Currently viewing the tag: "meringue"

Somehow we are already on the front steps of 2018. The door is open, and another January welcomes us in with a glorious smile, reassuring those waiting out in the cold that right inside, just through that open door, things will be better. The new year will bring hope, and change. So we resolve to evolve, and put our faith in the dropping of a ball, a countdown from ten, and then number one. Two weeks in, however, we realize it’s still all the same, January is December, minus the Christmas tree. The list of resolutions gets shoved in a drawer, we turn on the news and are still groaning, trying to find our voice. There was no wizardry to wash away the sins of the previous year. We remember about the importance of time, and hard work, and continuing to keep at something even though no one is watching.

But although the New Year doesn’t contain magic, it’s a good idea to make a cake at the end of it all anyway. We can still celebrate the previous twelve months: observe how far we’ve come, make plans for the coming days, or just share time, enjoying ice cream, with those we spend our days. And while I walk into this next month knowing everything is not new and fresh, I will still look around for hope, and change, and progress, and help propel those things forward as best I can.

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I’ve teamed up with Land O’Lakes for a few posts over the rest of the year. I’ve been a big fan of their butter for years; I love how my baked goods turn out with it, and as they are a Minnesota-based company, it seemed like a natural fit. I’m happy to report that the Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream is delicious, too – here it’s used in the chocolate no-churn ice cream, but I also use it in whipped cream, cheesecake, and any other application, both sweet and savory, where I need heavy cream.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

-Neil Gaiman

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cheesecakea

Hello! I have another exciting giveaway for you. Three more pieces of kitchen equipment that I absolutely love: Emile Henry mixing bowls, Mauviel Copper Sugar Saucepan, and a Lékué springform mold. The mixing bowls are pretty much a necessity in any kitchen, and this set is lovely, with three different sized nesting bowls. I use them all the time – for mixing, of course, but also for holding fruit and filling with chips at parties, among other things. The sugar saucepan is beautiful (I included it on my gift guide as well), and I find it to be a fantastic tool for making Italian buttercream. And the springform mold has been a game changer for me. I will admit I was skeptical about silicone molds when I was first introduced to them, but I have fallen in love with them after never having to worry about messy cheesecake sides. The mold peels away from the cheesecake every time, leaving perfect sides. Extra bonus: the cheesecake bakes on a white ceramic plate that is perfect for serving on as well, and I never have to have the stress of sliding a cheesecake on to a serving plate ever again.

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
1 winner will receive 1 Emile Henry Mixing Bowl Set + 1 Mauviel Copper Sugar Saucepan + 1 Lékué Springform Mold + a copy of The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer. Participants who complete*** this form*** will be entered for a chance to win. Contest is open through 12/13 to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.  The winner will be randomly selected through random.org and notified via e-mail no later than 12/16. The winner’s name and address will be shared with Emile Henry, Mauviel, and Lékué for the sole purpose of mailing out the prize. Thank you! (Also: don’t forget to enter my Minted giveaway as well!)

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smores cake

First of all, I want to say thank you, oh my goodness thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I had so many kind emails and comments and tweets yesterday;  your support of my upcoming book is overwhelming. I wouldn’t have this book without that support, and I am forever grateful to you, dear readers. Thank you for following along here, and for being so wonderful.

And, here’s a recipe from the book! Today happens to be my birthday, one that I am slightly freaking out about, as I seem to be getting close to large numbers I didn’t think were possible. I will be celebrating today, however, with this S’mores Ice Cream Cake. It’s fairly simple to put together (especially if you go the store bought ice cream route), with a layer of toasted graham cracker crumbs, vanilla ice cream, more graham crackers, chocolate ice cream, and then a pile of meringue that is lightly toasted. An indulgent way to enjoy the fading of a near perfect summer vacation.

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hazelnut dacquoise
My new copper beating bowl arrived in the mail, and I immediately took it over to Zoë François‘ house and made her beat white egg whites by hand in it for this post. In between laughing and giving me dirty looks, she made this incredible dacquoise with blackberries and cream. It was so good we couldn’t stop nibbling on it all afternoon (after she made me wash all the dishes in payback).

