Friday, October 23, 2009

Millie Vanillie Part 1

I love MOTH & the boys with all my heart & then I love vanilla. If push came to shove & I had to choose, it is a well known fact in the family that vanilla would win. Have a spectacular weekend!

VANILLA ICE CREAM (My Mum's recipe is almost identical minus the Vodka!)
4 egg yolks
125gm. castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Beat all the above ingredients until thick & white. Set aside.
750ml. cream
100gm. castor sugar
Beat the above 2 ingredients until thick.
Add the 2 batches together & stir well. The mixure should be thick. Add 40mls. of Vodka - stir well, then place in a metal tray & freeze.

VANILLA SUGAR DROPS (Perfect with a cup of strong dark Turkish coffee)
175gm. softened butter
50gm. icing sugar
50gm. cornflour (cornstarch)
175gm. plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons vanilla paste + extra for brushing the cookies
1/2 cup castor sugar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Beat butter & sugar until light & creamy, add vanilla paste & mix though.
Add dry ingredients & mix until a soft dough forms.
Roll into 1 inch balls & place on a greased oven tray.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until very slightly golden, but cooked inside (you may need to break one in half to check).
Allow cookies to cool.
To finish brush a very small amount of vanilla paste over each cookie & drop the biscuit into the castor sugar to coat.
Makes approx. 30 small cookies.

VANILLA YO-YO's (My absolute favourite cookie recipe of all time!)
175g butter softened
50gm icing sugar
175g plain (all-purpose) flour
50gm custard powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Cream butter and icing sugar until pale, add vanilla paste mix to combine.
Add sifted dry ingredients, mix until you reach a soft dough.
Roll into small even sized balls, place on greased trays, flatten with a fork.
Bake 10-15 minutes at 180C.
When cold, join together with Vanilla Custard Icing.
Custard Icing
200g icing sugar
1 tablespoon butter melted
1 tablespoon custard powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Boiling water as required
Sift icing sugar and custard powder into a bowl, add melted butter and vanilla paste. Add boiling water a little at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency.
Makes 25 bite sized cookies.

BASIC CUSTARD (This is more fiddly than your standard custard recipe, but oh so worth the effort)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
600 mls. pouring cream
300 mls. full cream milk
6 egg yolks
150 gm. castor sugar
Combine vanilla pod and seeds, cream and milk in a heavy-based saucepan and bring just to the boil over medium heat.
Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until very thick and pale.
Pour hot cream mixture over egg mixture, whisking continuously to combine, then transfer to a clean pan.
Cook, stirring continuously, over low-med-ium heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Strain into a bowl placed over ice and cool completely.
Variations on basic custard
For chocolate custard: leave out vanilla and add 200gm finely chopped dark chocolate to the mixture just before straining, mixing well to melt and combine.
For honey custard: substitute the sugar with 150gm honey.
For passionfruit custard: add 2/3 cup passionfruit pulp to cooled custard mixture.
For strawberry custard: add 2/3 cup strawberry purée and 1 tsp lemon juice to cooled custard mixture.
To make ice-cream using the basic custard recipe: freeze the cooled custard mixture in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
To make a trifle, coarsely crush some strawberries, a little sugar and a liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, together using a fork. Layer in a large bowl, top with some coarsely crumbled sponge cake (soaked in liqueur) and vanilla custard.
Serves 6.

220gms. unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan
3 cups self-raising flour (cake flour) sifted, plus additional for dusting the pan
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups white sugar
7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
1 cup heavy cream
A 10-inch tube pan (4 1/2 inches deep; not with a removable bottom) or a 10-inch bundt pan.
Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven.
Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a handheld mixer.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla.
Reduce speed to low and add half of flour, then all of the cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each addition.
Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will become creamier and satiny.
Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to eliminate air bubbles.
Place pan in (cold) oven and turn oven temperature to 350°F.
Bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out with a few crumbs adhering approx. 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around inner and outer edges of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack to cool completely.
Cooks' note: Cake keeps, covered well with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, at room temperature 5 days.

