Tag Archive | Recipes

Creme Brulee with Ultra Gel

When it comes to decadent even slightly naughty favorite desserts most people’s lists are topped by chocolate. I can’t blame them really, chocolate is a wonderful thing, but for me there is nothing quite as sinfully satisfying as the combination of caramelized sugar crunch and creamy filling that is a good creme brulee.

Creme brulee has a reputation for being very hard to make. This isn’t actually the case. The issue is that you are adding hot cream to egg yolks and if you aren’t patient you can make a very nice bowl of sweet scrambled eggs instead of beautiful custard. Adding Ultra Gel to the mix helps to keep the egg from scrambling, but you’ve still got to go slowly and be patient.

As Alton Brown would say, “Your patience will be rewarded.”

Creme Brulee with Ultra Gel

3 cups heavy cream

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon high quality vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

5 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the egg yolks into a large bowl and whip well. In a heavy saucepan combine cream, sugar, vanilla, salt and Ultra Gel whisking very well to combine. Cook over medium heat until cream just begins to bubble around the edges. You don’t actually want it to boil.

Set hot cream aside for 2 minutes. Slowly add cream mixture to the egg yolks a little at t time, whisking after each addition, until mixtures are fully combined. Pour the mixture through a tight sieve to remove any lumps.

Divide custard into small ramekins filling them almost to the top. Set the ramekins into a large roasting pan and fill the pan with boiling water until the ramekins are about half submerged. You do not want water IN the custard, just around the outside to create a water bath.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until custard begins to set. The very center will still be wobbly. If you wait until it’s completely set it will be dried out. You don’t want any cracks in the surface. Allow to cool completely, 2 hours is good, over night in the fridge is better.

When ready to serve sprinkle white sugar over the top of the creme brulee and use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. (You can also place the ramekins under the oven broiler, but watch them VERY carefully or you’ll get smoke). Don’t over cook that sugar, the line between caramel perfection and burnt to a crisp is narrow and you want your sugar on the caramel size. Serve with whipped cream and/or berries as desired.

Yum.

 

Orange Chocolate Brownies with Ultra Gel

Here in Utah summer seems to have shown up with a vengeance. We had a pretty cool spring, but as May has drawn to a close it’s come with hot temperatures and kids anxious for the end of school. This also means we’ve started with park days and my kids have informed me that a good park day is made much better with a snack. These orange chocolate brownies are quick to make, easy to pack up and carry with us, and are perfect as the before mentioned snack.

As we’ve talked about before Ultra Gel is used in brownies and other baked goods to help keep them tender and moist. We want these orange brownies to last…well…at least for as long as they kids don’t get to them. They freeze wonderfully if you want to make a batch ahead of time and eating frozen orange brownies is kinda fun too. If you want to get even more decadent freeze these brownies, chunk them up and add to some homemade ice cream.

Orange Chocolate Brownies with Ultra Gel

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon orange extract or 2-3 drops orange oil (There is a difference, make sure you know which one you’re working with)

1/2 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (I like cooking spray) a 8-9 inch backing pan. Combine the chocolate and the butter in a small, heavy saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Add the vanilla, eggs, Ultra Gel, sugar, salt and orange to the chocolate and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the flour and mix well. Spread into prepared baking pan. If desired you can top with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, little m&ms or whatever you like your brownies. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is dry and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, cut and serve.

To freeze: Cool completely and remove brownies from pan. Wrap in cling wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze for upto 3 months.

Black Hole Upside Down Cake with Ultra Gel

When my husband and I first started dating we spent a lot of time flirting with food. Whenever we’d both go to an event we’d each bring our favorite dishes, not for all the other people at the event, but because we were trying to impress each other.

This black hole upside down cake is one of his specialties which he made early on. It’s rich and chocolately and… a complete cheater cake. It’s so much easier than it tastes, but it’s one amazing cake and you will make a good impression!

