Simple

Ice Cream Cupcakes

Baking can be a pain sometimes. The measurements have to be exact, technique should be on point and timing is everything. But sometimes all you wanna do is throw some stuff together and expect it to be magical -- no tireless measuring, no worries about over or under baking, just a straightforward recipe with no tricks and gimmicks. Enter: Ice Cream Cupcakes. 
My discovery of Rose Water happened while visiting a Lebanese bakery right down the street from our home called Fadia’s (who also have the best Baklava in town HANDS DOWN) -- and have been adding it to everything ever since. A few droplets in tea, a couple sprinkles on a fruit salad, and now used as the perfect compliment for this dreamy cupcake.
I made them miniature because they make me feel dainty and because it’s easier to reason with yourself about eating 4 miniature cupcakes instead of 4 regular cupcakes. But by all means, feel free to make them standard size -- simply just double the ice cream and number of vanilla wafers to 2 per cupcake and add a capful of rosewater to each cupcake until the wafers are almost thoroughly soaked.
-----------serving size: 24 miniature raspberry ice cream cupcakes or 12 standard sized cupcakes

  • 24 1 1/2 inch diameter foil lined cupcake liners
  • 24 vanilla wafers (round)
  • 1 bottle rose water (10 oz)
  • 2 pints vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries (set aside 12 for garnish)
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

The recipe is easy: line each mini cupcake liner with a vanilla wafer and add half a capful of rose water or until the wafer is thoroughly soaked. Place a couple of fresh raspberries in each liner then using a 1-TB scooper or a small spoon, fill each liner with a scoop of vanilla ice cream -- about ¾ full. Smooth out the surface using the back of a spoon and place in the freezer for at least an hour. Meanwhile, make the frosting. When ready to serve, simply frost using either a ziplock bag or icing bag and garnish with cookie crumbs and fresh raspberries.

For the frosting: In a small bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. You can use an electric beater or by hand using a whisk. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth and gradually mix with the whipped cream by gently folding a little at a time until mixed thoroughly. Place into either a ziplock bag or a regular pastry bag -- you can be creative with your designs by using different tips. I was lazy and didn't use one at all :)

**I recommend using double lined cupcake cups as they can get a little messy when eating :) Here are the ones that I used.

**It's easier to let your ice cream slightly soften before placing into cupcake liners. That way it's easier to add the raspberries and flatten out the surface.

Ice Cream Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 75 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 10
Ice Cream Cupcakes with fresh Raspberries, vanilla bean ice cream, a rose water crust and whipped cream cheese frosting.
Ingredients
  • 24 1.5 -inch diameter foil lined cupcake liners
  • 24 vanilla wafers (round)
  • 1 bottle rose water (10 oz)
  • 2 pints vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries (set aside 12 for garnish)
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. The recipe is easy: line each mini cupcake liner with a vanilla wafer and add half a capful of rose water or until the wafer is thoroughly soaked. Place a couple of fresh raspberries in each liner then using a 1-TB scooper or a small spoon, fill each liner with a scoop of vanilla ice cream -- about ¾ full. Smooth out the surface using the back of a spoon and place in the freezer for at least an hour. Meanwhile, make the frosting. When ready to serve, simply frost using either a ziplock bag or icing bag and garnish with cookie crumbs and fresh raspberries.
  2. For the frosting: In a small bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. You can use an electric beater or by hand using a whisk. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth and gradually mix with the whipped cream by gently folding a little at a time until mixed thoroughly. Place into either a ziplock bag or a regular pastry bag -- you can be creative with your designs by using different tips. I was lazy and didn't use one at all :)
  3. **I recommend using double lined cupcake cups as they can get a little messy when eating :) Here are the ones that I used.

