Week Five- Alternative Ingredients Week: Sugar Free Ice Cream

Today at the coffee shop, Andy said he finally saw my cat.

Me: Where?

Andy: Your blog

Me: Oh yeah. I forgot I had one.


Whoops. Sorry gang. Here we go.


I got this idea from the fifth episode of the sixth season of Bake Off. I had bookmarked a sugar free site before, and I went back to troll through those recipes. Because the bakers had to make dairy free ice cream with coconut milk, decided to make sugar free coconut vanilla ice cream.


Would you like to guess how well it turned out?



It didn’t.



I don’t know what the issue was. If it was because I had to use a blender instead of a food processor; or because I only used one can of coconut milk; or because I used vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean.



It smelled weird, too.



Zombie and I cut our losses and went to Jack-in-the-Box for shakes


New Little Love

I know. I haven’t blogged in ages. I know. But I have a super good excuse, I promise.


Meet our new son, Lord Winter Snowden. Winter for short. We adopted him from The Humane Society when he was three months old. His cage was across from the door when we walked in. He had been lying down (laying? I’m never sure) but he stood up when we came close. He followed my fingers and I could hear him purring through the glass. I knew then that this was my cat.


He is very active and curious, and very affectionate, which I am fine with :o)


He likes to help me knit. Which, while I appreciate the thought, is really not necessary.


He’s found the 55 gallon fish tank. Or as my friend Tammy calls it, the sushi bar


He and Richie get along (no matter what Richie says), which is nice. Richie is allergic (although his allergies don’t act up much) and he’s had bad experiences with cats. But maybe it’s because we adopted Winter together while he was a baby that helps with their bonding.


Have I turned into one of those people who constantly posts photos of their pet all over social media?







I’ll try to return to Bake Off blogging soon.

Week Four- Dessert Week: Whipped Cream Cake with Caramel Icing

This was a fun one, that came from one of my tea books


It was relatively easy. Of course, because this one done three weeks ago I don’t really remember much about it



The center filling was homemade whipped cream. I think I need to keep the apartment cool when whipping up creams and icings



The caramel icing was pretty easy, although I had to keep an eye on it to make sure I didn’t burn it. I’ve learned that from Bake Off- it is very easy to burn caramel



It’s a good cake- subtle and light- but the icing was too runny. But what do you expect from a St. Louis summer?

Week Three- Bread Week: Garlic Dough Balls

This recipe comes from Season Four Bake Off contestant, Ruby!


I’m not sure where I went wrong with this recipe. The dough was too dry. Maybe I didn’t incorporate the flour all the way. But the dough was falling apart and I had to add more olive oil and more water to make it stick together. I got 30 balls out of the dough


They were okay, but not my cup of tea. Wound up giving them all to Zombie. She loved ’em


(Speaking of tea, I just ate a lot of ice cream and need to settle my stomach. I’m off)

Week Two- Biscuit Week: Chocolate and Peanut Butter Biscotti

I know this was supposed to be fenugreek papdi chaat. I know. But the store was out of fenugreek leaves and I wanted to get the bake done that weekend so I went with biscotti.

I mean, peanut butter and chocolate!

Gathering the dry ingredients turned into cleaning out the refrigerator and hosing down the trash cans. As you do. But now I have a clean (practically bare) fridge. Woo!



I wish more cookbooks would describe what dough should look and/or feel like. Having never made biscotti before, and only seen an episode on Bake Off, I had no idea what to expect


It’s very nerve-wracking trying to cover up peanut butter so it doesn’t burn. And you can see that my dough is oddly misshapen. Awesome


The taste was a bit more bitter than I was expecting. Maybe all the dark chocolate, or the peanut butter. Or maybe I’m just so used to sweet foods. It was still good and I’m glad I made it. The recipe called for way more biscotti than what you see (which is all that was made). BUT if I cut them any more narrower they fell apart. Maybe they weren’t cool enough or dry enough. Eh, it worked.


(Pretentious aesthetic. The book is The Hours by Michael Cunningham)

Week One- Cake Week: Pistachio White Chocolate Cardamom Cake

I know I’m behind in these blogs. I know. But I’m determined to get all caught up in the next few days. EAT IT.


So, remember when I got my hands on Chetna’s cookbook? Of course you do. I decided to use one of Chetna’s recipes (the one on the cover, actually) for my bake off.


The cake was pretty easy. I had a hard time crushing the cardamom, and shelling pistachios is a pain in the ass. Next time, I’ll buy ground cardamom and shelled pistachios- not a thing.


I know a cake is going to be good based on the batter. And this batter was damn tasty.


I did have problems with the icing, which was my fault, not the author’s. I let the butter melt too much, so my icing was waaaaay to runny. Did you know powdered sugar (aka icing sugar) can thicken up icing? I didn’t. Now I do! Added in some powdered sugar and more butter. The result as a super rich icing. And because the two cakes were stacked on top of each other with icing on each layer, this was a thick, rich cake


A thick rich delicious cake. I bet if the icing hadn’t been so runny the cake would look prettier. Eh, you live and learn


Bake Off and Baking

As you all know (or you would if you paid attention), I LOVE the Great British Bake Off. I find it so soothing- I think because everyone isn’t yelling or cussing. I get enough of that everywhere else. Mostly from myself



Now, PBS is getting ready to start showing GBBO season six (which is PBS’s season three)(PBS also calls it the Great British Baking Show, because apparently Pillsbury owns the phrase ‘bake off’. Which is bullshit). I’m hoping that PBS.org will be airing it as well (I’m pretty sure they will). It will air Fridays at 8:00, starting this Friday!

thumbs up


How am I celebrating? By baking along, of course! I’m going to try to match up week for week (cake for cake, bread for bread). There are going to be some I don’t do (Victorian, obvs), and some I have to move around (I’m pushing back pastry for when I am on vacation because I’ll be making puff pastry by hand).


Here’s what I have planned:


Week One- Cake Week: White Chocolate, Pistachio, and Cardamom Cake

Week Two- Biscuit Week: Fenugreek papdi chaat

Week Three- Bread Week: Garlic Dough Balls

Week Four- Dessert Week: Whipped Cream Cake with Caramel Icing

Week Five- Alternative Ingredients Week: Sugar Free Vanilla Ice Cream

Week Six- Sweet Dough Week: Tea Loaf

Week Seven- Pies and Tarts Week: Tart au Citron

Week Eight- Pastry Week: Eclairs

Week Nine- Chocolate Week: Chocolate Chip Dream Cheesecake

Week Ten- Showstopper Week: Round Florida Orange Cake w/ Madeleines and Candied Oranges



Last year, the show was aired online on Sunday nights. I hope that this doesn’t mean the show airs on TV on Fridays and online on Sundays. I already have people coming over on Friday! (fingers crossed, you guys) And you’re all invited! Provided I know you, of course.


bake off