After a while we started collaborating on this cake and he’d bring the cake, and I’d bring the whipping cream – Ultra Gel Whipping Cream of course.

Single people take note, this cake may be indirectly responsible for our marriage. Use with care. 🙂

To take this cake to the next level of amazing serve with fresh raspberries or strawberries as a garnish. The pop of fruit flavor against the richness of the cake is really, really good.

Black Hole Upside Down Cake

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

2 cups warm water

12-14 large marshmallows, quartered or about 2 cups mini marshmallows

1 box chocolate cake mix (I TOLD you it was easy)

Combine water, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and marshmallows in a bowl. Mix well then spread into a 9×13 inch well-greased pan.

Add 2 Tablespoons to the dry cake mix and stir well. Prepare cake mix according to box directions with the addition of 2 Tablespoons water. (So 2 Tablespoons water, 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel and then whatever the mix calls for). Carefully spoon cake batter over marshmallow mixture to cover. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees until cake springs back when touched.

Remove cake from oven and cool in the pan. Once it is mostly cool, invert onto a serving platter. It’s important you flip the cake before it has cooled completely or it will stick to the pan. If this happens warm the cake slightly before flipping. Cut into servings and serve with whipping cream. Trust me you’ll want the cream to cut the chocolate!

Ultra Gel Whipping Cream

1 pint whipping cream

1 teaspoon Ultra Gel

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Whip all ingredients together until thick and creamy. Serve. Keep any extra whipped cream in the refrigerator.

*Ultra Gel can be purchased in grocery stores all over Utah or online at Cornabys or Amazon.

Simple Strawberry Topping with Ultra Gel

Recently I was asked what was the fastest way I knew to make a very fresh, easy strawberry topping. The person asking for the recipe knew about our recipe for Strawberry shortcake with kool-aid, sugar, and Ultra Gel but they wanted something simpler and something without the coloring.

So, for others who want a fast, easy topping here’s the way I do it.

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Simple Strawberry Topping with Ultra Gel

Wash, hull and slice 2 pounds of fresh strawberries. Toss with 1/4-1/2 cups sugar depending on how sweet you want it. Set aside for 20 minutes. What’s happening during that time is the sugar helping to draw moisture out of the berries, so you’ll get a nice juicy topping. Remove from the fridge and stir in 2-3 Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to reach your desired thickness. Pour over crepes, pancakes, waffles, or anywhere else you want a burst of fresh strawberry flavor. Keep topping in the fridge when not in use or if you have leftovers.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Ultra Gel

This year I’ve decided I want to come up with more recipes which use my slow cooker. I love the convenience of the slow cooker, and my sweet husband got me a new one at Christmas time which is even more fun. Part of what I love about this slow cooker is that, unlike my first slow cooker, it is programmable by temperature as well as setting a high or low slow cook. It has a very nice non-stick surface and I find if I tackle the dishes right after dinner just about everything cleans off easily.

This slow cooker Jambalaya recipe was the result of finding some nice spicy chicken sausage in the freezer that needed using. I also had chunked up chicken and veg on hand. Traditionally Jambalaya is a cajun dish that’s pretty much based out of cleaning out your meats and veggies, adding spice and pouring it over rice. Many versions of Jambalaya have seafood in them, but here in landlocked Utah I can’t always lay hands on excellent seafood, and chicken makes a pretty good stand in. You can make this as hot or not as you like by adding more cajun spices or a few extra shots of hot sauce, I like the Louisiana style.

Ultra Gel is a great ingredient when working with a slow cooker because we don’t have to heat everything to boiling in order to thicken it. We can just sprinkle the Ultra Gel on the top of the Jambalaya, stir it in and serve. It’s convenient and not forcing the vegetables to boil hard in order to thicken the stock means the vegetables stay in bigger chunks and taste amazing.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Ultra Gel

1 pound chicken chunks

1 pound spicy sausage, cut into piece (andoullie sausage is traditional and yummy)

1 medium onion, diced

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1-2 cans diced tomatoes (I prefer the low sodium versions. I’ve also used 3 fresh tomatoes)

2 cups chicken broth

salt

pepper

1-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

dash hot sauce

Ultra Gel

Combine all ingredients except for Ultra Gel in a large slow cooker. For additional flavor you can saute the onion, pepper, celery and carrot before adding to the mix. Slow cook for 4-6 hours on high. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Thicken with Ultra Gel and serve over rice.

