Jeni’s Spinalong #4 – Salty Vanilla Frozen Custard with Halloween Candy

halloween ice cream - wee eats

With the extension and expansion of our Jeni’s Spinalong project we’ve gone monthly! This gives us a much better grasp of being able to have a “month-centric” theme. For me, October is a lot of things. It is colorful fall leaves, brisk cool air (well, it used to be at least). Since October in Phoenix is apparently a high of 106 today, it’s hard to get into those “cool fall flavors” so I stuck with something that can be “October-y” wherever you are in the country – HALLOWEEN!

Meanwhile, Shannon over at A Periodic Table made a super alluring PB+J Sandwich with Milk Ice Cream Terrine because she wants me to die from excitement.

I didn’t go crazy and dye my ice cream orange, and I didn’t #PSL the place up, instead I took a bunch of Halloween candy, chopped it up, and threw it into some ice cream. Because who doesn’t find themselves with a pile of extra Halloween candy at the end of October?

I was going to spin these chopped up candies into the standard sweet cream base, but I’ve already used that base so many times before that I felt like I was cheating you guys out of a real new recipe. Instead, I decided to be daring and make the base out of one of Jeni’s custards. That means separating whites from yolks. That means tempering eggs. That means… being a little bit scared because there is a little bit more room for error than with her standard egg-free bases. BUT, fear not, because if I can do it then you can certainly do it too.

Additionally, Jeni’s “Salty Vanilla Custard” recipe offered the perfect amount of salt to balance and complement all the sweetness from the Halloween candy we were throwing in. I suspect that a ribbon of salty caramel sauce would also be great here, maybe even a ribbon of fudge, too, to keep that whole salty-sweet thing going on. But the ice cream is great without them, too. I know because that’s exactly how I ate it.

Salty Vanilla Frozen Custard with Halloween Candy


  • 2 ¾ cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ teaspoon fleur de sel or fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 5 ounces (more or less) chopped up Halloween candy


    Make the base:
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the egg yolks and cornstarch; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir the softened cream cheese, salt, and vanilla together until relatively smooth.
  3. In a large (4 quart) saucepan, combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Whisk to combine and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, boiling for 4 minutes.
  5. Slowly stream 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs by pouring it onto the side of the egg bowl and letting it stream in, whisking vigorously the entire time. Repeat this process 1/4 cup at a time until you have mixed about 2 cups of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks.
  6. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula.
  7. Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and strain through a sieve into the cream cheese bowl. Whisk until smooth and combined.
  8. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice water. Let stand until cold, about 30 minutes.
  9. Once chilled, you can spin immediately or remove the bag from the ice water bath, dry it off, and throw it in the fridge until you're ready to spin your ice cream.
  10. Spin the ice cream
  11. When ready to spin the ice cream, pour the base into your ice cream maker and spin according to manufacturer's directions.
  12. While the ice cream is spinning, chop your Halloween candy to the desired size. Note that the smaller you chop it, the easier it will be to scoop (but larger chunks are more recognizable).
  13. Add the candy chunks in the last 30 seconds of spinning.
  14. Transfer the ice cream to a container (a large Ziploc storage container works here) and freeze at least 4 hours until firm.

[ Recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts ]


thursday things – an anniversary, a road trip, and other stuff

eggI have this issue lately where whenever I try to crack an egg on the counter, instead of cracking it just explodes out of it its shell. I mean, I know I’ve been working out a lot lately but I’m pretty sure I’m not the Hulk so… it’s super confusing.

Mr. Eats and I just celebrated our anniversary last week and celebrated with an amazing dinner at BLT Steak. If you have one in your town, you definitely have to check it out. The popovers are to DIE for, the caesar salad is amazing, and the peanut butter mousse dessert, served with banana ice cream and chocoalte ganache is out of this world.

BLT Steak Collage 1 BLT Steak Collage 3

In other news we also took a road trip a couple weeks ago to Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez, Colorado. Mesa Verde was occupied for more than 700 years, from 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D. and is home to some of the most fantastic cliff dwellings you will ever see. We spent all day exploring the park and its various cliff dwellings and still didn’t see even half of what they have to offer.

mesa verde

It wasn’t all hiking and hard work, though. Their restaurant “The Metate Room” is pretty solid, too.

mesa verde dish


I ate a whole bag of this trail mix in one sitting, which is weird because the back claims that it has “6 servings” but my bag clearly only had one. I think I should probably write them a letter to let them know that my bag was under-filled.

trail mix

Starbucks has released a new toasted graham latte that I need to get my hands on ASAP.

