Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Ice Cream! (Plus it’s vegan?!)

IMG_7017Confession: I only learned that my family has a food processor a few days ago.

I know! Imagine all the pie crusts I’ve toiled over when I could’ve just quickly whipped them up in the food processor. Anyway, today I used it to make a brand new recipe for me.

I can’t think of a more iconic duo than peanut butter and banana. Add chocolate to that, and wow! The three flavors complement each other so nicely. Today, I wanted to try something quick and easy, but also delicious. This is definitely your recipe if that’s what you’re searching for. And it’s vegan!

Who knew ice cream could be vegan? I certainly didn’t, but I discovered a whole new world today. Instead of cream, milk, and sugar, I can use frozen bananas. Incredible. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (1 serving):

  • 2 sliced and frozen bananas
  • 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp raw cacao nibs
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Drizzle of agave (or maple syrup), optional

Preparation:

1. Place frozen banana slices in a food processor and run the machine until it resembles a crumb like consistency.
2. Add peanut butter, cacao nibs, sea salt and agave, and whiz a little longer until you get a soft-serve ice cream consistency.IMG_7019

And that’s it! How simple, yet how tasty! I hope you enjoy!

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Peach Cupcakes!

IMG_5378As the days towards the beginning of a new school year go by, I am constantly reminded of how quickly summer seemed to slip by. The days of eating fruit outside and sleeping in to my heart’s content are soon to be lost. Luckily for me, I decided to try out a new recipe for a “Peach Cake“. I decided to use the recipe for cupcakes to get rid of some leftover frosting I had, and they were the perfect summer treat. As my mom says, “A nice punctuation mark at the end of a nice summer.” Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 cup washed, pitted and pureed peaches

Preparation:

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract for three minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sifted flour to this creamed mixture a cup a time, alternating with the peach puree. Beat at medium speed for two minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through.

IMG_7005This is where I placed the batter into cupcake tins, but feel free to follow the original recipe here.

I would recommend these cupcakes to anyone who’s looking for one last tasty bite of summer! Or just anyone who loves good desserts. The peach flavor of the cupcakes was subtle, but still noticeable. img_5377.jpg

Some More S’mores! (Cookie Style)

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Can you say decadent? Today I was looking back on some of my older blog posts and I came across my s’mores bars. Not quite as visually appealing but I can assure you, equally as melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Anyway, after seeing that post I had the craving for s’mores that only one thing could satisfy…or maybe there’s more than the traditional graham cracker sandwich? You bet there is. Today I decided to make some s’mores cookies using a graham cracker cookie recipe and some marshmallow and chocolate.

First I made the cookies and I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients:

5 sheets graham crackers (5″ x 2.25″ graham crackers or 2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (the next time I do this I plan on using a little less than 6)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

  • Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Process the graham crackers in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until they are completely broken down into crumbs and have a sandy texture. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt and whisk to combine. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla, then stir together with a rubber spatula until just combined into a soft dough.
  • Using a spoon or cookie scoop, measure 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough from the bowl. Roll between the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place on the baking sheet. Repeat with forming the remaining dough, spacing the dough balls about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake until the cookies have spread and the edges are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a flat spatula to transfer to them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

IMG_6967Next, while the cookies were still hot, I flipped them over and placed marshmallows and chocolate chips on top. IMG_6973The inside wasn’t melting as much as I had hoped, so I popped them back in the oven using the remaining heat for baking the cookies. It worked perfectly! Who doesn’t love a nice cookie with the flavor of a childhood favorite dessert?IMG_6975

Lemon Buttercream Birthday Cake

Hi everyone! Today is a pretty special day…it’s the first time I tried this amazing cake recipe! Oh, it’s also my birthday today. In case you’re new, or you haven’t noticed, I love lemon. So what better occasion to try out a new lemon buttercream cake? I got this recipe from the Miette cookbook by Meg Ray with Leslie Jonath. This book is amazing. But like last time, I can’t directly provide you with the exact recipe. I will, however, give you some similar recipes to that like the one I used. IMG_6916

The cake was called “hot milk cake”. Again, this is not the exact recipe I used, but here is a similar one.

I made two separate cakes in order to layer them. The next step was to create a lemon simple syrup, which I brushed over the tops of the two cakes to give it an extra lemony taste.

Finally, I made a lemon buttercream frosting. Now, the recipe from Miette is really light, fluffy and amazing, so I recommend purchasing the cookbook. I did find the recipe online, however, here.

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
5 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 cups unsalted butter, at room temp
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preparation
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook the mixture until it reaches 248 degrees F, 5 to 10 minutes, keeping a constant eye on it.

2. Meanwhile, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees F, whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Slowly pour in the syrup, raise the speed to high, and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. When the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, immediately pour into a heat-proof measurer. Reduce speed to low and very carefully drizzle the syrup into the mixer bowl, away from the whisk so the hot syrup doesn’t spatter. Be careful because the syrup is very hot. When you have added all of the syrup, raise the speed to high and beat until the mixture is cool to the touch (an instant-read thermometer should register 65 to 70 degrees F), 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Only when the meringue is cool enough should you begin adding the butter. Reduce the speed to medium. With the mixer running, drop in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until each is incorporated before adding another. The mixture may deflate and begin to look curdled. Raise the speed to high and continue to add tablespoon-size pieces of butter, making sure each is completely combined before adding more. When all of the butter has been added, the frosting should be smooth and thick. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

5. Use the buttercream immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed. Store in a zippered plastic bag for up to 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer. (To thaw, leave in the refrigerator overnight, not on the countertop.) To use buttercream that has been chilled, remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour, or microwave in 15-second intervals, mixing in between each, until soft. If frosting has been frozen, this can take up to 2 minutes total. You can also soften the buttercream over a bain-marie or a double boiler. The frosting will soften from the outer edges of the bowl so mix from the outside, folding the frosting inside. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until soft and spreadable, 2 to 3 minutes.

To make it lemon: Add three tablespoons of lemon curd, per cup of vanilla buttercream.

Next, I put extra lemon curd in between a layer of cake and some buttercream frosting. IMG_6915

I then placed the other cake on top and iced the entire thing, including the sides. This was honestly one of the best cakes I’ve ever tried–and I’ve tried my fair share of cakes. Hope you all enjoy!img_6919.jpg