Framboise Lambic with Blueberry Ice Cream

Framboise Lambic with Blueberry Ice Cream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Recently my husband has been on a Lambic beer kick. He’s tried them all (pêche, pommes, kriek and cassis) and the Lindemans’ Framboise (raspberry) is the hands down favorite. I’m not a beer drinker, unless I’m sitting on a tropical beach with the sun beating down on me and eating something spicy; at which point a beer satisfies my needs. But this beer is different. It is the dessert of beers. Lindemans’ Framboise is made in Belgium from barley, wheat and wild yeast. After it spontaneously ferments (this is sounding a lot like the start of a levain bread dough) the raspberries are added and you have a complex flavor of juice and the bitter slightly sour taste of the beer. I can even drink this without a beach!

My sons requested root beer floats after our long, hot car ride back from the cabin. As I was scooping the ice cream into the glass and the foam came up over the glass I had a vision of an adult version of this classic kids treat. I grabbed my husbands glass of beer and threw in a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But vanilla ice cream? It needed something more, something fresh and fruity to bring out the character of the beer. I had just made a blueberry-ginger sauce that would fit the bill perfectly. All I did was pour some of the sauce over the ice cream in a dish, refroze it for about 20 minutes and then scooped out the blueberry swirl ice cream into the beer. Now we have something to talk about, and it’s Framboise Lambic with blueberry ice cream. Read More

Grilled Pineapple with Rosé Glaze

Grilled Pineapple with Rosé Glaze | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I’m always looking for things to throw on the grill in the summer. I’ve tried everything from brioche fruit pizzas to Brussels sprouts. I admit the Brussels sprouts were not amongst my greatest achievements in grilling, but this pineapple is now one of my favorites. I did nothing but slice it, paint it with simple syrup and grill. The pineapple was so fragrant and sweet that it called to me in the grocery store. It reminded me of a trip I took to Hawaii with my dad in high school. I bought a pineapple from a fruit stand on the side of the road and ate the entire thing. It was divine, but I spent the rest of the day recovering. I’ll never eat an entire pineapple again but when I find one as good as this it is terribly tempting.

The contrast of the intense sweet and acidity in pineapple is perfect with the smokiness of the grill. Combined with the rich flavors of Rosé glaze and vanilla ice cream and this grilled pineapple with rosé glaze is a decadent dessert that is both fast and easy. Read More

Sweet Peach Lassi

Sweet Peach Lassi Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

How can something so tasty be SO easy? Just throw it all in the blender, let it whirl and you have a a gorgeous sweet peach lassi! This is what I made my boys for breakfast this morning. Peaches and a bit of honey sweeten the tangy yogurt. Pour it in beautiful little glasses you can serve it as dessert after an Indian feast or a light picnic on the patio.

The recipe comes from my friend Suvir’s book, Indian Home Cooking. I switched to peaches from his traditional mango and replaced the sugar with honey, otherwise it is all his! He and I will be teaching a class at Cooks of Crocus Hill on August 30th for any of you in the area who would like to join us. It will be a wonderful evening of his incredible food and I will be creating breads and sweets to match.

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“Simple” Summer Strawberry Torte for Nana!

Summer Strawberry Torte Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

This strawberry torte is simple; and by this I mean, not fancy, nearly rustic in appearance and suitable for a picnic table. I left the sides uncovered so that everyone could see all the layers that make up the cake, like a trifle without the bowl. I just had to let the dacquoise poke out because I thought it was a terrible shame to trim it into obscurity. Perhaps the piping on top is a bit fanciful, but I made it for Nana’s (my step mother, my boys call her Nana so now we all do!)  birthday party and I wanted it to be fun and whimsical. Read More

Orange Scented Sponge Cake

Orange Scented Sponge Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I made this fresh orange scented sponge cake from my The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. It is a classic and really nothing about it needs changing. It is light and the orange gives the cake a fresh flavor that isn’t overly sweet. I combined it with a dacquoise, strawberry whipped cream and homemade jam to make a birthday torte for my stepmother. Even though there is no butter or oil in the cake I find it moist enough that I didn’t use a simple syrup soak. But you certainly could add it for flavor. Read More

Strawberry Whipped Cream, almost a Fool

Fresh Strawberries | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

These strawberries were so gorgeous that I just had to have them. They were the inspiration for a summer torte I made for my stepmother’s birthday. First I made a strawberry fool of sorts, but unlike a traditional fool I used pectin to stabilize it. I needed the strawberry whipped cream to hold up when used as the layers of the cake, but I didn’t want to use gelatin. I’ve been playing with pectin ever since my brother and his girlfriend became vegans. Plus, it is just fun to play with new ingredients in ways I hadn’t before. Read More