Blackberry Jam Ice Cream with White Chocolate Shavings

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In my previous blog post I made some simple yet tasty HomeMade Blackberry Jam and had a small container of leftover jam that I decide to make homemade ice cream!

Know the Difference?

  • Sorbet — contains no dairy; is very light in flavor
  • Sherbet — contains fruit, but also dairy and is lighter than ice cream
  • Frozen Yogurt — Contains dairy that has been cultured; resembles soft ice cream
  • Ice Cream — Must have at least 10% milk fat; may or may not contain eggs
  • Gelato — Ice cream with a mix of milk and sometimes cream, and eggs; boasts a dense texture.

Homemade Blackberry Jam Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • Fruit jam
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

In a medium bowl, combine milk and sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. Then, pour in the cream and egg and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn for 10-15 minutes, when the ice cream begins to freeze and thicken. Dump your fruit jam (any flavor will do!) right into the ice cream while it churns. Continue to let it mix for another 10 minutes or so. After that I just shaved a bit of white chocolate on top!

You can also use this to make a sherbet.

Homemade Blackberry Jam Sherbet

Ingredients

  • fruit jam
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1 cup cream

I  mixed all the ingredients in my Ninja Blender and placed the mixture into a container in the freezer overnight.  I just scooped out the sherbet and added a bit of more jam.

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Fun Weekend Activity!!

Just a side note I did not feel like putting this in a separate post and just another cool way to show you all how I used my leftover blackberry jam! Decided to make jam filled white chocolate snowmen and snowflakes.

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SUPER SIMPLE AND FUN TO DO WITH KIDS! Take any mould and add thin layer of chocolate to coat the base (make sure entire base is covered in chocolate). FRREZE FOR 5 MINUTES.  Then add a bit of jam and cover again with melted chocolate. FREEZE FOR 10 MINUTES.  And that’s basically it.  There you have your jam filled white chocolate :)

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Homemade Blackberry Jam

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This was just something quick I did yesterday because blackberries and raspberries were on sale at my local market.  Wanted to try a jam because I never made jam before and because I wanted a jam to use for a future baking project.  All you need are (2 cups) blackberries, (1 cup) white sugar, (2 teaspoon) cornstarch, and (1-2 tablespoon) ground cinnamon (optional)

  1. Mash blackberries in a saucepan with a potato masher. Stir in sugar until juices form; place about 1 tablespoon blackberry juice in a small bowl and stir in cornstarch. Pour cornstarch mixture into saucepan.
  2. Bring berries to a boil, stirring often, until jam is thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in cinnamon. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer jam to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. 

Simple right? Nothing to it but to do it.  I think I will use this jam for a special white chocolate baking project I will work on with my son today!

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recipe adapted from All Recipes 

DIY: Colored Sanding Sugar

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This is probably one of the most undemanding and yet fun things to do! Making colored sanding sugar is great for that extra kick when decorating your baked goods such as cakes and cupcakes.  Unfortunately, I do not record video tutorials right now (hopefully in the future) but I did find a great video on YouTube to explain the process a bit better (see below).  Let’s get started shall we!

HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • sugar (I used pure cane)
  • gel food coloring
  • plastic heavy duty zip lock bags
  • cookie sheet lined with waxed paper (or aluminum foil will do as well) 

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What you do is take equal parts amount of sugar and divide the sugar into separate zip lock bags.  Drop about 2 teaspoons of color in each bag filled with sugar and began to knead the sugar into the color with your hands/fingers. I simply just laid the bag on a flat surface (my kitchen countertop) and began to flip the bag over and over as I knead the color into the sugar. After the ingredients are well mixed pour the sugar onto a wax paper lined baking sheet.

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Set the oven on 350 degrees and bake for about 10 minutes.  When done the sugar will be a bit hard and stuck together.  That is fine and ok.  Just break it up with any utensil you can find.  I used a fork and the bottom of a tiny tin steel cup.

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Overall I am happy with how the sugar came out (wish it were a bit shinier) and cannot wait to use it for a future baking project.

