Coffee + Ice Cream = One Tasty Treat

It’s getting hotter outside and sometimes, you just don’t want to settle for a fruity Popsicle. Perhaps you’d like to combine your love of coffee with a frozen dessert. If this is the case, you may want to consider making coffee-flavored ice cream sandwiches. Below you will find a recipe for this unique ice cream treat.

Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

(this recipe makes 8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces butter or margarine (room temperature)
  • 2 ounces caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 4 ounces flour
  • 16 ounces coffee ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Icing Sugar

Directions

1) Lightly grease 2 to 3 baking sheets.

2) Use an electric mixer or wooden spoon to beat the butter until soft.

3) Add in the caster sugar and beat together.

4) Add in the flour and coffee – mixing by hand in order to form an evenly blended dough.

5) Wrap the dough in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

6) Lightly sprinkle your work surface with icing sugar.

7) Knead the dough on the sugared surface for a couple of minutes. The dough should slightly soften.

8) Use a rolling pin dusted with icing sugar to roll out the dough. It should have a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a 2 ½ inch fluted pastry cutter to create 16 rounds from the dough.

9) Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

10) Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and bake the biscuits until they have turned a lovely light golden color. This should take about 30 minutes.

11) Allow the biscuits to cool and firm up before taking off of the baking sheets and placing on a wire rack to completely cool.

12) Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let soften for 10 minutes at room temperature.

13) Using a metal spatula, evenly spread the ice cream on the flat side of eight biscuits. Leave room around the edges of the biscuits. Place one of the remaining biscuits on top of the ice cream – flat-side down.

14) Arrange the ice cream sandwiches on a baking sheet, and cover. Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour or longer if you want a firmer sweet treat. Sift the cocoa powder over the tops before eating or serving.

Check out these awesome books for more ice cream recipes:






How to Match Wines with Desserts

A full course meal ends with a delectable dessert that’s why it is important to serve something that will leave the palate satisfied. Usually, the dessert is paired with a glass of wine because they compliment each other. No wonder many people go to Walt Disney World between September and November so they can satisfy their sweet cravings. This is the time that the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is held – where people can indulge in a superb selection of desserts paired with the perfect wine. However, after this event there are some people who are often left clueless when it comes to wine and dessert pairing. You don’t need to be a sommelier like the award-winning wine critic Robert Parker to know what kind of wine to match the dessert. Just read below for some tips on how you can do that:

photo courtesy of Tobias Lindman

Matching the Color

The color of the wine usually matches the color of the dessert. If you’re having red fruits as the main ingredients of your dessert, then it is advisable to choose red wines like the Cupcake Red Velvet 2011. The Bordeaux Merlot 2010, on the other hand, matches strawberry shortcake topped with berries. White wines don’t go well with citrus, tropical, and berry-flavored desserts so avoid purchasing that when throwing a tropical-themed party.

Read the Wine Description

When choosing a wine, make sure to read the ingredients or description to give you a clue as to what kind of desserts will match it. For example, M&S described Moscatel de Valencia 2012 as “a really refreshing sweet wine – pale lemon with the scent of green grapes and peaches and a luscious, ripe flavor.” Just by reading its description, you will get an idea that the Moscatel will go well with fruit desserts. Actually this sweet wine was commended at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2013.

These are just some basic tips on how you can get that perfect dessert and wine combination. Just remember to try out different wines to see what works for you best.

Single-Cup Coffee Brewers

For some people, they’d like to experience the freshest cup of coffee in the least amount of time. The drip coffee makers of yesterday are good at brewing more than one cup of Joe, but are less useful for single-cup drinkers. Today, the market is filled with plenty of options for coffee makers that make just one cup. While some are fancier than others, below are a few selections that satisfy a range of budgets.

The Keurig Brewing System

Accommodating varying coffee cup sizes (including travel mugs), a popular brand in single cup brewing is Keurig. One cup of coffee is made by inserted a pre-filled cup called a K-Cup, which provides coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Over the years, K-Cups have expanded to include more than 200 varieties, including chai, lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and iced tea. Prices range from the Keurig® Mini Plus Brewing System ($99.99) to the Keurig® OfficePRO® Premier Brewing System ($249.99). While you may feel limited in purchasing the flavors offered in K-Cup form, some use a specialized filter that allows them to brew their choice of ground coffee.

