jeni’s mochi cake

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When I first saw the recipe for Jeni’s mochi cake in her newest book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, I was instantly intrigued. Jeni chose this cake for her ice cream recipes because instead of hardening, the cake stays soft and chewy when frozen. At room temperature, the cake is springy, spongy, and delightfully chewy. Like the Japanese mochi, but in pound cake form.

You may recommend mochi from the toppings bar of your local frozen yogurt shop, or perhaps you’ve seen these glutinous chewy rice balls filled with ice cream at your favorite asian restaurant or grocer (Trader Joes even carries some that you can take home to try!). The rice flour keeps the center of this cake light and chewy while the sugar provides a gorgeous golden brown exterior, and the coconut and evaporated milks give the cake a wonderfully sweet, milky, almost tropical flavor.

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If you have never had mochi, you may be a bit scared when you cut into this cake. It’s a bit on the “springy” side, in that you can even pull at it a little bit and it will happily spring back to its original shape. I mean, it’s nothing crazy but it’s fun to play with and see that tiny tug will serve to stretch the cake rather than break it into pieces. It definitely serves to show this cake’s appeal as an ice cream mix-in.

So whether you plan to cut this into cubes and throw it into some ice cream (I would recommend subbing it for the shortcake in this recipe) or simply topping it with a scoop of your favorite store-bought ice cream, it’s a great way to switch up your typical ice cream routine. Jeni uses it to make mochi cake croutons and even toasts it on the grill (which is what I also did, coming up in the next recipe!).

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jeni’s mochi cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 9-by-5 inch loaf cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweet rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment. (Parchment optional, but recommended).
  2. Sift together the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredient.
  4. Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture into the well.
  5. Fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until fully combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the cake is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  7. Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to complete cooling.

Notes

To make Jeni's mochi cake croutons: Cut mochi cake into 1 inch cubes. Melt 1 tablespoon unslated butter in a large saute pan and add the cubes. Allow the cubes to cook undisturbed until they are golden brown on the bottom. Flip and repeat on each side until all sides are browned. Serve along with fruit as an ice cream topping.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/07/07/jenis-mochi-cake/

[ Recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts ]

 

blueberry crumb cake

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I would like to say that I knew July was Blueberry Month and that I made this recipe to be timely and trendy… I would like to say that I have my finger on the pulse of the food community and I was ready with blueberries for the month of July… but that would be a lie. I made this recipe because for some reason I thought that I needed the 5-pound clamshell of blueberries that I saw at Costco. I mean, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

After attempting to eat my way through said blueberries for a week, I still had at least two pounds left and was almost positive that if I ate one more blueberry I would go all Violet Beauregarde and Mr. Eats would have to roll me around until they finally found a cure for a blueberry overdose.

I thought about muffins and pancakes and even ice cream, but then I saw this post on my Facebook and I just knew. It was like love at first sight, but with coffee cake. I was pretty sure the cake-to-blueberry ratio was enough that it would allow me to still enjoy my remaining blueberries without becoming one.

I barely tweaked a thing and this recipe came out beautifully! The cake was super soft and springy, filled with bursting blueberries and topped with a crunchy, spiced crumb.

Make this for your 4th of July feast and your guests will beg you for the recipe. You could also make this for “national crumb cake day” which I am sure is a thing (or soon will be, if it’s not yet). These food ‘holidays’ are getting a bit out of hand…

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blueberry crumb cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients

    For the topping:
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries, clean and dry
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9-by-2 inch round baking pan and line it with parchment.
  2. Make the topping:
  3. Stir together the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Using a pastry blender*(see note), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  5. Make the cake:
  6. Take 1 tablespoon of your flour and toss it with your berries, set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk remaining flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugar and zest together until pale and well-mixed.
  9. Add egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat until combined. About now, mine started to really look like a batter.
  10. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture and beat on low until just combined.
  11. Add half of the milk and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  12. Add another 1/3 of the dry mixture and mix until combined. Add remaining milk, mixing until combined.
  13. Add last 1/3 of dry mixture and beat on low just until incorporated. The batter will be stiff.
  14. Fold blueberries into cake batter until evenly distributed.
  15. Bake the cake:
  16. Scoop cake batter into prepared pan and smooth the top as much as possible, and sprinkle top of the cake with all of the streusel. Really pile it on here.
  17. Bake in heated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free.
  18. Cool cake for 20 minutes in the pan before flipping it out onto a cooling rack. Removing the parchment paper lining, and flip the cake back onto a plate, being careful not to lose your streusel.
  19. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

* Alternatively, you make the streusel by pulsing the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until combined. Add cubed butter and continue to pulse until the streusel has a sandy texture with pea-sized crumbs.

