seitan is my motor

Monday

13

April 2015

5

COMMENTS

Walnut Caramel Ice Cream (without ice cream maker)

walnut caramel popsicles | seitanismymotor.com

I swear, there are no bananas in this recipe! And I just lied. You might need a machine for this, just not an ice cream maker. Ours broke and at this point I think that we probably don’t need a new one. I found a perfect replacement. It’s our high speed blender.  “Those vegans and their fancy blenders!”, some of you might think now. And you are right. These gadgets are wickedly expensive and not essential to whatever you are making in your kitchen. But please don’t click away just yet. I have included a popsicle recipe you can make with a couple of pans, a hand held blender or food processor, and a freezer. (If you don’t have a food processor or hand held blender either, you can replace the walnuts with some nut butter of your choice.) Simply pour the ice cream batter (recipe follows at the bottom) into glasses, ice cube or popsicle molds,  let them sit in the freezer for about 1 – 2 hours, insert some sticks and let the popsicles firm up completely. Just that simple and quick! There’s just one little caveat:  Whatever anybody tells you, ice cream popsicles are not the same as ice cream. They will still be nice and refreshing, but they will not be perfectly smooth and creamy. They will be a little bit crunchy as some of the liquid will form large ice crystals during freezing. Since nobody is churning anything here, these crystals can’t be kept from forming and there’s no additional air stirred into the batter. But if you keep all this in mind, I think you will not be disappointed with these walnut caramel popsicles. After all they are a sweet treat, perfect for a warm spring day. And look at that hand model above. I got P. to help me with my pictures and hold that ice cream. But I am digressing.

walnut ice cream without ice cream maker | seitanismymotor.com

For a perfectly smooth and light ice cream, you can either use my blender method, or you follow David Lebovitz’s instructions. For that you’ll need a hand held blender and a shallow container. If you want to follow my method, here’s how: You simply freeze your ice cream until solid. Then you cut it into cubes, about 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches), place it in a high speed blender that is capable of doing this hard job. Then you blend on high until your ice cream has the consistency of soft serve. After that you put it back into the freezer and let it firm up. This will result in an ice cream that has exactly the same texture as if it was made with an ice cream maker.

walnut ice cream without ice cream maker | seitanismymotor.com

To be honest, it’s not only the blending method that makes for a good texture. I’ve experimented a lot and I used to think that fat was the most important ingredient to achieve a creamy texture. Well, sure, but it cannot do the work alone. In the past I would pair it up with a thickener and binder, such as guar gum. But that is not necessary and if you use too much, you’ll just end up with a box full of frozen slime. There’s a much better ingredient for creamy and perfect to scoop vegan ice cream.  And no it’s not a bunch of healthy bananas. It’s plain old sugar. (If you like bananas in your ice cream, please go ahead and use them! I freeze and blend some myself once in a while. I am not against frozen bananas. Just don’t make me believe a frozen banana pudding is the same as ice cream.) While you mix your batter, the sugar dissolves and during freezing much of it remains unfrozen. So if your ice cream is rock hard after a couple of days in the freezer, that might mean going low sugar is not always an option.

walnut ice cream without ice cream maker | seitanismymotor.com

This recipe has lots of sugar and there’s a little extra trick making things even easier. With more sugar. If you add some caramel to your ice cream, it will improve the texture even more. That is, as long as you can abstain from eating it. (I managed a whole week. But that was only because I was sick.) And isn’t caramel ice cream just the best?

A couple of notes: For the ice cream pops you won’t need the whole batch of caramel. You can reserve it and serve as a sauce. (Keep in mind that the sugar will crystalise after a day or two though.) Yes, this ice cream calls for coconut milk. Coconut ice cream is great, but personally I don’t want all my vegan ice creams to taste like coconut. And since I am sure that some of you are with me here, I did my best to mask the taste. Of course, you have to judge for yourself, but we couldn’t detect any coconut flavour in this batch. I divided this recipe and used it both for the blender and the popsicle version. It’s embarrassing, but I cannot tell you how many popsicles this makes. The whole recipe yields about 6 cups. My glasses held about 1/3 cup. Thar means half the recipe should make about 9 popsicles.

walnut caramel | seitanismymotor.com

 

Walnut Caramel Ice Cream (without ice cream maker)

