Popcorn and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Yes, you read it right, Popcorn and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. This recipe was inspired by my love of mixing popcorn and snow caps at the movies. Ever since I can remember, that is what I always ate, until the stopped selling snow caps. But I did not let that stop me; I would buy my pack at CVS and then sneak them into the theater ; ).

However, I am sure you are wondering why I would think to make this into ice cream. Well here is my story… in 2008 my husband and I went to San Francisco for my birthday and on the plane ride home, I sat next to a man that was telling me about his experience at French Laundry. After raving about the restaurant, he told us about the most original dessert he had eaten, popcorn ice cream. That stayed with me for quite some time until I created this recipe.

I not only have a passion for cooking the classics and make them my own, but I also love creating things that are out of the box, and this is one of those recipes.

Place a bag of “movie theater butter” popcorn in the microwave and follow the instructions. Pour the milk, cream, and sugar in a medium-size pot on medium-low heat until the sugar melts and then remove from the heat. Add all the popcorn to the milk mixture and let stand for 15 minutes. This will infuse the milk with the flavor of the popcorn.

Remove the popcorn with a skimmer and discard in the garbage (unless that looks appetizing to you – lol – have at it). Allow the milk mixture to cool completely in the refrigerator for another 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the cream has cooled, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker as it is running. I have the Cuisinart and it works well! If you have questions, leave me a comment and I will respond.

So with this ice cream maker, it takes about 30 minutes to double up in size and get thicker. Once it looks like it may start coming out of the machine is when you turn it off. With the machine off, pour the chocolate chips and then mix with a large spoon. At this point, the ice cream is soft enough to mix.

Once you have all the chips you want in there, then you want to transfer to a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. For best results, leave in the freezer overnight.

Be sure to make enough to share. Here at my house, this batch went in 2 days. ENJOY!

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Banana Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream

Banana bread is my staple recipe, so what better way to make them then as individual cupcakes.  When you make banana bread, it’s a little different because, you slice a piece and then you can add butter, cream cheese or honey. However, like a cupcake, you need a little somethin, somethin…I decided on honey, cinnamon buttercream. The frosting is so good, I need to create a few other recipes to add it to.

I am always experimenting with my banana bread recipe and while creating this one, I added poppy seeds. Well, needless to say, it was a great addition!

These are simple to make, but having ripe bananas are very important to the flavor and texture. You want the skin of the banana to be yellow with a few black specs. If there is a large bruising, don’t worry, just cut that part out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees before starting to prep the recipe. This always allows enough time for the oven to reach temperature, by the time you are done. 

Also, line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners to have those ready. You can also prep a 24-cup muffin pan if you want smaller cupcakes. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. You can use a hand mixer if you want or simply use a rubber spoon. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Once everything is mixed together, add the poppy seeds and stir.

Scoop the batter into each individual liner using a scoop spoon; if you are using the 12-cup muffin pan, use a 5 cm scooper and if using the 24-cup muffin pan, use the 4 cm scooper.

Place in the oven and bake about 25 – 30 minutes for 12 or 24 cupcakes. I always start with a smaller amount of time and then test with a toothpick. If still not cooked through, I continue to cook in 5-minute intervals.

Remove cupcakes from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack and let cool completely (30 minutes to an hour). 

Pipe the buttercream frosting on each individual cupcake and ENJOY!

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Glazed Pineapple Cake

When I think of spring dessert, I think pineapple cake. Why? It is the perfect tropical dessert and since I’m Cuban, tropical is in my blood.

I always have canned fruits in my pantry because there is always some recipe I can create with them, pineapples are one of them.

Start by mixing the sugar, butter, vanilla extract, milk and eggs and beat well with a handheld mixer. You want to be able to see a figure eight on the mixture and it should look creamy.

Stir in the pineapple with a spoon until well incorporated (reserve the liquid of the pineapple for the glaze later).

In a separate bowl, you want to sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. I usually use a fine strainer if you don’t have a sifter and it does the job just fine.

Slowly mix the dry ingredients with the wet until everything is smooth and then pour into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze for the cake. Simply add the pineapple juice to the powdered sugar and mix. For a thicker glaze add more powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time).

With a toothpick check and see if the cake is ready. You will know when there is no residue left on the toothpick. If you don’t have a toothpick, you can use a knife and make a small incision.

You want to let the cake cool a little before you remove from the pan, about 15 to 20 minutes. With a knife or an icing spatula, simply go around the edges of the cake to separate from the wall of the pan.