Trio of Salsas - Roasted Tomatillo, Spicy Habanero, and Pico de Gallo

Before I start, I'd like to take a moment of silence for my beloved dog, Gogo.  He was put down today due to a failing heart-- he was 12 years old.  He was not only the best dog in the world but my best friend as well.  I've had him since I was 13 and literally took him everywhere I went til I moved out for college at 18. Untitled-1

He never failed to make me laugh with the way his tongue never fit in his mouth, or how he was a vicious little shit for something that only weighed 10 pounds ( I am pretty sure he's taken a bite out of the majority of my friends).  But most importantly of all, he was my best companion and has been there for me through thick and thin.  He knew when I was sad, he would lick away my tears and give me a look of " everything will be alright" .  He always gave me the best greetings when I came home, he'd hop on his hind legs and yap as loud as he could, barely being able to contain his excitement.  He was probably my biggest fan.  I will miss you Gogo and I know you are happy in Heaven.  Thank you for being my best friend for all these years -- for making me laugh and smile, for melting away any anger or sadness, and for understanding me when no one else did.  I love you.

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I just came back from a wonderful camping trip this weekend, I will be doing a post on it soon.  I prepared a bunch of salsa to bring since it is easy to eat and take a long.  I made three types - Roasted Tomatillo, Spicy Habanero and your traditional Pico de Gallo.  I actually learned all three of these recipes while working in restaurant kitchens from my fellow Hispanic coworkers.  These go great with chips or on top of some breakfast tacos or eggs in the morning.  You can control the spiciness of the salsa by the number of peppers you add in -- my fiance and I are capsaicin masochist so we enjoy making it EXTREMELY spicy but for the recipes I have cut down the number of peppers so my readers will not complain about extreme heartburn and other spicy surprises that come hand in hand with spicy food.  O_O

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A few things you should know about peppers:

  • For fresh peppers, choose ones that are firm and bright to dark green in color, avoid any bruises.
  • For dried peppers, pick ones that are flexible and do not crumble when you squeeze them in your hand and ones that are uniform in color (red to reddish dark brown).
  • The capsaicin is stored mostly in the seeds and the ribs of the peppers, so if you are not a big fan of spiciness but still would like the flavor of the peppers, remove as much of the seeds and ribs as you can.
  • Some peppers will develop "corking", or small stress stripes on the skin-- (i.e.Jalapenos, Habaneros) this means they are ripe and ready to use.

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Ingredients for Roasted Tomatillo:

  • 8-12 tomatillos, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 3 serrano peppers, rib and seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeno, rib and seeds removed
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 lime squeezed
  • salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

For the Roasted Tomatillo salsa, take a large roasting pan and line with foil or parchment paper.  Coat the tomatillos and garlic evenly with the oil and roast for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and carefully empty the contents, juices and all, into a blender.  Blend on high with garlic, onion, cilantro, and peppers.  Add lime juice and salt to taste.

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Ingredients for Spicy Habanero:

  • 1 cup Japanese dried chiles
  • 1 cup dried Ancho chiles
  • 4-6 medium sized tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 cloves  garlic
  • 4 habanero chiles, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 serrano chiles, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste

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Pre-heat oven to 400F.

For the Spicy Habanero salsa, take a large roasting pan and line with foil or parchment paper.  Coat the tomatoes and 4 cloves of garlic evenly with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes.  Boil water in large pot.  Heat a large saucepan at medium heat and toast the dried chiles with the remaining garlic, about 5 minutes. (This helps bring out the smokiness of the salsa) Reduce the heat if chiles start burning,  be careful not to burn the chiles too much or it will make the salsa bitter.  Immediately take the toasted chiles and place in the boiling water for 5 minutes, this process rehydrates them.  Remove from heat and pour contents into blender.  Add additional peppers, cilantro and sugar and blend on high.  Add salt to taste.

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Ingredients for Pico de Gallo:

  • 4-5 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 medium purple onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • salt to taste

Mix all of the chopped ingredients in a bowl and marinate in lime juice, at least 15 minutes.  Add salt to taste.

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You can always adjust the spiciness and saltiness of the salsas to your personal preference.  If you like thicker salsas you can add more tomatoes or peppers and if you like thinner salsas simply add more water.  These are really simple dips to make for large dinner parties, or in my case, a camping trip.  :)