Monday, March 25, 2013
Are you ready for summer? No? But it certainly feels like summer here in Los Angeles! arh….so, I prepared some ice cream to cool things off. This is one of my favorite ice cream to make, besides the Dark Chocolate, French Roasted Coffee, Coconut, and Roasted Strawberry ones. Boy, I do have quite a few favorites and I think that shouldn’t surprise you when it comes to ice creams.
I love this Vanilla Bean ice cream recipe because it’s pretty much the base for all great ice cream before you can add any other of your favorite ingredient to turn it into flavored ice cream such as those I mentioned above.
Many years ago when I was still living and working in Santa Monica, my Hubby, then boyfriend, and I loved to visit this Italian restaurant near the 3nd Street Promenade, called Lacanda Del Lago. One of the items on the dessert menu was Affogato al Caffè Espresso (translated as Drowned in Espresso). It’s basically vanilla bean ice cream drowned in espresso. As simply as it sounds, it’s totally decadent. It’s a dessert, and it’s also your after dinner coffee at the same time.
Of course, you know I always like to recreate restaurant favorites in my own kitchen. It’s very simple to prepare, just scoop a couple of vanilla ice cream in a glass, and pour a shot or two of freshly brewed and slightly cooled espresso over the ice cream and enjoy. As always (with my clumsy self), I pour the espresso with my left hand and tried to capture a shot with the heavy camera on my right hand. So…as you can guess, this is what happened….espresso everywhere!
By now, I would have been in “panic" mode! Because coffee would stain my photography backdrops! And that had happened numerous time in the past.
No, that’s not a pretty sight! But wait! I’m so happy that it happened today. No, I’m not kidding! But why am I so happy? Because this is not my usual real wood photography backdrops! Check this out.
Use a damp paper towel and simply give it a wipe.
The espresso is gone and the backdrop is like brand new again! Yay! Magical? I certainly think so. Some of you had asked me in messages and emails in the past on how I made my photography backdrops. I was going to do a post with pictorial along with the steps by steps instructions, blah blah blah; until one day, I discovered Swanky Prints.
It was like a photographer’s dream came true. Because Swanky Prints carry these vinyl photography backdrops. Realistic, light weight and waterproof!
It was shipped to me rolled up as show in the picture below and all ready to use! No sanding, gluing, staining, painting, and waiting (for the paint to dry) compared to making my own wood backdrops.
The one I got from Swanky Prints was a 2 x 2 ft. Same as the black and white real wood one I made long time ago. And I also have a bigger one in blue (as shown in the picture below). See the difference? Not only the vinyl one is light weight, easy to carry, it’s also a space saver!!!
And guess what, you’re in luck today. Swanky Prints is kindly offering all uTry.it readers a 25% off on your orders! Simply use the code UTRY25 at check out to receive the discount. Thank you Swanky Prints!
So, while I’m enjoying my Affogato al Caffè Espresso, I’ll be very busy browsing through Swanky Prints’ Etsy store and decide what to order next! See, told you I have a tough job to do here!
Disclaimer: I receive a 2 x 2 vinyl backdrop free of charge for the purpose of this review. I occasionally do reviews and share with you on brands/products that I've tried and love. It was a pleasure to have the chance to work with Swanky Prints on this review. However, I am NOT affiliate with Swanky Prints in any way. All opinions are 100% my own.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: (Printable Recipe)
1 1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon liquor (I used vodka), optional
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and salt together until simmer. Cover and remove from heat and let the mixture steep at room temp for 1 hour.
In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Set aside. Reheat the vanilla mixture until simmer. While whisking the egg yolks constantly, slowly pour the warm vanilla mixture into the yolks. Then, scrap egg yolks mixture back into saucepan.
With a flat bottom wooden spatula, stir the mixture constantly and cook over medium low heat until the custard is thick and coat the spatula. Set a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Strain the custard. Do not discard the vanilla bean, simply wash and pat dry it, then add it to your jar of vanilla sugar.
Stir in the cream and liquor, if using. Set the mixture over an ice bath and stir until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight. Churn the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
To prepare the Affogato al Caffè Espresso, simply scoop a couple scoops of vanilla bean ice cream into a glass and pour freshly brewed and slightly cooled espresso on top and enjoy.