Friday, August 13, 2010

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake and Max's 2nd Birthday!


I hope you haven't gotten tired of seeing red in this blog just yet, because I still have more coming :).

Do you remember this little boy? It feels like it was just last week that he turned one year old, can't believe how time flies really fast, makes me feel not to take time for granted. Well, this little boy now turns two and he is definitely one of the cutest boys I've ever known. He's so bubbly, seriously, he loves to smile and you can see it in his eyes. His eyes are smiling with him everytime, and I can't help but to smile each time he's doing it. You will love being around him, makes you want to hug, kiss, more hugging and kisses, and more. He is so gentle with babies, unlike most kids, he is so precious indeed and when he does his little dance, I always feel like spanking him (jokingly and gently of course), it's cuteness overload.

Our family (me and my brothers' family) is very close to Max's family and we have been so blessed to know them. They've been one of the greatest blessings in our life, they've been such a huge help too with the kids when we needed them, I could go on and on without getting tired.

When Kiki, Max's mom, reminded me that Max's birthday was coming up, I was so unprepared. I completely forgot about it with all the things that are happening lately, it seems so hard to remember things anymore :(, thanks for calendar in my iPhone that I can pretty much keep up with things.

If there's one thing that little boy loves other than his parents, it would be his strawberry. Yup, he adores strawberry ever since he was so little (he still is), whether it is super tart or sweet, he'll gulp them down in no time, no joke. The parents have to limit his strawberry intake or else he would finish a whole pound in one sitting. Unlike other kids, Max doesn't like sweet stuff, or more specifically cake or dessert, he's starting to develop his fondness toward ice cream in the past few months though. So when I asked K, what Max wants for his birthday, K suggested strawberry ice cream cake, and who am I to argue?

Max would be more than happy with just plain ice cream covered with strawberries, his eyes always lit up whenever he sees those red jewels, but I decided to make homemade strawberry ice cream. I'm never a fan of store-bought ice cream really, mostly because it is too sweet, and the taste is not as real as I would like, and so I decided to make homemade ice cream despite the crazy schedule. This is gonna be my first time making it, so I wouldn't promise it would be perfect, good thing it was for Max who will eat anything strawberry, be it good or bad, perfect victim I say :)


I bought a box full of ripe strawberries at the farmers' market the week before, hulled, washed, dried, and froze them. If there's one thing I learn from experience and not from book, it would be that frozen berries have deeper color and stronger taste if you puree it. This is true mostly for raspberry and strawberry, which is another reason why I love freezing fruits at its peak. I did use some fresh raspberries for mousse, sauce, coulis before but the color is somewhat pink and not deep red color like the frozen ones would produce, it also has some "raw" taste to it, which is great in fruit tart, or for decor, but I prefer the deeper taste and color for puree.


I used the basic custard recipe from the previous green tea ice cream cake (with different method), added some sugar and strawberry puree until I was happy with the taste. Most strawberry ice cream recipes I saw uses vanilla (bean, extract, or paste) to flavor the custard but I omit this because I want the taste to be pure strawberry, not strawberry-flavored vanilla ice cream. I ended up using quite a bit of puree to get a strong strawberry flavor and pretty pink hue. A squirt of lemon juice would probably brighten up the flavor too, but I didn't have one at that time, you can try it if you want. I also have some sponge cake in the freezer so I used that instead of making another one. The dome-shaped has two layers of sponge in it (8" and 6"), while the other one has only one 8" round cake in the bottom.


One great thing about making ice cream or frozen desserts for that matter (among other great things of course) is that you can add anything you like to the base, you can use mint or any other herb (lemon-thyme, lavender, etc), you can combine ingredients, you can mix some flavor, add this and that but still have a good result, it's very forgiving. I added roughly chopped strawberries into the leftover ice cream after assembling the cake to enjoy on its own too.


I made two ice cream cakes, one is for Max's birthday and the other one I was planning to bring to a housewarming party at a friend's house. The one for housewarming didn't quite make it there because we lived about an hour away. I stopped at my brother's house on the way to take a picture really quick but it was melted (as you can see in the picture). A quick trip to the freezer didn't seem to help either as it was so hot in the house. I guess I wasn't very smart in deciding what to bring to the party this time :(. So, it was my brother's luck that I had to leave the ice cream cake there for him and his family as I wouldn't possibly drive another 40 minutes with semi-melting ice cream in my car.

Anyways, Happy Birthday dear Max, wishing you another blessed year ahead and many many more and may you grow to be a man with faithful and humble heart and that you will be a great blessing to others just like how your parents is, we love you :)

I'm off to LA this weekend for Disneyland for the first time. Yup, my first time ever after 9 years living in CA. I know, I know... but for some reason I've never had the urge or passion to go. I'm never been a fan of disney, cartoon, or deathly roller coaster ride anyways. While all of my other friends are super excited about the Disney, I'm a lot more excited of eating good food :), so we'll see if I can bring the kid in me this weekend. Have a good weekend and see you all next week!

Strawberry Ice Cream

500 ml heavy cream
250 ml whole milk
200 g sugar (see note)
6 egg yolks
1000 g strawberry puree
a squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
chopped strawberries (optional)
  • Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil
  • Meanwhile, break the egg yolks and whisk it until it blends well
  • Temper the egg yolk and the milk mixture, and put it back in the saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to 84C over low-medium heat, stirring all the time
  • Remove it from the heat and strain it to avoid any lumps
  • Cool it until it reaches room temperature
  • Add the strawberry puree, mix well
  • Refrigerate overnight, and process in an ice cream maker
Note:
  • My strawberries were very ripe and sweet, adjust the amount if your strawberry is just so-so or not very sweet.
  • If you're adding chopped strawberries, add it when the ice cream is almost done

9 comments:

Kaitlin said...

It's a shame that the one was melting, but they still look beautiful!

And I, for one, am certainly not tired of red!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

both the cakes look so beautiful, I love both! I just made a dome shape birthday cake recently using red pitaya (dragon fruit) :)

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

Oh.. I never tire of strawberries. I could eat them everyday if I could.

Kiki said...

Whoa... auntie Bertha... you are way too sweet! Thank you so much again for taking the time and energy to make the super yummy & lovely birthday cake! Max and us are so blessed to know you. Have a safe and blessed trip ya! *hugs*

Cassidy said...

The red is beautiful! I love all the ways you used strawberries!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Sorry about the melting! But these look delicious. I'd love to see some in-process shots to see how you assembled it!

Bertha said...

Jess: Oh, I've never had red pitaya, I only saw pictures and the red color is so gorgeous!

Avanika: I hope so too that I can take pictures when I'm making the cake but I can't currently as the camera I usually used (my brother's) is broken so I have to go to my other brother's house to take pictures of the cake :(

Maria @ ScandiFoodie said...

This looks fantastic! Beautiful photos and such vibrant colours as well!

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