Thursday, July 31, 2008

Daring Bakers July Challenge: Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

Oh, Blondie, Blondie, Blondie. When will you learn that the beefs mean nothing to me? I only love cows for their cheese, ice cream, and fro-yo making power. Though I'll admit there is a single tear spilling down my cheek at the sight of your photos. Sniffle. I'm so proud. Anyway, back to my post and the topic of making certain blogging partners who are in Las Vegas with shiny hair and delicious cocktails jealous...

Is it already time for another Daring Bakers Challenge? Yes! Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream? But're allergic to Filberts... Yes! And that's part of what makes me so Daring!

Don't worry, I didn't go crazy with the tree nuts, but I did put on my Alterna-Daring Baker Hat and modified the recipe so it was made with my favorite nut that's really a legume, the peanut. Yes, Blondie. It's a Peanut Gateau with Peanut Brittle Praline Buttercream and a thin shmear of your favorite strawberry jam. Actually I feel pretty badly because this was supposed to be your birthday cake. But my kitchen is only just now ready to prepare anything more than slice and bake cookies. Any way, you're living the high life in Vegas now, so you prolly won't miss this cake much...

But I digress...I know that this post is going to get long, so I'll first refer you to this month's host Mele Cotte's post for the full filbert recipe should you be able to indulge in the the loveliest tree nut of the bunch--no offense cashews, you know I'd eat you, too, if I could.

Sooo...first scanning the recipe of the genoise, I was a bit fearful regarding the amount of nuts needed and how it would work with peanuts. Could I use a straight substitution? How would it taste with lemon rind mixed in with peanuts? I started searching for a peanut genoise recipe and stumbled upon this recipe. The technique seemed to match up with the filbert recipe, though the nut ratio was different. I spent most of this month packing and moving and unpacking so I didn't have time to experiment, so I decided to go with the genoise recipe that was intended for the peanuts to begin with. The peanut recipe was super easy and it was exciting to see my mixture triple in volume. I quickly poured it into an 8 inch round pan before it started losing volume. And tossed it into the oven. Within about 15 minutes it was done.

Next the Sugar Syrup:

Sugar Syrup
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers

1 cup water
¼ cup sugar

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool slightly before using on the cake. *Can be made in advance.
You have the option here to add in liqueur, but since I was changing the recipe to peanut, I decided to keep it simple and omitted it here.

Swiss Buttercream
4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the egg whites in a lg/ bowl of a electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows.
Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not overbeat*. Set aside.

Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not overbeat or the butter will become toooooo soft.*

On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.

Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.

Wait! My buttercream won’t come together! Reheat the buttercream briefly over simmering water for about 5 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful and do not overbeat. The mixture will look broken with some liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on medium speed just until the cream comes back together.

Wait! My buttercream is too soft! Chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and rewhip. If that doesn’t work, cream an additional 2-4 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl– making sure the butter is not as soft as the original amount, so make sure is cool and smooth. On low speed, quickly add the creamed butter to the buttercream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

Again you have the option to add 1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or liqueur of your choice here. I again chose to omit the liqueur here.

When my buttercream isn't getting fluffy and whipping up, I recommend adding an additional egg white, I use the pasteurized whites and I just toss them in the mixer.

Praline Paste
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Peanuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.

Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.

**I can verify that it is extremely hot. I have the blister on my left index finger to prove it. That said, it was very cool to make my own brittle.

Strawbery Glaze
Good for one 10-inch cake

2/3 cup thick strawberry preserves
1 Tbsp. water

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.

Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze
Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of a 9 or 10 inch layer or tube cake

**Ganache can take on many forms. While warm – great fudge sauce. While cool or lukewarm – semisweet glaze. Slightly chilled – can be whipped into a filling/frosting. Cold & solid – the base of candied chocolate truffles.

6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, like Lindt
6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ - 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla. If the surface seems oily, add ½ - 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!

Here also you have the option of adding a liqueur which I omitted.

Assembling Cake

Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.

Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream.

Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Assembling the Cake!

Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-inch blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.

Waiting for Glaze and Ganache!

Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.

Garnish cake by piping reserved buttercream.

The Cake!

Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Inside the Peanut Gateau

Piece of Cake

The cake was delicious. The strawberry glaze added a nice hint of acidity that balanced well with the cake. It will probably go to my office tomorrow. As with all the Daring Baker Challenges I had fun making it--especially dumping the ganache on the cake. Though the next time I give this cake a try it will be on a weekend, when I have time to concentrate fully on this. Also...not such the great cake to make during a hot NY summer.