Lays has released Canada’s #1 potato chip in the US – the flavor is called “All Dressed” and will only be available until December so hurry up and grab your bags now.

Kenji is singing the praises of this $65 knife, which is still in Kickstarter form, so you definitely need to back it. Because, Kenji.

Bon Appetit posted this intriguing article about what goes into the food we eat.

And last but not least, this guy.


wee hacks her wedding cake – white cake with berries and whipped cream frosting

wed cake 2 1117It’s official! Mr. Eats and I have officially survived our first year of marriage and, as far as I can tell, neither of us has murdered the other yet! Go us! In fact, I could even say that I like him more now than ever, but don’t tell him that. I don’t want him to get a big ego.


They say that the tradition for your first year anniversary is “Paper.” I did try to think of something cool and romantic that was made of paper, but most of the stuff on the internet was like “Pay $50 for something you can draw with a marker!” so then I saw that the modern equivalent is “Clocks” How they went from paper to clocks, I have no idea. I found a really cool clock online, but apparently it doesn’t exist yet so I could hardly buy him that. So then my brain went where it usually goes after I spend too much time thinking about something… to cake!

On account of the special occasion, I decided that I would try to re-create our wedding cake. We were married in sunny San Diego and picked up a regular 10-inch “Frasier” cake from one of their local bakeries. Their cake has layers of pillowy white cake, bathed in kirsch and filled with layers of raspberry buttercream, whipped cream, and berries. Then topped with more whipped cream and fresh berries and a coating of shaved white chocolate. It’s truly a beautiful cake.

cake 6984

As you can see my cake is not nearly as ornate as theirs… I’m not that skilled with frosting, in fact I am remarkably UN-skilled in the area of cake-frosting. Once I completed frosting the cake with whipped cream I debated whether the bakery may actually cheat and have a layer of whipped buttercream on the outside… but by then it was too late. And I couldn’t drive back to San Diego to find out, so I just ran with it.

The result was actually very tasty (though notably less pretty). I think I may need to invest in one of those spinny thingies to make cake-frosting much easier. If I’m going to keep at this whole “cake-making” thing I should probably also get one of these guys too, as my layers were, uh, less than even. That would be the kind way to say it.

wed cake 1120

But, as luck would have it, You can cover up a lot of those mistakes with frosting (or whipped cream, in my case). Is your cake too thin on one side? Just add some extra frosting between those layers to even it out. Nobody will be any the wiser. Also, and this is very important, if you ensure that you position your cake just-so while photographing, nobody will ever know that it slopes slightly upward to one side. Suckers!

For the cake, I used the Whiteout Cake from the Baked cookbook. For the frosting I used a raspberry buttercream and a whipped cream. Then I filled the cake with chopped strawberries and raspberries. I did not use kirsch when making this because I didn’t have any. I was going to substitute some chambord liquer but then I forgot, which happens sometimes when it’s 9:00 pm and you’re still assembling your cake. It’s ok. Next time I will plan ahead and order some online.frasier cake 1129

This is another long recipe, but like everything else I do it can be broken up into separate parts. You could make the cake as far in advance as you like, just slice, soak with kirsch, wrap, and freeze until needed. You can make the whipped cream an hour or a day ahead of time, depending on how you feel. Chop up the berries a day ahead too, if you feel so inclined. Save making the raspberry buttercream until just before you need it, though.

Oh, and those cake toppers? They’re still married and living the dream, too.

cake toppers

wee hacks her wedding cake


    For the Cake Layers:
  • 2½ cups of cake flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1½ cups ice cold water
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • For the whipped cream frosting
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the raspberry buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup raspberry puree (from about 1 pint of raspberries)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • For assembly
  • Kirsch* (optional - can substitute anything from another liquer to apple juice or simple syrup)
  • About 1 cup of chopped fresh berries (I used strawberries and raspberries)
  • 8 whole berries (raspberry or strawberry)