Ingredients

For the caramel
150 g (3/4 cup) brown sugar
150 g (3/4 cup) white sugar
60 ml (1/4 cup) agave nectar
60 ml (1/4 cup) water
1 generous pinch of salt (up to 1/4 teaspoon for a salty caramel version)
60 ml (1/4 cup) full fat coconut milk
200 g (1 3/4 cup) walnut pieces, chopped
For the ice cream
480 ml (2 cups) soy milk (almond milk is fine, too)
1 400 ml (14 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
walnut caramel (recipe above)
1-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. To make the caramel, combine sugars, agave nectar, and water in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat carefully while dissolving the sugar. Stop stirring immediately once the mixture starts to boil.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in salt and coconut milk, bring back to a boil and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in walnut pieces, set aside and let cool completely.
  6. To make the ice cream, combine milks, arrowroot, and salt in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute.
  7. Reserve about 120 ml (1/2 cup) of walnut caramel and set aside. (You can store it in a glass jar until ready to use.)
  8. Pour the remaining caramel in the pot with the milk. Stir until the caramel has dissolved.
  9. Pour into a blender. (Food processor should work, too, hand held blender will also be fine.)
  10. Add oil and vanilla (to taste), and process, until the mixture is creamy and all walnut pieces are pulverised.
  11. If you are going for the popsicle version, simply pour the batter into shot glasses or popsicle molds and freeze until the batter is stiff enough to hold wooden sticks. Insert them and place in the freezer again until completely solid.
  12. If you are going for the blender version, pour the liquid into a freezer suitable container and freeze until solid or over night.
  13. Cut into small cubes, about 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inch) and place in a high speed blender.
  14. Blend until your mixture has the consistency of soft serve. Make sure not to overprocess or your ice cream will melt and you have to start over.
  15. Transfer to the container, then to the freezer and freeze for another hour or so.
  16. Your mixture should now be firm but you should still be able to stir it. (This will take one hour more or less, check your ice cream after 30 minutes. Or if necessary, let it sit for longer than an hour.)
  17. Now pour the remaining caramel over the ice cream and quickly fold it in. Don't blend it completely, you are aiming for swirls.
  18. Freeze for a couple of hours, or until firm.
http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/04/walnut-caramel-ice-cream-without-ice-cream-maker/

Sunday

5

April 2015

14

COMMENTS

Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut Swirl

cinnamon buns with a chestnut swirl | seitanismymotor.com

For me there is almost nothing better than a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of espresso and a yeast based treat. These things are magical and great pick me ups for morning grouches like me. Yeasted pastries and sweet breads are a cosy and comforting way to celebrate a holiday as well. In Germany they are an essential part of Easter. Here you can find all kinds of stuffed or plain yeast braids or bunny shaped rolls and even yeast based easter baskets with a boiled egg in the middle. For many people the soft and sweet dough is a perfect comfort food and for others yeasted baked goods are just much easier to make than a large cream or frosting based cake. Well, if you are one of those people who say that baking with yeast is complicated, get over it. It really just does take some practice and I promise you will get the hang of it. Just start. My first rolls looked and tasted like cobblestones and now look at this.

In Germany cinnamon buns are not very common. We like to stuff our rolls and buns with poppy seeds, pudding, or nuts instead. This diversity and a couple of small tins of chestnut spread in our pantry made my mind wander to a chestnut and cinnamon filling for these little Easter treats. Since chestnut spread is mostly sugar, it does caramelise very nicely during baking and also makes for a wonderfully sticky filling. The most widely available chestnut spread is Faugier brand Crème de Marrons, which I used. (Okay, I bought it in France but I can get it at a department store in my town, too.) But you can also make your own, there are a couple of recipes online. For a simple alternative use a regular cinnamon bun filling  and leave out the chestnut spread. (Another idea is to substitute apple butter.) If you look at the preparation method for this recipe you will find that I have already included such a filling. So technically these could be called “double stuffed”. All this folding might look complicated to you, but it will improve the texture and make the buns a bit flakier. Of course you can skip that step and sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture right on top of the chestnut spread. Lots of variation possible here, so you can make the recipe work for you.

cinnamon buns with a chestnut swirl | seitanismymotor.com

 

 

Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut Swirl

Ingredients

For the dough
250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
150 ml (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) luke warm water
For the filling
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
200 g (7 oz) chestnut spread

Instructions

  1. To make the dough combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add oil and water.
  3. Knead dough well for about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
  5. Place on a lightly floured working surface and knead for one minute or so.
  6. Roll into a 40 x 30 cm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) rectangle.
  7. Combine sugar and spices and sprinkle on top of the dough.
  8. Fold the dough as if you wanted to fit it into an envelope: Fold the short side over so that you have a rectangle half the size but still the same shape. Then fold it over again to quarter the size.
  9. Roll the dough into a 40 x 30 cm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) rectangle again.
  10. Spread the chestnut spread on top and roll the dough into a log, starting with the long side.
  11. Grease a 12 tin muffin pan and preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). (I used a square tin pan but a regular one with round indentions works just as well.)
  12. Cut the dough into 12 equally sized rolls and place them in the tins. Cover with a greased piece of plastic or with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  13. Bake for 25 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven, let rest for five minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely before serving. (If they are still a touch warm that is okay, too.)

Notes

All your ingredients should have room temperature. (The water should be luke warm.) Let your dough rise in a warm place. If your flat is cold, the dough might take longer to rise. (For your first rise, you can also put the dough in the oven. No temperature setting, just the light switched on.

http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/04/cinnamon-buns-with-a-chestnut-swirl/

 

creme de marrons | seitanismymotor.com