Tassimo Brewer

Tassimo brewers use T-Discs to deliver you a single cup of coffee of coffee, tea, cappuccino, mocha, latte, crema, espresso and hot chocolate. You can choose from two different brewers (the Braun Tassimo and the Bosch Tassimo), which range in prices from $99 to $260. An accessory to consider for the Tassimo brewer is a color kit, which adds a touch of blue, green, red or brown to the brewer.

Nespresso Espresso Machine

For that special jolt of caffeine in the morning, espresso machines provide a single cup of strongly brewed coffee. Nestle makes a visually attractive line of single cup brewers with their Nespresso Espresso machine, which uses a capsule system. Prices for the Nespresso machines are from $129 (Essenza) to $699 (Gran Maestria). For $229, choose the Pixie to enjoy one of the fastest single cup heating times at 25 seconds. Choose the Citiz with Milk ($299), which not only makes tasty espressos, but also has the capacity to produce creamy lattes. You can also go for the gusto and spring for a Nescafe Aeroccino milk frother, which costs $99.

Coffee Pod Brewers

There are an array of manufacturers that make brewers to work with coffee pods that you purchase separately for your unit. The Hamilton Beach Personal One Cup Brewer ($19.99) is a small yet effective machine that makes a quick cup of coffee. For around $129.99, the BUNN MC MyCafe Single Serve Pod Brewer uses a jet action sprayhead to achieve optimal flavor, and is compatible with hundreds of compostable coffee and tea pods. Senseo also makes attractive single-cup coffee pod brewers.

What is Shortbread?

Quite popular around Christmas time and the Scottish New Year, shortbread emerges in many different forms, including festive iced cookies and drier accompaniments to your cup of coffee. Shortbread is a rich pastry usually made with four simple ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar and flour. After baking, the biscuit becomes tender-crisp treat with a crumbly texture. To avoid browning, shortbread is baked at a low temperature. When it comes out of the oven, it is nearly white or a light golden brown color.

Basic Vanilla Shortbread

Ingredients needed to make a basic shortbread include ¾  (1 ½ cups or 3 sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (that has a paddle attachment), mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, and then add the ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix the dough on low speed until it starts to come together. Once mixed, dump the dough onto a surface dusted with flour. Use your hands to bring everything together. Divide the dough into four pieces. Flatten slightly. Wrap each piece in plastic and put into the refrigerator to chill.

This recipe will make about 48 small shortbreads.

What to Do with Shortbread Dough…

Some people will roll the shortbread dough and cut out shapes to bake as cookies. Others use the dough to make a range of sweet creations. There are plenty of variations you may consider when making a simple shortbread recipe. You can:

•    Cut into the shape of diamonds and dip an end in chocolate
•    Make thumbprint cookies topped with fruit preserves
•    Tea cookies dusted with confectioners (or powdered) sugar
•    Brushed with a lemon glaze and decorated with sprinkles

Baking Essentials: Vanilla

With a distinct aroma that sweetly fills the air, vanilla is one of the most used flavorings found in pastries, cakes, cookies, candy, and other desserts. At one point in time, vanilla was so rare and priceless that only royalty had access to the flavoring. Today, nearly almost every kitchen uses the flavor in some form. While there are plenty of imitations on the market, the cheaper man-made vanilla extract cannot compare to pure vanilla. If you are interested in baking a masterpiece or creating something sweet in the kitchen, vanilla is certainly a baking essential.

Vanilla extract comes from vanilla pods (or beans). There are three common types that you may encounter: Madagascar or Bourbon- Madagascar, Mexican, and Tahitian. Vanilla is the fruit of a thick green orchid vine that comes from regions, such as the islands of Madagascar and regions in the Indian Ocean. The vine also grows wildly in Mexico – producing a thicker, darker bean with a strong flavor. Tahitian vanilla beans are the thickest and are nearly black in color.

The green pods of the vine are picked by hand in an unripened state and undergo a fermentation process that can take between two to six months. The beans turn into a dark brown color as they age. The vanilla pods are then dried and cured to enhance their flavor.

Vanilla is sold in many different forms, including the very popular extract, pods (beans), powdered, essence and vanilla sugar. The vanilla extract often used in the kitchen is made by steeping the vanilla beans in an alcohol and water solution for several months. Some manufacturers will add sugar to produce a clear dark liquid with a rich flavor.

