogurt ‘rest’ overnight is best for flavor and texture.

Strawberry Fro-Yo

I couldn’t wait to eat it the next day. No suave scooping here; it was more like painful excavation of hard rock because I didn’t thaw it enough. I just took a few shots and devoured my sweet reward, despite of the soup it turned into.

Strawberry Fro-Yo

Not a problem, I love ice cream soup!

– – – – – – – – –

** After having used the different fat percentages of Fage, the 2% is still the best for fro-yo, in my opinion.

*** I didn’t strain the seeds out this time. I like the ‘character’ it adds to the ice cream. I don’t mind the seeds at all, but you can remove it if you like.

Posted in dairy, dessert, experiments, frozen treats, healthier choices, original Gourmeted recipe, quick & easy, reviews, snacks25 Comments