My Cake Hiding in the Freezer


Payback is a Bitch!!

A few months back, Brownie was in Atlanta and thought it was funny to tell me about the wonderful fried chicken she was eating. Revenge is a dish best served cold, or, in my case, smothered in cheese and animal style.

I finally came face to face with the one, the only, In-N-Out burger. It was 115,000 degrees out, but heat couldn't deter me. When I finally made it up to the front of the line, I heard boys around me say "Animal style, animal style." I usually leave 'animal style' for the bedroom, but I had to know what this was and how many things I could get it done to. I asked my cashier who informed me that it involved onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles among other things. I sort of zoned out after the onions part and kept saying 'yes.' Brownie, if you ate red meat, I'd tell you to immediately get on a plane, and get thee to an In-N-Out, but since you don't, I'm going to tell the Bobos to get out here and eat burgers with me. My God, that was delcious.

The fries weren't any better than the Golden Arches fries, but they were decent. The chocolate shake was wonderful though, not too sweet, not too thick (I'm actually not a fan of trying to suck the hell out of things.)

The burgers though are reason enough for me to keep hitting up In-N-Out until it's time for me to come home. They're fresh, made to order, and take me one step closer to the grave. I don't think it's better than Shake Shack, but it's a definite top three in my book. More to come, Brownie.

PS I'm sitting by the pool with some guy buying me drinks and telling me about my silky hair, jealous much?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The case of the vanishing sushi piece...

Last night I met up with a friend for some late night eats at Woorijip and I got my usual California Roll and Spicy Pork over Rice. But something was amiss..

Hmmm. The sushi packaging was different--long and skinny. I'd never seen this kind of packaging there before. And there wasn't any wasabi included. I went to the counter and they handed me a couple of wasabi packets solving that problem, but still, in the back of my mind I couldn't shake the feeling I was missing a sushi piece.

And I was! Let's review the photo evidence:

$3.50 California Roll 6/4/08

$3.50 California Roll 7/29/08

Was this an anomaly? Or is the new $3.50 California Roll now 9 pieces instead of 10. Has anyone else noticed this? Is this another effect of the rising cost of foods? I still love me some Woorijip, it's one of my favorite go-to cheap spots in midtown--but I wonder if more food/price changes are to come...

12 W 32nd St, New York 10001
Between 5th Ave & Broadway

Blondie and Brownie hit up the Red Hook Ballfields

Even rain couldn't dampen our enthusiasm and appetite for huaraches, ceviche, pupusas--you get the picture--at the Red Hook Ballfields Serious Eats meet-up on Sunday...

I was first turned on to the delicious wonders of the Red Hook Ballfields Vendors a couple of years ago via the excellent food blog The Pork Chop Express where I've followed the struggles of the vendors as they worked hard to meet compliance with the city's regulations. The vendors have sunk a lot of money into the process--not to mention the lost revenue from 3 months that they couldn't operate. I wasn't able to make it out to support them on their first weekend of the season, but fortunately my persistent craving for elote perfectly coincided with the Serious Eats Meet-Up.

It was so strange to arrive at the park and see all of these trucks and carts in the place of the familiar tents and griddles. With the conversion to trucks the vendors lost some precious cooking surface space so the lines were long, but for the most part people seemed willing to wait. After all, good food takes time.

Mixed Ceviche with Ample Shrimp on Top!

The ceviche was still delicious as ever, but the prices had gone up a bit to $8.00 for mixed fish and shrimp and just shrimp ceviche went up to $9.


The meat and cheese Pupusas were still as good as the ones I'd been longing for and are now priced 2 for $5. All the more excuse to get 2! As if I needed an excuse...

We were sad to discover that Hernandez Huaraches was not coming back. They were our go to huaraches place. Sniffle. The line for Martinez Huaraches, the only remaining Huaraches place stretched way down Clinton street. The three people at the grill were working as hard as they could to get tacos and huaraches to the masses, but the reduced cooking surface space made everything a bit slower, but people were good humored about the situation and that and the promise of the tasty huaraches made the wait more bearable. At last I came away with a pork huarache, a chorizo huarache, and chicken tacos.

Pork Huarache

Chorizo Huarache

Chicken Tacos

Tastewise I remember the Hernandez Huaraches as being more flavorful--however this might have been influenced by the previous cooking surfaces which Lawman posits 1) had greater capacity and 2) were hotter and allowed for a crispy meat exterior. That said, these were all together quite good.