CREME BRULEE TART (This may be a bit of marathon to make, but I go positively weak at the knees every time I just think about this beauty!!)
Ingredients for the tart shell
1 1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
110gm. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
Ingredients for the custard filling
1/2 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 whole large egg
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
a 9 1/2-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep) with a removable bottom; pie weights or dried beans; a small blowtorch
Method for tart shell
Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl (or pulse in a food processor).
Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse) until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size lumps of butter.
Add 3 tablespoon of water and stir into flour (or pulse) until incorporated.
Gently squeeze a small handful of dough - if it doesn’t hold together, add water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) after each addition. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 portions.
With heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk.
Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round.
Fit dough into tart pan and fold overhang inward to reinforce side. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Lightly prick bottom of shell all over with a fork, then line with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights.
Bake until edge is pale golden and side is set, 20 to 25 minutes.
Carefully remove weights and parchment and bake shell until golden, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Remove tart shell from oven and reduce temperature to 300°F.
Method for filling
While shell bakes, split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into a heavy medium saucepan with tip of a paring knife.
Add pod to saucepan with cream and milk.
Heat over medium heat until hot, then let steep off heat 30 minutes.
Whisk together yolks, whole egg, 6 tablespoons of sugar and salt in a large measuring jug, then whisk into cream mixture until smooth.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve back into another measuring jug.
Put tart shell (in pan) into a shallow 4-sided baking tray, a lamington tray is fine.
Put in oven, then pour custard into shell.
Bake until just set but still slightly wobbly in centre, 30 to 35 minutes (custard will continue to set as it cools).
Remove tart from sheet pan and cool on a rack 30 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour more.
Just before serving, sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over top of tart.
Move blowtorch flame evenly back and forth just above top of tart, avoiding crust, until sugar is caramelized and slightly browned.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

Vanilla Rice with Raspberries & Cream (MOTH said he'd have to leave the room when I ate this, my ohs & ahs would deafen him!)
Vanilla Rice
1 1/2 litres full cream milk
1 vanilla bean
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
To Serve
1/2 cup cream
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (made by scraping the seeds of a vanilla bean into the caster sugar)
Method for the Vanilla Rice
Stir the milk, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan over a low flame and gently bring to the boil.
Place the rice in a heavy-based saucepan and stir in a ladleful of milk.
Cook rice as you would for a risotto.
Keep stirring and adding milk ladleful by ladleful, allowing rice to absorb the milk before the next addition.
Continue cooking the rice until it is just cooked through.
As with risotto, the amount of milk the rice absorbs varies depending on the grade of rice and how fast you cook it; use just as much of the milk as you need.
Once cooked, pour rice on to a large flat tray to cool, stirring occasionally.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve (no more than 3 days). Allow the rice to come to room temperature before serving.
To Serve
Stir the cream through the rice and serve in flat bowls.Toss the raspberries in the vanilla sugar then sprinkle the berries over the rice.
Serves 6-8.

THE MELISSA LEO (Saved the best for last!)
Inspired by the no-nonsense characters Ms. Leo has played in her career, this cocktail includes equal parts orange juice and aquavit—a union of sweet citrus and herbaceous spirit—rounded out by orange liqueur, lime juice and a bit of vanilla extract. The crushed ice is an acknowledgement to her Oscar-nominated role in Frozen River.

1 (4x1/2-inch) strip orange zest (remove with a vegetable peeler)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
8 oz (1 cup) chilled aquavit such as Linie or O.P. Anderson
4 oz (1/2 cup) Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec 8 oz
1 cup chilled fresh orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Crushed ice
Cut orange-zest strip lengthwise into 4 equal pieces.
Bring sugar and water to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Transfer syrup to a very small bowl and add zest strips. Soak 5 minutes.
Remove strips from syrup, reserving syrup, and coil around a chopstick or a pencil. Let strips dry until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from chopstick.
Stir together aquavit, Cointreau, juices, vanilla and 1 teaspoon reserved sugar syrup.
Fill 4 cocktail glasses with crushed ice and divide aquavit mixture among them. Garnish with orange curls.
Makes 4 drinks.

