Friday, August 31, 2007

Caramel Chocolate Cashew Ice Cream

My response to a request from Stacerella: "yummy chocolate chunk, whole cashew ice cream". I'm always up for a challenge. I used a caramel base, 85% cocoa Lindt chocolate, salt and sesame roasted cashews. Great.

::1.5c sugar
::2c milk
::4 egg yolks
::2c heavy whipping cream
::sesame roasted cashews (recipe below)
::85%cocoa Lindt chocolate bar

-Melt sugar in saucepan on medium/high and stir until browned (take off heat before desired brownness and continue stirring)
-Slowly add scalded milk. Carmel will harden up, so return to heat and mix until dissolved in milk (may take a while)
-Beat egg yolks with a dash of salt.
-Whisk milk with egg and return to heat until custard forms.
-Add cream and chill.
-Freeze in ice cream machine.
-Toward end of cycle, add cashews and chocolate (shaved, or chunks)

::1c whole cashews (raw, unsalted)
::sesame oil
-Lightly coat cashews in oil.
-Sprinkle with salt
-Place under broiler, stirring every minute or two until browned.
-Freeze before using with ice cream.

Yeah, this is a great batch to break in my new house. I served across the street at a potluck and it was a hit. The sesame cashews are excellent with the ice cream and even better just from the oven. The chocolate was nice and bitter: a good contrast to sweet caramel and salty cashew.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

chocolate fudge cheesecake ice cream

It's been a while since my last post. On the 17th I moved out of my apartment, forcing me to pack my pantry and forgo a week long exercise in nomadic living. This also involved my parents taking my ice cream machine for a week to lure me home for a few days of visiting and laboring.

My mother's request: Chocolate cheesecake. And, due to her high chocolate demands, the addition for bittersweet fudge became apparent, indeed: naturally delicious.

:: 4 egg yolks
:: 8oz cream cheese
:: 1.5 cups brown sugar
:: half-a-lemon's juice
:: salt
:: 2 cups milk
:: 1 cup chocolate
:: 1 cup cream

- Mix egg yolks, cream cheese, brown sugar,lemon juice, salt
- Mix chocolate (either cocoa or bittersweet chips, whichever your mother forces you to add more of) with milk and scald mixture.
- Slowly whisk in milk to egg mixture and return to heat.
- Mature custard and take off heat.
- Add 1 cup cream and cool.
- Add vanilla (or possibly other flavors: maybe raspberry, peanut butter, caramel, tastiness, etc.)and use ice cream machine.
- Layer finished ice cream with fudge (recipe below) before ripening in freezer.

- Melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet (or bittersweet) over a double boiler or saucepan on low heat.
- Add a little oil, salt, cream (sweetened condensed milk would work), vanilla (toward end)

"This is one of the best ice creams I've ever had"-mom
"I don't like cheesecake too much, and this is an accurate rendition"-dad
"Lots of chocolate. Very rich"-everyone

Needless to say, it was a success. I've pretty much nailed down a good cheesecake base now. I've done the chocolate and pumpkin, and will probably try something a little more subtle next time it's used. Maybe raspberry with chocolate chunks.

A side note: inquire your local cheese monger regarding Humboldt Fog. A goat-lover's dream. Creamy, tangy, smooth.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

rice pudding ice cream

Rice pudding, that wonderful dish. Thick and thin, buttery with cinnamon, or fresh with flower essence. All good. I'd come up with this idea about a month ago, maybe longer. I intended to preserve the flavor and (relatively) texture of one dessert in another, more chilled creation.

- Heat 3 cups milk with 1/4 cup white rice, simmering about 30 minutes, until rice is nearly tender.
- Mix 4 egg yolks with 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup honey (heating honey allows for quicker, more accurate measuring). RESERVE EGG WHITES
- Slowly stir in milk/rice with sweet eggs.
- Bring back to heat until custard thickens.
- Mix in 1.5 cups cream.
- Beat egg whites to soft peaks (or more, I had to whisk by hand, which proved tiring, inefficient, and only yielded soft peaks)
- Stir/fold the whites into the custard and chill.
- Add 2 tablespoons ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER before running through machine.

This was awesome. It's cold, smooth, fresh, and undeniably rice pudding-ish. The texture of the frozen rice feels great and chewy during a brief moment of pre-swallowing enjoyment.

I had been hoping to add some pistachios, perhaps a touch of cardamom, but those will have to wait for the next batch. And though I'm interested in trying a buttery, cinnamon version, it will be hard to veer away from the fragrant blossom scent.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

I designed this ice cream last December for a potluck. I decided the Thanksgiving potluck was the correct venue for revival. It was the first ice cream recipe I wrote down, and let me just say: It's so much simpler making ice cream with a recipe than on a whim. After collecting ingredients, the base sort of just jumped together.

- Cream 8oz cream cheese with 1.5 cups sugar.
- Mix in 4 eggs, salt, and half-a-lemon juice.
- Slowly whisk in 2 cups scalded milk.
- Bring together custard on low heat
- Cool at least 4 hours.
- Mix in 1 can pumpkin pulp, the kind you use to make pumpkin bread and pie... but NOT PUMPKIN PIE IN A CAN, unless you want extra sweetness, spices, etc.

