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Archive for the ‘Vanilla’ Category

Dulce de Leche

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Dulce de LecheI made this delicious dessert the other night with the help of my daughter Lucia. This is a super easy recipe that uses a minimum of ingredients, little skill in the kitchen, and tastes amazing… perfect for me. The thing I really loved about this recipe is how the vanilla does such a great job of framing the sweetness of the dessert without overpowering it.

Dulce de Leche
1 quart of whole milk
1 1/2 Cups of sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, split down the middle and scraped of all its seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Boiling Dulce de LecheCombine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat over medium until all the sugar is dissolved. Once the liquid reaches a simmer, add the baking soda and reduce to low heat.

Continue cooking on low heat and resist all temptations to turn up the heat because this stuff will burn if you’re not careful and it is really tough to wash off (trust me).

After 1 to 1 1/2 hours you should have a thick, caramel colored syrup that smells delicious. Simply strain the liquid (to remove the vanilla bean and any of the foam that accumulates on the top) and store in a jar. Use as a topping for cookies, pies, bread, and of course, ice cream.

Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes

Monday, August 25th, 2008

The best part of waking up…

is not a cup of Folger’s coffee, it’s actually waking up to 16 fluffy pancakes with Strawberry Vanilla Breakfast Syrup drizzled on top.

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, or 1 1/2 tablespoon of Organic Agave Nectar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/4 cups Buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons Sonoma Syrups Pure Vanilla Extract ‘Crush’

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients and whisk only until just combined. Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt additional butter until hot. Ladle the batter using a ¼ cup measure into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until bubbling on top. Flip and cook until golden brown. Add more butter to pan and repeat with batter. Keep pancakes warm in a pre-heated 200 degree oven.

Serve with Strawberry Vanilla Breakfast Syrup, sausage and fruit!

Makes 16 pancakes

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée

Monday, August 25th, 2008

This dish is truly a classic, and cool to make because you get to operate a small torch to give the top layer its texture. You have few other uses for that kitchen blowtorch you got for Christmas 2 years ago anyways, so grab some Sonoma “CRUSH” and fire that puppy up!

1 extra-large Egg
4 extra-large egg yolks
½ cup pure cane sugar, plus additional for glazed top
3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon Vanilla Bean Extract ‘CRUSH’

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix the egg, egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Scald the cream in a small heavy saucepan but not to boiling. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the egg mixture. Shake the Vanilla “CRUSH” bottle to distribute the seeds evenly, measure and add to mixture. Pour into 6 to 8 ounce small ramekins until almost full.

Place ramekins into baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until set when shaken. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and refrigerate until firm.

Place 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of each custard and spread evenly. Heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar lightly caramelizes. Allow sugar glaze to harden and serve!

Serves 6