Tag Archives: Vanilla

Frozen Banana Ice Cream

Often when my brother Robb and I get together, kitchen shenanigans ensue.  On this particular occasion we made a giant batch of almond milk (more on that later) and were looking for ways to use it.  We decided to try Gwyneth Paltrow’s frozen banana “ice cream” and were not disappointed.  It’s only a handful of ingredients, and doesn’t require any fancy machinery, like an ice cream maker.  A food processor works just fine! Needless to say,  this turned out to be a very refreshing (and healthy) summer treat.

We started by slicing bananas and putting them in the freezer.

Frozen Banana Slices

Frozen Banana Slices

Throw the frozen bananas in a food processor with some almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla.

Frozen banana mix

Frozen banana mix

Pulse a few times until the mixture is just blended. mmmmmmmmm.

Frozen Banana Ice Cream

Frozen Banana Ice Cream

Mix some toasted, chopped pecans (or almonds, or whatever nut you have on hand) with maple syrup, a pinch of kosher salt and drizzle over top of the ice cream.  Downright delightful.

My only complaint is that it melts quickly and therefore makes it tough to get a decent photo, but that’s not really a huuuuuuge problem.

Frozen Banana Ice CreamFrozen Banana Ice Cream

Frozen Banana Ice Cream Recipe

4 Ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted almonds or pecans
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1.  Freeze the banana slices in a single layer on a tray or plate lined with wax or parchment paper.  Once the slices are frozen, use them immediately or keep frozen in a zip-top plastic bag or airtight container for up to a month.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the nuts with 2 teaspoons of the maple syrup and a pinch of salt and set the mixture aside.
  3. Combine the frozen banana slices, the almond milk, the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and the vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is the texture of soft serve ice cream, scraping down the sides as necessary.  Don’t worry if the mixture is not totally smooth at first – once the bananas start to break down and defrost in the food processor, they’ll give in and the “ice cream” will take shape quickly.
  4. Spoon the banana ice cream into bowls immediately and sprinkle each serving with a bit of the almond mixture.

From:  It’s All Good

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Sucre à la crème

Also known as maple fudge to us anglos, I first made this sucre à la crème as part of my french-Canadian themed New Years Eve dinner (also featuring tourtière!), so I’m sticking with the french name. But really, it doesn’t matter what you call it because it tastes amazing.

Here is what you need to create this treat:  brown and white sugar, maple syrup, whipping cream, corn syrup and vanilla.

Sucre a la creme Ingredients

Sucre à la crème ingredients

Throw everything into a saucepan, except for the white chocolate and vanilla.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan so you know when to pull it off the heat.

IMG_6596

Bring the mixture to a boil and heat until it reaches 115 °C (240 °F).  But don’t stir it at all or else it will get clumpy!

IMG_6600

Next, add the chocolate and vanilla.  White chocolate in your maple fudge? Ricardo says this is the secret to its creamy texture!  You don’t need much and it doesn’t change the flavour.  He’s absolutely right!

After the mixture has cooled in a cold water bath (I just plugged my sink and filled it partway with cold water), use an electric mixer to whip until smooth.  Then you get to lick the beaters 🙂

sucrealacreme

I’m embarrassed to admit that this is the best photo I have of the finished product.  What I’m not embarrassed to admit is that I didn’t get a good photo because it didn’t last very long.  Imagine fudge, but without any butter and yet somehow incredibly smooth, and full of melt-in your mouth sweet maple goodness.  A delightful winter indulgence :).

Sucre a la creme

Sucre a la creme

Sucre à la Crème Recipe

250 ml (1 cup) 35% 
cream
250 ml (1 cup) sugar
250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
30 ml (2 tablespoons) corn syrup
28 g (1 oz) white chocolate, chopped (optional)
1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) vanilla extract

1. Line the bottom of a 20-cm (8-inch) pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over two sides and butter the other two sides.

2. In a heavy saucepan, bring all the ingredients except for the chocolate and vanilla to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Attach a candy thermometer in the center of the pan and simmer without stirring until the thermometer reads 115 °C (240 °F). Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla without stirring.

3. Place the pan in a cold water bath. Let cool without stirring, until the thermometer reads 43 °C (110 °F) or 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the water. With an electric mixer, beat until the mixture loses its gloss but is still soft, about 2 minutes.

5. Pour immediately into the pan and spread with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool for 1 hour at room temperature or 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Unmould and cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) squares.

6. Store in an airtight container. The squares of fudge can be made in advance and freeze very well.

From: Ricardo

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Vanilla Chai Tea

Mmmmmmmmm Spices 🙂 The beauty of making your own tea is that you can easily tweak the spices to exactly your liking.  The list of ingredients is open to interpretation – it really doesn’t matter if you’re missing a few things, or add some extras.  The point is to make a giant pot of soothing tea that will help make getting up in the mornings a little easier, or your Christmas holidays a little fancier!

Chai Spices and Seasonings

Throw all the spices into a pot of water, and bring to a boil.   Reduce heat and let it simmer for at least half an hour.  Needless to say, your home will smell like chai for days to come 🙂

Simmering Chai

Add tea of your choice (bags or loose leaf) and steep for 5 minutes, then strain.

Strained Spices

Add some form of sweetener too. Again, to suit your taste buds, no exact measurements required for a recipe like this!

Sweetener

Pour chai into a container of some sort, and store in the fridge.

Vanilla Chai Tea

Heat chai with some milk or cream and froth it together. You could also do this very easily in the microwave, but mine happens to be broken at the moment….

Frothy Chai Latte

Pour mixture into your favourite mug and settle in.  Ahhhhh……perfect 🙂

Vanilla Chai Tea

Vanilla Chai Tea Recipe

8-10 cups water
1 pod fresh vanilla
½ cup green cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces)
1 tbsp of peeled, sliced ginger root
1 tbsp whole cloves
3-4 black peppercorns
½ tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
3-4 star anise
2-3 teabags (whatever flavour you prefer!)
½ cup (approx) sweetener of choice (brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc.)

1.    Put water in big pot, add all the spices and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cover for 30 minutes.
2.    Remove from heat and add 2 or 3 teabags, or equivalent loose leaf tea. Steep, covered for 5 minutes.
3.    Strain mixture into a glass jar or carafe, and sweeten to taste.
4.    Mix equal parts chai and milk (or half and half or creamed rum if you’re feeling decadent).
5.    Store in the fridge for a week.

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