Sunday, March 18, 2018

Baked Apple Donuts

We all have a weakness or "kryptonite" when it comes to certain foods. That certain food may be a favorite, but we are very well aware that they are not something to be consumed on a regular basis. The item may have too many carbohydrates or too much fat, but we have a difficult time avoiding the indulgence.

So we are always on the lookout for an alternative, something that would give us all the flavor and texture that we love, less those naughty extras. We have to be careful in this endeavor because sometimes the manner in which food is promoted can be tricky. Sometimes one ingredient is eliminated for the sake of being "low fat" only to be replaced by something that creates another issue for flavor. For example, it has no fat, but 3 times the sodium you will need in one day.

Finding the perfect alternative is like losing 5 pounds when you eat cake! Now that would be a wonderful thing. While eating these donuts are not a way to diet, they do make a delicious substitute for the classic fried apple fritter. Since these donuts are baked, they do not contain all the fat and oil that fried donuts have. Instead of all the oil, you get a fluffy donut with a moist texture. Also, you can taste the diced apples that are baked into the dough. The unmistakably delicious apple flavor is prominent in each and every bite. To further enhance the taste, there is a drizzle of maple icing on top.

Even if donuts are not your "kryptonite", the flavor factor alone qualifies this recipe as a keeper. The dough requires five hours of rest time after it is created, so be sure to plan for this extra time. This recipe makes 1 1/2 dozen donuts.

Baked Apple Donuts
adapted from Artisan Bread in Five

3 eggs (lightly beaten/room temp)
3/4 cup melted unsalted butter
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp active yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tsp salt
3 3/4 cup of flour
2 small peeled/cored/diced apples (I used Granny Smith)

Ingredients/Glaze and Topping
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs heavy cream
2 tbs maple syrup
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. These donuts are to be formed by hand and placed on the sheets, about 6 per sheet.

Whisk together the sugar, flour and salt in a medium size bowl. Set aside. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and stir. Then let sit until it foams up.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture. Then add the butter and eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon until all is combined. Lastly, fold in the apples, making sure the pieces are distributed evenly throughout the dough.

Form the dough into a ball and leave inside the bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. After this initial rise time, place in refrigerator. The dough must chill a minimum of 3 hours. However, it can be stored for later use, but only up to 5 days.

Take out a small bowl and whisk together the cinnamon and sugar. Also, lightly flour a flat surface. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and separate out 6 pieces of dough, each weighing 3 ounces. Cover and return the rest of the dough to the refrigerator. Using floured hands, place one of the dough pieces onto the floured surface and roll into a log (about 6 inches long) and then create a circle, pinching the ends together. Stretch the circle of dough so it has a 3 inch wide hole. Place the circle of dough into the cinnamon/sugar mixture, flipping to cover each side. Put the donut round on the prepared baking sheet. Continue with this process until all 6 pieces of donuts are formed and evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

As the dough rests, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Also, you can prepare another baking sheet of 6 donuts, repeating the instructions above. Once the rest time is complete, place baking sheet in the oven and bake donuts until airy and golden. This will take about 18 minutes.

Prepare a cooling rack by placing wax or parchment paper underneath. After the donuts have baked, place pan on rack and let cool on pan for about 3 minutes. Then transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before glazing.

To make glaze, whisk together vanilla, maple syrup and cream. Then sift in the powdered sugar and mix together. You may need to stir in additional cream for the correct drizzling consistency. Lastly, drizzle the glaze on top of the donuts and let rest until glaze has set.

Tips and Notes:
1. The longer the prepared dough sits in the refrigerator, the more apple juice is released from the fruit. Should you find some pockets of dough to be too wet, use additional flour to absorb the excess when forming the donuts.

2. Another consideration for the apple juice problem is to coat the apples in lemon juice and let set overnight and drain off the excess the next morning.

3. You can coat the apples in cinnamon sugar or add cinnamon sugar to the batter if you want to have a stronger cinnamon flavor. However, be careful of the balance or you will gain cinnamon flavor and lose apple flavor.

4. Feel free to experiment with the non-citrus types of fruit, such as pears or mangoes. The ones with the least amount of juice are the best choice.

5.These donuts are hand formed due to the apple chunks and tacky consistency of the dough. I do not recommend piping out the dough into rounds.

