Have you ever made something that you weren't quite sure how good it would turn out, but you make it anyways, AND IT'S ACTUALLY AMAZING? This is one of those things.
Even while I was in the process of cooking this yummy ice cream topping, I was not so sure what the end result would be like. Our tale begins with Food Network, as so many do.
Once Upon a time (a month or so ago), I discovered a competition on Foodnetwork.ca called "Anna Olson's Bake Off". I am an Anna Olson fan! Because she too is a baker and a lover of dessert. Anybody who has those qualities is pretty much an instant friend of mine. I have been known to wake up a little earlier than I really need to in the mornings, just so I can watch Food Network while I eat my breakfast. "Bake with Anna Olson" is one of my favourite shows to watch, so when I discovered this contest of hers... I obviously HAD to try it out!The contest goes like this: on the 15th of every month, Anna starts a new challenge where she sends out a recipe of hers for home cooks to try their hand at. You can follow the recipe, or add your own creative spin on it. Then all you have to do is take a photo of your creation, and email it to her with a little descriptive blurb. You have one month to complete the challenge, then Anna picks a winner from submissions and the winner gets sweet Foodie-Related-Prizes! Oh and even cooler, Anna posts ALL of the submission on food network.ca so everyone feels like a winner in the end. How awesome, is that. (Check out my first entry along with the others here!)
Anywho, this is what the challenge was for July/August: Snickerdoodle Cookies with Berries Jubilee. The Berries Jubilee is a fancy ice cream topping that you FLAMBE! (that would be the "challenge" part of the bake off...)
I have never Flambéed before...
I was nervous.
BUT ALSO REALLY EXCITED to see giant flames in my kitchen (That I put there on purpose)
I tried it, with caution!
I tried it without any caution at all!
I eventually got the smallest, wimpiest flame of life that fizzled away back to nothing immediately.
In the whole process of this, I added about double the amount of alcohol that the recipe is supposed to contain...
All this led to my doubts of how this was going to turn out.
Luckily, it turned out like THIS! And was probably one of the better things I have ever made. I have submitted my Bake Off entry with pride, and even if I do not win the contest, I am a real winner here anyways because I now have an awesome ice cream topping recipe... and an excuse to try Flambee-ing once more. (Because even though the flame was small, it was a thrilling experience like no other. It feels rebellious... Muahaha)
I made Chocolate Sauce, Berries Avec Alcohol and Berries Sans Alcohol. Something for everyone. For me: Boozy Berries + Chocolate = Love on ice cream.
Boozy Berries Ice Cream Topping
Original Recipe from Anna Olson
- 3 cups mixed berries (fresh, or thawed frozen) I used 1 cup of blueberries, 1 cup of strawberries and 1 cup of raspberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup raspberry jam
- 3 tbsp Brandy (if you wish to make a non-boozy berry sauce, use orange juice instead)
- 1 tsp vanilla
In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, stir berries and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and raspberry jam and stir to incorporate. Carefully pour the brandy in using a ladle to avoid splashing and unwanted flames. Now is the fun part, or the rather anti-climatic part, depending on your flambé abilities. You can either tilt the pan toward the flame to ignite the alcohol, or use a long handled BBQ lighter. If you are luckier than I, watch your berries flame away! And wait for the flames to subside. Turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla, and store sauce in a jar in the fridge.
Serve on vanilla ice cream and share with your neighbours.
*NOTE* it is truly delish when the berries are still a tad warm, and you also serve it with warmed chocolate sauce. =) We have a winner folks.