* You can be more or less generous with the blueberries in this recipe. I probably added two HEAPING cups of blueberries to mine in an attempt to work my way through as much of the remaining blueberries as possible. No blueberries? No problem, try this recipe with raspberries, blackberries, or whatever berries you have on hand!

* This cake can be stored wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for about 5 days, or you can freeze it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil, for up to three months. Thaw overnight before serving.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/07/03/blueberry-crumb-cake/

[ Recipe from Smitten Kitchen ]

 

christina tosi’s cornbake

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Since receiving Milk Bar Life as a gift, I’ve been making an effort to bake my way through some of the recipes with varying degrees of success. I was most excited for the Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies. While delicious, I have yet to get them to come out the texture that is portrayed in the book pictures, so I have not yet shared that recipe for you (though Mr. Eats is happy to keep eating the failed attempts for me). I successfully made Tosi’s gorgeous Fruity Pebble Meringues, and now I have made what Mr. Eats has deemed “the best cornbread he’s ever had.”

This recipe, like most of Tosi’s recipes, is very generous in the butter department. I followed the recipe as written, because I wanted to see how it came out. While it was delicious as-written I think that you could easily reduce the amount of butter by at least a half a stick without any issues, and I plan to make it that way going forward. If you’re too scared to make that big of a change (that’s about 1/4 of the butter called for), you can reduce it by less.

The recipe calls for a 10-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch square pan. Luckily, I own neither of those so I baked it in a 9-inch round pan with very high edges instead, which added about 8 minutes to the baking time. You will know the cornbake is done with the center is not jiggly at all and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out almost completely clean, with a few crumbs sticking to it. If the cake browns too much before it has completed baking, cover the top loosely with a sheet of foil and continue to bake until it is finished.

This cornbake is great served slightly warm, but even better the next day. You can rewarm pieces in the microwave for a few seconds, or just sneak them off of the serving dish and eat them cold while no one’s watching. Either way, a generous drizzle of honey (I’ve been a big fan of this one from Trader Joe’s as of late) is highly recommended.

milk bar life’s cornbake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 1 10-inch loaf

Ingredients

    Dry ingredients:
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Wet ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole-fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 (14.75-ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup (2 sticks)* unsalted butter, melted (see note below)
  • 1 cup fresh cooked sweet corn (you may use frozen, but be sure to thaw it to room temperature first)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey, plus more for serving
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees and prepare a 10-inch round baking pan with butter or nonstick spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until completely mixed.
  4. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and fold them in with a spatula until well combined and no more flour streaks remain.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs sticking to it.
  6. Cool in its pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert out of pan to complete cooling.
  7. Bread is best served slightly warm and drizzled with honey.

Notes

* I have a feeling that you could easily reduce the butter here by a half stick (4 Tablespoons) without any issue, however I wanted to test the recipe as-written, for science.

* Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. If your ingredients are too cold, the melted butter will solidify into regular butter and you will be very sad.

* Fresh or frozen sweet corn would work here, just make sure it is at room temperature along with the rest of your ingredients. I suspect a generous helping (1/4 to 1/2 cup) of green chiles would do well in this, too.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/06/16/cornbake-from-milk-bar-life/

[ Recipe from Milk Bar Life ]

thursday things – a very momofuku birthday

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It happened. On Monday I officially said “goodbye” to my 20s and dove headfirst into the big 3-0. I’m officially a grown up, and I know this because I got furniture for my birthday. Yep. Furniture.

Not only did I get furniture, but I was excited about it. EXCITED. ABOUT FURNITURE. WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?

