I bought an ice cream maker last week and got experimenting right away! While trying to come up with the perfect fall flavour to bring to Friendsgiving potluck this weekend, one that wasn’t too obvious (looking at you, pumpkin spice), couldn’t be found at the store, and wouldn’t be out of place next to a slice of pie, I eventually landed on chai tea & Baileys. I’m glad I waited for the perfect idea, because this one’s a real winner! It tastes just like the holidays.
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ½ cup loose leaf chai tea
- fairly inexpensive at Bulk Barn
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
- 1-2/3 cup heavy cream
- Add milk, sugar and salt to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar while bringing to a simmer.
- Remove mixture from heat and stir in the tea leaves. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain mixture into a clean, medium sized saucepan, making sure to press the tea leaves to get every bit of liquid out.
- Bring back to a simmer.
- Beat the egg yolks in small bowl and temper with the milk mixture. (Slowly stir about ½ cup of milk mixture into the egg yolks, then add the egg mixture back to the milk to slowly bring the eggs up to temperature and not curdle them. Don’t worry if some curdles, we’ll strain again later.)
- Cook over low heat, stirring almost constantly, until you have a nice custard thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (or until it reaches 175○F). Do not allow custard to come to a boil. Strain into a medium bowl and chill in the fridge until cold.
- Stir in the Baileys and heavy cream.
- Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. (I got my ice cream maker here.)
- You can eat it now but it will be better if you freeze it overnight. Scoop into a suitable container and press cling wrap down onto the surface.
- Optional: garnish with cinnamon.
All photos by me.
After years of making macarons, and still needing more practice, I stick with it because I love creating new flavours. Macarons can be tricky and time consuming to make, but they can take almost any flavouring imaginable and still come out lovely and delicious every time. They are one of my favourite foods to endlessly tinker with.
Today I made macarons inspired by my favourite cookie: chocolate chip. Macarons can be made in nearly every flavour, but they don’t take large chucks well – flavouring must be in either liquid or powder form – so I made a standard almond/ vanilla flavour cookie and garnished with cacao nibs. To add more chocolate flavour, I filled the cookies with dark chocolate ganache.
The combination turned out unbelievably well! Neither flavour overpowers the other. The garnish is cute and does a good job of letting you know what flavours to expect. They even taste a little bit like chocolate chip cookies while still holding on to that unique macaron sweetness. I made the mistake of having friends over before I had time to assemble the cookies. I had to beg them to “only eat the ugly ones” as they ravenously drizzled the still-warm ganache over the cookie halves and pounded back a dozen of them.
To make these chocolate chip cookie flavoured macarons, use your favourite recipes for plain vanilla macarons and dark chocolate (bitter) ganache. I used the recipes for Basic Macaron Batter and Bitter Ganache Filling from Hisako Ogita’s I Love Macarons. I also added a few pieces of cacao nibs to the top of each cookie before drying and baking.
All photos by me.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be good at making macarons. I’ve been trying to learn how to make them well for almost exactly three years now and this is my first batch ever that weren’t too sticky or hollow in the middle. I’ve never had trouble with the pied (the pretty, bubbly bit) but I’m still confused about how to macaronnage properly and I’m lucky if I get a handful of cookies to come out perfectly round. Macaron recipes appear deceivingly simple with only five ingredients that come together quite quickly but there are a lot of opportunities for mistake that make these cute little cookies difficult to master.
The best part about making macarons, and the reason I keep trying, is the literally uncountable number of flavour, colour, garnish and filling combinations you can make. This time I tried out an idea for smoky black tea macarons with orange marmalade filling.
Using the macaron recipe from I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita and following her flavouring tips, I added 1 tsp of smoked lapsang souchong star loose leaf tea, that I first crushed to a finely ground powder with my fingertips, to the dry ingredients before mixing them into the meringue. I decided not to colour the cookies with any food colouring. Then, because I’m not a huge fan of making or eating traditional buttercream filling, I chose to just fill the macarons with orange marmalade. The end result is a naturally peach coloured nutty, smoky, sweet citrus cookie perfect for a grown up tea party.
All photos by me.
Last week, I featured Kathy Casey’s D’Lish Deviled Eggs: A Collection of Recipes from Creative to Classic in the party themed, December edition of “Obsessions” because it’s always the first cookbook I go to when I’m planning party food. I do this not only because deviled eggs are delicious and adorably retro but because, in addition to amazing and creative recipes, this book also includes a page on tips for finding cute serving dishware and a section titled “Egg-ceptional Ideas for Holidays and Special Events”. This section is where I found the recipes I used to make festive, naturally red and green coloured eggs for a Christmas party I attended last weekend.
“Sunny Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs” with roasted red pepper pesto and toasted almonds
I made “Sunny Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs” and “Devilish Green Eggs and Ham”, both for the first time. Both recipes came together quite easily, though I did used to work in a restaurant that frequently made pickled eggs, so you could say I’m an egg peeling professional. The roasted red pepper eggs were certainly pretty with their delicate sliced almonds and sprinkle of smoked paprika but everyone at the party agreed that the green eggs and ham deviled eggs were far tastier – definitely a make again recipe. There is absolutely something to the green eggs and ham recipe’s basil and prosciutto combination but I’m starting to thing my friends may just be suckers for anything with a meat garnish.
“Devilish Green Eggs and Ham” with pesto and prosciutto
I’ve worked my way around this book quite a bit since purchasing it. I’ve made “Steak and Deviled Eggs”, “Dirty Martini Deviled Eggs”, “Tapenade Deviled Eggs” and “Beet’ing Heart Deviled Eggs” – which has you dye the egg whites with picked beet brine! – just to name a few. The “Steak and Deviled Eggs” recipe, which includes whole stripes of steak as a garnish, has strongly cemented my reputation as a respected deviled egg maker and established my role as the deviled egg bringer for every large function I attend (and I couldn’t be happier about this).
If you love deviled eggs as much as I do, buy this book! You won’t regret it.
All Photos by me.