Monthly Archives

December 2016

Desserts, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Special Diets, Vegetarian

Salted Brown Butter Barfi

When I was a teenager, I was invited to attend the Indian-American wedding of an acquaintance’s daughter. It was a lovely affair, but I didn’t know the bride or the groom. For me, the most memorable part was the parting gift. 

Inside a small box decorated with brightly-colored flourishes sat a little unfamiliar square of food with a note attached. It was a dessert common in India called ‘barfi.’

The name is a derivative of the Persian word barf, which means snow. While barf might not exactly sound appetizing to some, you’ve gotta trust me on this one: it was the most buttery, milky, fudgy splendor-morsel to ever touch my tastebuds. All those years passed and I have never stopped yearning for barfi. 

Well, now it’s mine, all mine! It turns out you can actually make food. Revolutionary, right? Wanting to mix it up and add an updated touch, I decided to make them with salted brown butter. ERMAHGERD. They are so good I made several batches of them and sent them away to loved ones in lieu of Christmas cookies. 

Salted Brown Butter Barfi
  1. 2 cup milk powder
  2. 1 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1/2 cup whole milk
  4. 1/2 cup butter
  5. 3/4 tsp himalayan salt
  6. Optional garnishes: saffron, pistachios, dried fruit, toasted flaked almonds, or coconut flakes
  1. Butter a small pan and set aside.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a pan with a light-colored bottom (to observe the color), swirling occasionally. The butter will begin to foam.
  3. When the butter reaches a soft caramel color and nutty smell (be careful not to burn the butter!), turn the heat down to low. Whisk in milk powder, salt, and liquid milk and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add powdered sugar, whisking continuously.
  5. Stir continuously until mixture becomes a thick lump in the middle.
  6. Pour mix into buttered pan and smooth out the top with a spatula or spoon.
  7. Let cool and set, cut into shapes, and garnish if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Fa's Kitchen
Adapted from Fa's Kitchen

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Desserts, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian

Mulled Wine Ice Cream

Hark! Winter has arrived on our doorstep in all its frosted glory! We’re donning fuzzy slippers and drinking nog (the egg variety), with hair that smells like smoke from wrestling logs and kindling into the wood stove, coaxing them into flames. 

For the last couple months we’ve been packing up our belongings and tying up loose ends in Portland, Oregon, in preparation for a long road trip to our new locale: a small town in Indiana. 

I bought an ice cream maker during that (very inopportune) time, stashed it away in our moving boxes, and began scribbling down flavor possibilities in a manic frenzy knowing I’d soon be able to unleash my inner mad scientist on a canvas of sweet cream.

As soon as I unpacked the ice cream maker, I got to work filling the kitchen with the aroma of mulling spices. I don’t want to toot my own frozen confection-horn here, but I’m so smitten with this recipe.  My (not-at-all-biased – HAH!) boyfriend says that it’s the best ice cream he’s ever had. 

There are so many layers to this treat: it’s tangy, yet creamy…spicy, yet comforting…floral, yet not too sweet. It’s nostalgic, yet tastes like nothing I’ve ever eaten before. It may become a new holiday tradition ’round these parts. 

Mulled Wine Ice Cream
Ice cream base
  1. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  3. 1/2 cup white cane sugar
  4. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  5. 1/4 cup non-high-fructose corn syrup or tapioca syrup
  6. 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
Mulled wine ingredients
  1. 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  2. 4 whole allspice berries
  3. 2 whole star anise
  4. 3 cinnamon sticks
  5. 1 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced and peeled
  6. Strips of orange zest from 1 mandarin orange
  7. 1 (750-ml) bottle dark, fruity red wine (I bought a $2.99 bottle of cabernet sauvignon that was on sale – don't waste your money on anything too sophisticated, the spices eclipse the wine's flavor)
  8. 2 whole cloves
  1. Directions: Mix brown sugar, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum together in a bowl. Pour cold milk into a pot, and whisk sugar, brown sugar, xanthan gum, and salt into milk. Add corn syrup. Heat the milk on low until warm, stirring until all ingredients are completely dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  2. Wrap peppercorns, allspice berries, star anise, ginger, orange zest, and cinnamon sticks in cheesecloth and tie closed.
  3. Pour red wine into large pot, and drop in the spice bundle. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and reduce wine to approximately 1 cup of liquid (around 45 mins). Strain liquid to catch any stray spices that may have escaped the cheesecloth packet. Refrigerate 12 hours. Combine with ice cream base, and churn to a soft-serve consistency according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Serve, or freeze overnight for a scoopable consistency.
  1. Depending on how big your ice cream maker is, you may need to churn half of the mixture at a time.

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