This dish freeze well and will keep up to 6 months in the freezer.

*Shelled and deveined shrimp can be added in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Ultra Gel

Every evening I’m feeding a pretty full household. Teenagers, not toddlers, husbands, cats…the kitchen is always busy, and, let’s be honest, I like it that way. Usually. But sometimes I feel less inspired than others and I like having a file of easy go-tos which I add to upon occasion.

This is one such occasion and one such recipe. I love these Easy Chicken Enchiladas, and the power of Ultra Gel makes them even better. These Chicken Enchiladas are great with either chicken breasts or thighs, you just want a pile of cooked, boneless meat to start with and everything goes from there.

Because of the Ultra Gel these Chicken Enchiladas can be made days ahead of time and frozen, then baked for about an hour before dinner time. Viola! Easy, tasty, yum.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Ultra Gel

1 can (10-12 ounces) red enchilada sauce (You can make this, but this is the way easy version)

1 can (15 ounces) chicken broth (homemade will also work well here)

2-3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1-2 pounds cooked, diced boneless chicken

1/2 medium onion chopped

1-2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1/2-3/4 cups sour cream

1 small can diced green chiles

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 cups cheese

8-10 corn tortillas

In a small pan combine enchilada sauce, chicken broth, Ultra Gel and black pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside.

In a medium pan combine 1 Tablespoon oil, chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook on medium heat until onion is transparent. Don’t over cook or garlic will burn. Add chicken, sour cream, green chiles and rinsed beans and mix until well combined and warmed through. Add salt and pepper and Ultra Gel.

Line the bottom of a 9×12 inch pan with 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. Place 2 Tablespoons chicken mixture in each tortilla and roll up. Place each roll into enchilada sauce in baking pan, seam side down. When pan is full cover all tortilla rolls with remaining enchilada sauce. If you want to freeze the batch cover with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of tin foil and move to the freezer. Otherwise, cover with cheese and bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees until bubbly and amazing.

For frozen batches: Remove from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes until cooked all the way through.

Refrigerator Lemon Rolls with Ultra Gel

January can sometimes be a hard time of year. It’s full of new beginnings, but also tend to be a little grey and cold and pregnant with that feeling that you’re really waiting for the new year to get started.

When I’m feeling this way one of the comfort foods I reach for are lemon rolls. I love this particular recipe for lemon rolls because it can be made and baked all in one day, or it can be refrigerated for up to five days after adding the first batch of flour. I’ve even been known to split the batch and bake some now and some later, and I love that flexibility!

Ultra Gel plays a leading roll in these rolls as it holds the moisture in the sponge (refrigerator state) stage and in the baked rolls to keep them soft longer. Use a fresh lemon in the lemon sugar for an amazing punch of flavor. Citrus is on sale this time of year and the lemons you get are fresh and just a little sweet and beautiful.

Refrigerator Lemon Rolls with Ultra Gel

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1 cup hot water

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup soft butter

2 teaspoons salt

4 eggs

4 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 Tablespoons yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 cup warm water

8-9 cups bread flour

Lemon filling:

1 cup sugar

grated rind of one lemon

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and allow to proof for 10-15 minutes. Combine evaporated milk, hot water, sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl. Add 4 cups flour and mix well. Add eggs, Ultra Gel and yeast mixture and combine. At this point you can cover the sponge with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. When ready to use (or immediately) remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Add additional flour until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Let rise until double.

Divide into 4 portions and roll out as desired, filling with lemon filling or cinnamon and brown sugar. Shape as desired.

Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar icing.