" Chinese emperors of the Tang Dynasty liked their ice cream a special way: Fermented buffalo or goat milk was heated, then thickened with flour and seasoned with camphor, which made it flake like snow. For good measure fragments of reptile brain were added, along with an eyeball or two." - "It Ought To Be Called Vice Cream" - Austerity Kitchen on the social and technological history of Ice Cream.
Portland, Oregon's Salt & Straw creative director, Tyler Malek, was recently named to Forbes "30 under 30" list. In this PDF he generously shares how to get the most of your ice cream maker. To calculate how to get to his "magical 17% butterfat" for YOUR quantity of ice cream, use this handy Butterfat Calculator from Ice Cream Geek. See also their handy Ice Cream Butter Fat Converter.
The Magic Chocolate Flower Dessert was created by Portuguese pastry chef Joaquim Sousa. Here he demonstrates how to make it. (Via)
Want to make something just for you and your sweetie? Maybe two tiny cheesecakes? One dozen cookies? Four cupcakes? Small-batch baking blog Dessert for Two has you covered.
"Nowadays, we tend to eat biscuits with beverages like tea and coffee. But in the past they were an important element of the dessert course and were dipped into sweet wine." - Food History Jottings (previously) on the strange world of Regency biscuits. (Cookies to you US types.)
"You may think you know what a snowball is. That conical treat of chunky ice where all of the flavor drips out of the bottom of a paper triangle? Nope, that's a snowcone. That fruity, pureed ice that you have to scrape with a wooden spoon? Nope, that's Italian ice. Or maybe the fluffy bowl of ice with condensed milk on top? Wrong again—that's Hawaiian shave ice ... A classic Baltimore snowball arrives in a Styrofoam cup: shaved ice sloshed with sweet syrup—mostly artificial flavoring and not any of that "real fruit" stuff—and typically topped with marshmallow cream. While the ice is shaved, it's not fine enough to dissolve, leaving the snowball chunky and intact enough to survive humid Baltimore summers." SeriousEats covers Baltimore's delicious regional treat, the snowball. Summertime snowballs have been a staple of the city for many, many years. A little bit of ambient snowball stand audio.
Nigella Lawson's Coffee Ice Cream: 4 ingredients. 1 step. No cooking. No churning. One of Food52's Genius Recipes.
The Science of the Best Sorbet
Though it's just as easy to make as ice cream, sorbet is a little less forgiving—its lack of fat and eggs mean you have to be more careful with your recipe. Now the good news: sorbet has a science like anything else, and once you learn a few things you'll be ready to turn any fruit into fresh, full-flavored, and creamy sorbet—something so creamy you might confuse it for ice cream.[more inside]
Naked Wedding Cakes Bare It All For the Summer.
Gone are the days when hot Summer weather makes icing drip down your wedding cake! Naked cakes — the trendy cakes that are mostly unfrosted — are great for warmer outdoor weddings and add a simple, elegant style to any sweet spread. By layering the cake and using a minimal amount of frosting, mainly to stick layers together or add a decorative touch, these wedding desserts offer a light sweetness in each bite. If you think that less icing means your cake will lack flair, then add fruity or flowery touches to accent the frosting and flavor. Check out these naked cakes below for inspiration!
Molecular gastronomy at its most basic: Chef Heston Blumenthal makes chocolate mousse in five minutes using nothing but chocolate and water. (Heston Blumenthal (previously, pre-previously) [SLYT]
You can listen to the new song "Player" by LA dance-pop band Dessert. Or you can just go to Hello-Dessert.net and get the full experience.
Forget West-bank selzer. Who cares about Zohan's hummus? The dawn of a new era: Chocolate. Schwarma.
Gelatin foodstuffs have a long culinary history. The ancient Egyptians made a gelatin-like substance from protein-rich animal materials that they used in their cuisine. It wasn't until the 17th century invention of pressure cooking devices that the process of creating gelatin became significantly less labor and time intensive. The process was refined in the following decades, with the US inventor Peter Cooper filing the patent for Improvement in the preparation of portable gelatine in 1845. He never made much of the patent, and sold it to Pearle B. Wait, who's wife, May Davis Wait, helped turn the gelatin into Jell-O, both naming the product and turning it into a sweet, fruit-flavored dessert. They, too, had no luck selling Jell-O, and sold the patent for $450 to Orator Francis Woodward, who struggled for a period, before turning to marketing to increase interest in the dessert (NYT). By 1902, Jell-O was "America's Favorite Dessert," at least according to the advertisements. And now you know the history of gelatin and Jello. [more inside]
Very cute kids make a dessert of dubious delight in dryer (SLYT) WARNING: sugar and crap bread
Chef Grant Achatz plates the final dessert course at Alinea. Or perhaps you'd prefer the chocolate pumpkin pie or the edible balloon? Bon appetit!
The National Association of Afro-Swedes calls for the resignation of Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Roth after photos and video surfaced of this "living" cake, which was part of a celebration of World Art Day. The cake's creator talks a bit about the cake.
Top 10 Unusual (yet tasty) Food Combinations. And after trying those, savor 10 Desserts with Unexpected Ingredients. Or check out the ask.
Sit back and enjoy the many Italian recipes Great Chicago Italian Recipes.com has to offer. This site will provide you with a culinary adventure into the world of Italian food and wine. Choose from poultry, beef, vegetables, pasta, and sooo much more. Looking to finish off that perfect meal? Try Adriana's Italian Gourmet Cookies. [more inside]
Are you entertaining guests for Easter dinner? Don't forget the dessert. Here are the 50 Best Dessert Recipes. Chocolate lovers in your family? No problem. The 50 Best Chocolate Desserts. Maybe you're partial to cake. Okay, Mom's Best Cake Recipes. Here's to yum.
Massachusetts has Boston Creme Pie. South Dakota has Kuchen. Oklahoma claims Bizcochito as it's own. But should Maryland have an official state dessert? The debate rages on!
With few cows, no ice, and lacking refrigeration the only dairy product reliably available to the Florida Keys in the late 18th century was condensed milk. Add a local plantation abundance of small, sour key limes (known to most as West Indian limes; not the more common Persian/Tahiti lime), and inevitably someone -- perhaps Aunt Sally -- put them together to create the quintessential Florida Keys confection known as key lime pie. [more inside]
Lushybakingfilter: why bother with that whole pesky drinking thing when you can try your favorite cocktail in dessert form? Mojitos, margaritas, screwdrivers, martinis, black russians, daiquiris, gin & tonics, piña coladas, mai tais and mint juleps. Mmmm.
Verrines are described by the L.A. Times as layered luxury in a glass and are defined as appetizers or desserts that consist of a number of components layered artfully in a small glass. Feast your eyes on these uniquely prepared culinary items. Prepare your own at home by following these sweet and savory recipes.
Cupcakes are so damn cute. Almost weirdly so.
(Previously on MeFi (and now with its own Flickr group))
(Previously on MeFi (and now with its own Flickr group))
Here's your weekend project: Clare Crespo's Jell-O Aquarium recipe. (More fun Clare recipes here, here, and at her site Flash and sound).
Ice cream flavors are not what they used to be. A few years ago, in Nice France, I experienced tasting lavender, and violet flavored ice cream, the wonderful flavors just blew me away. Later on in San Francisco, I found a wonderful Indian ice cream parlor, and fell in love with the cardamom, and rose flavors. When my travels take me back to Japan, I think I will try to avoid some of these incredibly strange ice cream flavors.
I thought I was the only one who giggled at the name of this British sweet treat. Traditionalists balk at changing the name, but supermarkets report sales lags because folks are embarrassed to ask for it. What would you re-name this dessert?