  1. Make the Cake
  2. Preheat the over the 325 degrees F and prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment and butter. Dust with flour, knocking out the excess flour. (or use "Pam for Baking" spray with flour in it)
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add the sugar and vanilla, increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.
  6. Scrape down the bowl, add the whole egg, beating until just combined.
  7. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three separate additions, (1/3 flour- 1/2 water-1/3 flour-1/2 water-1/3 flour). Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds to ensure everything is combined.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
  9. Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter, being careful not to overmix.
  10. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes** SEE NOTES **, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely.
  12. Make the whipped cream (Can be made ahead of time)
  13. Place bowl and whisk in refrigerator to cool.
  14. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and heat over medium heat stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and almost reaches a boil.
  15. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl; set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (I put mine in the fridge and stirred it every five minutes or so for about 20 minutes. I am bad at planning ahead.)
  16. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining heavy cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken and the beaters leave a trail in the cream. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  17. Slowly add the powdered-sugar/cream mixture and beat again until incorporated.
  18. Taste and adjust as needed, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until the frosting is as sweet as you want it.
  19. Make the raspberry buttercream
  20. Puree the raspberries and push the juice and pulp through a sieve into a small bowl; set aside.
  21. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine butter and salt and beat at medium speed until pale and creamy.
  22. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until the mixture almost doubles in size and is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  23. Turn mixer to low and stream in 1/4 cup of the raspberry puree. Return mixer to medium speed and beat just a few moments longer to fully incorporate the raspberry puree.
  24. Assemble the cake.
  25. Before assembling the cake ensure your cake layers are completely cooled. I made mine into a 3-layer cake, which means I had an extra whole 8-inch cake and an extra cake layer from the cakes I baked. My extra cake parts were wrapped in saran and foil and placed into the freezer for a future cake.
  26. Wash and roughly chop the berries that you have chosen to fill your cake with, set aside.
  27. Your raspberry buttercream should be freshly made and your whipped cream frosting should be cool.
  28. Place the first cake layer cut-side up and brush with kirsch (if using). Spread 1/3 of the raspberry buttercream over the top of the layer and place in the refrigerator to firm up the buttercream.
  29. Repeat this with the additional 2 layers. Use the bottom of one of your cakes for the top layer of the tiered cake, frosting the un-cut side to ensure you have a nice flat top for your cake.
  30. After about 10 or 15 minutes, remove the cake layers from the refrigerator.
  31. Place the bottom layer of your cake on your serving platter with the buttercream side up. Top with a generous helping of whipped cream, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with half of your chopped fruit and top with second layer of cake. Repeat the steps with the second layer of cake.
  32. Top with the last layer of cake and spread with whipped cream frosting. Spread the frosting over the sides of the cake as well for full coverage. Top with whole berries and set in refrigerator to firm up and let flavors mingle.


* My cakes took closer to 30-35 minutes to bake completely.

*I only own 2 8-inch rounds (and only need two for the cake) so I poured the remaining batter into a 9-inch round cake pan and baked it once the 8-inch cakes finished baking. You could also make the remaining batter into cupcakes or anything else your heart desires.

*I made mine into a 3-layer cake, which means I had an extra whole 8-inch cake and an extra cake layer from the cakes I baked. So I could have doubled my filling ingredients and made two 3-tier 8-inch cakes, added an extra tier to my current cake, or any number of things. My extra cake parts were wrapped in saran and foil and placed into the freezer for a future cake.

*I did not use kirsch when making this because I didn't have any. I was going to substitute some chambord liquer but then I forgot.

*If your frosting skills are about as good as mine, feel free to throw some shaved white chocolate or sprinkled onto the side of your cake to hide your awesome, uh, skills...

[Cake recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking]

[Whipped cream recipe adapted from Food52]

drumstick cupcakes

drumstick cupcake 1032

Imagine, if you can, a world in which you can have all the flavors of ice cream … inside of a cake. Are you there yet? It might not require too strong of an imagination, but you catch my drift.

I’ve been dreaming up this recipe baby for awhile now and had a few kinks to figure out…

1. How do I make the cake taste like a drumstick ice cream cone?

2. How do I make the frosting taste like ice cream?

3. Do I fill the cake with frosting too, or just put it on top?

These are life’s tougher questions. What can I say, making recipe babies is hard work and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

drumstick cupcake 1036

In the end, I solved the first problem by grinding up ice cream cones and adding them to the cake batter. I was worried it would make them dry, but it didn’t. It does however make the batter a bit lumpy, so they aren’t the prettiest things to look at when they’re unfrosted. Don’t let that scare you.

