Berry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

It’s Canada Day this weekend, and with all this red, white, and blue I’ve been seeing, I thought I would join in the fun!

Yes, the Canadian flag is only red and white, but when I was choosing a fun recipe to post for the long weekend I just HAD to add blueberries. Why can’t Canada represent its flag with some big ol’ blues?! Also (and more importantly) I originally baked this cake for a friends birthday!…no theme colours there. Unless awesomeness is a colour. Hey Tristan!

Inside of this whipped cream frosted madness are two layers of vanilla bean cake and a big slab of vanilla bean ice cream + blueberry sauce + strawberry sauce in the middle. MAGIC, I tell you.

I feel like I’ve had this recipe bookmarked forever. It’s an Annie’s Eats recipe (a blogger who I obsess over and make almost everything she posts), and I had been waiting such a long time for an excuse to make it.

This beauty is light, and freaking PERFECT for summer! To start, gather your cake ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides of the pan and shake out the excess.

In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.

Add the sugar to the butter mixture, about ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes.

Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge of the cake and turn the layers out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and allow to cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill the cake layers until you are ready to assemble the cake.

To make the blueberry sauce, combine the blueberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release their juices. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with the water and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat. Cover and chill.

Make your strawberry sauce by simply combining the strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Toss well to combine. Mash the berries slightly with the tines of a fork. Stir in the lemon juice, cover and chill. Let the berries macerate at least one hour and if needed, mash once more to achieve your desired texture.

To assemble the cake, level the cake layers if necessary.

Place one of the chilled cake rounds in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper around the circumference of the cake to act as a tight collar for the ice cream layer.* Be sure the ice cream is soft enough to spread smoothly and easily before proceeding. Spread the vanilla ice cream in an even layer over the bottom cake layer.

Spoon the blueberry and strawberry fillings on top of the ice cream in whatever pattern you prefer (it’s ok if some is left over). Place the remaining cake layer on top of the ice cream and fruit filling. Ensure that the parchment collar is pulled tight around the cake and ice cream to keep the layers evenly in place. Close the sides of the springform around the assembled cake and transfer to the freezer to set.

When you are ready to frost the cake, place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar, until stiff peaks form. (Be careful not to overbeat!) Blend in the vanilla.

Remove the sides of the springform pan carefully and peel away the parchment collar. Frost the top and side of the cake with an offset or straight spatula.

Place the remaining whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and add additional accents as desired.

Garnish with fresh strawberries and blueberries. Serve!

Berry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
11 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the blueberry sauce:
1 cup blueberries
3 tbsp. sugar
1¼ tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cold water
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the strawberry sauce:
4 oz. strawberries, hulled, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2½ cups vanilla bean ice cream, slightly softened (but not TOO softened)

For the whipped cream frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
½ confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Fresh strawberries and blueberries, for garnish

Directions:
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides of the pan, shaking out the excess.

In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod (or reserve for another use.) Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.

Add the sugar to the butter mixture, about ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes. Let cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge of the cake and turn the layers out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and allow to cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill the cake layers until you are ready to assemble the cake.

To make the blueberry sauce, combine the blueberries and sugar in a nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release their juices. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with the water and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat. Cover and chill.

To make the strawberry sauce, combine the strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Toss well to combine. Mash the berries slightly with the tines of a fork. Stir in the lemon juice, cover and chill. Let the berries macerate at least one hour and if needed, mash once more to achieve your desired texture.

To assemble the cake, level the cake layers if necessary. Place one of the chilled cake rounds in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper around the circumference of the cake to act as a tight collar for the ice cream layer.* Be sure the ice cream is soft enough to spread smoothly and easily before proceeding. Spread the vanilla ice cream in an even layer over the bottom cake layer.

Spoon the blueberry and strawberry fillings on top of the ice cream in whatever pattern you prefer (it’s ok if you have some left over). Place the remaining cake layer on top of the ice cream and fruit filling. Ensure that the parchment collar is pulled tight around the cake and ice cream to keep the layers evenly in place. Close the sides of the springform around the assembled cake and transfer to the freezer to set.

When you are ready to frost the cake, place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar, until stiff peaks form. Don’t overbeat. Blend in the vanilla.

