Batter Licker

December 5, 2011

gingered pear sorbet

San Francisco has handed me some winter sorbet weather recently: very sunny skies, and strong but warm winds.

Back when I lived in Los Angeles, we called it Santa Ana winds, but I don’t think the same lingo applies to Northern California. Up here, people call it earthquake weather. But that’s a bit over-dramatic and scare tactic-y for my taste. Hence, I’m calling it winter sorbet weather.

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While raspberry zinfandel sorbet absolutely knocked it out of the park for Thanksgiving dessert, I must admit I might never have gone down that road had I not first experimented with the overabundance of Warren and Bosc pears I received courtesy of Frog Hollow Farm.

In an effort to ensure they didn’t go bad, which is a problem I constantly face with pears even though I love the juicy fruit, I put some to use in a sorbet.

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My inspiration came from a scoop of pear sorbet I had enjoyed a little over a year ago in Paris on a brisk Autumn day. It wasn’t too sweet, but tasted exactly as I imagined a juicy, frozen pear would. (more…)

November 29, 2011

raspberry zinfandel sorbet

You already know I’m an ice cream girl. To clarify, when I say “ice cream,” I mean it in the broadest sense, including sorbets, frozen yogurts, semifreddos, popsicles, granitas and mostly any other soft, scoopable, meltable, spoon- or lick-worthy frozen treats.

So when it was hinted that maybe I could bring a dessert for Thanksgiving dinner, in addition to my updated, real cheese-including, non-”cheese product” version of my family’s traditional cheesy broccoli dish, which I totally botched because it turned out way more mushroomy than cheesy in flavor; although I love mushrooms, so that’s not entirely a tragedy; in fact, I’m using the leftover cheesy, mushroomy sauce, which I made four times too much of, for a lasagna this week … anyway, where was I?

Oh, right! I had a dessert brainstorming breakdown.

And a totally unjustified sobbing fit. I wouldn’t normally cry over a lack of dessert ideas, but I was sick! And I had a feeling my standard, easy go-tos – toffee and fudge – were out because my mom was likely to make a surprise batch or two.

I might have settled on baked goods. But the weekend before Thanksgiving, we had Friendsgiving, and I had baked some incredible butternut squash cupcakes with maple-sage goat cheese frosting. For some reason, I didn’t feel like baking more of them for Thanksgiving – probably because I had eaten the handful of leftover cupcakes over the past few days.

They were rich. They were savory-sweet. And I was a horribly selfish person because I didn’t think any other baked good could ever top them, and yet I refused to make them for Thanksgiving. They could have been perfect for it – they were so chock full of Fall flavors that they were practically made for Thanksgiving. But in retrospect, after a day of feasting and several platefuls of stuffing, cupcakes would have been way too much.

But sorbet was juuuuuuuuust riiiight (à la Goldilocks and the Three Bears). (more…)

December 20, 2010

chocolate ice cream with candy cane swirl

When the holidays rolled around during my childhood, the festive treat I looked forward to most was quite simple: a mug of hot cocoa with a candy cane in it. The candy cane would dangle into the warm, milk chocolaty liquid, slowly melting away. Some sips were more cocoa-intense, while others were gently infused with candy cane flavor, but the mug always seemed to empty sooner than I expected, leaving me anxious for the next evening’s drinkable dessert.

This ice cream is an ode to those candy cane hot cocoa-filled nights of my childhood, bringing that warm drink to a new, delightfully creamy and frozen level.

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Unlike the usual candy cane ice creams floating around there at this time of year, this one is not overloaded with peppermint, which seems to happen when the ice cream base is peppermint flavored or when chopped bits of candy cane are evenly distributed throughout the ice cream.

Instead, my version uses a chocolate ice cream base with a candy cane ribbon running through that base. (more…)

July 9, 2010

easy chocolate chip-coconut ice cream with roasted cherries

Filed under: dessert,ice cream — Tags: , , , , , — Kristen @ 7:47 pm

No offense, cake, but in my heart of hearts, I’m an ice cream gal. My ice cream fanaticism probably started with trips to Thrifty’s on hot summer days when my mom would treat my then-pint-sized self to a scoop of rainbow sherbet and my younger sister Kate to a scoop of strawberry or chocolate something-or-another ice cream. No sharing required.

And sometimes during those ice cream indulgences, my mom would even give me a dime – though it’s probably several quarters, nowadays – to get one of those sticky hand toys out of the mini vending machines at the drug store, which I could then use to amuse myself – and annoy my silly little sister – for hours after the ice cream had disappeared because, clearly, her forehead was meant to be a target.

My love for ice cream was so deep at such a young, innocent age that shameless adults could leverage the frozen treat as a bribing mechanism. Just ask my Uncle Bill. (more…)

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