6. Due to the rising in baking, the 3 inch hole in the center is important or the dough with bake up without a hole.
                                   **LAST YEAR:Amaretto Latte Bars*


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Saint Patrick's Mocktail Cheesecake

Format conversion...very popular in the realm of food bloggers and the food industry in general. We enjoy creating cupcakes with the flavor of cookies or cakes that taste like (and made with) vanilla ice cream. Also, if you have not tried Southern biscuits and gravy-you can now try the flavor in a potato chip.

Today's recipe is a conversion of a bar drink into a cheesecake. The inspiration comes from a drink called "Rude Boy" and is very appropriate for St Patrick's day. The drink is made up of Irish stout, coconut rum and coffee. For the cheesecake, the bottom starts with a coconut graham crust. The first layer of cheesecake is a combination of chocolate and Irish stout. This layer came out fluffier than most cheesecakes, but the dominating flavor of the combination is a rich chocolate. The top layer is the dense texture you would expect in a cheesecake. It reflects a rum flavor with a subtle undertone of coconut and the usual tang of cream cheese.

To further add to the flavor (as well as the presentation), the top edge is laced with espresso whipped cream and garnished with chocolate shamrocks.

This creation is my first time at melding the flavors and some tweaking is still needed to have more balance of flavor with the two layers. The recipe and instructions tie to the original creation. After making it and doing a taste test, I have put some tips and notes at the end of the instructions that would further enhance the dessert.

The recipe has been adapted from 3 recipes from the following different websites: layer of cheesecake layer of cheesecake and crust whipped cream topping

Saint Patrick's Mocktail Cheesecake

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 oz melted butter

Ingredients/Chocolate Stout Layer
1 egg plus 2 tbs of one beaten egg
1/4 plus 2 tbs of Irish stout beer (I used Guinness)
1 tbs heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
pinch of salt
1 1/2 packages or 12 oz cream cheese (softened)

Ingredients/ Coconut Layer
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut rum
2 packages or 16 oz of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp flour

1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbs heavy whipped cream
1 tbs whipped cream stabilizer (optional)
4 oz chopped semisweet chocolate

Start with a 9 1/2 or a 10 inch springform pan. Fill a small bowl with all the crust ingredients and whisk together. Test to see that it clumps easily. If not, add a little bit more melted butter to reach the correct consistency. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides. Set aside.

For the stout layer: fill the bowl of the stand mixer with cream cheese. Using a low speed setting, beat for about 1 minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat this process 2 more times. The resulting texture will be smooth and free of lumps. Continue to beat on low speed and slowly pour in the sugar. Once blended, add the egg and 2 tbs of the beaten egg. Run mixer for another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl. All the sugar and eggs should be evenly distributed into the batter.

Place the cream and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and then remove and stir. Repeat this process until all the chocolate has been melted. Turn mixer on medium speed and slowly pour in the melted chocolate. Beat mixture, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl, until chocolate is fully mixed into the cream cheese batter. Then whisk in the remaining ingredients (beer, salt, sour cream and vanilla). Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Place in freezer for 45 minutes and then remove and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Now you can start on the coconut layer.

For the coconut layer: fill the bowl of the stand mixer with cream cheese and follow the stout layer instructions for combining the sugar and cream cheese. Then beat in the flour. Remove bowl from mixer. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, blend one egg into the batter. Then stir in the other egg. Carefully fold in the additional ingredients, one at a time: sour cream, coconut and coconut rum.

Prepare a water bath by covering the bottom of the springform pan with foil. Place it in a larger pan and fill the larger pan with water. The water should come to the halfway point up the side of the pan. Place in oven and bake for one and 1/2 hours, up to 2 hours. The indicators for baking completion is when the cheesecake is golden on top, no longer glossy and it barely jiggles when moved. The frozen layer is what requires the additional bake time. Once completely baked, remove cheesecake and let come to room temperature and then place in refrigerator to set. Let chill for a minimum of 4 hours before adding the decorative topping.

For the topping, the decorative chocolate pieces should be made first. Start by drawing your design ( I did shamrocks) on a piece of paper. Depending on your skills, the design can be as simple or as intricate as you want. One drawing is needed, for you will slide this paper around under a sheet of wax paper after you make each chocolate piece. Place your paper drawing under a sheet of wax paper (leave some of the drawing paper sticking out underneath the wax paper) on a baking sheet. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and remove top pot. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to piping bag or squirt bottle. Pipe your design using the drawing as a guideline. Continue to pipe and move the drawing until you have made the desired number of decorations. Let the decorations sit for about 5 minutes and then go back over them with some additional chocolate, making sure they are thick and sturdy so they will not break when handled. Once completed, place baking sheet in freezer.