Remove the sides of the springform pan carefully and peel away the parchment collar. Frost the top and side of the cake with an offset or straight spatula. Place the remaining whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and add additional accents as desired. Garnish with fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Store the cake covered in the freezer until ready to serve. Set the cake out and let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before slicing. Run a long, thin knife until hot water to warm the blade. Wipe the blade completely dry and slice the cake, wiping the blade clean between slices and rewarming as needed.

*The parchment collar is not a necessity but it’s good for cleaner edges of the ice cream layer.

Happy long weekend everyone!

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$50 Amazon Gift Card Winner!

I totally lied to you guys and I must apologize. I told you the giveaway winner would be announced on Saturday, buuuut I was lost in the forest camping, and without access to a computer and couldn’t tell you who won! I just got in the door and realized this mistake when closing the giveaway down. Silly me. I do these sorts of things way more than I’d like to admit. I’m so sorry!

Anyway, thanks again for entering, everyone! The winner is Heidi from Bits of Sunshine for liking me on Facebook! Thanks for entering Heidi! Also, thanks again to everyone for liking me on Facebook, and following me on Twitter. It helps me reach out to more people like you :)

Also, thanks for letting me know your favorite smoothie flavours. My absolute favorite is still my banana bread green monster smoothie

And my peanut butter and oat breakfast milkshake is a close second.

Golly, I love smoothies!

Banana Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie

Another smoothie? YES! And if you’re new here, hi! Hope you like smoothies.

This is the last blended awesomeness I have for you this week. I had so much fun doing this! Actually, I got so into it that I ended up making waaay more than 5 smoothies. So, I’ll have a bunch to share with you at a later date, which is exciting.

This smoothie is truly full of goodness. Greek yogurt, banana, honey, and almond milk blended together to help you beat the heat. And boooooy do I need this!

All you have to do is throw all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth(ie). he he

Drink up!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway that ends this Sunday! Yes, I said Saturday before, BUT I’m going camping this weekend and will be without internet for a few days. Silly me.

Banana Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie
Recipe taken from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 frozen sliced ripe large banana
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)

Directions:
Combine milk, ice, honey, nutmeg and the banana in a blender. Press the top on tightly then process for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the yogurt and process just until blended and serve!

Pina Colada Smoothie

Something super exciting is happening this weekend – I’m going camping on a lake with my boy! Another item that will be checked off of my summer bucket list. Awesome! As I mentioned before, I’ve already gone strawberry picking and made my own strawberry jam, so this will be the second thing to check off!

I am kind of cheating though…you see, camping is something my boy and I try to do as much as we can anyway. It’s so nice to get away from the city and spend time together. Plus, we just bought a new fancy tent and seriously need to check it out.

I made this smoothie this morning and absolutely love it! I have issues with frozen pineapple, an usually hate it, but totally loooove it in this smoothie! The avocado makes it totally delicious. You must try! All you need to do is throw all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Voila!

OH! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends on Sunday. Good luck!

Pina Colada Smoothie
Serves 1
Recipe taken from Baked Bree

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla almond milk (or any other milk)
1/4 cup diced mango, frozen
1/4 cup pineapple, frozen
1/4 of an avocado
1/2 frozen banana
2 Tablespoons flaked coconut

Directions:
Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

When it’s June I’m not only excited about the awesome appearance of summertime weather, but also the arrival of strawberry season. It rocks my socks.

This past Sunday the boy and I woke up early and went strawberry picking at one of the local farms. The picking was simply awesome. We picked 4 L of berries in about 20 minutes without having to go down the patch very far at all. So fun!

Also, strawberry picking and making homemade jam is on my summer bucket list! Soooo there’s one thing checked off!!

To make these, simply throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until it’s all combined.

Pour into glass and serve!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
Recipe taken from Simply Scratch

Ingredients:
1 frozen banana
1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (I used vanilla greek yogurt)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tablespoon honey
pinch of cinnamon

Directions:
Throw all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until all combined.

Pour into glass and serve!

BUT WAIT! Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends this Saturday.

Banana Chocolate Smoothie

When there is chocolate in my smoothie I know I’m having a great day. You could tell me that I smell bad or that my shoes look like 1990’s high tops, but I won’t care – because hunny, I’ve had a wicked awesome smoothie today for 5 times cheaper than your shotty Starbucks frappuccino (yes, I had to google that spelling).

I’m really enjoying this whole smoothie-week thing. I’m making fun and fabulous smoothies every morning and have been feeling amazing at work! They have totally been carrying me through my day.