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

To experience the flavor of fresh vanilla extract, you can make your own by cutting one whole vanilla bean in half – lengthwise. Place the vanilla bean in ¾ cup of vodka, which equals out to 180 milliliters. Cover the contents tightly and let steep for six months before using.

When cooking, keep in mind that one whole vanilla bean equals two to three teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Summertime Sweet Treats: Homemade Gelato

When you’re looking to put your ice cream maker to good use, consider experimenting with the rainbow of flavors possible with homemade gelato – the Italian version of ice cream. After sampling a host of tantalizing gelato flavors at the local Italian bakery, it got me thinking – what do I have to do to make this dessert at home? From mango to pistachio to coffee-flavored gelato, you can recreate the intense flavors of gelato for your next summertime sweet treat.

What’s So Special About Gelato?

Gelato is to Italy what ice cream is to North America, but with three distinct differences. For starters, gelato contains significantly less butterfat than ice cream. Since there is a lower butterfat content, gelato doesn’t freeze as solid as ice cream. Because of this – gelato melts in your mouth faster, delivering an instantaneous blast of flavor.

gelatoManufacturers often add air to their product to double their quantity. However, the quality of the ice cream suffers. With gelato, no air is added, which creates a much higher density than ice cream that produces a richer and creamier sweet treat in taste. Gelato is actually served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream with about a 10- to 15-degree difference. In its less frozen, the taste of gelato is further amplified as it melts in your mouth.

When you buy gelato at a shop or grocery store, look for selections that use real fruit, nuts, chocolates, milk and cream, instead of flavored syrups.

Homemade Gelato Recipe

You can also make your own gelato at home with:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan, mix 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of cream. Warm the mixture until foam starts to form around the edges. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

2. Beat 4 egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until they become frothy.

3. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg yolks. Whisk constantly, and then return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture gels slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Remove the mixture immediately if you see lumps of egg begin to appear.

4. Into a bowl, pour the mixture through a sieve or fine strainer. Cover, and chill for several hours or leave in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the maker’s instructions. Transfer the gelato mix to a sealed container. Freeze until it becomes firm. If the gelato is too firm, place in the refrigerator until it reaches the desired consistency.

If you don’t feel like making your own, you can always buy some! Check out this Gelato Classico Variety Pack (Pack of 6)!

The Million – Dollar Recipe from Pillsbury Bake Off!

Last night, the winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest was revealed on The Oprah Show. Sue Compton is taking home the Grand Prize of $1 MILLION! Congratulations, Ms. Compton! Now, let’s see the recipe!

Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups

INGREDIENTS
– 1 package (16 oz) Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated sugar cookies (24 cookies)
– 4 teaspoons sugar
– 1/3 cup Fisher® Chef’s Naturals® Chopped Walnuts, finely chopped
– 1/2 cup Hershey’s® semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
– 1/4 cup Smucker’s® Seedless Red Raspberry Jam
– 1 1/2 cups vanilla bean ice cream, softened
– 24 fresh raspberries

photo courtesy of pillsbury.com
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Place 1 cookie dough round in each muffin cup. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

2. Place 2 teaspoons of the sugar in small bowl. Dip end of wooden spoon handle in sugar; carefully press into center of each cookie to make 1-inch-wide indentation. Cool completely in pan, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix walnuts and remaining 2 teaspoons sugar; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds, until smooth.

4. Run knife around edges of cups to loosen; gently remove from pan. Dip rim of each cup into melted chocolate, then into walnut mixture. Place walnut side up on cookie sheet with sides.

5. In another small microwavable bowl, microwave jam uncovered on High about 15 seconds until melted. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jam into each cup. Freeze cups about 5 minutes or until chocolate is set.

6. Spoon ice cream into cups, using small cookie scoop or measuring tablespoon. Top each cup with fresh raspberry. Store in freezer; let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Makes: 24 tartlets
Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes.

Most Popular Bakeries in New York City

A lot has been said about New York City’s most popular bakeries. But things change on a yearly basis, so let’s see who’s baking the most delicious desserts in NYC this year! In random order!

If your favorite is not on the list, leave us a comment! We’d love to hear your nominations!