For the whipped cream, start with cold equipment (beaters and bowl). Place espresso powder and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream in the bowl and let set for 10 minutes and then whisk together. Then add the heavy cream, whipped cream stabilizer (optional) and sift in the powdered sugar. Beat until it reaches piping consistency. Assemble a piping bag with a large decorating tip and fill with the whipped cream. Also, take out the decorative chocolate pieces from the freezer and peel them off of the waxed paper. Pipe the whipped cream along top edge of cheesecake and stand chocolate decorations up in the whipped cream, spacing as desired. Now the cheesecake is ready to serve. Refrigerate when not serving.

Tips and Notes:
1. The coconut layer was more dense than the chocolate stout layer. When making this again, I would try the coconut layer below the chocolate stout layer.

2. Since the stout layer was fluffier, perhaps having the stout set out so it is flat (no carbonation bubbles) may create a more dense cheesecake layer and it may even out the depth of the two layers. The chocolate layer in the above picture is much thicker than the coconut layer.

3. The chocolate in the stout layer is very rich and intense. To bring out more flavor in the coconut layer I would add coconut extract. This would balance the flavors more.

Wishing you a great Saint Patrick's day..Cheers!
                                **LAST YEAR:Palm Harvest Cake**

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sugar cookies aka Biscochitos

Back when I was little, my mom used to bake quite a bit. We always seemed to have lots of cookies on hand. However, it was not just cookies that we enjoyed. My mom made use of every last scrap of pie dough. She would bake it up in long slivers and would always sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar before baking.

These cookies remind me of those cinnamon slivers. These tasty gems are made with lard, which is the key to that flaky, pie crust-type texture. They are perfect with a cup of tea, coffee or milk. If you think that pie crust is the best part of pie, then you have landed on the correct recipe. This makes about three dozen cookies, depending on your preferred thickness.

adapted from All Recipes Website

1 egg
2 tbs Brandy
1 cup lard
1 tsp anise seed
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 3/4 cup of sugar and the anise seed. Set aside. Using another bowl, sift together the baking powder, flour and salt. In the next bowl, whisk together the egg and Brandy.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the lard and sugar/anise mixture. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 3 minutes. Be sure to stop at intervals to scrape down sides of bowl. Next, mix in the egg/Brandy blend. Lastly, fold in the sifted ingredients until a dough is formed and no dry streaks remain. If it seems a little dry, try adding a few more drops of Brandy so it will bond together in a dough.

Lightly dust a flat surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out dough to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Take a cookie cutter and cut out dough to desired shapes. Dust the bottom edges of the cutter at intervals to make sure it does not stick. Place cut outs on cookie sheet, spacing evenly. Continue with this process, re-rolling scraps and cutting until baking sheet is full.

Then whisk together the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the cookies.

Place pan in oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden on the edges. As the first pan bakes, cut out more dough, filling the second pan. Once the first sheet of cookies are baked, let rest on pan 2 minutes and then transfer cookies to the cooling rack. Repeat the forming and baking process until all the dough is baked.

                                      **LAST YEAR: Cake of Leaves**

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Pecan Wedding Cake

These days I am reviewing so many recipes, sometimes the obvious gets overlooked. When I came across this recipe, I read the title and ingredients and it struck me as unique. As a food blogger, anything of that nature, I simply have to make. I marked this and went and got the ingredients.

Finally, a few days before making, I realized that this recipe was very close to a recipe for Italian Cream Cake. Also, Italian Cream Cake was very close to a recipe for Hawaiian Wedding Cake. Then  there is Hummingbird Cake and so forth. In the end, this is not such a unique recipe. However, since I love Italian Cream Cake, I still decided to make this cake-in spite of it being a common favorite. 

This is not identical to Italian Cream Cake. It has 3 add in components instead of one. In addition to coconut, it has pecans and pineapple baked in. The most prominent add in is the crunchy pecans, while the coconut and crushed pineapple are each a close second. The frosting is the traditional cream cheese/buttercream style that everyone knows is the perfect topping for this type of cake.

