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New Blog Design – Bonnie the Baker

Take a look at the blog design I just revamped for a client. It is a baking blog and has some really cool stuff. A lot of people who visit this site are men so if you’re not interested, pass the link along to your wife or lady friend 😉

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Introduction

Hi there everyone!  This is kind of a random post for a Photoshop tutorial site to feature but I wanted to spotlight a blog that I just did a redesign for.  The blog can be found here and is a popular baking blog, it’s called BonnieTheBaker.com .  I’ll probably be releasing some tutorials on how I created the logo and headers.  I know that  a lot of you who visit our site are actually men but if you have a wife or lady friend that likes to cook for you, it might be in your best interest to pass it along! :)  Here is the logo I created for the blog:

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Interview

1.) Hey Bonnie, it’s great to see you’re success in building your baking blog, could you please introduce yourself and tell our visitors how you got started?

Ever since I was younger, my mom has always been in the kitchen.  I grew up around Snicker Doodle cookies, fresh Peach and Strawberry Pies, Brownies, Red Velvet Cakes with Cream Cheese frosting, and Ice Cream. Lots of ice cream.  So, as I grew up and moved away from home, my taste buds craved these delicious bites, and I began to learn how to make them on my own.  Although I enjoy making all of the above, my specialty is making unique ice cream flavors.

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2.) There are so many different ingredients that you incorporate in your baking.  For example, “Olive Oil Ice Cream With Balsamic Strawberries”…  that sounds interesting, how do you decide what to add to a recipe?

I agree, that ice cream flavor is definitely an interesting one.  I get lots of ideas and inspirations from other bakers and cooks.  The Pioneer Woman has a website full of receipes and David Lebovitz is like the ice cream superman.  I get ideas from them, and then I ask myself, “If this were something I would eat apart from ice cream what would I add to it?”  And I go from there.

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3.) Do you have any professional culinary training? What would you suggest to bakers who are just beginning?

No I don’t have any professional training, but I have years of practice.  In a way, I am almost glad that I don’t because I don’t think that I would ever get out of the kitchen.  Honestly, it is something that I would like to explore in the future but the best advice I can give, is to develop one’s palette and experiment with flavors, textures, and ratios first.  Once you get a knack for this, then it will all be enhanced as you get professional training.  However, one of the best resources I have found is in the food blogging community. Foodbuzz is a great example. I have a dear friend that is a fellow food blogger and we get together and try new combinations out, or new ways to cook things.  If they work, then we are excited and we work on duplicating it and perfecting it.  If they don’t, then we do some research on the chemistry behind it: heating times or mixing methods, and try to figure out where it failed.  It’s all a process of being ok with failing a few times before getting it just right.

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4.) One of your more recent Ice cream flavors is S’mores Ice cream.  S’mores are generally served hot, so how did you think of making it an ice cream flavor?

This is part of the process I am talking about.  Some things, like cold pizza, should never be eaten cold.  They should remain hot. However, when it comes to sweets, it is my philosophy that almost anything can be made into an ice cream.  The basic components of ice cream are milk, heavy cream, sugar, and eggs.  I can’t think of a single dessert that is not delicious with these additions.  The real trick, is putting them together in such a way that brings out every flavor that you are trying to incorporate.

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5.) Can you give us an example where the flavors of the ice cream stood out, and the method you used to make them?

Absolutely.  As part of a challenge on FoodBuzz, a food community where I am a Featured Publisher, we had to make a unique recipe using Pace Picante Salsa.  I went out on a limb and decided to make a Roasted Corn Ice Cream with a Dark Chocolate Salsa Swirl.

To begin, I roasted the corn by covering it in butter and brown sugar, wrapped it in aluminum foil and baked it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  While it was cooking, I began on my ice cream base.  I knew for Roasted Corn I didn’t want the base too creamy as to take away from the essence of the corn, so I adjusted my milk, cream, and egg ratios a bit.  I used 1 cup whole milk, ½ cup of heavy cream, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, and only 2 egg yolks.  The yolks are whisked into the base after the sugar melts and the milk, cream, and sugar are uniform. Usually, for a thicker, more custard-like base I will use at least 5 or 6 egg yolks.

After it cooled, I cut all the corn off the cob, and placed it into my ice cream base.  I then allowed the mixture to get thicker, and then let it cool in an ice bath (or refrigerator) to room temperature. I placed it into the ice cream maker that had been frozen according to manufacturer’s instructions.  While it was churning, I made the dark chocolate/salsa component.  I melted the dark chocolate over medium heat, and slowly added the salsa. I used one jar here, and added enough chocolate to make sure every ounce of salsa was covered in melted chocolate.  I then added Cayenne Pepper to taste.  Once it tasted the way I wanted, I removed it from heat and let cool to room temperature.  When the Roasted Corn Ice Cream had finished the churning process (about 30-35 minutes) I place 1/3 of it into my air tight container.  I then did a layer of the chocolate salsa swirl, and repeated until all the ice cream and chocolate swirl was used up.

Then it was time to try it out.  The first flavor that hit the tongue was the cream of the base.  Slowly, one began to taste buttered corn brown sugar, plus the creamy dark chocolate.  All these flavors were very distinct, and didn’t mesh until the first bit was being swallowed.  Then, a big surprise, and the Cayenne Pepper hit the back of the throat out of nowhere.  It was crazy.  Every flavor was very present, and very distinct, each showing up a different points as it hit the taste buds, yet all blending well together.  This ice cream was involved and took some time, but it was worth it.

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6.) What types of new flavors can we expect to see from you in the future?

Well, I have a Bacon Chocolate Ice cream that I am in the works of perfecting right now.  I also just made a Snicker Doodle Ice Cream that is up on the blog currently.  I am dying to try a basil Ice Cream form David Lebovitz and am toying with the idea of adding other greens such as sage and thyme to make it a Garden Ice Cream.  I also love trail mix and am dying to try that out in ice cream form, along with Peach Cobbler Ice Cream, and a Violet Vanilla that I am working on. Also, I recently submitted a recipe for a really unique flavor to the Chocolate Adventure Contest, but I am not allowed to discuss it until the winners are announced.  Win or loose, I will be sure to share it because it was one of my favorites!

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7.) You share all of your recipes in full on your blog, why have you decided to do that?

Sharing is the only way that we can learn from one another.  Each time I share, I am delighted to see someone who has taken the recipe and done something different with it.  In addition, I hope to be coming out with a cookbook soon, and am looking into doing video tutorials, as I know that ingredient placement, cooking times, and the like all take skill and are easier to pick up on watching rather than reading.

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8.) Thanks again for providing KingTutz  with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?

Thank you so much for having me, this is a real treat.  Also, a big thanks to Newfire Creations for the new blog redesign. :)  Be sure to keep your eyes out for new recipes, video posts, and more.  And please stop by the site and tell me what flavors you want to see, I love being adventurous and trying new things.

www.bonniethebaker.com

bonnie@bonniethebaker.com

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