The recipe made with raw fruit (L) and roasted fruit (R)
The bounty of late spring (now early summer) is upon us- the farmers markets are full of all the green vegetables we have been craving this long winter. Rhubarb (along with those oh so trendy wild ramps) is one of the first signs of spring. Luckily rhubarb sticks around long enough to overlap for a brief glorious moment with the advent of ripe strawberries.
Rhubarb stalks have a bright and tart taste which needs to be tempered with sugar to make it palatable. The plant contains the toxin oxalic acid so never eat the leaves! There are luckily smaller amounts of the toxin in the edible stalks. Interestingly enough, its qualities are those of a vegetable, but we consider it a fruit because of how we use it in desserts.
Market fresh strawberries and rhubarb stalks
One of the best pies, in my fair opinion, is a strawberry-rhubarb one. Strawberries are naturally sweet and balance the tartness of rhubarb. The bright red color is cheery and reminds us that warmer weather and longer evenings are on the way. With two fruits and strained yogurt, it’s easy to tell yourself that this is a “healthy dessert” (almost- if there wasn’t two forms of sugar and all the delicious cream).
Rosemary Frozen Yogurt with Chocolate Shavings
When we were dreaming up this blog, one of our main objectives was to make this project collaborative. Our friends have great ideas and we try to make them happen. That means we talk about ice cream a lot. However, at the heart of it, the next two posts are pizza party themed. That’s right, we baked.
We’ve been planning a pizza party for awhile and we wanted to do some flavors on the savory spectrum. One of our dear friends in Richmond, VA knows a lot about herbs and had many suggestions, including this flavor combination, based on a rosemary mocha drink she had at a local cafe.
Milk Chocolate Frozen Yogurt (left) and Ice Cream (right)
As we both have quite the sweet tooth for chocolate, we knew we had to make a satisfactory chocolate frozen treat. I say frozen treat without specifying ice cream or frozen yogurt because we equally appreciate the two for their inherent qualities: Yogurt has that undercurrent of tartness, while ice cream has that milky sweetness that reminds you of childhood treats. Also, we had a little mix-up when making our most recent batch.
We had every intention of making chocolate frozen yogurt. Our very first frozen adventure was, in fact, a woefully hard-freezing and icy chocolate with pretzels and mini marshmallow frozen yogurt, made from the recipe that came with the ice cream maker instruction booklet. Lesson learned: Don’t make our mistake and use the recipe that comes with your machine. It practically guarantees icy cold disappointment. We felt we needed to redeem chocolate frozen yogurt after that first mess.
However, in the rush to get our batch done in the morning before a busy Sunday afternoon, we forgot to modify the recipe we were using to accommodate the yogurt and therefore forgot all about the bowl of strained yogurt that waited so patiently in the fridge. After acknowledging the bummer, we decided to make the recipe both ways to compare the results.
2012 is the Year of the Water Dragon. Friends came over to celebrate this Chinese New Year in January. What better to top off an Asian hodgepodge of meaty Chinese noodles and fresh Vietnamese summer rolls than a nutty, creamy black sesame frozen yogurt. Don’t be put off by the unconventional color- while not many foods are a speckled dark gray, this frozen yogurt is a tangy dessert that satisfied both the skeptical eater and the sweet tooth.
Straining yogurt may seem like a fussy and superfluous step in the making of frozen yogurt. Many recipes out there do not call for it, but straining is the first step to making a treat that freezes more like creamy ice cream and less like an icy, unscoopable rock. By straining the water from the yogurt, you are minimizing the amount of water that can turn into unfriendly ice later.