Tiramisu Ice Cream Popsicles

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Coffee desserts are the best, often because I use them as an excuse to have them for breakfast. I mean, gotta have my coffee in the morning! One way or another! This time, I made a coffee ice cream and mascarpone/vanilla cream. And froze them in popsicle molds. Drizzle them with dark chocolate and sprinkled them with crushed ladyfingers. A great way to cool down this summer.

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This recipe makes 10 popsicles.

Ingredients:

For the ice cream:

1 cup of cream

1 ½ cups of milk

2 egg yolks

½ cup of sugar

2 shots of espresso

For the mascarpone cream:

100gr of mascarpone, at room temperature

1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

½ cup of whipping cream

2 tablespoons of sugar

Extras:

100grs of dark chocolate, melted

5 lady fingers, crushed

 

Start by making the ice cream base. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

Place the milk, cream and espresso in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, take it off the heat. Slowly pour it into the yolk mixture while whisking. Then transfer it back to the saucepan over medium heat. Stir for about 5 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. You know it’s ready when you draw a line with your finger on the back of a spoon and it stays. Allow it to cool down to room temperature and then place it in the fridge till it is cold.

Freeze it in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I churned it for a shorter time than I would normally do since it is easier to fill the popsicle molds if the ice cream is a bit softer.

While the ice cream is churning, start to make the mascarpone cream. Whisk the mascarpone with the sugar and vanilla until everything is well combined. Then add the cream and whisk until you get soft peaks. Keep it in the fridge covered until ready to use.

Once the ice cream is ready, carefully fill the popsicle molds, leaving about 1/4 of space left for the mascarpone cream. Then top the molds with the mascarpone cream. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

The next day, remove the popsicles from the mold using a bit of warm water. Drizzle with some melted dark chocolate and then quickly sprinkle some of the crushed lady fingers. Enjoy!

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Clam Chowder

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I love how filling and flavorful chowders can be. They also bring back good memories for me since they remind of the times when I lived in the States. I love the mix of flavors of the clams, smoked bacon, corn and potatoes. Some of my favorite things together in one bowl.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

600grs of clams, scrubbed

7 slices of smoked bacon

Kernels of 2 corns on the cob or about 1 cup of frozen corn

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ cup of white wine

1 leek, finely sliced (white part and light green part only)

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

500gr of potatoes (not the kind for mashing), peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 ½ litter of vegetable stock

250ml of heavy cream

Celery salt

Pinch of onion powder

Extras:

Fresh thyme leaves

Chopped chives

Crusty bread

 

Rinse the clams under cold water for a couple of minutes. Discard of any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.

Bring the stock to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the clams and cook them until they open. This will only take a few minutes.  Then remove the clams with a slotted spoon, discard of any that haven’t open and set them aside to cool down a bit.

In the meanwhile, transfer the stock to a large bowl. Be careful if there is a bit of sand left from the clams at the bottom, make sure if there is not to transfer it to the bowl.

Remove the clams from the shell and chop them. Keep them in the fridge until ready to use.

Cook the bacon slices in a large pan with no oil over medium heat. Cook until crispy and reserve the fat. Chop the bacon slices into small pieces and set it aside.

In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and bacon fat over medium heat. Add the leek and shallot. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until they become a bit transparent and soft. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the onion powder, celery salt and white wine. Stir until half of the wine has evaporated. Add the potatoes and the stock. Cook for about 25 minutes.

Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Then add the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Finally add the clams and let them warm up for an extra minute.

Adjust the salt to your liking.

Serve the chowder among 3 bowls. Sprinkle with the bacon pieces, chopped chives and a few fresh thyme leaves. Eat it with some crusty bread slices.

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Tiramisu Pancakes

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I’ve been craving Tiramisu for a while now and while I was planning this weekend’s breakfasts, tiramisu popped back into my head. So tiramisu pancakes it was. I added some coffee and cacao powder to the pancake batter and made a mascarpone cream to go along with it. Such a delicious way to start the weekend!

This recipe makes 12 medium pancakes.

Ingredients:            

For the pancake batter:

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup of buttermilk

2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoon of instant coffee

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the mascarpone cream:

250grs of mascarpone at room temperature

2/3 cup of whipping cream

4 teaspoons of Port or Marsala wine

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

8 tablespoons of powdered sugar or more to taste

Extras:

Extra butter for cooking the pancakes

Cocoa powder

Strawberries

 

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whisk the egg whites with half of the sugar until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and vanilla. Then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, instant coffee, butter and buttermilk. Whisk until combined.

Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Then add half of the remaining egg white and fold it in. Finally fold in the remaining egg white.

