Dream Cream

I've had an insatiable, almost homicidal desire for Horchata lately. It seems that no amount of the stuff can slake my thirst.  It's refreshing, sweet (but not too sweet), and a perfect balance between the warmth of the cinnamon and the light, cold creaminess of the drink itself.  I love it!!

Since moving to LA I've been in Mexican Food Heaven (everything is so cheap! And delicious! And on every block!) and chugging Horchata at every chance I get.

I was at lunch last week with with my lovely, health-conscious friend Lexi when suddenly we had a brilliant idea: why not make Horchata ice cream and take it to the next level? So I took a whack at it.

Here's what I came up with:
And here's how I did it:

Horchata Ice Cream

2 1/2 C milk
1/4 C ground almond (food processed)
Splash or 2 of vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom (if you have it)
1/3 C honey (I used creamed clover honey)
2/3 C rice (I only had brown)

Heat the milk to a low simmer.  Add honey, almonds & spices.  Pour the hot milk over the rice and let cool then refrigerate overnight (if you're in a rush 2+ hours will do).  You want your flavors to make friends!

Blend the mixture on high until it's a smooth as possible.

Pour the mixture through a strainer. Take a couple dollops of the coarse, grainy, almond-and-rice stuff that didn't go through, and stir it back in with the Horchata mixture. 

Discard the rest or, if you hate to waste all those lovely sweet, spiced rice & almond granules, incorporate it into this recipe for (gluten-free!) Italian Cornmeal Cake. Substitute your dregs for the almond flour, but add in with the ricotta and wet ingredients--not with the cornmeal!  You may have to experiment with decreasing the amount of ricotta so your batter is not too wet.  Anyway...

Stir the horchata mixture (approx. 1 1/2 C) in with 1 pint heavy cream. Pour into ice cream maker and let mix 25ish minutes till thickened.  

And for your listening pleasure, here is the lovely Vampire Weekend song, named after our favorite eponymous beverage:

So charming and catchy; I like it almost as much as the drink itself!


What does BBC stand for?

I'm pretty sure it must be Bitchin' British Cake.  Seriously.
Rachel Manley, charming Brixton blogger and contributor to the brilliant BBC Food website, has completely seduced me with this ah.mazing recipe for Almond & Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Curd (via Design*Sponge).  

Lately I'm obsessed with "every day cakes"--unassuming cakes with fewer ingredients that surprise you with sumptuous, delicious flavors despite their simplicity.  This almond & yogurt confection takes the cake.  The blood orange adds a hint of glamor and zest that makes it so...spring!  It keeps and travels well, making it basically the perfect picnic cake.

My only issue?  It's not gluten-free!  But with a few tweaks, I managed to make it sans gluten and with a slightly lower Glycemic Index.  Check out my remix below:

Blood Orange Curd* (make a day in advance)
  • 2 blood oranges, zest and juice (should end up being about 1/2 C of juice)
  • 1/3 cup honey (lately I'm obsessed with creamed)
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter, cut into cubes)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
Place orange zest and juice, sugar and coconut oil/butter into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Don't let the base of the bowl touch the water.
Stir the mixture until the oil/butter has melted. Slowly whisk eggs into the mixture. Stir constantly but slowly as it cooks, until the curd has thickened.  (DON'T LET IT BOIL.) This should take about 10 minutes. 
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes; the mixture will thicken slightly.
Strain the curd through a sieve into jars or tuperware and let cool completely.  Store in the fridge.  After a couple of hours, the curd should look like thick custard. Keeps for a couple weeks.
*Delicious alternatives: lemon or lime curd (which you could make using the above recipe), raspberry jam, or fig spread...all scrumptious, complementary, and available in a jar!
Whipped Cream
Mix 1/2 C whipping cream with a splash of vanilla.  Whip till peaks form...but don't overdo it!  We're not making butter.

Almond and Yogurt Cake
  • 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, such as Chobani or Fage
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 C GF flour, such as Arrowhead or Bob's Red Mill
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp + a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds or almond meal
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with PAM.
Mix wet ingredients (whisking in eggs one at a time); in separate bowl mix dry.  Fold almond-and-flour mixture into the wet mix.  Divide batter between the two pans and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cake rises and the top is springy to the touch.  WATCH CAREFULLY!  Honey browns more quickly than and alternative flours can require longer bake times.
Remove cakes from the oven and let cool in pans for five minutes. Turn cakes out on cooling rack and let them finish cooling.
Place one of the cakes onto a serving plate or cake stand and spread with curd or jam, then whipped cream. Top with the other cake, upside down so that you have a nice, flat top.
Dust with powdered sugar and nibble alongside huge swigs of Lady Grey Tea!

Photography by Kristina Gill via Design*Sponge.