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Brioche

The stand mixer makes quick(er) work of brioche. I use some sourdough starter for flavor, as well wholegrain flours. This recipe is dedicated to Jeremy F., who has requested it.

Brioche

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Lime and mint syrup

I had an accumulation of limes sitting on our counter, and rather than squeezing them one or two at a time to make citrus water or soda chanh, I made lime-mint syrup. It’s easy: make a concentrated simple syrup, add flavorings, infuse, filter, then store. I’d imagine that this syrup would also work in cocktails and desserts like sponge cakes and fruit. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar; I use organic cane sugar from Trader Joe’s.
  • 3/4 cup water
  • zest and juice of enough limes to yield 3/4 cup juice — about 8 (give or take) limes
  • a fistful of spearmint leaves, washed and roughly chopped

Method

  1. Place the sugar and water into a sauce pan and heat until simmering. Stir and simmer until all sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool so it isn’t too hot to the touch.
  2. Meanwhile, put the chopped mint into a quart glass jar.
  3. Once cool enough, zest the limes over the sugar syrup.
  4. Stir in the lime juice, the pour the syrup into the jar.
  5. Cap off the jar, and let it steep in the fridge for 2 to 5 days.
  6. Filter off the solids: I use a fine meshed strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth.
  7. Store the resulting lime-mint syrup in a well-sealed bottle (or jar) in the fridge.

What I read in 2017 (plus some video)

For 2017’s list, in order to spare my hands and fingers a bit, I’m no longer swapping the (primary) writer’s last name. Content remains in alphabetic order by creator last name, though.

In the future, however, I may discontinue listing DNF (did not finish) items, except for exceptions where I would want to revisit. With samples and previews readily available in ebook form, I’ve been able to whittle down my ginormous TBR (to be read; 1,000+ on Goodreads alone!) list but simply not continuing with those that don’t hold my interest.

As usual, 💡 (lightbulb icon) indicates a recommendation on my part, with the exception of the shorts section.

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Mexican chocolate + coffee + cajeta ice cream

This ice cream has three strong flavors that work well together: Mexican chocolate, coffee, and cajeta (the latter is like dulce de leche, but made with goat’s milk). Before you think that this might be too overwhelming, consider how the roasted bitterness of the coffee, along with the tanginess of the cajeta, nicely complement the sweet spiciness of the Mexican chocolate. It’s wonderful as a float or shake, especially during hot weather

Mexican choco coffee cajeta ice cream, out of the machine

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Gianduja, or hazelnut-chocolate ice cream

Hazelnut and chocolate remains one of my favorite food combinations. So both in ice cream, often found in Europe, forms the perfect summer treat. Gianduja is a bar or spread made of ground hazelnuts, chocolate, sugar, and milk — you can find bars or discs of them online or in stores that specialize in baking or European goodies. Callebaut and Valrhona produce gianduja in blocks for cooking.

gianduja ice cream

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Black sesame ice cream

Black sesame, or kuro goma (黒ごま), is used in several Japanese sweets. I especially love it in creamy puddings, including ice cream. If you want a goth dessert, eat this frozen, grey delicacy. 🙂

Swirling the custard.
black sesame custard 1

Custard mixed, ready for the ice cream maker.
black sesame custard 2

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Vanilla ice cream (v2.0)

Edited to update ingredients. Summer-ish weather is upon us, which means it’s time for ice cream. Here is a simple recipe for vanilla ice cream, made with vanilla sugar.

vanilla ice cream

Goes well with fresh fruit (cherries! apricots in a few weeks!), raspberry liqueur, maple syrup, and soda floats. This recipe yields about a quart. (Continued)

Maple sugar ice cream

As one of my favorite flavors, maple is a logical choice for ice cream! If you’re unable to find maple sugar at your grocers, you can find it online at Etsy or Amazon.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • 5 egg yolks

Method

Prepare, consume, and store as you would other ice creams. I use an electric maker for the churning and freezing.

Not-really-graham crackers

Even as a child, I’ve enjoyed graham crackers…and I love graham crack crusts in cheese cakes and pies. Thing is, this particular recipe does not contain graham flour. However, it is flexible in terms of flavorings: Although I almost always use cinnamon, you can also throw in ginger powder, cloves, allspice, cardamon, or whatever spices would suit your fancy.

graham crackers

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What I read in 2016 (plus some video selections)

Here is my reading and viewing list for 2016. I recently signed up at Goodreads, so am tempted to migrate or switch over to using that for tracking reading. I’m not sure if they support webcomics, podcasts, short stories, or video content…and they’re run by a commercial entity, so longterm data preservation might be questionable.

Another note: For awards consideration (e.g., Hugos), not all of these were published in 2016; a quick web search should let you know the publication dates, if you’re curious. As usual, 💡 (lightbulb icon) indicates a recommendation on my part, with the exception of the shorts section.

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