my food & fashion journal
my food & fashion journal
Strawberry, Vanilla Bean & Brandy Gelato
I have recently become obsessed with Wilderness Poets' Superfood products. I picked up a jar of their Pure Vanilla Powder at the Home Farm Store in Middleburg, Virginia. This whole, raw, powder is created by pulverizing wildcrafted, sun dried vanilla beans.
"Vanilla stimulates general feelings of well being. it is a known mood enhancer in aroma therapy. Vanilla is used medicinally to calm nerves and an upset stomach, its soothing fragrance helps to relax in moments of stress and anxiety," says Wilderness Poets.
My favorite way to use this powder is in gelato - that first mouthful just pops, and the gelato is beautifully specked with vanilla, maintaining the benefits of the raw bean.
I prefer not to use stabilizers in my ice cream and gelato recipes (i.e. corn starch or Xantham Gum), but still want to enjoy a smooth, creamy dessert. A little bit of alcohol does the trick. For this particular recipe, vanilla and strawberries call for a touch of something sweet and caramelly. A dash of E&J VS Brandy gives just the right touch. Their flagship brandy is light bodied, with flavors of toasted brown sugar and dried fruit, adding a slight kick while also keeping the gelato from forming ice crystals.
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Powder (or 2 vanilla beans, scraped)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup diced strawberries
1 TB E&J VS Brandy
I often substitute coconut milk and cream for the dairy. It comes out slightly richer, and obviously delicious.
Blend cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla together. Add to ice cream maker (I use Cuisinart) and let churn for 25 minutes or until fluffy. Remove and with a spatula, stir in brandy and strawberries. Put in freezer for about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Kumquat season can’t start soon enough for me. Beginning in January and lasting until almost April, these mini orange-like fruits are delicate and gorgeous, and a fabulous healthy snack.
Full of Vitamins A, C, and E, kumquats are incredibly rich sources of healthy dietary fiber, minerals, and flavonoid (i.e. pigment) anti-oxidants. The peel is not only a zesty snack, its also a bite of essential oils. Combined with dark chocolate, you might as well eat them all.
1 pint kumquats, sliced into 3 or 4 pieces
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or similar Cane Syrup)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 TB granulated sugar
2 oz. 60% dark chocolate
In a small pot over low heat, stir together honey, syrup, and water. Add kumquats and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until kumquats begin to appear translucent. Remove from heat. With a slotted spoon, move each kumquat piece from the pot to a cooling rack.
Heat oven to 180 degrees. Place rack with kumquats over the same size baking sheet, and put in oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until pieces are slightly dry. Sprinkle with sugar. Allow to cool for at least two hours.
Melt chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of bowling water. As soon as the chocolate starts to melt, remove from the pot and stir until completely melted. Dip each kumquat piece halfway in chocolate and place on cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until set.