Tag Archives: lemon

Lemon Basil Granita

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I know, I know I’ve been neglecting this blog and yes I feel bad. I swear I had a whole post planned out for last week and it was going to be awesome, I could picture it in my head. I was going to post a step by step on how to make a layered vegan chocolate raspberry cake with moulded chocolate sides, chocolate ganache, raspberry preserves, and a chocolate plaque on top. But, somehow even after successfully making multiple layered cakes and actually learning how to make cakes in school I managed to create this. Seriously, right?! The cake was for Christoph’s birthday and how much did he eat? Half a slice. Yes, half a slice. He doesn’t like sweet things. Weirdo.

Don’t worry though, the cake didn’t go to waste. My aunt ended up taking it away to feed the poor. Hopefully they didn’t reject it like everyone else did.

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So instead of my failed attempt at making a vegan layer cake I decided to post a recipe that’s easy, delicious, and dependable. Granita is a great dessert for a hot summer day since it’s light, refreshing, tangy, and sweet; if you’ve never had it before it’s like an italian version of shaved ice but much less sweet and probably a little healthier for you. It takes a bit of planning before hand but you really only need 3 ingredients for this dessert and a bit of time. The original recipe doesn’t call for basil but since I had some on hand I thought it would be a nice addition. It actually adds a great herbal quality to the granita and makes it just a little more interesting.

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Lemon Basil Granita
Makes about 4 (1/2 cup) servings
Adapted slightly from Gourmet Magazine

3 large lemons
1 cup filtered water
scant 1/2 cup of caster sugar*
1/4 cup basil leaves and stems, torn

Using a peeler, remove the zest from the lemons in long strips. The night before you wish to serve the granita, heat the water and sugar in a small pot until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer the sugar syrup into a heat proof bowl and stir in the lemon zest and basil. Cover and chill overnight.

The next day, strain out the zest and basil and add in 1/2 a cup of fresh lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a large flat bowl. I used a large flat metal bowl but a pyrex baking dish would also work. Place the mix into the freezer and after about 45 minutes stir with a fork to incorporate the ice crystals that form. Keep doing this about every 30 to 45 minutes until the mixture is evenly frozen and looks like crushed ice. About 4 to 5 hours.

Once you serve it, make sure to eat it immediately as it melts very quickly.

*You could probably substitute the caster sugar with something healthier such as concentrated fruit juice, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. Just make sure to adjust the quantity of sugar and taste the mixture before freezing.

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Passion Fruit Lemon Macarons

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It’s a well known fact that I’m lazy. When it comes to doing things for myself or anything without a set deadline or schedule I will most certainly put it off. For instance, I told Christoph I’d fix his jacket in time for winter. That was last summer. Recently, I just started learning how to drive…7 years after I said I’d do it (and I’m only doing it because my permit is about to expire).

My point is that I’d like to blog more but I often put it off since I don’t have a set schedule or deadline and such. If this was my full time job I’m positive that I would blog at least once a week and focus all my energy into each post. But, before I started blogging I really never realized how much time and effort goes into one post. The process of coming up with an idea, looking at recipes, creating a recipe, baking, cooking, cleaning, setting up, finding props, making props, finding proper lighting, taking photos, taking more photos, cleaning up, editing photos, choosing photos, thinking of something to write, writing something interesting, posting photos to food websites, etc. is a lot of work!

Which reminds me, I need to work on organizing the dozens of cookbooks I keep on buying. I guess I’ll get to that one day.

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This year for Mother’s day I was requested to make macarons instead of making the usual brunch. Seeing as it was snowing outside it probably wouldn’t have been so nice to have a backyard patio brunch anyway. Yeah seriously, snowing a few days after I was getting a tan in my backyard. Luckily, the weather is back to normal and I can sit here on my patio sunning my seriously pale legs.

I was planning on making lemon macarons but at the last minute added passion fruit puree to the curd and it was delicious. Also, what’s great about filling macarons with this curd is that you’ll be able to use up your left over egg yolks after making the macs. Good thing too, cause I’m sure I’d just leave them in there for days telling myself I’d use them later.

Passion Fruit Macarons
Makes about 40 1.5″ macaron sandwich cookies

For the macaron shells make a double (x2) batch of Basic Macarons and colour the egg whites with a few drops of yellow gel colouring during the last minute of whipping

Passion Fruit and Lemon Curd
Adapted from this recipe 

1/2 cup unsweetened passion fruit puree (without seeds)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick/113g) of salted butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked in a bowl

Add all ingredients except for the yolks to a heavy bottomed medium sized pot. Simmer on medium high heat while whisking constantly for about a minute till the mixture has thickened. Temper the egg yolks by adding a few spoonfuls of passion fruit mixture to the yolks and whisking quickly. Keep adding a few spoonfuls at a time until the egg mixture is warm. Add the egg mixture to the pot and quickly whisk in to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Keep whisking for a couple more minutes until the mixture is very thick. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

To assemble the macarons, fill up a plastic piping bag with the curd and pipe about a teaspoons worth of curd onto half the macaron shells and sandwich with the other half. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to eat. They will keep fresh for a few days.

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