Take a large plate and place over the pan and then flip over and the cake will pop out. If for some reason it is a little stuck, give it a soft pat until it pops out.

Let the cake cool before pouring on the glaze, another 15 – 30 minutes. I like to reserve some glaze to pour on each individual slice.

This goes great with a good, hot cup of coffee!

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Arroz Con Leche

This is a classic dessert in most Cuban restaurants and for a reason. If you have never tried this because you think rice should not be eaten as a dessert, you are missing out. This is a very tasty dessert and a little goes a long way. 

This dessert is rich and creamy, so the creamier the better. To start, you can use whatever rice grain you want, however, I like to use Valencia rice. It’s a smaller grain and I prefer that to the longer grained rice. 

Next is the milk. You can certainly use low-fat milk, but the consistency that this dessert deserves won’t be anywhere near what it should be. Try not to think about calories with this dessert. 

Your next option is a cinnamon stick or cinnamon powder. I have used both and the only difference is the color the dessert will have at the end. The cinnamon powder will give it a little dark color vs. the cinnamon stick will just give it a slightly darker tone. The flavor is still there! 

When you are cooking the rice, make sure to continue to stir the milk. You want to avoid the milk boiling over the pot. Not only does it make a mess, but the ratio will be off. If that happens, don’t worry, you can either add a little milk and voila. 

Once you have added the condensed milk, make sure to refrigerate the dessert in either individual serving cups or in a large container for at least 2 hours. Also, note that the arroz con leche will thicken more, so do not fret if it does not seem to be as thick as you want when you remove from the heat. 

SUGGESTIONS: Try making this dish for the holidays and surprise everyone with what may very well be their new favorite dessert. 

 

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Pouring the condensed milk into the Arroz Con Leche

Cinnamon Peach Dessert

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Have you noticed how craving dessert after a meal becomes more pronounced when you are trying to lose weight? If you do not then you are lucky, because it seems to happen to me a lot! It’s almost as if a meal is not complete unless you finish it with a dessert. However, what I realized is dessert can be healthy!

This recipe was created from one of those moments. After creating this recipe, I realized that there is a way to have something sweet after your meal, without all the calories. The other great thing about this recipe is you can replace the peaches with other fruits. You can also replace the cinnamon sugar with just cinnamon and “>Stevia.

The process is simple, cut the peach in half and remove the seed. If you enjoy using all of your ingredients, replant the seed later. Cut each half into another half and so on until you have the slice sizes you want. You are more than welcome to cut the peaches in a different size, but the cooking time may change.

Add butter or cooking spray to a non-stick pan on medium heat and then add the peaches. Stir them so they are coated and then add the seasonings and continue to cook them until they start goldening. Remove them from the heat and serve in a bowl.

I topped with whipped cream, but is you can’t eat dairy, there are whipped creams made with almond milk or coconut milk that are delicious.

Finish the dessert with an expresso and your meal will be complete!

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Quick Fix Banana Dessert

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Dieting and craving for dessert or something sweet? This banana dessert, is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s delicious, healthy and very satisfying.

By cooking the banana, the natural sugars caramelize and form a crust around the banana making it a little sweeter. The whipped cream is not necessary but simply adds a little extra. If you want to take it over the top, you can make a meringue with Stevia and egg white and then use a kitchen torch to toast is.

There are several ways you can make this same exact dessert, if you want additional variations, sign up below and and make a comment and I will send the ideas straight to your email. ENJOY!

Banana covered with whipped cream

Banana being sauted

Sauted Banana

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Guava and Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Guava and Cream Cheese Ice CreamSo this is the recipe that I feel took me over the top in creations and is one of the first inserts to my Cookbook –  Buy Cookbook Here

A very popular dessert in Cuba is too serve casacaras de guayava con queso crema en galletas cubana (guava shells with cream cheese on Cuban crackers). It sounds different, but it is delicious! It has that really sweet with some salty and definitely creamy flavor. So if you decide not to attempt this recipe, you should give the true dessert a whirl.