Red Hook wrap up...while the prices have gone up a little, the food is still quite good and makes for a fun weekend afternoon. It was great to meet up with all the Serious Eaters and fellow Serious Eats readers as well as JSlab from the Pork Chop Express and the Grub Street Gang. And Thanks to IKEA, Red Hook is more accessible than ever via bus and even Water Taxi!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Am Coming For YOU, In-N-Out Burger!!!!

Dear In-N-Out,

When I first heard of you years, and years ago, I was intrigued by the delicious stories I was hearing of your "Double Doubles" and "Off Menu Items." And yet you eluded me, you West Coast chain, you!!! There have been many failed missions to the West of the Mississippi, but now, the time has come for me, Blondie, to taste your meats and drink your shakes and eat your fries!!! Expect my arrival in T minus 7 hours. Do not run, you can not escape me now!!!



Have We Mentioned Our Love of Peanut Butter and Chocolate?

While at the NYC Fancy Food Show, we had the chance to stop by Jer's Chocolates' booth, try some new products, and meet Jerry Swain, aka Jer, himself. And since they are a company based around peanut butter and chocolate treats, we were very glad we did...

Jer's Chocolates began when Jer's own homemade holiday treat, a ball of peanut butter surrounded by chocolate, became a hit that spread far beyond his group of close friends and family. We tasted, and it is out of this world. The peanut butter is all natural and organic and the chocolate is of very good quality and not too sweet. In short this actually tastes like real peanut butter unlike many other confectionery peanut butter pretenders

We also got to check out their latest line addition, the Jer bars. If you prefer bars to balls, these might be for you. The nice thing about the bars is that you can purchase them individually whereas the balls are available in gift boxes of various sizes. While a box of Jer's balls would be a welcome gift, it's nice to have the option to treat yourself to a bar without feeling a little silly buying a gift box for personal consumption.

A few weeks after the Fancy Food Show. Blondie received a sample of the peanut butter chocolate bar in the mail. Unfortunately, it ended up getting smooshed in transit, and when Blondie received the package, she and her 6-year-old nephew were starving, so the sample was quickly demolished. Both of them enjoyed the crunch in the peanut butter, similar to the honey peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co., as well as the use of good chocolate. Blondie's nephew even said it was better than that other famous peanut butter and chocolate combination, and he wanted another. Kid approved!!

And prepare your palettes for Jer's Peanut Brittle bites coming in Spring 2009...

Our hands down favorite was the Yippee Cayenne--sweet and tasty peanut brittle with a little cayenne kick and enrobed in milk chocolate. This was one of the tastiest things we tried at the show and we're definitely looking forward to when they become available for sale!

Yippee Cayenne!

Jer's Chocolates, available online and at fine retailers nationwide.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Miel et Banane, you don't say!

As we told you last week, Wafels & Dinges has started to offer honey as a topping choice. The other day, I decided to use my free lunch period to stop by their Midtown location (ok, so I was wanted a waffle ice cream sandwich too after looking at that all week.) Whenst I happened upon the truck, they didn't have ice cream (boos!), but they did have honey AND bananas as a topping (yays!).

My love of bananas goes back to childhood, so I wasn't going to pass this up. Yes, I did think of banana and Nutella, a crepe combination I lived on that month in Paris, but it was hot, and I'm supposed to be dieting, so I decided on mixing the two specials together (honey is healthy!), and it was delicious. Just sweet enough to feel like dessert, but not too filling that I felt leaden afterwards. I hope they keep this Midtown spot, forever.

Wafels & Dinges

Location varies, so best to check their twitter (That and you can passwords for free dinges!!)


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thin Crust Pizza + A Jukebox = Happy Blondie

Since Bez moved to Alphabet City 7 or 8 years ago, I've been slowly getting to know the place she calls home. The last time we went out to eat in her nabe, I was hoping for Back Forty, but they had a 45 minute wait and we were starving, so she, instead, suggested Gruppo for some thin crust. Wise choice, my friend.

I think I can officially say that I prefer thin crust pizza. I'm just not that big a fan of mounds and mounds of, usually tasteless, dough. I'm also a proponent of customization. Gruppo won on both of these tests. The pizza was thin, REALLY thin, and you're allowed to chose one of their combos or pick out your own from an insane list of toppings.

For one pie, we chose the Shroomtown, for the other, we had goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and grilled asparagus.

