Bonus Episode: Recipe Roundup #12 | Sweets, Treats & Ice Cream
This round up takes a look at the recipes for CAKES, DESSERTS, CANDY and ICE CREAM from 7 different books that started off our Season 4. Some recipes we loved, some not so much, but for sure there’s a lot of sweets and treats to choose from. Get our insights to the recipes AND the cookbooks they come from, and listen to what our COMMUNITY OF HOME COOKS had to say about them. As usual, our recipe testers hold nothing back. And that’s what makes the whole Recipe Testing Process worth its salt. We learn a lot, ask a lot of questions and, as usual, our testers have a lot to say about what we were cooking! You can find these recipes and more on Now That’s A Mouthful Recipes Page.
We talk about …
- Highest Rated AND Most Cooked recipes Salt & Straw – the ice cream book and so much more. And Happiness is Baking by the late Maida Heater. Both books are written by people who have dedicated their lives to perfecting their craft. Based on our Tester’s results, it’s fair to say that you can confidently cook from either book and get fantastic results.
- We LOVED Salt & Straw, by Tyler Malek. This book pushes the envelope when it comes to flavor – but Malek really brings his professional high end, over the top, ice cream world down to a basic level – which for the home cook is EXACTLY what we want in our kitchens! Read our full REVIEW here.
- Malek teaches you in each recipe, like the benefits of making your own jams, but also how to swirl them in to your ice cream for added flavor, like in the Strawberry Honey Balsamic Ice Cream with Black Pepper. Or, try the Freckled Woodblock Chocolate and the Meyer Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Custard. Beyond the ice cream, Malek is focused on the components, so you’re literally getting a cookbook full of recipes beyond ice cream flavors – and crazy cool ones at that.
- In Maida Heatter’s Happiness is Baking, we found the recipes to be well written; easy to follow and give you enough room that if you don’t quite get her instructions right you can still have outstanding results. Many of our home cooks had trouble getting three full layers of the coffee cake filling in on the Budapest Coffee Cake, but it still came out perfect.
- Try any of our recipes like the Budapest Coffee Cake, which freezes like a dream, the Lemon Bread Pudding with Lemon Curd which is THE PERFECT BUFFET OR POTLUCK DISH and the NY Times recipe for Heatter’s Lemon Cake., These are perfect for any occasion that you can confidently bake knowing that what you pull from the oven will be perfection. Be forewarned, though, you need a good coating of bread crumbs to ensure easy removal of the LEMON CAKE.
- Our Lowest Rated Recipes came from Aloha Kitchen and My Mexico City Kitchen. We made the Li Hing Gummy Bears and baked the Nutella Flan and the Crisp Meringue/Pavlova with Strawberries and Pumpkin Seeds. These aren’t horrible recipes, in fact, they all scored around a 3.0 – which on our scale is about average. The Li Hing powder was hard to find, and the recipes for the Flan and Pavlova were fussy and you needed to work through them once or twice to get them right. Cherie suggested just soaking the Gummy Bears in vodka for an adult candy treat!
- The Most Talked About Recipe is Vietnamese Coffee Pudding that comes from a collection of recipes gathered in one book, EAT COOK LA. These are recipes that reflect the terrific cultural diversity present in the LA food scene. Read our full REVIEW here.
- What our recipe testers in our community LOVED about this Coffee Pudding was that – for most of them – it was their first attempt at making a pudding from scratch. And for those that had made some of the ice cream recipes from Salt & Straw they got to see how similar techniques carry across into other recipes.
- We took a look at all the recipes from our Recipes page at com that use coffee as an ingredient and took it to the next level, and then put out a fun little BLOG|CAST EP 68 called Coffee. More than a great buzz. It’s a lot of fun, and should give you a lot of ideas about what to do with that leftover coffee!
- Our last dessert recipes come from 2 interesting non-traditional cookbooks: SUPERFOOD ALCHEMY, by Jennifer Iserloh (Read our full REVIEW here) and COOK LIKE A LOCAL by Chris Shepherd (Read our full REVIEW here).
- SUPERFOOD ALCHEMY takes a look at how food actually works through and in support of our physical bodies. All of these recipes have a healthy slant, and they are seasonal. Try Minty Avocado Green Tea Ice Cream, the Hot Rosemary Apple Crumble and the Nutmeg Cacao Nib Pumpkin Mousse.
- The Minty Avocado Green Tea Ice Cream – which is far less complex than the recipes of SALT & STRAW, but very much like the AVOCADO MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM from INSPIRALIZED & BEYOND. A lot of our testers compared the two – found them both to be similar and easy enough to make, but if they also made the SALT & STRAW ICE CREAM RECIPES were VERY QUICK to point out the difference in texture… most preferring the texture from the ice creams that came from Salt & Straw.
- The Vinegar Pie from COOK LIKE A LOCAL wraps in seasonal rosemary with vinegar for a very interesting and delicious pie. BUT it calls for KOREAN APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, which is not easy to come by and you CANNOT substitute regular apple cider vinegar. The trick is to water down your standard apple cider vinegar, or what I did was to use Apple Cider – just straight apple cider, and then added a splash of my apple cider vinegar. This is like a custard-filled pie and is a throw-back to an old Appalachia recipe.
- NOT TO MENTION THAT IF YOU BUY A LARGE CONTAINER OF CORNSTARCH TO MAKE CHEF DONNA’S SUPER EASY HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS you’ll have plenty left over for the 5 tablespoons called for in the VINEGAR PIE RECIPE, and you’ll LEARN how that cornstarch works to stabilize the structure of the custard in the pie.
- Chef Donna’s one thing to learn from this RECIPE ROUNDUP: The modern world of cookbooks and recipe writing is changing – and in some great ways. We are again in a phase of culturally influenced recipes, but hese chefs, cookbook authors and recipe writers are dedicated to teaching the home cook how to improve their skill set while learning to make high-impact flavor dishes. Especially when it comes to CAKES, SWEETS, TREATS AND ICE CREAM.
Just commit to trying one new recipe from this round up. For your effort you’ll have something terrific to eat, and to share, and a little added kitchen know how to boot.
Join our Community of Home Cooks and Recipe Testers. No special skills required, just an interest to cook new, current, and sometimes different recipes. You’ll always learn something new.
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