So after I created the recipe, I entered it into a Paula Deen contest for Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I didn’t win, but I keep telling myself it’s because I did not follow the rule that the recipe had to take under 30 minutes ; ). There are certain people that have attempted to create this recipe in Miami, FL after me, but I can assure you, this recipe is #1. Try it out and you tell me…

INGREDIENTS – SERVES 4-6 PEOPLE

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ¾ cups of sugar (extra fine)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup of guava marmalade (I use Conchita)
  • 4 ½ guava shell (small dice) (I use Conchita)

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients, except the guava shells and blend together
  2. Place the frozen tub on the ice cream maker and turn on
  3. While the machine is running, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and let run for about 30 minutes until ice cream thickens
  4. After 20 minutes, add the diced guava shells to the mixture and let mix for the last 10 minutes
  5. Pour all the ice cream into a freezer safe container and place in freezer for about an hour

 

Coconut Rum Macaroons

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Coconut, Coconut, Coconut! This is such an amazing ingredient and not only is great for food, you can also use it for scrubs and fragrances. I have another blog that is titled toasted coconut, and this is great to have and top other dishes off with them. I can guarantee that I will have plenty of coconut recipes in this blog.

In the meantime, I will say you’re welcome for this recipe, OMG is it tasty. I will say that it is not dietary and for that I am sorry, but it is very worth the cheat. When I was young, my dad used to eat coco rayado, which is coconut in a syrup with cream cheese or gouda cheese. It sounds weird, but it was good. This was the start of my love for coconut and then I moved on to mounds. When I discovered chocolate and coconut together, I went to heaven (LOL).

I have had macaroons before with chocolate and without, but I wanted to make some that were different and a little inspired by the Latin culture, so I decided to add rum. Even though they do not have actual rum, boy do they taste like they do!  Any feed back will be appreciated!

 

INGREDIENTS – MAKES ABOUT 24 – 30 MACAROONS

  • Coconut – shredded, sweetened, 6 cups
  • Coconut flour – 2/3 cup
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • Condensed sweetened milk – 14 ounce can
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Rum extract – 2 teaspoons

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, add the coconut, coconut flour and salt and mix well
  3. Add the condensed sweet milk, the vanilla extract and the rum extract and mix everything together well
  4. On a baking sheet with parchment paper, spoon some of the mixture into small amounts (about a tablespoon each)
  5. Bake for 11-12 minutes until you see some of the coconut flakes toasting
  6. Remove from the heat and let cool
  7. If you want to add chocolate over them, melt the chocolate and with a spoon, drizzle all over the top of the macaroon

Tips: You can add some edible glitter or sprinkles on top for a more festive look; you can also try some white chocolate or candy melts in different colors depending on the occasion

Buy Cookbook Here

Bustelo Espresso Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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I have been out of commission for a bit as I bought a new house and I have been packing and moving and then unpacking. It was hard to really cook during all of that…also, my cookbook finally was published and I have been very excited about that as well. Now that I am settling in and I have a beautiful new, large kitchen with all new appliances (they are amazing) I can go full force on my cooking experience. I will be experimenting a little out of my comfort zone creating new recipes with ingredients that I have never used and also supplementing certain ingredients with new and different ones to change the taste profile of some classics. So to get back into the swing of things, I decided to go with some ice cream. I love making ice cream and have been wanting to experiment with all sorts of flavors. In my cook book you have 3 recipes that are my favorites so you have to buy the book and tell me what you think.

So as my first recipe in the new house/kitchen I decided to go with something very Cuban and anyone that knows anything about Cuban’s knows we sure do like our cafecito. In my house, we have cafecito about twice a day. It is the perfect pick me up and is the perfect end to any meal. So naturally why wouldn’t an ice cream be delicious with the cafecito flavor?

Technically you do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe, but it comes out better if you have one. I have a very simple one (in red it’s so cute) that is small enough to store in most kitchens. If you want, here is the link from Amazon to get one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0041A3KPC/ref=twister_B01H1T6HTK?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


Ingredients – makes 4 pints

  • Heavy whipping cream – 3 cups
  • Milk – 1 cup (I used 2%)
  • Condensed milk – 14 ounce can
  • Mini chocolate chips – 1 cup
  • Bustelo instant coffee – 4 1/2 tablespoons


How to make it…

  1. Add the whipping cream, milk, condensed milk in a blender and blend for about 1 minute then add the instant coffee
  2. Continue to blend until the mixture looks like whipped cream but don’t over beat
  3. You can also use a hand mixer instead of the blender if you need to also if you are not using an ice cream maker, you can fold the chocolate chips at this point into the mix and then freeze
  4. If you are using the ice cream maker, make sure that the tub has been in the freezer for about 24 hours before using
  5. Put the ice cream maker together and turn it on
  6. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and let run for about 30 minutes; you may have to use both of the tubs so split the mixture in half and the chocolate chips
  7. Half way to 20 minutes through add the chocolate chips slowly (about 1/4 cup at a time)
  8. when the ice cream has almost doubled in size, add to a container to store and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours

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