Both were outstanding; the asparagus gave a little bit of a crunch and played well with the tomatoes and tartness of the goat cheese. The freshness and varieties of the mushrooms came through in the other pie.

For dessert, we consulted the dessert board next to us, and decided upon the brownie a la mode. They did warm up the brownie prior to making the sundae, but the ice cream was a bit frostbitten and icy.

The ambiance in Gruppo definitely adds to the experience there. It's a true, neighborhood pizza place with a working jukebox and a bar with beers on tap; not a wide selection, but any beer is much better from the tap. Gruppo is definitely a stand-up pizza joint, and I plan on returning very, very shortly.

186 Avenue B, between 11th and 12th Street
(212) 995-2100

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Let's Go Mets

Blondie and I are headed out for Ladies Night at Shea to enjoy the Met v. Cardinals and perhaps our final helmet sundaes at Shea stadium...

RIP Shea. Though I'm a Sox fan through and through I enjoyed many a pleasant post-game sundae and/curly fries in your clubhouse. Though I will miss you, I'm looking forward to all of this Shake Shack lusciousness at Citi Field.

Oooeey Gooey Cheese Fries

Shack Burgers

Coffee and Donuts Custard

So glad Danny Meyer isn't a Yankees fan

And now for some Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Swedish Chef Makes Some Donuts

So that's how they get the holes in the donuts. Mystery solved.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Return of the Rockefeller Center Greenmarket or One More Thing to Love about Summer

I love shopping for fresh fruit and veggies in the summer but when you work full time it's hard to get over the big market in Union Square before the evening when the goods tend to be a little picked over. This week marked the return of the Rock Center Farmer's Market and I couldn't be more delighted...

On the walk back to my office from my conecake rendezvous with Blondie, I spied a familiar site on Rockefeller Plaza. Farmers Market signs. Hooray! But where was the market? The House Beautiful show kitchen appeared to be taking up the prime central real estate. Rounding the corner I was relieved to see that the Farmers Market was in full swing on the little plaza off to the side and outside Anthropologie between 50th and 51st.

I couldn't resist taking a stroll through and checking out the booths. I bought some sour cherries to make sour cherry danishes with the rest of my danish dough and some basil that I turned into pesto for dinner the other night.

Slicing Cheese at the Cheese Stand

Oooh, they have yogurt, err ewegurt, too! Breakfast!

Mmm. Pie.

Peaches and Plums!

Sour cherries are only in season for another week or so, if you are a fan you'd better head over to the Farmers Market pronto. There were plenty of blueberries, plums, and apricots and everything looked wonderfully fresh and delicious. My idea of a perfect summertime lunch would be a roll from Bread Alone, some cheese from the Artisan Cheese stand, a fresh tomato, and I'd finish it off with a nice peach or plum and perhaps a cookie (oh, who am I kidding, those mini apple pies looked awesome).

For more photos of the other booths at the market check out our flickr.

Rock Center Farmers Market
Wednesday through Friday
July 23rd until August 29th
8:00am until 6:00pm


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Taking on the Treats Truck One Treat at a Time: Conecakes!

Brownie: "Hold the phone, Blondie. Hold. The. Phone.
Blondie: "What is wrong with you? I'm at H&M trying on clothes."
Brownie: "The Treats Truck has cupcakes in ice cream cones! Ice cream cones I tell you."
Blondie: "Whoa."

I haven't had a conecake since, um, my mom made them for me in third grade and I was like the coolest kid in the class for about a week. It was almost as awesome as the time I showed up back from vacay rocking the first slap bracelet anyone in my elementary school had ever seen. But I digress...back to the conecakes. I had to have them.

I waited in the line which actually wasn't too bad for the 45th street location and silently willed the people in front of me not to take the last conecakes. Then I ordered a vanilla and chocolate and gingerly walked three blocks over to meet Blondie.

The verdict. Mmm, good. The vanilla conecake while it rose more in the cone was still a bit dry, though the frosting was improved from the vanilla cupcake we tried a little while back.

The chocolate was the true winner. Just the right amount of chocolate, tasty frosting, moist cake. Can't ask for anything more. Well, I suppose the cones could have been a bit crunchier. Not sure if their softness was a function of being baked or the extreme humidity we've been having.

Right now the conecakes are part of the specials menu, so they might not be available every day. At $3.50 a pop they are definitely on the pricier end of the Treats Truck treat scale. So while I probably wouldn't go for one all the time, considering I haven't had a conecake since third grade it was worth it to me. Certifiably delicious.