Images 1,2,3: Heilala Vanilla Image 3: Gourmet Traveller Image 4: Epicurious Images 5,7: Gourmet (R.I.P.) Image 6: Cuisine


  1. The creme brulee recipe has me salivating - If I can find enough energy I might make it tonight. Then, the vanilla rice with raspberries and cream will be tomorrow night's desert and the yo yo's can tide me over at the boy's cricket games tomorrow. Possibly the only good thing about still being pregnant is that I care not a thing for how much I eat or how naughty it might be!
    Clare x

  2. merci Millie.
    il me reste juste a traduire avant de sortir les casseroles......



  3. Hi Millie,

    I love vanilla anything too.
    Thank you so much for the recipes and I might just try some of these in the weekend.
    Moth is lucky to have a photo of the beautiful Michelle.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Those vanilla yo yos look divine - I just might have to try them!

  5. Creme brulee for meeeee!
    And I'll have one of those cocktails please!!

    Have a great weekend Millie!

  6. Oh Millie Y U M...I am going to make every one of your recipes... we are having fresh mango & french vanilla ice cream for desert tonight...have a vanillie weekend he! he!

    :) Cate

  7. You are too good to us Millie!!

    Fabulous sounding recipes.....I still remember the amazing hot chocolate post you did!

    I laughed at your comment about the vanilla and raspberries and MOTH leaving the room :)

    Now to decide which one to try :)

    Have a lovely week-end :)

  8. MMmmmmm it in food, love it in candles, love it in perfume, love it in room spray ...just love it.....and fantastic recipes, Mills.
    I think that you're a feeder and that I'll be a stone heavier by the end of the weekend!!!!
    My favourite part is the fact that many of the recipes contain alcohol !!!!.....I think that I will be making those ones first, Mills !!!! XXXX

  9. Each one looked more delicious- creamy, white lovliness. I too love the pureness of vanilla. I hope you get something from your list this weekend-that would surely help to make it a happy one.

  10. I am still hyper ventilating from all the sugar....delicious Millie, xv.

  11. oh goodness, those vanilla yo-yos are calling my name. i think if someone said, vanilla or chocolate, i'd say vanilla. when one of us had a bad day, steve and i used to make runs for our favorite milkshake, a vanilla malt.

    love the story of your name change! or rather lack of change. i remember that being the most frequent question i received when i announced my engagement. will you change your name?? i did.

    have a great weekend, millie. pam

  12. Millie, you had me at the post title. It is too cute and funny! I'm adding all of these recipes to my files straight away. And wasn't Frozen River the best?! Melissa Leo was amazing in it. Have a lovely weekend!

  13. The creme brulee tart would be seriously dangerous to my health. I adore creme brulee, and to be tempted to any more than the usual wee serving in a tiny ramekin would leave this 'miss piggy' very sick.

  14. Well I know what Mr Brabourne's going to be doing this weekend! Which of these wonderful recipes will I request - should I be greedy and have them all? It's the weekend, why not! Hope you're having a lovely and relaxing weekend. Leigh

  15. OH Creme Brulee!!!
    I have a friend who is a chef and nothing else quite tastes the same now. Wouldn't mind the vanilla rice too!!

    Just been catching up with everyone's week.. love the wedding speech. MOTH is such a charmer!! hehe

    Have a great weekend. xx Julie

  16. It all looks scrumptious! And I LOVE vanilla too. There's a local ice cream shop in town with locally made ice cream, and many fabulous flavors to choose from...but I always get vanilla! It's just that good. ; ) Trina

  17. thank you, thank you, thank you!! these all look fabulous! off to print them!
    happy weekend to you and MOTH too!

  18. These all look wonderful Millie! Will definitely have to try some..........or maybe all of them! ;o))

  19. You make me want to cook! Millie, they all look sooo good. Vanilla and creme brulee are my favorite desserts.

  20. Just found your blog and LOVE it!! :)

  21. Wow! I've always loved everything vanilla, from edible stuffs to aromatic candles.

    Thanks Millie for sharing these mouth watering recipes. I'll surely give them a try sometime soon.

    It's my first visit to your blog, and I simply loved being here.

    Keep up the good work!


  22. millie,

    i just lost some weight!!
    this is no fair!!

    i am EYE-Balling that vanilla rice thingie...and thinking bad thoughts.


  23. Your title made me laugh. I have been called "Millie Vanilli" since 1988.


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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