I can smell the fresh Spring air after a light misting of rain. I can hear the chirps of various birds and the melodious sounds of waves lapping against the sides of boats as they casually float along enjoying a leisurely Sunday afternoon. There is a definite calmness that surrounds me as I close my eyes and savor the beauty that is around me.
I am perched on a wrought iron chair, seated at a little table covered in crisp, white linen. My newly purchased sunglasses shade my eyes from the sun while its gentle rays warm my skin. Coming from somewhere behind me is the distant sound of a scooter that I imagine is carrying a young couple away from the bustle of the city to a special place where they will spend the afternoon gazing into each others eyes, dreaming of the future before them.
I sip on my expertly made cappuccino and revel in the sights, sounds and smells that can only be experienced while in this one spot, next to the River Seine. At this time, there are a few tourists resting their weary feet a few tables away, as well as a few others taking a moment or two to enjoy the afternoon with a coffee and a treat. But I am alone in my thoughts. I am alone to wait and watch, to smell and taste, and to enjoy, without anything or anyone to take me away from here, this spot. To just sit and be.
I am surrounded with a hug of beauty and inner peace in this small slice of Heaven.. It feels like a dream… like a dream… like a dream… shit, it’s a dream.
Is it a cake? Is it a cookie? It is simply a delicious, buttery treat like only the French can make!
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1/4 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest from 2 limes
juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup butter, melted, plus additional butter for pan
1/4 cup icing (powdered, confectionery) sugar
zest of 1 lime
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat together the honey and sugar to ensure that there are no lumps when combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a couple of minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary, until the mixture thickens slightly and begins to turn pale yellow in color. Mix in the vanilla extract, lime zest, lime juice, and coconut extract.
Gently fold in, by hand, half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Add the remaining half of the flour mixture and repeat, careful not to over mix.
Separate the batter into two bowls. Add half of the melted butter into one of the bowls of batter and use a rubber spatula to fold the butter into the batter until the batter is glossy and homogenous. Transfer this batter into the bowl with the other batter and mix gently. Add the remaining butter and fold it in until it is well incorporated and the batter is glossy and smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap, directly onto the surface, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Brush a madeleine pan lightly with melted butter and then dust lightly with flour. Tap out any excess flour. Fill each shell with about 2 tablespoons of batter. The batter is quite thick so you can use a piping bag to pipe the batter into the shell, or simply transfer batter with a spoon. Use a lightly buttered finger to gently press the batter into the shell. The batter will rise and fill the shell, so you don't need to press all the way to the edges.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown and madeleines spring back when touched. Remove from the oven and immediately flip the madeleines onto a tea towel or cooling rack to cool completely.
Sprinkle icing (powdered, confectionery) sugar and the zest of a lime over each madeleine to serve.
Best served the same day they are made, however, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
I’ve been home since I had my hand surgery two weeks ago, and I’ve got to tell you, that if I had to stay home and watch daytime TV all the time, I think I’d gouge my eyes out with a hot poker. It’s a good thing that I’ve been on pain killers and sleeping for part of the day.
There’s no depth. There’s no substance. There’s no heart.
It’s fine if you like talk shows that don’t talk about anything important. Or newscasts from other countries whose weather reports of beautiful, sunny days don’t apply to you.
It’s OK if you want to see Victor and Nikki get married and divorced for the hundredth time, or if you can’t wait to see how many illegitimate children will ring the doorbell during the day of someone else’s life.
It’s great if you’re into children’s programs with talking animals, bubbly songs, and cartoon characters that can breathe under water.
It’s fantastic for movies that you’ve seen twenty times over. You know, just in case you missed something the first nineteen times.
Daytime TV is boring! Whew! I said it!
Unlike this ice cream. This ice cream has plenty of depth, plenty of substance, and it was made with plenty of heart. It is anything but boring.
Honey Pistachio Brittle Brown Butter Ice Cream (*Gluten-Free)
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 4 hours
Yield: 1 quart
There are many layers of flavor with this ice cream. From the first taste of the wonderfully sweet organic honey, then the toasted pistachios, to the nuttiness of the brown butter and creamy ice cream. It truly is a little bit of Heaven in a bowl!
For The Honey Pistachio Brittle
1 cup raw, unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup organic liquid honey
1/8 cup water
For The Brown Butter Ice Cream
1/3 cup butter
2 cups whipping (heavy) cream - at least 35%
1 cup whole or 2% milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For The Honey Pistachio Brittle
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the pistachios in a small frying pan. Heat the pan over medium-high heat and toast the pistachios, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Remove the pistachios from the pan and set aside.
In a small pot, add the sugar, honey, and water and stir gently to combine, careful not to get any sugar or honey on the sides of the pot. If you have sugar on the sides of the pot, slide a wet pastry brush along the sides to remove any crystals. Heat the ingredients over medium-high heat without stirring. Once the mixture begins to boil, let it boil for 4 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reaches the hard crack stage (300 F or 149 C). Remove the pot from the heat and carefully stir in the pistachios. Working quickly, pour the brittle onto the parchment paper and use a rubber spatula to spread the candy into a thin layer. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, use a sharp knife to chop the brittle into very fine pieces.
For The Brown Butter Ice Cream
Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the butter is a dark amber color and smells nutty. Watch the butter closely. It will go through several stages as the water boils off and the milk solids turn brown. It will burn easily, so keep a close eye on it. Once it is a nice amber color and has a nutty aroma, it is done. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the butter through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add the brown butter and whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring the cream and milk to a simmer. Remove about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture and whisk it into the egg mixture, to temper the eggs. Add the egg mixture to the pot with the cream mixture. Stir constantly until the custard thickens slightly and leaves a finger path on the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. Strain the custard through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Place the bowl into an ice water bath and stir to cool the custard. You can also refrigerate the custard, stirring often, until it has cooled.
Process the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Stir in as much of the finely chopped honey pistachio brittle as you like, and freeze until the ice cream is firm, about 4 hours.
Honey Pistachio Brittle - Original Recipe by My Friend's Bakery 2015
Brown Butter Ice Cream - Adapted from Bon Appetit / Desserts