Previous Treats Truck Reviews:
Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes
Orange Chiffon Cake
Peanut Butter Brownie
Raspberry Oatmeal Jammy
Raspberry Lemon & Mint Chocolate Swirlie Dots
Chocolate Truck Cookie
Sugar Dot
Chocolate Chipper
Carmel Creme Trucker
Peanut Butter Chocolate Sandwich Cookie
Chocolate Chipper with Nuts
Mint Chocolate Trucker
Passover treats
Cinnamon Cookie

Treats Truck
Various Locations around the city.
Click for schedule

Guess What Danny?!

"What, Blondie?" that's what Danny just said. There is hope for Brooklyn, yet. I have importante Press 195 news to share!!

Upon reading my review of the shining star of Bell Blvd., the wonderful men behind Press let us know that there is going to be a renovation of the original Park Slope locale, and when all is said and done, Park Slope will be getting their fries (and its sauces, mmm) too! Congratulations Park Slope, I know you've been have a rough go of it, but hang in there! Fries are coming in the new year!!!

Press 195
195 5th Avenue
Park Slope, Brooklyn
(718) 857-1950

Press 195
40-11 Bell Blvd
Bayside, Queens
(718) 281-1950

Wafels and Dinges, now serving honey and midtown!

Last week's appearance of the Wafel's and Dinges Truck on 46th street was apparently not just a one time occurrence. When Blondie and I stopped by the truck at their regular Trader Joe spot yesterday we had a chance to catch up with some of the W&D guys...

While Chief Wafel Master, Thomas DeGeest, was not there himself, the wafel guys on the truck told us that they expected to be in midtown again starting earlyish this morning until around 3:30pm or 4:00pm. As always, the best place to check their wafel whereabouts is on their twitter.

Now, on to the new topping...honey! Definitely a logical wafel complement. Blondie topped her cinnamon liege wafel with honey and it was delicious. They were out of ice cream yesterday, but we're already dreaming of a vanilla ice cream topped cinnamon liege wafel drizzled in honey. I love summer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Grape-Nuts and Waffles, not just for breakfast...

Speaking of ice cream...I had a fabulous ice cream experience myself they other night at Uncle Louie G's in Windsor Terrace with the awesome Erin Zimmer of Serious Eats. Grape-Nuts and Waffles? Eh, sounds like breakfast at grandma's house. Grape-Nuts ice cream and waffles? Mmmmm. Sounds like dessert (or breakfast) at my house...

If you're not from New England you might not be familiar with the wonders of Grape-Nut ice cream, which consists of a vanilla or occasionally a French vanilla base with nutty, malty Grape-Nuts mixed in. The Grape-Nuts retain a wee bit of their texture and make for lovely crunchyish bites. So delicious. What could make this ice cream even better? How about a warm Belgium waffle? Consider me sold!

A couple of years back we noticed the waffle ice cream sandwich for sale at the Park Slope Louie G's on 7th ave and 9th Street. Lawman and I tried it a couple times and were big fans. Then one day they stopped carrying it. We were cut off. Cold turkey. Well, Park Slope's loss looks like Windsor Terrace's gain, because the other night Lawman and I decided to swing by the Uncle Louie G's on Vanderbilt and Prospect Park Southwest. And we were delighted to see that they were carrying waffle ice cream sandwiches. And for only $3.00, that's the same price as a a kiddie cone, add .50 and you can have your choice of toppings plus whipped cream. Huzzah!

Lawman and I went for a waffle ice cream sandwich with strawberry ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream and it was simply really good. I raved about the wafflewich to Erin and we've been plotting a return trip ever since. Finally we got our chance on Tuesday night. As a side warning, you have to wait about 10 to 15 minutes for their waffle iron to heat up. And alas the waffles are prepackaged not made to order. I only gave the packaging a quick glance but it looks like they are are store packaged Beligium waffles so that's a step in the right direction. Even though they weren't fresh, they were light and crispy which is always a good thing.

On this recent visit I went for the Grape-Nut ice cream and Erin picked pumpkin pie ice cream. I asked for hot fudge on mine and the counter person accidentally mixed up the orders and gave it to Erin. We're flexible so she decided to roll with it and got sprinkles on top. Yummy. The hot fudge was a nice complement to the pumpkin pie ice cream and I'll never say no to rainbow sprinkles!

All and all it was a delightful experience and I would definitely recommend it highly.

Uncle Louie G's
157 Prospect Park SW
Brooklyn, NY, 11218
(718) 438-9282