Sometimes familiarity is a good thing. There is a reason recipes are called traditional favorites- they are always tasty and get everyone's approval. This three layer 9 inch cake makes a perfect addition to any dinner party or a simple dinner with family. If you love Italian Cream Cake, you will find that the extra add-ins make it even better.

Pecan Wedding Cake
adapted from 1001 Classic Recipes

5 large eggs (whites separated from yolks)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter (room temp) plus 3 tbs melted
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups of confectioners' sugar
3/4 or 1 1/2 sticks butter (room temp)
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)

For the cake, prepare three 9 inch cake pans by using a pastry brush to cover the interior of each pan with butter. In addition, place a parchment round on the bottom of each pan and butter the surface. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take out a small bowl and whisk together the buttermilk, salt and baking soda. Set aside. This mixture should thicken as it sets.

Fill a bowl of a stand mixer with the butter and shortening. Beat on medium high speed for about 3 minutes, stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The mixture should be smooth and silky when done. Add the sugar and both extracts and beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy.

Add one egg yolk and beat for 30 seconds to blend. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Repeat this process until all egg yolks are incorporated into the batter. Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in 1/3 of the flour, then 1/2 the amount of the buttermilk mixture. Continue at intervals adding flour and adding buttermilk, blending after each addition. End with mixing in the last of the flour.

Drop the pineapple by tablespoons into the batter and mix until distributed. Do the same with the coconut. Lastly, add the pecans to the batter and stir until all add-ins are evenly dispersed. Set aside.

Add the egg whites to a clean bowl. Then beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add this to the existing batter by folding in, until whites are completely blended.

Divide batter into 3 equal parts. Add 1 part to each prepared pan and smooth the surface. Place each pan in oven-2 on one rack and 1 on the other. Bake for about 13 minutes, then rotate pans and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Use a tester to see if fully baked, if not let cook a few minutes more and check again. Bake time may take up to 10 minutes more.

Once fully baked, remove pans and set on rack to rest for about 5 minutes. Then invert each one onto the rack. Remove the parchment paper. Let cool completely before stacking and frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and silky. Add the extract and beat again, stopping occasionally to beat down the sides of the bowl. Then sift in 1 cup of confectioners' sugar. Beat, starting with low speed and then increasing so all sugar is blended. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Repeat process until all sugar is incorporated into frosting.

Place one layer on a cake board or serving platter. Using a spatula, smooth about 1/4 of the frosting onto the top surface. Stack another layer on top and repeat frosting process. Once all layers are stacked, frost the sides and sprinkle the top with pecans.

Tips and Notes:
1. You can toast the nuts if you prefer more crunch in and on the cake.
2. When frosting the sides, put a thin crumb coat on first, let set and then frost sides as normal.
3.  The frosting between layers was not very thick. If doing this again, I would increase the frosting recipe amount by 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 3 tbs of butter.
                                   **LAST YEAR:Snickerdoodle Pie**

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Nusstaler Cookies

Sometimes we need a diversion or a way to unwind the day. For bloggers, I believe, that diversion is to head to the kitchen and bake. A project in the kitchen allows your mind to focus on creating and discard the other events of the day. The end result is a clear mind as well as a tasty treat.

Today, cookies have been chosen as the diversion. Not just any cookies, but a form of shortbread. Shortbread...the unmistakable, buttery and melt in your mouth texture is hard to resist. In addition to that, the dough is quite open to variations. Some of the variations include chocolate chips and/or nuts.

This particular version is a traditional German shortbread cookie. The recipe incorporates hazelnuts and dark chocolate. Quite a winning combination. The yield is about 2 dozen cookies and does not require much time.

Nusstaler Cookies
adapted from Brooklyn homemaker 

1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
6-8 oz dark chocolate
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

The first step is to create the hazelnut flour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in one layer. Place pan in preheated oven and let nuts toast for about 10 minutes. As they toast, dampen a clean kitchen towel. Remove nuts from oven and place a handful of nuts on towel and rub vigorously to remove hazelnut skins. Rinse skinned nuts and place in a separate bowl to dry. Repeat the process until all the nuts have been skinned. Turn oven off.

Once the nuts have dried, place 1 cup of the nuts in a food processor and pulse until a nuts are fine, reserving the remaining 1/2 cup of whole nuts for garnish. After grinding the nuts, sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder together. Using a spatula, scrape the bottom and edges of the food processor bowl, so the nuts do not cling to the crevasses. Then add the sifted ingredients to the food processor and pulse until all is blended together.