This smoothie in particular is filled with chocolate, banana and greek yogurt. Try it out! No disappointments possible! All you have to do is throw all ingredients together in a blender and give them a whirl! Easy, peasy.

OH! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends on Saturday. Good luck!

Banana Chocolate Smoothie
Yield: 2 servings
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
3 frozen bananas, peeled
2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
¾ cup plain greek yogurt
1 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
1 tbsp. flax seed (optional)
½ cup milk, plus more as needed

Directions:
Throw all ingredients together in a blender and give them a whirl! Easy, peasy.

Banana Bread Green Monster Smoothie for Smoothie Week {and an Amazon Giveaway}!

Giveaway Closed

I hate to point out the obvious, but summer totally came early. It’s completely acceptable to wear a bathing suit under your dress and it’s totally acceptable to avoid your black kitty on these crazy hot days. My evil feline has become even more of a cuddle bug when the weather is hot out…yeah, she has a sense of humour.

So naturally, I’ve been making a lot of smoothies and thought I’d share a bunch of wicked awesome blended (and healthy) treats with you this week. This is big for me. Since I started this blog I have never (ever ever) posted for five days straight – but baby, I’m all yours from today until Friday! And I’m giving away a gift card. Awesome.

To make this smoothie combine the ingredients in your blender, with the light stuff on bottom (spinach, oats, cinnamon, walnuts). Then add your frozen banana and pour the milk over the top.

Blend until everything is nice and smooth.

Enjoy!

Banana Bread Green Monster Smoothie
Serves one (or two small servings)
Recipe lightly adapted from Full Measure of Happiness
7 Weight Watchers Points plus per recipe

Ingredients:
1 ripe banana, frozen
1 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
1/8 C walnuts
1/4 C oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
Combine the ingredients in your blender, with the light stuff on bottom (spinach, oats, cinnamon, walnuts). Then add your banana (and ice, if your banana isn’t frozen), and pour the milk over the top.

Blend until everything is nice and smooth.

Amazon Giveaway Details:
Now that we’ve made this delicious treat, I thought I would ask YOU! Yes, you, to tell me your favorite smoothie recipe! That’s all you have to do to be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

For three EXTRA entries:

Just let me know you did the following (and if you follow me on Facebook and Pinterest already, let me know!)

1. Twitter Follow Warm Vanilla Sugar and then tweet the following:
“I entered to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card from @katrinadingle! Check it! http://bit.ly/NF2Nvb #smoothietime”

2. Like Warm Vanilla Sugar on Facebook

3. Follow Warm Vanilla Sugar on Pinterest

NOTES:
-Contest ends Saturday, June 23, 2012 and winner will be chosen randomly.
-Open to everyone world wide!

My Favorite Pesto

This week has been mega awesome. Two, yes TWO, of my best friends got engaged within three days of each other. HELLO bachelorette parties!

I grew up in a really cute little town where pHD’s are more common than high school diplomas, where we had a choice of three big beaches to sun ourselves on, and where there was one high school. This is where I became friends with 11 of the greatest girls I will ever know, and we’re still great friends today. Most of us live in Ottawa, and some of us are scattered around the world, but I know I could call any of them in a heart beat if I needed them.

One of the 11 ladies is already married, but now two more are on their way and I couldn’t be happier. Growing up is weird and exciting and scary – and in it all I know I will always have my girls. So what does this have to do with pesto? It’s easy and versatile and beautiful in it’s own way. It makes me think of travelling in Italy with two of my best friends, and packed lunches and hikes. I guess it makes me think of some of these 11 ladies and so I thought it would be a perfect recipe to represent the simpleness in life and celebrating friends. It’s truly magical.

To begin, add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor.

Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed.

That’s all she wrote! Easy, right? Happy Friday!….and here are a few of the lovely ladies I talked about ;)

Pesto
Recipe taken from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:
3/4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons pine Nuts
2 small cloves garlic, Peeled
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:
Add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Hand Pies

These do not look perfect. They’re cracked, and bubbling blueberry juices can be seen oozing from the top. But, I dare you to tell me these aren’t delicious! Because they are so, so, wonderfully tasty. And to me, that’s beauty.

It’s not unusual for a recipe to turn out different than I planned. Whenever I make a recipe that looks pretty, but taste’s “meh”, I don’t post it. But I don’t have the same mentality when it comes to delicious recipes that don’t look the way I had hoped.