The meringue base here is on the sweet side, but the hazelnuts incorporated in the layers and tart berries in between balance it perfectly. Zoë mentioned this dessert would also work for Passover (you can check out her Chocolate Caramel Matzo as well), so here’s another dessert option if you celebrate.
hazelnut dacquoise

hazelnut dacquoise

hazelnut dacquoise

copper pots

hazelnut dacquoise

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s'mores doughnuts

It’s National Doughnut Day! Well, one of many National Doughnut Days. I’m happy to celebrate more than once. Here are slightly-ridiculous-yet-terribly-delicious s’mores doughnuts, made out of Bread in 5‘s perfect brioche dough. I’ve got the recipe on their site today, so you can hop over for details.

s'mores doughnuts

s'mores doughnuts

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Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam | The Vanilla Bean Blog

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocao Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Sara Forte’s new cookbook, Bowl + Spoon, is beautiful, with recipes focused on simple, healthy ingredients served in the perfect vessel. I found her pavlovas to be a fantastic riff on the bowl: a delicious, edible bowl. Also, meringues with cacao nibs! Totally genius. (Also, thanks to the amazing Zoe Francois for making these pavlovas with me!)

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meringue

‘We live in a world where twists and turns are applauded. I’ve had my share of bacon-, avocado-, and cheese-flavored ice creams – most of which I could do without. And a whole year once passed when I didn’t eat a scoop of vanilla ice cream. When I finally did, my taste buds, wiped clean of their memory of vanilla, experienced something new. I felt like I was drinking fresh water after a lifetime of wine. ..

Real innovation is not about chasing the fashionable, but having an inherent beauty. It’s not about a sampling of cleverness, but honest consideration for what works well. That’s vanilla ice cream. If you haven’t had it for awhile, take a bite of a truly delicious scoop. It’s the one flavor that proves itself to be not just a passing fancy, but an eternal romance.’  – Dominique Ansel The Secret Recipes

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I am resurrecting my Silent Sunday posts – a quote or reflection from something I’m currently reading. I’m highly enjoying Ansel’s cookbook; so much wisdom and food for thought among its pages.

s'more cake | the vanilla bean blog
I spent an afternoon looking through cookbooks with my daughter, and she immediately gravitated toward this s’more cake. So we made it. I used my favorite chocolate layer cake, then coated it in marshmallow-like frosting and crushed graham crackers. It was a sticky mess, as the delicate chocolate cake crumbled all over the frosting, the meringue did not streak into beautiful tall peaks as I had imagined, and then the top scorched under the broiler. I was just about to shelve the recipe when I tasted a small  piece that had broken off at the edge. Instantly my mind wandered to junior high sleepovers where there was always a boxed mix and a can of frosting for midnight cake baking; summer camp nights with friends, singing around the fire and scorching our fingers while we gobbled down burnt marshmallows and melty chocolate, and that Friday afternoon in 10th grade when I started an epic cake fight in my American history class. There was confetti and smashed bits of cake covering everyone and everything and I was grounded from the car for weeks, but I never regretted throwing that first piece. In other words, this cake was amazing.
s'more cake | the vanilla bean blog
s'more cake | the vanilla bean blog
smore cake4 (1 of 1)blogsize
s'more cake | the vanilla bean blog
Imperfection has an important place in the kitchen. I had forgotten the beauty of hands, shirts, and dishtowels covered in frosting, lopsided cake layers, and chocolate crumbs scattered all over my counter in a delicious mess.

“Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun.” – Julia Child

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chocolate mini cakes with hazelnut buttercream | the vanilla bean blog
‘Life is just this way, broken, and I am crazy for dreaming of something else.’ – Miranda July

This sentence stuck out to me today after a night of taking care of sick kids, another morning of -10 degree weather, more news of cancer and sadness, and a winter with no end in sight. Deep sighs, and one foot in front of the other.

I made these little cakes a few days ago, when the sun was shinning through our windows and we were saying things like, ‘finally we are all healthy!’ and ‘this cold can’t last much longer!’ Dreamers dreaming dreams.

Some beautiful things: Laura has a chocolate hazelnut torte up today, if you need a vegan and gluten free chocolate-hazelnut fix. Melissa made my chocolate bread and has exciting news. And, this article by The Onion helped me smile today. ‘You just have to keep carrying the flame inside you. No matter how hard it gets to be, you carry that g-d*m fire. It’s a hard world. Life is hard. But no matter what, you carry that fire, and you don’t let go.’
chocolate mini cakes with hazelnut buttercream | the vanilla bean blog

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