If you have been following along with me over the past year, you know that we welcomed our dear sweet Penny in June! She has been such a blessing to our family and my heart feels so full. If you would have asked me ten years ago where I would be in this very moment, I’m certain I wouldn’t have said cuddling my three perfects babes. Ten years ago I was happy being solo and enjoyed having every moment – waking and asleep – to myself. I can remember when I was expecting Olive (our first) I was terrified that I would never be alone again. The thought of this made me uneasy. Looking back at 2013 me, pre-momma me, I find myself smirking at that thought. Our house would be so quiet. My arms would be so empty. I wouldn’t understand the true power of just one quiet hour.
2017 brought a lot of up and down moments as we adjusted to being a family of 5, but I would not change it for the world. Yes, I sometimes find myself sitting down in the middle of our created chaos and miss the days when it was just me, but that thought doesn’t last long when I receive an unexpected hug from one of my most favourite people. In those hectic moments though, I realize that giving 100% to my family, and forgetting about myself will not work forever. Sometimes in those moments I miss the old, independent me. I wonder where she drifted off to? Where is that confident go-getter that wasn’t afraid to tackle anything by herself. Often moms give so much of themselves that one day they wake up feeling lost. I feel lost.
2017 was spent nurturing and focussing on our family. I drifted away from my beloved blog just a bit… maybe a bit too long. Whenever I thought about it, I would get a knot in my stomach like I had lost one of my most cherished belongings. My blog and my social world are part of me. It is not something I can just say goodbye to.
That is why, in 2018, I am making it my goal to dedicate more time to me. I have realized the hard way how encompassed you can get in the day-to-day goings on while looking after three children, and how that rundown feeling can really affect how you feel. 2018 is my year (read in the most non-selfish way possible)! I have set myself some hefty goals for this year… So hefty that they make me nervous… But if I don’t write them down and don’t aim higher than I think I can reach, what is there to work for, right? This is the year that I try not to get lost in the crowded focus on doing things for me!
So here I am, alive and well, and feeling very motivated! I missed you! Lets celebrate with cake and a brand new blog redesign!!
How to you classify Baked Alaska? Cake? Ice Cream Cake? A big ol’ pile of goodness? I’ve only had Baked Alaska once, and ironically it was during a trip to Alaska. I admit to being a little intimidated by it, but when I actually sat down and dreamt up a recipe that makes my taste buds tingle at just the thought of it, I couldn’t resist trying it as an official blogging comeback (and friends, it really isn’t as intimidating as it seems… it just takes a little more time so plan ahead!)
HONEYCOMB TAHINI CHOCOLATE BAKED ALASKA
tahini chocolate cake adapted from Molly Yeh‘s cookbook Molly on the Range
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. baking soda
honeycomb ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1 recipe honeycomb
tahini chocolate cake:
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. flavourless oil
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup boiling water
7 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. It doesn’t need to sit neatly in the pan, since the honeycomb will weigh it down later.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar and give it a shake so it lays flat in the pan. Add corn syrup, honey, and water, so all of the sugar has been moistened, but do not stir. Turn the heat to medium high, and watch closely as the sugar starts to dissolve and the ingredients start to meld together.
Cook the mixture to 300ºF, which should take about 5–10 minutes depending on the strength of your stove, then remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the baking soda for about 5 seconds, and once it has stopped foaming up, immediately pour the mixture onto the parchment paper. Let cool for 1 hour until hardened, then whack the honeycomb with a knife to break into pieces.
Immediately store any uneaten honeycomb in an airtight container, otherwise it will absorb moisture from the air and soften.
honeycomb ice cream:
In a medium saucepan, whisk the cream, milk and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
Heat the cream mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the cream is just barely simmering. Ladle a bit of the hot cream into the egg yolks and whisk to temper the yolks.
Add the eggs to the saucepan pan and cook the mixture while stirring constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the salt and vanilla extract.
Transfer the mixture to a container and chill completely, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Just before churning the ice cream, break up the honeycomb candy into rough crumbs. Line a round bowl (6-8″ in diameter) with plastic wrap and set aside.
Churn the ice cream in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is done churning add about 1/2 to 3/4 of the honeycomb crumbs. (Save the rest in an airtight container for snacking!)
Transfer the mixture to your prepared bowl. Flatten out the top and cover with another layer of plastic wrap. Place in freezer.
tahini chocolate cake:
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla, oil and tahini. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Whisk in the boiling water.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, approximately 25 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until eggs become frothy
Add in sugar and beat on high until the the egg whites form strong peaks.
Once the ice cream is churned, line a 8″ (or larger) bowl with plastic wrap. Ensure that all sides are covered. Spoon the ice cream into the bowl and level out. cover the top with plastic wrap and place in the freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, bake the Tahini Chocolate Cake as directed and let cool completely.
Once the ice cream is frozen, remove from freezer, remove the plastic wrap on top (leave the plastic wrap lining the bowl) and gently press the cake on top of the ice cream. Place in freezer for another 1-2 hours.
While ice cream is re-freezing, mix your meringue as instructed above. Remove ice cream and cake from freezer (again!) and start to spread your meringue over the entire ice cream-cake structure! Use your fingers to make large peaks if desired (I find that the spatula never makes them large enough for my liking)!
If you are serving immediately, use a torch to brown your meringue! Let sit for a few minutes to allow the cake the thaw and then serve!
If making ahead, you can freeze the Baked Alaska again following the meringue. When you wish to serve, remove from freezer, torch the meringue, slice and enjoy!