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Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Mini Cheesecakes

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Yesterday I blogged a little bit about my baking frenzy I went into, which happens a lot this time of year.  So besides the Butterscotch Fudge Bites I made yesterday I also made some mini cheesecakes.  Instead of using regular cream cheese for a typical cheesecake recipe I decided to use the brown sugar & cinnamon flavored cream cheese for these tasty tiny cakes.  **Again I always reduce my serving sizes in my recipes so the below ingredients calls for 6 mini cheesecakes

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What You Need

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used Honey Graham Crackers)
1/4 cup sugar & 2 tablespoons  (white or brown)
3 Tablespoons of  butter or margarine, melted
1 package (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened (I bought Brown Sugar & Cinnamon) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup blueberries (any berry is optional) 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini cheesecake pan with cooking spray. MIX graham crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottoms of paper-lined muffin cups or tray. 
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BEAT cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add egg mixing on low speed until blended. Spoon over crusts.
BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
I also cooked some cranberries to top over the cakes.  I just cooked them in water, brown and white sugar and a bit of Jamaican Rum extract.
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They need to cook for only about 5 minutes on medium heat.  After that just pour over your cakes with a spoon! I actually sprinkled some cocoa powder and powdered sugar on some of the cakes, but you can top yours with any zest or toppings. Delicious!
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Recipe adapted from Kraft 

Butterscotch Fudge Bites

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Another baking whim I am on today (definitely happens around this time every year)!  Today I am baking a few things at once.  One of them are Butterscotch Fudge Bites.  I adapted this from a Pumpkin Spice Fudge recipe I saw online but couldn’t find the Pumpkin Spice Instant Pudding Mix at my local grocery store so I choose the Butterscotch flavor instead.  Below are the ingredients and measurements I used.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted melted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4oz baking white chocolate (I used half of a Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bar)
  • 3.4 oz box pumpkin spice instant pudding mix (I used 1oz JELL-O Butterscotch Pudding Mix) 
  • 7 oz jar marshmallow creme (I only used half the jar)   

In large heavy saucepan, heat butter, cream, sugar and salt on medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When it begins to boil, set timer for 5 minutes. Continue stirring while mixtures is at a rolling boil.

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Remove from heat. Quickly whisk in white chocolate, pudding mix and marshmallow creme. Whisk until fully blended (one to two minutes). Pour into a parchment paper lined 13×9 baking dish. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. (Again the original recipe quantity was larger I just cut the amounts in half so I only left my fudge in the fridge for about 90 minutes)

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Remove from pan, remove parchment paper, and place on large cutting board. Cut into bite sized pieces. (I did not have parchment paper I used aluminum foil and sprayed with a non stick baking spray.  I also did not have a regular circle cookie cutter so I used the rim of a wine glass to cut out my fudge bites)

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You can drizzle or top your fudge bites with WHATEVER you want.  I took some Oreo cookies and Honey Graham crackers and crushed some on top and also drizzled some warm white chocolate on top.  You can enjoy these sweet treats immediately or store in covered container in refrigerator.

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The Baking Blues: Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

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Baking just because its cold and raining today and the heat is not working and my son woke up with an incredible amount of energy today and because well….I just love chocolate! I noticed my last few posts have been about chocolate (the obsession is REAL).  I just started with a basic simple Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe and quickly noticed I didn’t have a few ingredients but that did not stop me!

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder (I didn’t have any on hand so I used NESTLE cocoa powder from hot chocolate packets we had…don’t judge me)
3/4 cup superfine sugar (I used pure cane sugar) 
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling (I also used green sugar for topping for a festive/holiday look)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used Vanilla Butternut)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into a large bowl. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring jug. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, remembering that a lumpy batter makes the best muffins. Spoon into the prepared muffin cases. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top and then bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are dark, risen and springy. (Mines baked for about 15-16 mins) 

Nothing to beat the cold like a nice warm muffin from the oven. Stay warm!

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Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

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Just because its cold, aka 60 degrees, and in my mind Christmas is a few days away I decided to make some hot chocolate!  Nothing really special just heat some milk on the stove on medium heat.  I added some white chocolate (stir until melted) along with 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1-2 tsp sugar to taste and a bit of mini marshmallows. Add some red food coloring along with whip cream (optional).  Very simple drink for the holidays!

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Butter Pecan Toffee Cake with Coffee Butter Frosting

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Pecan Browned-Butter Coffee Cake

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter
2 cups pecan halves or pieces, toasted and finely chopped
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flou
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used cake flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extarct (I used Vanilla Butternut)
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt)
2 cups milk (I used 1 cup whole milk; 1 cup almond milk)
Bake at 350 Degrees for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan.
The original recipe was confusing so I just mixed my dry and wet ingredients separately and then combined together and mixed.  I also added some chopped pecans and HEALTH Toffee bits to the batter
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For the frosting I made COFFE BUTTER FROSTING
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
In a small bowl (I used my Ninja), stir together the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. In another bowl, beat the butter until creamy, gradually beat in the sugar mixture, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl, occasionally. Finally stir in the coffee, and beat until smooth.
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For the topping, in a small bowl combine 3/4 cup of the pecans, 3/4 cup of the toffee bits, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and the 2 teaspoons flour. Add 3 tablespoons of browned butter and work in with fingers or a fork until mixture is crumbly; set aside. Place desired amount on top of cake.
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Holiday Baking

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Since Christmas is around the corner, aka 7 weeks away, I decided to get a head start on some holiday baking.  I was in the mood to do some experimenting with a few tie-dye techniques I had seen online earlier in the week.  I saw a couple of tie-dye cakes and wanted to make one but with a Holiday theme.  So today I have just been doing trial by error baking rounds!