Continue reading

samoa cookie ice cream cake

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December is a crappy month to have your birthday. It’s the kind of month where your birthday is often overlooked, your birthday gift is usually combined with your Christmas present, no one can come to your party because they’re all too busy doing other family and holiday things, and your cake is tucked away and forgotten about until February when things have finally started to calm down again. (Or, the pictures are at least.)

Screw you, December. Am I right?

If you asked Mr. Eats, he would tell you the other drawback of having a December birthday is that he never gets his favorite kind of cake: ice cream cake. Because it’s December and who eats ice cream in December? That’s just silly! (Or that’s what I keep telling him, at least.)

That being said, since we were making an effort to make his birthday extra awesome this year, after many years (six, to be exact) of him asking… I finally made him an ice cream cake for his birthday.

Not just any ice cream cake, but a Samoa Cookie Ice Cream Cake. Which is relevant again in February, because hey guys! It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season! I know because they have set up shop outside our local grocer, and I’ve had to bury my face in my phone when I leave the store to prevent from being assaulted. WHO CAN SAY NO TO TINY GIRL SCOUNTS? My sister even offered to ship me boxes if I need them because, you know, that’s totally normal.

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So here is my belated (but still relevant) Samoa cookie ice cream cake. If you have never had a Samoa before, I feel bad for you, but let me explain to you what this involves. The cookie is a layer of shortbread, covered with a caramelly-coconut layer, then finished with a layer of chocolate drizzle. I made a bar version of them last year, too.

For this “cake”, you have a layer of shortbread cookie crust, which I guess is optional but I wanted to be able to move the thing. That is topped by a layer of salted-caramel shortbread ice cream, which is topped with more salted caramel and chopped up samoa cookies, then a layer of milk chocolate ice cream that has been swirled with Samoa cookies and chocolate.

I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Now, before we get to the recipe, let me warn you. The recipe is long. It is long because it is actually like six recipes combined into one amazing recipe. DO NOT LET THIS SCARE YOU. I am super lazy and I made it which means YOU CAN MAKE IT TOO!

So, before we get started, here are a couple of things to keep in mind: 

1. If you have the type of ice cream maker that requires a 24-hour chilling period before you spin, you will want to build that into your recipe. Most likely, you will have to spread out your ice cream making over two days.

2. While I made my ice creams from scratch, you could absolutely use your favorite store-bought ice creams as stand-ins. Just let them soften on the counter for about 15 minutes before attempting to mold them into cake form.

3. Likewise, you could make, spin, and package the ice creams way ahead of time, then soften them and mold them into cake form one day in advance.

4. No Girl Scout Cookies? No Problem! Nowadays they even have all those brand name NON-girl-scout cookies, which means you can actually make this cake any time of year, regardless of how many Girl Scout cookies you have hoarded in your stash. I promise I won’t tell.

5. Overwhelmed? Don’t be! Break the process up into parts that you are comfortable with. Here is what my process looked like?

  • I made both of my ice cream bases and the cookie crust on Day 1.
  • I made the sauces and spun my first ice cream on Day 2, then washed and chilled my container for another 24 hours (which meant Day 3 was out of bounds).
  • I spun my second batch of ice cream on Day 4. Day 4 was a workday but it didn’t matter because it took like 20 minutes to pour my pre-made ice cream base into the spinning canister and let it work its magic.

6. In a Jam? Tweet me! I try to keep an act on all modes of communication, but my phone alerts me when you tweet at me, so just tweet me with your questions and I’ll be happy to help!

Now go get ‘em, tiger!

samoa cookie ice cream cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 1 10 by 5 inch loaf cake

While I made my ice creams from scratch, you can definitely substitute you favorite store-bought flavors and sauces as well. You will not use all of the sauces, and that's ok because it means you will have extra to drizzle over the cake slices when serving!