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MAGNOLIA BAKERY– is often credited with starting the modern day cupcake craze with their signature pastel colored, buttercream-frosted versions. Magnolia Bakery specializes in old fashioned baked goods including red velvet cake, icebox cake, and banana pudding.

cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery
photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Location: With four bustling store fronts –two of which have opened in the past year– owners Steven and Tyra Abrams have made Magnolia’s in-demand pastries and desserts more accessible to New Yorkers and, with the Rockefeller Center location, tourists as well.
401 Bleecker St. , New York, NY (Downtown)
1240 Avenues of the Americas, New York, NY (Rockefeller Center)
200 Columbus Ave., New York, NY (uptown)
Grand Central 107 East 42nd Street, New York, NY

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RUBY ET VIOLETTE – is a New York City bakery and café that specializes in handmade, small batch gourmet chocolate chunk cookies, brownies and cookie dough ice creams.  The company is owned by three sisters; they offer exquisitely detailed gift and bakery boxes filled with their sinful treats which they send across the country as indulgent presents.

Reminiscent of a charming Parisian café, it features an old fashioned tin ceiling, black and white marble floors and custom artwork.  Customers can also enjoy an espresso bar, homemade drinking chocolates, and small batch cookie dough ice creams and sorbets.

Location: Manhattan-ites can indulge a sweet tooth on any given Tuesday through Saturday at Ruby et Violette’s café, located at 457 West 50th Street, in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen.

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5th AVENUE CHOCOLATIERE: is a family-owned business that specializes in macaroons (the best!!), matzo for Passover, the most fabulous gourmet truffles  and other baked goodies. They have over 12,000 different molded shapes and sizes and have been around for over 40 years.

Location: You can visit them at 693 Third Avenue and 11 Madison Avenue at 24th Street in New York and a factory which produces everything in Valley Stream Long Island. At the Long Island Location, they do tours where they let everyone learn about the chocolate making process, dip your own strawberries and other goodies.

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LITTLE CUPCAKE BAKESHOP: is a highly successful carbon neutral bakery in Brooklyn, NY. They specialize in cupcakes, cakes, pies, puddings, cookies and more. They also exclusively serve Illy coffee and espresso, widely regarded as the finest coffee in Europe.

Their products and carbon neutral mission have received massive acclaim from New York Times, Fox News and many others. Little Cupcake Bakeshop, blends the lively spirit of a bygone generation with the youthfulness of contemporary culture and design.

Location: 9102 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, New York

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BABYCAKES NYC : specializes in refined sugar-free, wheat-free, gluten- free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan and kosher sweet treats. Their innovative and delicious desserts made them one of the most talked-about bakeries in New York City; they have been featured in a lot of printed & online magazines and in TV shows. Erin McKenna, who was diagnosed with wheat and dairy allergies in 2004, is the founder of  BabyCakes ; she is also the author of “BabyCakes: The Cookbook”.

Location: 248 Broome Street (Btwn Orchard & Ludlow), NYC, NY. They also have a bakery in Los Angeles.

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TWO LITTLE RED HENS, an American Bakery: specializes in gorgeous custom cakes, pies and cupcakes. In a city where cupcakes are available almost everywhere, a trip to Two Little Red Hens is definitely worth it! Their cupcakes and cheesecakes are amongst the best in NYC!

Location: 1652 Second Avenue New York, NY- Upper East Side (86th & 2nd).

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Also on our list of most popular Bakeries in NYC and definitely worth visiting:

Madeleine Patisserie – 132 West 23rd Street, New York (6 & 7 Avenues)

Butter Lane Cupcakes – 123 East Seventh Street, New York

Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery– 126 Rivington Street, NYC

Billy’s Bakery – 75 Franklin Street (Between Broadway and Church Street)

Bouchon Bakery – Ten Columbus Circle, Third Floor ( of Time Warner Center), New York

Strawberry and Mascarpone Dessert

Ingredients
450g/1 lb of strawberries
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup fresh cream
1 tub (250g/9 oz) mascarpone

Directions:
Wash strawberries and grind in food processor, set aside.
Add the confectioners sugar to marscapone and whip for only a minute.
In a separate bowl, beat fresh cream until stiff peaks.
Now, fold in fresh cream into mascarpone a little at a time.
Do not add all the fresh cream, leave a small amount for piping.
Lastly fold in the ground strawberries.
Spoon into bowls and pipe fresh cream on top and garnish with sliced strawberries.

Enjoy!

strawberry_mascarpone

Custard Cookies Recipe

Baking Time: approx. 10-15 minutes.
Servings:makes about 4 dozen double cookies depending on the size of the cookies.