Take out another bowl and fill with the butter and sugar. Beat together for 30 seconds and scrape down sides of bowl. Repeat process 3 more times until mixture is light and fluffy. Then mix in the egg and vanilla, distributing evenly. Take out a wooden spoon and blend in 1/2 of the dry ingredients. Repeat with the remaining half until no dry streaks remain. Once thoroughly blended, cover bowl and place in refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. After about 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

After the chill process is complete, prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Take out cookie dough and scoop batter into mounds (about 1 inch in diameter with 1 1/2 tsp of dough ) and place one dozen evenly on baking sheet. Then carefully flatten the mounds slightly, either using your hands or the bottom flat side of a glass or bench scraper. Place one hazelnut in the center of each mound.

Place in oven and bake for 10-13 minutes, or until golden on bottom and edges. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to cookie sheet to completely cool. Repeat the process of forming and baking the rest of the cookie dough.

After the cookies have cooled, prepare a double boiler and place over medium heat. Then line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Chop 6 ounces of the dark chocolate and place in top pot of the the double boiler. Once all is melted, use tongs to carefully lower the bottom of each cookie in the chocolate. Let chocolate drip off and then place cookies on baking sheet. Once the chocolate is set, the cookies are ready to serve.

Tips and notes:
1. Grinding the nuts at home does not pulverize them, so there is a different result when using hazelnut flour. The home grind leaves the nuts in bigger pieces which affects the texture. Which you use is a personal preference.

2. Skinning the nuts is not a perfect process, so there will be some skin that remains. You can purchase the hazelnuts either with or without skins.

3. Cookies do not expand much in baking.

4. Flatten cookies to about a 1 to 3/4 inch height, otherwise the dough will remain as the round scoop when baked.

4. Due to the chocolate on the cookies, I store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
                                  **LAST YEAR:Mulled Wine Jammers**

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Blue Corn Zucchini Bread

As I look out into the back yard, I can see all my dog's toys. There they lay, some very much chewed on and some not so much. However, there is evidence that she is not the only occupant that strolls into the yard. Something has made regular visits and has not bothered to leave the area without a trace.

There in the back yard, lies a corn cob. In fact, there are still some kernels on the cob. This must be their food of choice. Since my dog believes that the back yard is hers, a recent battle took place with the invader. Based on the evidence, their only option to escape was to give up the food and sneak back on a better day. It must have been a squirrel, because I later that day I saw one in the top of a tree. Not just sitting there, but chattering and teasing my dog in retaliation due to the loss of the corn cob.

So today's post includes a form of corn. Not the kernels and not regular corn, but actually blue cornmeal. That is why the slice pictured above has a wonderful blue hue. The recipe includes flour, but the addition of the cornmeal gives it a nice texture. In addition to that, the loaf includes grated zucchini. The bread is moist and slightly sweet. It is tasty eaten plain, but slathering it with butter does enhance it even more.

This recipe makes one 9x5 inch loaf and the ingredient list is in grams.

Blue Corn Zucchini Bread
adapted from The Cooking Channel

283 grams zucchini (peeled and grated)
121 grams buttermilk
2 eggs
100 grams butter (melted)
100 grams sugar
94 grams coarse blue cornmeal
187 grams flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Prepare a 9x5 inch loaf pan by greasing the interior. Line the bottom and long sides with parchment paper, leaving some overhang. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start by sifting together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then whisk in the cornmeal and set aside. Using a medium size bowl, stir together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and sugar. Then fold in the grated zucchini.

Add the sifted ingredients to the batter in increments, stirring to combine after every addition. Lastly, transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth out evenly.

Place the pan in the oven and bake until tester comes out clean. This should take about 30-40 minutes. The edge of the bread should have a golden hue. Remove the bread from the oven and place on a rack. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Then invert on to rack and remove parchment paper. Invert again so the loaf is upright and let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tips and Notes:
Due to the moist texture, this bread only keeps for a few days.
                            **LAST YEAR:Cappuccino Cheesecake**

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Chocolate Tequila Sundae

There was a time when I thought that liquor and ice cream would never go together. After all, liquor is an item that freezes at subzero temperatures. This is why you always see someone grabbing the ice cold tequila from the freezer instead of the cabinet.

