Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Archive for the ‘Ice Cream’ Category

Orange Tian (sort of) – March DB Challenge

Posted by osakaben41 on March 27, 2010

  It’s a strange thing, the places an idle mind will go.  I had every intention of sticking close to this months challenge recipe, but one thing leads to another and here we are.  The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.  

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Posted in Cookies, DB Challenge, Fruit, Ice Cream, Recipes | 10 Comments »

Orange Custard Tarts

Posted by osakaben41 on November 1, 2009

Orange Custard Tart

Sometimes a picture is just too good to be ignored.  A quick glance was all it took, but I just couldn’t get these tarts out of my head.  I’m going to have to keep myself from visiting Flagrante Delicia too often or I’m just going to keep recreating everything she does, just not as well.

And I tried, I really tried to put my own spin on this one.  She did an Orange custard, I’d make it with Pomelo.  Couldn’t find any though, so what about Yuzu.  Couldn’t find any of that either.  I thought about just doing this with pink grapefruit, but my father in law was coming to town and he’s not a grapefruit fan.  Back to Orange it was then. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cookies, dough, Fruit, Ice Cream, Nuts, Tarts | Leave a Comment »

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

Posted by osakaben41 on October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Reading begets more reading, and never was this more true than with these addictive food blogs.  I can’t even remember exactly how I came across Desserts Magazine, most likely somehow from Tartelette.  The pictures alone are inspiring, but when asked recently to bring a pie, “something Autumnal” to a harvest pot luck party, the pumpkin Pecan cheesecake from “the Spice Kitchen: Everyday Cooking with Organic Spices” by Sara Engram and Katie Luber, looked like the perfect fit (Recipe Below). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Ice Cream, Nuts, Pie, Recipes | Leave a Comment »

Cranberry-Walnut Tarts

Posted by osakaben41 on October 17, 2009

c-w tart

This month the majority of my baking energies have been poured into the October Daring Baker’s Challenge, the results of which are not to be published until the 27th.  Considering that as well as a general lack of sleep from trying to sleep train my 18-month-old son, I just haven’t had the energy for a serious project in awhile. 

That said, if a week goes by without something sweet and new coming out of our kitchen, my hands start to shake and I get fidgety.  To scratch this persistent itch I’ve resorted to the quick, small experiments, leaving the multilayered entremet cakes for when I’m not quite so drowsy (has anybody else ever fallen asleep standing up in the shower?)   The other night I ripped out some quick Madelines, which felt good just to get back in the groove.  To that end, I came across in our freezer some left over Citrus Tart dough from the Pear-Flan Tart a few weeks back. 

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Posted in dough, Ice Cream, Nuts, Recipes, Tarts | Leave a Comment »

Pear-Flan Tart

Posted by osakaben41 on October 5, 2009


If you want to get better at something I suppose you just need to keep working outside your comfort zone.  There are some wonderfully complicated recipes out there and the list keeps getting bigger, but until recently I had avoided Johnny Izzuni for anything other than inspiring pictures.

His website is actually a great resource, as he posts two recipes each month, an “advanced”, and a “beginner”.  The advanced ones invariably involve some obscure form of molecular gastronomy and ingredients I would probably only find at an MIT lab.  The beginner ones are still more involved than anything you’ll find in a Barefoot Contessa book (seriously, who out there has poached a pear Sou vide?) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in dough, Fruit, Ice Cream, Pastry, Recipes, Tarts | 4 Comments »

Blood Orange Gelato

Posted by osakaben41 on September 3, 2009


I came across an enlightening thread on e-gullet the other day regarding how to make respectable quenelles.  It’s a forum a number of people “in the industry” use for comparing notes, asking obscure questions, etc.  The take away was, if you want to get good at this, if you want your ice creams or mousse to look more elegant than a glob of goo on a plate, the only way to get it right is to practice practice practice.  So that’s what I’ve been up to.  

At the same time, I found some Blood Oranges, and just had to grab them while they were available.  Intending fully to make a sorbet,  I ended up with a faux gelato recipe.  As a beginner I was reluctant to go with a sorbet, given that we’re shooting for a nice workable consistency, not too hard but not melting either.  Looking for something forgiving, I went with a high-fat, and lots of air whipped in approach.

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Posted in Fruit, Ice Cream | Leave a Comment »

Passion Fruit

Posted by osakaben41 on August 30, 2009

Passion Fruit

These were a bear to find, but after a few months of scouring the Boston area, I ended up with 4 not-quite ripe Passion Fruits.  They were fairly expensive, and had to sit out for almost a week to ripen, so I felt compelled to treat them with a certain amount of respect.  I could play with bananas or apples all day long, and not think twice about throwing away failed experiments, but these were precious.

Looking around online I came across a number of recipes for Passion Fruit sauce, or simply using the seeds as a garnish.  They’re also commonly mixed into cocktails, and apparently used to complement other (presumably cheaper) fruits.  What we needed here though was something that just let the passion fruit stand on it’s own, an extended guitar solo if you will.  For a minute I thought about just doing a quick sorbet, but that just seemed too simple.
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Posted in Cookies, Fruit, Ice Cream, Tropical Fruit, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Fresh Figs

Posted by osakaben41 on August 27, 2009


If you’re anything like me, you only experience with figs is in their Newton form.  Honestly, despite some amazing photography out there, I was a babe in the woods.  Do you peel them?  Is there a bitter pith like an orange?  And what do they really taste like?

This comes up as I found myself at our local exotic fruit mecca searching for inspiration.  It’s a dangerous thing to go shopping like that without a plan, particularly for items with a limited shelf life.  What passes for self restraint these days means I was able to leave without some very cool new toys.  That said, I still had a few pints of Black Mission Figs to go with my prized passion fruit.

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Posted in Cake, Fruit, Ice Cream | 2 Comments »

Tropical Ice Cream Plate

Posted by osakaben41 on August 22, 2009

ice cream

The Cookbook library is starting to grow out of control these days, but my last remaining justification is that I’ve used each one at least once.  With that in mind, I had to get around to doing something from the amazing CIA textbook, Frozen Desserts by Francisco Migoya.  The decision to buy this one wasn’t easy at the time.  It’s expensive (but I had a coupon), the aesthetic is much more stark and modern than rustic and homey (Think Mies van der Rohe vs. This Old House), and as it was written for the professional pastry chef, calls for ingredients (Trimoline?) and tools (Pacojet?) that I don’t think my wife will let me get. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cake, Ice Cream, Tropical Fruit | 2 Comments »

Peach Melba Napoleon

Posted by osakaben41 on August 2, 2009

peach melba napoleon

It’s hot and sticky in Boston these day.  So much so that the project I had picked this week had to be abandoned.  I wanted to do something with Chocolate and Caramel, but the humidity was working against me during the early attempts.  Better to acknowledge reality, and go for something cold instead.

caramel fail

Caramel hazelnut fail.

We’re coming up on peach season now, with all the fond memories of the traditional Johnson family peach pie that involves.  A quick search for inspiration lead to the idea of reinterpreting a Peach Melba, traditionally poached peaches served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce, sometimes with toasted nuts as a garnish.

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Posted in Cookies, Ice Cream, Peach | 1 Comment »