Monday, July 12, 2010

Popsicle Galore: Ginger Lime, Peach Almond & Mocha

I have a confession to make. It's a little weird and I've gotten many a look while indulging in it. But I love frozen treats when it's cold outside. I crave ice cream when it's snowing. I desire frozen yogurt in the rain. I want popsicles when it's 40 degrees out and normal people want hot chocolate. I say screw the hot stuff, bring on the cold! It's so much more refreshing.

Now, I bet you're thinking that I must love summer--a season filled with frozen confections without the judgmental stares. But I don't. I hate the heat. I melt. And by melt I mean that the heat makes me feel icky and sweaty and lethargic. I certainly don't wear enough makeup to melt that way. Even the population's temporary acceptance of my love affair with cold sweets isn't enough to warm me up to summer. Want to know why? Because while I will go out in the rain or snow for a pint of Ben & Jerry's, I will not brave the heat and humidity for the same. If I don't have to leave for something else, you will not lure me out on those hot days even with the promise of ice cream. Just not happening. And trust me, between how gross I feel in the heat and my normal demeanor, it's probably better that way.

I'm the kind of person who figures out how to get what she wants no matter the obstacle. I persevere, dammit. And I've done so in the face of the greatest of heat waves (have you been to the Midwest in August? Ugh.). I know this post is about me making popsicles, but I don't stock juice from which one can make popsicles. So I learned early and quick to keep popsicles in my freezer during certain times of the years. And while they always did their job, they were never as satisfying as the popsicles my mom used to make when I was a kid. I loved frozen pineapple-orange-banana juice. Or lemonade. Or Hawaiian Punch. I loved the pulp and how the juice would separate out when frozen. And store bought popsicles just don't do that. My other problem with store bought popsicles is that they all contain a lot of added sugar or sugar substitute. And so do most store-bought juices. I would really prefer not to consume these things if I don't have to.

Popsicles, especially when round, are hard to photograph.
So, since I have some time on my hand, I am trying to persevere in a much healthier and tastier way. I'm holing up inside during this oddly muggy Los Angeles summer and perfecting some popsicle recipes. And guess what? Thus far, they're really good.

On today's menu we have a spicy yet refreshing ginger lime; a sweet white peach with almond; and mocha, for those hot mornings or when you need a caffeine pick me up. And yes, those are shot glasses (and halved bamboo skewers).

For these popsicles you will need a blender or food processor, a fine mesh sieve, a sauce pot, some sticks, and some sort of mold. I am giving quantities in ounces so you can determine how much you need to fill up your molds. Edit: If you are using cups and sticks, put a piece of foil over the cup and poke through it with a stick--it'll stand up straight this way. Also, you will noticed that I heat my fruit-based popsicles prior to freezing. The heat will help bring out some of the natural sugars, meaning less added sugar.

Ginger Lime
Makes 10 ounces

3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup water
2.5 Tbsp. fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. honey

1. Puree everything together in food processor, making sure to chop up the ginger.

2. Place in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Make sure honey is dissolved.

3. Strain through sieve to remove pieces of ginger. Be sure to press ginger against mesh to push out an liquid left. You will end up with a bunch of fibrous material that has little to no taste, which you may discard.

Makes 12 ounces

1 cup espresso or strong coffee
1/4 cup milk
4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. sugar*
chocolate shavings (optional)

1. Mix cocoa powder, sugar and milk in small sauce pan. Heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved.

2. Add in espresso/coffee. Heat for another minute or two. Let cool and freeze.

*I don't add much sugar to my coffee, but if you do, go ahead and add more.

Peach Almond
Makes 8 ounces

1 large peach
1/4 cup water
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. almond extract

1. Pit your peach and puree it as fine as possible. Peeling is optional. Add in other ingredients and mix.

2. Place in sauce pan on medium heat. Bring to boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until flavors meld and sweetness achieved.

3. If you'd like, you can run through the sieve. Otherwise, let cool and fill your molds.

So, what are your favorite homemade popsicle flavors?


Hester Chang said...

Major kudos, chica! I love the shot glasses idea and the bamboo skewers. Very ingenius :-) Reading through your blog, I've really come to realize that I've been slacking on mine, haha.

roxan said...

So cute. These look so good! I've looked over the flavors a few times and it's hard for me to pick which would be my favorite. They're all so unique and different!
these are in shot glasses? From these pics they totally look like full size glasses! haha

Z-Tawan said...

Hmmm, 40 degree might be a little too cold for me to crave for popsicle, but I love the shot glass and bamboo stick idea. They came out so fabulous! Which one do you like most? If I have to pick just one, I think I will go with the Mocha :)

The Duo Dishes said...

Ginger lime! Can you messenger that one across town? You're probably happy our LA summer has been fairly mild so far. June gloom has definitely gone well into July, so let's enjoy it while we can!

Le said...

Nice popsicles! They're huge! My fave has to be the mocha one! Yummmmm

Baking Barrister said...

@Hester -- you're not slacking, you just have a life. I try to get something out 2-3 times a week, but I feel no pressure to post every single thing I make or to make every single thing I eat blogworthy.

@Le -- they're shot glasses! they're just the taller thinner ones instead of the short fat ones. ;)

@roxan -- the shot glasses look exactly like a set of real glasses we have (that were bought YEARS later btw). they're all a bit different but I think I like the lime the best--it's a bit unexpected.

@Z-Tawan - 40 is never too cold! I pick Ginger lime.

@Duo Dishes -- I am sooo glad it's gloomy, but it's putting a crimp in my food photography.

Kathy Diaz (found baking) said...

Me want some lime popsicles right now! I love any frozen treat with lime. Yum! Now, I am parched.

Lauren said...

These make me so happy. And now it actually feels like SUMMER in Los Angeles! Although I'm pretty much always down for something cold and sweet.

I want to try bluberry/lemon/vanilla popsicles that are kinda zebra-ish? And strawberry/lime striped with kiwi chunks, I think. Hmmmm.

baking.serendipity said...

What a great way to make popsicles! I've always strayed from it, thinking I needed the fancy molds, but your way opens up so many possibilities! Thanks for sharing :)

Tanantha@ I Just Love My Apron said...

i have ice cream on a cold and rainy day too. you can include me into your category :) this is a great idea of using a shot glass! i would go with mocha for sure coz i love coffee and chocolate

kattyskitchen said...

I totally LOVE this idea and was psyched to find you improvised on popsicle molds. I really, really, really want to try this, too, and will get back to you if I figure out any other flavors. Yummmmm! :)


Oh, they all look lovely! i think I'd go with the ginger-lime first!

Jean said...

How did I miss this post? I can't decide which one I would like to try first--they all sound so good. Ginger-lime? Peach almond? Can't decide!!

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