This particular sundae is not for the martini types like James Bond. However, since it is made with rum and tequila it may have the approval of someone like Jack Sparrow. Outside of the adult spirits, there are flavors of cinnamon and chocolate. The rum is paired with the cinnamon and the chocolate is paired with the tequila.

Both types of ice creams contain egg yolks and follow the same preparation instructions. While the mixtures come together pretty easily, the freezing step takes the longest. While sundaes do contain ice cream, it is the fudge, nuts and buttery slices of bananas on top that really locks it into that delicious category.

This recipe makes about 8-10 servings, depending on the size of the ice cream scoops. Since there are two flavors of ice cream, make sure that you consider the advance freezing time required prior to serving.

Chocolate Tequila Sundae
adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients/Cinnamon Rum Ice Cream
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 inch piece of vanilla bean (split lengthwise and opened)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp light rum
3/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 large egg yolks (room temp)
1/2 cup sugar

Ingredients/Chocolate Tequila Ice Cream
3 tbs cocoa (not Dutch processed)
1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cup half and half
3 large egg yolks (room temp)
5 oz semi sweet chocolate (chopped or chips)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 tbs tequila

Ingredients/Sundae Layers
1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
4 sliced bananas (sliced into rounds and, if preferred, slice rounds in half)
12 oz semi sweet chocolate (chopped or chips)
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted butter

The required equipment, per the recipe instructions, is an ice cream maker. Prepare the machine prior to creating the sundaes.

For the cinnamon ice cream, start by filling the bowl of a stand mixer with the sugar and egg yolks. Using a spatula, blend the two together. Place the bowl in the stand.

Fill a saucepan with the cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, whipping cream, half and half and ground cinnamon. Stir until ground cinnamon is distributed into the liquid. Place over medium high heat and let cook, mixing until it reaches the boiling point and remove from heat. Take out the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean. Stir again and turn on the stand mixer to medium speed.

As the mixer is running, slowly stream the cream mixture into the egg yolk/sugar blend. Once all is mixed together, transfer to the saucepan. Place over medium heat. As the liquid cooks, continue to stir. The mixture should thicken to the correct consistency after cooking for about 7 minutes. Make sure that it stays below the boiling point. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and rum.

Pour into a heat proof bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to chill.

Once the mixture is cold, process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Then transfer to a container and cover and freeze.

Prior to making the next flavor, make sure that your ice cream maker is at the stage to freeze ice cream again.

Start on the chocolate tequila ice cream by setting up a double boiler. Fill the top pot with chocolate and let melt, stirring occasionally. Once completely melted, remove from heat and set aside.

Fill the bowl of stand mixer with egg yolks and sugar. Stir together until blended and place bowl in stand.

Take out a saucepan and fill with half and half, cream, honey and cocoa. Stir until blended and place over medium heat. Let cook, stirring constantly until it reaches a boiling point. Remove from heat and add tequila and vanilla. Then mix together.

Turn mixer on, blending sugar and yolks together. Continue to run the mixer and slowly stream in the cream/cocoa mixture. After it is combined, pour into saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir the mixture until it thickens and turns to custard, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add melted chocolate, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix together and transfer to a heat proof bowl and place in refrigerator to chill for about and hour. Then transfer to ice cream machine and follow manufacturer's instructions. Then remove from machine, cover and place in freezer to firm up.

To make the fudge sauce, fill a saucepan with cream. Place over medium heat and let come to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add chocolate and vanilla and then whisk until smooth.

For the banana topping, place the banana pieces on a baking sheet. Turn the oven on the broiler setting. Once the broiler has heated up, brush the banana pieces with the melted butter and place under broiler. Let the bananas cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Remove from oven and set aside.

To assemble, place 1 tbs of warm chocolate sauce in the bottom of serving goblet/dish. Sprinkle on 2 teaspoons of nuts. Using an ice cream scoop, place one scoop of the cinnamon ice cream in the dish and then a scoop of the chocolate tequila ice cream. Add some more nuts and bananas to the top, either covering the bananas or leaving them for last. Serve immediately.

Tips and Notes:
1. Sauce can be refrigerated for later use, just rewarm.

2. Due to the melted chocolate, that flavor will freeze faster than the cinnamon.

3. Feel free to make this ice cream using different flavors of chips and different spices.
                                **LAST YEAR:Upside Down Banana Cake**