Ingredients:
250g butter
1 cup sugar or castor sugar
2 ex.large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup custard powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 ml salt

Filling:
125g butter
grated rind of 2 lemons
about 1 Tblsp. of lemon juice
2 cups icing sugar

custard-cookies

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 180 c/356 F.
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla.
Sift the dry ingredients together.
Add to the butter mixture and mix well.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and arrange on lightly greased baking trays.
Bake for 10-15 mins.
Mine were done in 5 mins.

Cream the butter, lemon rind and juice together.
Add the sifted icing sugar gradually and beat until creamy, but not soft.
Spread one side of each cookie with the filling and sandwich the cookies in pairs.

The custard powder can be replaced with cornflour for a completely different flavour.
I used milk chocolate for the filling but I’ve added the recipe for the lemon filling.

Enjoy!

Brownie Recipe

As you all know, here, at 100CafeStreet.com, we LOVE Brownies! That’s why, once in a while, we try a new recipe.

Preparation Time: approx. 20-25 minutes
Baking Time: approx. 25-29 minutes
Total time: 45 – 55 minutes
Servings: oops! we forgot to count! 8-10 at least!!

Ingredients:

brownies

8 oz of unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. coffee
1 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (toasted)
1/2 cup chocolate-chips

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13×9-inch pan. (You can use a different size pan.)
2. Melt chocolate, butter and coffee in a saucepan over low heat; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer on high speed for approx. 10 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture, flour and salt; mix well. Stir in the nuts and chocolate-chips.
4. Pour the mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake for 29-25 minutes. (try not to overbake)
6. Cool. Once cool, cut into square pieces (we used a flower cutter and cut the brownies into shapes) and carefully pour chocolate and a sprinkle of walnuts.
7. When cooled completely, store in refrigerator.

delicious-brownies

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This is a very rich dessert, perfect for guests or people with a sweet tooth! Please be aware that brownies can cause addiction! :)

Please leave your feedback if you try this recipe. We’d love to hear from you! Pictures and recipe may not be re-published without our consent.

Survey Gives a Taste of Country’s Relationship With an All-American Dessert Celebrated on National Pie Day, Jan. 23

When movie-goers see Paramount Pictures’ “Labor Day,” which opens later this month, they’re likely to emerge from theaters craving a slice of good ol’ American pie. Not surprisingly, their preferred choice of pie most likely will be apple.

Both assumptions are based on findings in a recent independent survey commissioned by the American Pie Council, whose National Pie Day holiday on January 23 is being sponsored by “Labor Day.” Premiering on January 31, the movie, starring Kate Winslet, in a Golden Globe-nominated role, and Josh Brolin and directed by Jason Reitman, includes a salient scene that shares the APC’s message of passing down pie-making skills from generation to generation.

LaborDayPoster
photo courtesy of American Pie Council

Conducted by Nielsen, the survey polled 1,000 respondents from across the country, asking them about their pie-eating habits and their lifetime relationship with the dessert. The survey revealed that pie is a preferred dessert even on special occasions other than Thanksgiving, with 70% favoring it on Christmas and 67% considering it a staple of family gatherings. And, it’s not just an after-dinner treat. Pie is a great late-night snack, too, 58% of the respondents said. Quite a few of those surveyed—26%—even admitted to hiding a piece of piece to save it for themselves!

What are Americans’ favorite pies? Apple takes, ah, the cake, but perhaps surprisingly chocolate pie tied with pumpkin in the No. 2 spot, while cherry placed third, according to the survey.

The survey also buttressed the APC’s view of pie as a slice of Americana, and not just as a menu item for special occasions either. Pie recipes and pie-making skills hold a dear place in a family’s heritage, a theme that “Labor Day” seizes upon with subtle effectiveness.

“Labor Day” will be distinctively tied to National Pie Day through social and traditional media promotional campaigns, pie recipes and more, and will be showcased in marketing materials supporting the holiday. On January 13, the APC launched on its Facebook page a ticket-giveaway promotion. One lucky person will receive a private viewing party of “Labor Day” with 50 guests in the winner’s town.

“Labor Day” centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives.