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe cookie crust (optional)
  • 1 recipe chocolate ice cream
  • 1 recipe cookie ice cream
  • 1 box samoa cookies
  • 1 box trefoil cookies
  • 1 recipe salted caramel
  • 1 recipe chocolate shell
  • 10 by 5 inch loaf pan
  • For the crust
  • 1 1/2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the salted caramel
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • For the chocolate shell
  • 12 ounces chocolate of your choice, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • For the shortbread ice cream
  • 2 2/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup shortbread cookies, roughly chopped
  • For the chocolate ice cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 ounces bittersweet (70% or more) chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

    Make the cookie crust
  1. Wrap the inside of a loaf pan with saran wrap, allowing for some overhang. This will make it much easier to remove the ice cream later, trust me.
  2. Melt butter and pour into cookie crumbs. Stir until crumbs are the texture of wet sand, and press into saran or parchment-wrapped loaf pan. Place into freezer to chill.
  3. Make the salted caramel
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the cream and fleur de sel. Bring to a simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved. (I hate dirtying extra pans, so I cheated and warmed mine in the microwave for just under a minute, stirring to ensure the salt dissolved).
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan.
  6. Cook sugar mixture over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F*(see note above), 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.
  7. Add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to spin the ice cream This can be made up to two days in advance.
  8. Make the chocolate shell
  9. Combine coconut water and chopped chocolate in a bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely smooth.
  10. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals at 50% power until almost completely melted. Remove from microwave and continue stirring until completely melted. Set aside until you are ready to use.
  11. Make the shortbread cookie base
  12. Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and sea salt until smooth. Fill a separate large bowl with ice water and set aside.
  13. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Boil for 4 minutes, then remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
  14. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil for another minute.
  15. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the chopped cookies and set aside while the cookies steep, about 5 minutes.
  16. Force mixture through a sieve, then pour into a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Submerge in ice water until chilled, then transfer to refrigerator until ready to spin.
  17. Make the chocolate ice cream base
  18. Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl (this is called “making a slurry”). Set aside.
  19. Chop chocolate and put it into a medium bowl. Fill a separate large bowl with ice water.
  20. Combine the remaining milk, the cream, evaporated milk, sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the cocoa, whisking until well-mixed. Continue boiling for 4 minutes.
  21. Remove the pan from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return to heat and bring back to a boil, stirring with a spatula, until slightly thickened (about 1 minute).
  22. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the chocolate. Add salt and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  23. Pour mixture into a 1-gallon freezer bag and submerge sealed bag in ice water until cold (appx 30 minutes). *See note
  24. Refrigerate the base until you are ready to spin your ice cream.
  25. Spin the shortbread ice cream
  26. Pour shortbread base into ice cream maker and spin per manufacturer's directions.
  27. Chop 1/2 cup shortbread cookies, and add to ice cream in the last 30 seconds or so of spinning.
  28. Remove shortbread crust from freezer and pour shortbread ice cream on top of the crust, alternating with salted caramel, until you have reached about halfway up the loaf pan - I did not use all of my shortbread ice cream and packed the rest away separately (I had about a 1/2 pint left over).
  29. Place loaf pan back into the freezer to harden for at least four hours, covering with saran or parchment to protect from freezer burn.
  30. Spin the chocolate ice cream.
  31. Once the shortbread ice cream layer has set, spin the chocolate ice cream per the manufacturer's directions.
  32. Chop 1 cup of the samoa cookies and set aside. Melt the chocolate shell and set aside.
  33. Mix half of the samoas and a few tablespoons of the chocolate shell into the ice cream at that last 30 seconds or so of spinning.
  34. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and remove any protective parchment or saran.
  35. Drizzle a layer of caramel, and chocolate on top of the shortbread layer, and sprinkle with remaining chopped samoa cookies.
  36. Pour chocolate ice cream over this and cover with saran or parchment and return to freezer for 8 hours to harden.
  37. When ready to serve, remove ice cream from loaf pan and set onto a cutting board. Remove saran and slice crosswise into pieces.

Notes

* The easiest way to transfer your liquid base to a ziploc bag is to press the bag into a 4-cup measuring cup and pour the base into there. That allows you to support the bag while pouring. If you have a friend who can help you out, that always works too.

* You may need two boxes of trefoils, but if you buy the Keebler shortbread cookies you will only need one box.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/02/09/girl-scout-samoa-cookie-ice-cream-cake/

[ Ice cream recipes from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home & Jeni’s Splendid Desserts ]

[ Salted caramel recipe from Baked Sweet & Salty Cake FROM: BAKED: New Frontiers in Baking ]