smooth and creamy ice cream

Vanilla Ice Cream from Michael Ruhlman’s “Ratio” page 213.
This ice cream is delicious, and oh… so… creamy.
To quote the author, “…the alcohol contributes to the softness and texture of the ice cream.”

The recipe suggested Maker’s Mark bourbon. I used 4 T. brandy. It did smell strong and I was afraid I had intoxicated/ruined my ice cream. But, tastes are muted when frozen, and the brandy mellowed after frozen.


dissecting the ‘parts’

Sweet and Simple Bakes chose Chocolate Orange Drizzle Loaf Cake (recipe here) as the July 1 post recipe. As I read the recipe, the PARTS jumped off the page! Yes, I’ve been reading Michael Ruhlman’s “Ratio,” and I now find myself mathmatically analyzing recipes. (Couldn’t I just leave the math and excel spreadsheets at work!!)
It’s so simple to bake using parts. I’ve baked the ‘Old Fashioned Pound Cake’ from “Ratio” page 61. The cake was delicious, had a great texture, and was moist. This orange pound cake follows the same formula.
1 part sugar (this recipe uses 6 oz)
1 part butter
1 part eggs
1 part flour
Add a few extras, and you have Chocolate Orange Drizzle Loaf Cake.
I don’t bake with self rising flour (I forgot that the salt was included) very often, and I added 1/4 teaspoon salt with the butter sugar mixture. I also added 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring, because I think everything needs a little vanilla. I believe these two additions enhanced the cake flavor.
I had some candied orange peel tossed in sugar in the pantry; I used this with the orange juice to make the glaze, and then strained the mixture.
There was enough batter to make 3 small cakes (pans are 4″ x 2″). I punched holes in the little cakes, and drizzled the glaze over the tops. It seeped inside the cakes to add flavor and moisture.
This recipe yields a delicious orange, orange, orange cake. I’m not fond of chocolate and orange, so I dusted my little cakes with powdered sugar.
This recipe was quick to mix and bake, yet the flavor is intense and would make one think the recipe was much more complicated.
Since this recipe can be dissected into it’s component parts, it can be scaled up or down, as the need arises.


I’ve completed another “Ratio” baking adventure.  These lemon pound cakes follow the parts as listed on page 61 – 62 of M. Ruhlman’s “Ratio;” however, I added the zest, juice, and PULP of 2 large lemons to the batter. 

I doubled the recipe, and I probably should have added more lemon juice/pulp/zest, but the amount I used gave a nice subtle twang of lemon to the cakes.  And, the pulp baked into little brown flecks on the edge of the cakes. 
I don’t own 9″ loaf pans; I used 2 – 8 1/2″ loaf pans, 2 – 3″ round cake pans, and the remaining small portion of batter I baked in a sugar coated ramakin, which became my personal, hot-out-of-the-oven ‘test cake’ as my grandmother called them years ago.  I highly recommend the ‘test cake’ in all baking routines.
I didn’t glaze the pound cakes while they were hot and fresh out of the oven.  Even without the glaze they are not dry.  I think the glaze would be an added plus to the taste, and will probably glaze the next pound cakes I bake.
Here’s a quick list of parts, but I highly recommend you read the book.  The possibilities are endless.
1 part butter  (I used 16 oz)
1 part sugar
1 part eggs*
1 part flour 
2 t. salt 
2 t. vanilla
lemon zest, pulp, and juice
*Here’s a note about the eggs from my market.  Large eggs are weighing under 2 oz and extra large eggs are weighing 2 oz.  That’s about .25 oz less than what I have read is a standard.
Use the scale to weigh the ingredients.  You should be very pleased with the results.   

foodgawker post #28441

I’m honored to have another entry accepted for posting on one of the ‘foodie’ sites.  Here’s the link to foodgawker’s sight.  If you are looking for anything to cook, check out their site.  The pictures are so inspiring, and you are immediately linked to the blog post.

Be inspired today!

let’s compare some ‘sandy’ sables

(the little coffee cup is 2″ tall)

What is a sable?

My CIA notebook has a recipe for Pecan Sables as follows:
cake flour
no egg
3 parts butter
1 part sugar
1 part cream
1.2 parts flour
refrigerate, slice and bake 
(these were very good)
Baking and Pastry from CIA has a recipe for Sand Cookies:
all purpose flour
no egg
2.7 parts butter
1 part powdered sugar
3.8 parts flour
refrigerate, slice and bake
Viking “Around the World Cookie Swap” lists French Sables Korova:
all purpose flour
no egg
.8 part flour
1 part butter
1 part sugar
refrigerate, slice and bake
(I remember these cookies melting/dissolving in my mouth upon the first bite.)
Joy of Baking lists sable ingredients as:
all purpose flour
1 parts butter
.7 part sugar
1 egg
2 parts flour
refrigerate, slice and bake
Then there is the recipe I followed:
bread flour
1 part butter
.4 part powdered sugar
.2 part egg white
1.1 part flour
pipe with large star tip and bake
I chose this recipe ( ”Butter cookies-sables a la poche-sand in your pocket” found at Baked By Me) because the pictures of the sables on the I Bake What I Like blog were beautiful and quite inspiring.  I didn’t compare ingredient parts (I’ve been reading “Ratio” by Michael Ruhlman and now I’m converting everything to …parts!) ;  I just assumed a sable was a sable.  Bread flour is used in this recipe to help the cookies hold their shape when piped with a large star tip.  The cookies did pipe beautifully, and held their shape after baking.  But, the cookies did not dissolve in my mouth as other sables have.  And, the next time I bake these, I would add much more vanilla, or another flavoring. 

As I said, I baked these because they were – pretty.  I have lemon curd in the freezer.  These cookies would be quite tasty sandwiched together with lemon curd. 
(the mini cupcake holder is about 2″ wide)

I still don’t know what a sable should be…but these cookies are so cute!

1-2-3 essence from "Ratio" page 38

A cookbook with math formulas!  What more could an accountant / baker want?

I have to admit, the first time I baked the 1-2-3 Cookie Dough, I used white wheat flour, added orange oil, and threw in chopped Ghirardelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate.  I should have added more sugar!  The mixture was very crumbly.  Lesson learned:  ”If it’s crumbly going in, it will probably be crumbley coming out.”  The cookies were bad..just bad.  But, the fault was not that of Mr. Ruhlman’s ratio in his latest book, “Ratio The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking.”  
For my second attempt with the ratio, I followed the directions (almost) exactly as the author suggested.  My only deviation was the addition of the seeds from one vanilla bean (don’t! throw that bean away; bury it in a jar of granulated sugar).  The dark, tiny flecks throughout the shortbread cookies added to their charm and simplicity, and taste.  I could have dressed the cookies with drizzles of chocolate, but I let them stand on their own.  They were delicious.  They were not crumbly.  They cut beautifully.  Like the author says, “…you can understand what a cookie is.”
I like to bake shortbread in my 14″ x 4″ tart pan.  It’s easy to remove the cookie, and its easy to cut even slices.

Add this percentage to your book, Mr. Ruhlman –  The cookies get a 100% rating!  I just need more room in the margin for notes!