The American Pie Council® is the only organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, passing on the tradition of pie-making and promoting America’s love affair with pie. The APC offers personal, professional and commercial memberships. For more information, please visit www.piecouncil.org or follow the American Pie Council on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter at FYPie.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group

Baking Tips: Angel Food, Chiffon and Sponge Cake

When you are looking for a lighter, fluffier sweet treat to make at home, you may want to direct your attention to the beauty of angel food-, chiffon-, and sponge cake recipes. While not everyone will enjoy the lightness or texture of this dessert, there are many different ways to enhance the taste by experimenting with spices, nuts, and flavored glazes.

What’s the Difference?

Angel Food Cake – This sponge cake is described as delicate, light and airy. Since egg whites are used instead of the entire egg, the dessert is low-calorie and virtually fat-free. The typical one-ounce piece of angel food is a little over 72 calories.

Chiffon Cake – Vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and flavorings are used to make a rather light cake. A high oil and egg content produces a very moist cake.

Sponge Cake – A combination of flour, sugar, eggs and sometimes baking powder creates a firm, yet well aerated baked good.

Baking Tips

When making a light and airy dessert, most of your success will come when beating the eggs and mixing all the ingredients in the right manner. A few baking tips when making chiffon cake, angel food cake, and sponge cake include:

  • If your cake shows poor volume, you may not have beaten the egg whites long enough. You should beat the egg whites until they stand in straight peaks. When the beaters are removed, your egg white should look moist and glossy.
  • Do not overmix your cake batter when you add the flour – make sure to gently fold in the ingredients and combine well until the batter is just smooth.
  • Heavy frosting on your angel food cake will compromise the light texture and flavor of the cake. Instead, opt for a flavored glaze, such as lemon, orange or chocolate.
  • A chiffon cake with yellow streaks means that you added the yolks directly to the dry ingredients without making a “well” in the center of the dry ingredients. Oil should be added first – followed by the egg yolks.
  • Over-beaten or under-beaten egg whites will cause a layer to form in your chiffon cake. Only beat the egg whites until they are stiff and have a moist, glossy appearance.
  • Sponge cake that forms layers means that you did not beat the egg yolks long enough – remember that you should beat the yolks until they are thick and lemon-colored.
  • Blend your ingredients only until they are mixed or you run the risk of producing a tough cake from overmixing the batter when the dry ingredients are added.
  • Cakes that shrink or fall are a sign that the egg whites were beaten too long.

The American Pie Council Presents Pies, Pies and More Pies In New Book Featuring 18 Years of Award-Winning Recipes

Since 1995, amateur, commercial, and professional bakers have competed in the American Pie Council (APC)/Crisco National Pie Championships to determine who makes the best pies in America.  America’s Best Pies: Nearly 200 Recipes You’ll Love (Skyhorse Publishing, October 2012, SRP $24.95) by the American Pie Council with Linda Hoskins is a collection of 200 delicious recipes that have won awards over the 18 years of the championship competition.  The book will be available for sale this October on www.piecouncil.org and through select national booksellers and online book retailers.

From the unusual like My Big Fat Italian Strawberry Basil Wedding Pie to classic Apple (America’s Number One flavor preference (Perishable News, 2012 Pie Survey), every recipe has been reviewed by judges and determined to be an award-winning pie.  The selections in America’s Best Pies are the best of the best from amateur and professional bakers from across the country.  Recipes include:

  • Silky, Rich & Smooth Chocolate Pie
  • Lemon Raspberry Twist
  • Island Breeze Pineapple-Blueberry Cream Pie
  • Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chunk Pie
  • Deep-Dish Deluxe Banana Split Pie
  • Oreo Peanut Butter Mousse Pie
  • Pumpkin
  • Californese Raisin and Nut Pie
  • Holiday Cranberry Mince Pie
  • White-Bottomed Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie
  • Vanilla Bean Brûlée Pie

America’s Best Pies showcases an abundance of color pie photographs, many of which are the actual pies entered in the competition.  Packed with clear and concise recipes, the book is for expert and future expert pie makers alike.  Whether it’s apple, custard, strawberry or raisin, there’s a pie for every taste bud.

The APC/Crisco National Pie Championships is a four-day event held annually in Central Florida drawing the nation’s top commercial, professional, amateur and junior pie bakers.  Bakers win prizes, but compete for bragging rights. Next year’s competition is scheduled for April 26-28, 2013 at the Caribe Royal Orlando.  For more information, visit www.piecouncil.org.