Add some butter to a large pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the pan is hot, pour about 1/3 of a cup onto the pan to make each pancake. Let it cook until the top part starts bubbling and the edges start to dry. Then flip it and cook until lightly brown. Repeat for the remaining batter.

To make the mascarpone cream, whisk the mascarpone with the whipping cream until smooth. Then add the port, vanilla and sugar. Mix until everything is combined.

If you want to serve the mascarpone cream in between each pancake in a stack, I suggest that you let the pancakes cool down a bit otherwise they will melt the cream too fast. If you want the pancakes really warm, just serve some of the cream on the side. Sprinkle some cacao powder and add some strawberries. Enjoy!

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Beet Latkes with Avocado Cream

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This is a super easy recipe, the latkes come out crispy and I love the combination of the beets with this avocado, sour cream and horseradish sauce.

This recipe makes 12 small latkes.

Ingredients:

For the latkes:

3 medium beets

1 egg

½ cup of crushed Matzo crackers

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Pinch of celery salt

For the avocado cream:

1 avocado

2 teaspoons of sour cream

½ teaspoon of horseradish

Juice of half a lime

Salt to taste

Extra:

Olive oil for pan-frying

 

To make the avocado cream, just blend all of the ingredients together and set it aside.

Peel and shred the beets. Squeeze them as much as you can to remove excess moisture.

Line a plate with a few pieces of paper towels, spread the beets on top and then place a few more layers of paper towels on top of the beets. Press with your hands. Microwave the beets for 1 minute. This will dry them a bit more.

Remove the beets from the plate with the paper towels, and place them in a large bowl. Mix the beets with the egg, crushed Matzo crackers and spices.

Add about 1/3 cup of olive oil to a large pan. Add about 2 tablespoons of the beet mixture forming a fritter. Use a spatula to flatten it. I did 4 at a time.  Fry them until golden on both sides. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve the latkes with the avocado cream. Enjoy!

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Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Butternut Squash Béchamel

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It’s been too long since I’ve made cannelloni. I was at an Italian store the other day getting squid ink pasta for another recipe and when I saw boxes of cannelloni, I just had to get one. I stuffed them with ricotta and spinach, and made a butternut squash béchamel sauce to cover them. I could eat pasta everyday!

This recipe serves 4.

For the filling:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

300gr of fresh spinach

Pinch of onion powder

Salt

Pepper

500grs of ricotta

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of cayenne

For the béchamel:

3 tablespoons of butter

Pinch of garlic powder

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

5 cups of milk

1 medium butternut squash

40grs of grated Parmesan

Extras:

16 cannelloni

40grs of grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top

Fresh sage leaves (optional)

Vegetable oil to fry the sage leaves(optional)

 

For the butternut squash, slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take out the seeds and place the chunks on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, be careful when you remove the plastic wrap so that the steam coming out doesn’t burn you. Spoon out the flesh of the squash and place it on a medium bowl. Set it aside.

Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach has wilted. Then place the spinach on a sieve with a bowl underneath and press to get rid of most of the liquid. Set it aside.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of garlic powder and the flour. Stir for 2 minutes. Then add the milk and stir until it thickens, about 6 minutes. Add the cooked butternut squash and Parmesan. Blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste for salt.

To finish making the filling, mix the wilted spinach with the ricotta in a bowl. Add the lemon pepper, cayenne, pepper and salt. Mix well.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Place the ricotta filling in a piping bag and fill each cannelloni with it.

Grease with some olive oil a medium oven dish and add about 3 ladles of the béchamel. Spread the cannelloni over the sauce. Cover them with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan all over. Bake it for 40 minutes until golden.

If you want, you can fry some sage leaves in a small pan with vegetable oil, then place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Then use them to decorate the dish.

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Pecan Pasta Sauce

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I love this rich pecan sauce. It’s not something I eat very often but when I do, it is so satisfying. Especially during these cold months.  It is one of those dishes that I would ask my mom to make me as a kid. But with time I kind of forgot about it.  It is not until a couple of years ago that I started to make it. It is super easy to make.This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

3 medium white onions, sliced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 sprigs of thyme

1 garlic clove, minced

100gr of pecans, chopped

250ml cream

½ cup of milk

40gr of grated parmesan

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

¼ cup of the pasta cooking water

400gr of the pasta of your choice

 

Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pan. Add the sliced onions and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Then lower the heat and cook for another 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, pecans, cream and milk. Stir and then put it all in a blender. Add the grated parmesan and blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package.  Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water to loosen up the sauce.

Add the reserved pasta water to the sauce and mix until combined.

Mix the cooked pasta with the sauce and serve it right away. If you want, you can add a bit of chopped pecans and some thyme leaves to decorate the plate.