Usually I would eat a pie like this with a fork, but after letting these tasty babies cool, I figured, HEY! They’re messy anyway, I’m eating these with my hands. And I had the best stained fingers to make my gluttony known to everyone afterwards. Baking is the best!

To make these, get your pie dough ready and chill it for at least 1 hour before making the hand pies. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In another bowl, coat the blueberries with lemon juice. Sprinkle on the sugar mixture and stir until blueberries are evenly coated.

Roll out chilled pie dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out circles approximately 5-6 inches in diameter (I used the rim of a 5 1/2 inch diameter round bowl to cut out circles).

Fill center of dough circle with blueberry filling. I was able to fit 2 tablespoons of filling in each hand pie.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk with two tablespoons water. Brush egg wash on edge of dough circles, fold in half, and seal the edges with a fork. Chill hand pies for at least 1/2 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove pies from refrigerator and brush with remaining egg wash. Sprinkle on turbanado sugar and cut a small slit in the top of each pie to let out steam (or oozing blueberries)! Bake for about 20 minutes, or until pies are golden brown and flaky. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Hand Pies
Recipe taken from Pastry Affair
Yields approximately 8 hand pies

Ingredients:
1 recipe for 9-inch pie crust (I use The Pioneer Woman’s recipe)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
Sanding or crystal sugar, for garnish

Directions:
Chill the pie dough for at least 1 hour before making hand pies.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In another bowl, coat the blueberries with lemon juice. Sprinkle on the sugar mixture and stir until blueberries are evenly coated.

Roll out chilled pie dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out circles approximately 5-6 inches in diameter (I used the rim of a 5 1/2 inch diameter round bowl to cut out circles). Fill center of dough circle with blueberry filling. The amount you can fit inside will depend on the size of your blueberries (I was able to fit 2 tablespoons of filling in each hand pie).

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk with two tablespoons water. Brush egg wash on edge of dough circles, fold in half, and seal the edges with a fork.

Chill hand pies for at least 1/2 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Remove pies from refrigerator and brush with remaining egg wash. Sprinkle on sanding sugar and cut a small slit in the top of each pie to let out steam. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until pies are golden brown and flaky. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Strawberry Basil Mojitos and a Summer Bucket List!

Since summer is fast approaching, I thought I would kick it off with some booze. Strawberry and basil muddled together to make a fun drink for an afternoon or evening sip session. HELLO!

I listen to the Joy the Baker Podcast, and this week the ladies have assigned some fun homework. They want listeners to blog about what’s on their summer bucket list! Awesome! To contribute I have come up with five things that I want to do this summer:

1. Go strawberry picking and make jam with hand-picked strawberries. –> Done!
2. Make homemade dill pickles.
3. Go camping on a lake with my boy. –> Done!
4. Go to a drive-in movie theatre.
5. Cross two items off of my 30 things to do before 30 list (maybe learn to french braid my hair)!

I hope I can get these things done! And I can think of ways to make it happen with a drink….

To begin, make your strawberry syrup.

Then use the back of a spoon or a muddler to bruise the basil in the bottom of the glass.

Add the strawberry syrup and ice.

Add rum.

Top off the drink with sparkling water. Give it a taste here. If it’s not sweet enough you can either add more strawberry syrup or simply add some extra sugar to the drink. I did! Garnish with strawberry slices and basil leaves and serve immediately.

Enjoy! And happy weekend. What’s on your summer bucket list?

Strawberry-Basil Mojitos
Recipe adapted from Pink Parsley
Makes enough for 2 drinks

Strawberry Syrup:
2 cup sliced strawberries
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp cold water

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Strain the syrup through a strainer to remove the seeds (or not if you like them). Chill until ready to use.

For each Mojito:
2-3 fresh basil leaves
5 tbs strawberry syrup
Ice
1 1/2 oz. light rum
Sparkling water (enough to fill up whatever glass you’re using)
*optional: extra sugar to taste
Strawberry slices and basil leaves for garnish

Use the back of a spoon or a muddler to bruise the basil in the bottom of the glass. Add the strawberry syrup, ice, and rum, and top off the drink with sparkling water. Give it a taste here. If it’s not sweet enough you can either add more strawberry syrup or simply add some extra sugar to the drink. I sure did!

Garnish with strawberry slices and basil leaves and serve immediately.