Problem 2 I took another direct approach to, it stands to reason that if I want my frosting to taste like ice cream, I could just add ice cream to my frosting. Seemed to work OK for the cake at least, right? Well, yeah, actually. I let a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream melt and added it to the frosting towards the end of the beating cycle. You may want to note that you can scale back the sugar a bit depending on the ice cream that you use, because it will likely be rather sweet as well. Afterwards I decided that an ounce or two of cream cheese would probably help to balance the sweetness as well, so you can keep that in your back pocket too. I did not try it with the cream cheese, but I definitely plan to throw it in on the next go-around just to see how it is.

As for number three… I just put the frosting on top. You could definitely fill yours, too, I don’t think a single person would complain. After trying to pipe the frosting on (did I mention that I am the WORST at all things frosting-related?) I realized that if I had instead ice-cream-scooped the frosting on top of the cupcake it would be even more drumstick-y! So, that’s an option too if you wanna get all fancy. If you are better at piping than I am, pipe away! I’m seriously laughably bad.

For the dip I used a mix of milk and dark chocolate, because that’s what I had on hand. Feel free to use what you like (or even buy some of that fancy magic shell topping, I won’t tell)

drumstick cupcake 2 1034

drumstick cupcakes


    For the cake
  • 1 1/4 cup ground ice cream cones (waffle or sugar cones, not those styrofoamy ones)
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • For the frosting
  • 1 1/2 sticks unslated butter, softened
  • 1 to 2 ounces cream cheese, softened (optional)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons melted ice cream
  • a pinch (1/8 teaspoon-ish) salt
  • For the magic shell
  • 12 ounces chocolate of your choice, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • Toppings
  • Salted nuts, finely chopped


    Make the cupcakes:
  1. Whisk together ground ice cream cone crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small measuring cup, mix the milk and vanilla together; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  5. Add the crumb/flour mix in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture (crumbs-milk-crumbs-milk-crumbs).
  6. Divide among cupcake pan and bake for approximately 20 - 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  8. Make the frosting:
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and salt until pale and soft. (If you are using cream cheese, add the cream cheese here).
  10. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated, then increase speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy.
  11. Reduce speed to low and add melted ice cream, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.
  12. Continue beating until desired consistency is reached.
  13. Use frosting immediately to top and/or fill cupcakes as desired.
  14. Place frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  15. Dip the cupcakes
  16. Make the magic shell by combining your chocoate and coconut oil in a medium metal bowl; set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate is almost melted.
  17. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted and smooth.
  18. **Or you can melt it in 30 second intervals at 50% power in the microwave, but be very careful not to burn it!**
  19. Pour into a tall plastic cup (you want it to have a lot of space to dip) and set aside for about 10 minutes to cool slightly.
  20. Place a wire rack over a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.
  21. When ready to dip your cupcakes, hold the cupcake firmly at the base and dip into the chocolate. Lift and allow excess chocolate to drip back into the cup. Place on the wire rack to harden. If desired, you can dip a second time for a thicker shell.
  22. Sprinkle with chopped nuts before the chocolate hardens.
  23. Set aside 1 hour to harden, or refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

labor day recipe round-up

Labor Day is this Monday, so I’ve scoured the internet for some tasty recipes for your Labor Day BBQ!

Start of with this delightful grilled pineapple salsa from My Name is Yeh 


or some watermelon peach caprese salad from Joy the Baker


this easy homemade snack mix from Playing with Flour 

holiday snack mix (5)

or a bacon-jalapeno cheese ball from Homesick Texan


And continue on to some mini no-knead pizzas from I Am A Food Blog 


or healthy ginger lime turkey sliders w peanut slaw from Loves Food, Loves to Eat

turkey slider

or these super savory burrata-stuffed burgers with bacon from Foodness Gracious

burrata-burger-0611-590x393 or take it easy with these slow cooker carnitas tacos with quick pickled onions from Yours Truly which can be made ahead of time and re-heated for your party

taco 2

since it is a holiday, I think this american flag pie from A Periodic Table is definitely needed


or maybe this no churn mint ice cream from The Vanilla Bean Blog 


or who could resist these cookie pie bars from The Little Kitchen


with some refreshing lavendar lemonade from east of eden


and some sweet raspberry mojitos from Crumb: A Food Blog

raspberry mojito

or take it easy with these pitcher-style margaritas for a crowd from Pinch of Yum



Happy Labor Day!