The American Pie Council® is the only organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, passing on the tradition of pie-making and promoting America’s love affair with pie. The APC offers personal, professional, and commercial memberships and leads the nation in celebrating National Pie Day every January 23.  For more information, please visit www.piecouncil.org

About the Author

Linda Hoskins has served as the executive director of the American Pie Council since 2000.  Along with a strong board of directors, Linda has been responsible for organizing all aspects of the pie industry for the National Pie Championships, the Great American Pie Festival, and the Pie Industry Seminar. Linda has been a judge for the Food Network and the Travel Channel, and has been named to Baking Management’s Influential 20 in both 2009 and 2011.  Linda and her husband, Richard, have two children and three grandchildren and reside in Lake Forest, Illinois.

America’s Best Pies
Nearly 200 Recipes You’ll Love
By American Pie Council
With Linda Hoskins
Skyhorse Publishing hardcover, also available as an ebook
Available at select retailers nationwide and through www.piecouncil.org
On Sale: October 2012
ISBN: 978-1-62087-165-2
Price: $24.95

Introducing Starbucks Refreshers Beverages

Not everyone wants to fill up with the traditional cup of coffee when they wish to rejuvenate their energy levels, and the popular chain, Starbucks, is now offering three different ways to boost your ability to get-up-and-go. Harnessing the natural energy of green coffee extract, Starbucks is making a move in the energy drink market. While coffee extract is used in the making of the beverages, there is no coffee taste – so fruit lovers will certainly be pleased.

Fresh Handcrafted Drinks

A quick trip to Starbucks brings you closer to a handcrafted low-calorie beverage made with fresh ingredients, such as  fruit juice, whole blackberries (in the Very Berry Hibiscus), and real slices of lime (in the Cool Lime). With the addition of green coffee extract, the drink helps encourage a surge of natural energy.

Sparkling Beverages

Green coffee extract is added to a handful of flavorful sparkling beverages made with real fruit juice, B vitamins, ginseng, and antioxidants from vitamin C. You also don’t have to feel guilty about drinking a can because they are only 60 calories. Flavors to consider include Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade, and Orange Melon. Cans of the sparkling beverage cost as low as around $1.20 and can be purchased outside of a Starbucks coffee shop.

Instant Beverage Packets

The VIA brand of instant beverages that Starbucks produces also offers a line of Refreshers (Very Berry Hibiscus and Cool Lime flavors) for those times you can’t step out of the office or house. The packets are made with real fruit and green coffee extract – providing hints of citrus, apple and mint. This option is perfect for people on the go. All you have to do is open a packet, add to a glass of cold water, and mix. One carton of the VIA Refreshers consists of five packets and cost about $5.95.

Healthy Green Tea and Plum Smoothie

Green tea leaves are the dried leaves of the tea plant, which contain less caffeine than black tea because they do not undergo the fermentation process. For centuries, the health benefits of green tea have been known and utilized by the Chinese and Japanese. Green tea is good for the heart, skin and boosting energy levels. From lowering cholesterol levels to cancer prevention, green tea leaves contain natural antioxidants that translate into healthier living.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

  • The advantages to drinking green tea seem endless, but a few standouts to consider include:
  • Removing aging toxins and promoting glowing skin from the liver detoxification associated with catechins found in the tea.
  • Reduction in inflammation and better control over food allergies – thanks to the plant chemical called quercetin.
  • A weight loss aid that not only assists in the burning of fat, but also helps regulate blood-sugar and insulin levels, which is also beneficial to diabetics.

Green tea is often sipped without any extras, but the flavor is also enhanced by adding lemon, sugar, and especially honey. You can also blend green tea with other ingredients to create satisfying drinks. To tap into the health benefits of green tea while enjoying a cool, refreshing fruity drink, you might want to consider the following recipe:

Green Tea and Yellow Plum Smoothie
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon high-quality honey
  • 2 ripe yellow plums (halved and pitted)

Directions

  1. Add the tea bag to a teapot (or heatproof pitcher).
  2. Pour the boiling water over the teabag.
  3. Allow the tea to steep for 7 minutes. Remove and toss out the teabag.
  4. Let the brew cool off, and then chill in the refrigerator.
  5. Pour the chilled tea into a food processor or blender.
  6. Add the honey and yellow plums.
  7. Process the ingredients until they become smooth. Serve the drink at once.