First up you want to make batter for a simple vanilla cake. 

Ingredients:

CAKE

  • 2 cups of cake flour (you can use all-purpose as well)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (cow’s milk; or soy milk; or almond milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

After making the batter you will want to separate it into two bowls.  This is where the food coloring begins.  I choose red and green because those are the two traditional colors.  After that is completed I take the batter and transfer it into plastic bags (cut off tips with scissors for piping effect).  I began to take the batter and squeeze equal amounts of green and red batter throughout the cake pan.

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Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch cake pan with butter or non-stick spray. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Beat in the butter one heaping 1/4 teaspoonful at a time, using an electric mixer set on low speed, until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles fine damp sand. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and milk, and beat on medium-high, just until blended. Do not overbeat.
  3. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven — 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

**A few things to remember.  If you do not have cake flour on hand you can always make it yourself it’s super simple!  For every 1 cup of flour remove 2 Tbsp of flour. Now add 2 Tbsp of Cornstarch for every 1 cup of flour. (replacing the tablespoons of flour taken out).  Sift 5-6 times and it’s ready-to-use cake flour.  I just used a fork but you can use a sifter or strainer! 

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After you take your cake out the oven and let it cool, then you can proceed to use any holiday cookie cutters you may have available! I had some powdered sugar handy so I just sprinkled some over the Xmas trees and Gingerbread men.  I had so much leftover batter I decided to make some cupcakes as well.

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While I let those bake, I had bought a really cool chocolate molding tray on sale for $1 from Wal-Mart, so I took some white chocolate and melted it in the microwave.  Dyed it light blue to have an ‘ice cold blue’ effect and molded the chocolate into little snowmen and snowflakes.

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Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes & Egg Muffins

Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Glaze

Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Glaze

Weekend is upon us so that means a lot of you will be headed to a fabulous brunch.  However if you don’t have the cash or time to head to a trendy cafe or restaurant try these two super easy recipes for breakfast or brunch.  I love to make a big breakfast for my family on the weekends but wanted to make something yummy for them so decided on chocolate pancakes with blueberries (topped with a sweet blueberry glaze) and some egg muffins.  Again I don’t always follow a recipe and I always go for what I have in the fridge or try to alter the ingredients to my liking.  I had originally wanted to make blueberry waffles but our waffle maker is missing and I had some Hershey’s Cocoa Powder left over from a baking experiment and wanted to use some of that.

CHOCOLATE PANCAKES: 

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used flour plus 1/4 cup of Hershey’s Cocoa Powder) 
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk, plus more if needed
1 cup sour cream (I used vanilla greek yogurt for substitute) 
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used Vanilla Butternut) 
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the milk, sour cream, half the melted butter and the vanilla extract, whisking to blend. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into it. Whisk the ingredients together just until blended. Fold the blueberries into the batter.  Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and cook pancakes 2-3 minutes on each side.

(via Trisha Yearwood Southern Kitchen) 

Chocolate batter with blueberries thrown in

Chocolate batter with blueberries thrown in

Next up was to make the Blueberry Glaze Sauce for the pancakes.  The original recipe called for:
1/2 cup water - 1/2 cup white sugar - 1/2 cup frozen blueberries 

(FYI I used less water about 3/4 cup, cut down the white sugar to about 1/4 cup and I added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of Jamaican Rum Extract)  

**Stir water, sugar, and blueberries together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the berries begin to pop and the syrup thickens, about 10 minutes.

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For the Egg Muffins you just basically prepare your eggs as you usually do before cooking them and just place them in a muffin pan (be sure to coat with cooking spray before putting in oven or you can use cupcake liners as well).  I used maple syrup sausage, cheddar cheese, a little bit of sweet onions, a bit of peppers and salt & pepper for taste in my egg muffins.  Next time I think I will add more stuff I want to try andouille sausage and mix some more ingredients to the mix.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350° degrees.

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