I usually would add more spices, flavors, and textures (might I say: graham cracker crust?), but this was being served with apple pie, so I let the pumpkin speak for itself. And it did, loudly, with a bright orange smile.


Thanksgiving in August

To celebrate the end of summer term and to rejoice in friendship a final time before many part ways, a thanksgiving feast was deamed neccessary. My roommate and I provided Turkey, while others brought some side, some drink, some dessert.

- mix water, 1 cup kosher salt, .5 cup honey, 1/2 head garlic, 1 halved lemon (squeezed), fresh thyme, bay leaves, black pepper
- leave turkey overnight in cooled brine solution. Brine should just cover the T.

- remove T from brine, drain.
- rub with butter, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary.
- cover breasts and wings with foil to prevent from drying out.
- place on a turkey rack over a large baking pan. I don't own a turkey rack, but know its importance in preventing gooey, fatty skin. I put an 8x8 baking pan upside-down in a large turkey pan (my dad's idea).
- pour a cup or 2 of water in the baking pan and bake at 350 for 3-4 hours, checking a few times with a thermometer.

Mom says everytime you make a turkey, it feels like the first time. While I didn't mind nursing over the turkey for the afternoon, I realize that I will always have to be patient (unless I use a fryer).

The turkey was tasty, moist, juicey, and satisfying like a good, natural muscle relaxant should.
I look foreward to the next turkey.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

rich chocolate ice cream

A handful of days ago, I was craving a warm mug of warm beverage. With ingredients on hand (cocoa, brown sugar, salt, instant coffee, Bailey's) I heated up a tasty cup. Inspired, I was eager to freeze the flavors.

- mix 5 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1.5 cups packed brown sugar.
- slowly whisk in 2 cups of scalded milk
- bring custard into its own, and remove from heat.
- add 2 cups whipping cream

The combination of chocolate and coffee: always great. Brown sugar adds a more full flavor than regular, granular sugar. And the extra salt highlights everything. Addictive indeed.

Monday, August 6, 2007

couscous, another potluck, the joy of leftovers

Roommate and I hosted another potluck. Less publicized, less attendees, equal (if not slightly more delicious) food experience. My friends taking over the preparation of the main course (a delicious mango, apple, pepper chicken), I decided to stir up some couscous. I'd enjoyed my mom's couscous for years, but had never done it myself. So, with some memory of home, some knowledge of what tastes good, I was surprised at the ease and quickness of couscous.

COUSCOUS (equal amounts water and cous) - I used whole-wheat couscous
- boil water
- add salt, raisins, 2 cloves garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, mild curry powder (or just turmeric, it has a good taste, but more vibrant, yellow color).
- stir in couscous and cover for 5 minutes. IT'S THAT EASY!

Couscous is extremely versatile. Add spices, meats, ideas, vegetables, or herbs that compliment the meal. Or just add enough meat/veggie/substance to be its own meal.

Re-heated with leftover baked vegetables from the previous potluck (a few posts back).

Saturday, August 4, 2007

white chocolate mocha

Inspired by a "White Chocolate Soy Mocha" from Primo coffee, a new joint on the corner of Liberty and 5th. The drink was so good that I needed to eat it, frozen, with a spoon.

- Slowly heat 2.5 cups milk and add 1 cup white chocolate chips and mix until melted.
- Add 1/4 cup hot water to 5-6 teaspoons instant coffee then mix into milk.
- Beat 5 egg yolks with less than 1 cup sugar.
- Slowly mix in hot milk with eggs and bring back to heat.
- Take off heat once custard coats the spoon/spatula.
- Mix in 1.5 cups heavy cream, chill, add tablespoon vanilla mix in maker.

This was the dessert of the potluck. I made the base while the chicken was in the oven, so I couldn't let it chill over night, but the results were still excellent. Most people have not ejoyed truly fresh ice cream, so my friends were amazed at the results as I passed spoonfulls around from the unripened flavor.

Next time: more white, less coffee, more vanilla, less milk, more cream

Friday, August 3, 2007

a potluck, some chicken

It's been a while since I've had a group of friends together for dinner. And for once, nearly everyone contributed. There was a delicious spinach dip, some hummus, a great summer salad, and plenty of beverages.
When I host a dinner, I usually provide the main course.

- layer sliced yellow summer squash, carrots, sweet potato, and red onions in a 13x9 Pyrex.
- drizzle a little olive oil, some salt and pepper, some fresh thyme.
- pan fry the chicken with either olive or sesame oil until golden, season with paprika, cayenne, garlic powder.
- place chicken on layered vegetables
- mince half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalaeƱop, 1/2 green pepper mixed with some lemon juice, olive oil.
- cover chicken with mixture, cover Pyrex with aluminum foil, bake for 30-40 minutes at 350-375.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

vanilla ice cream, blueberry sauce

Every once in a while a batch of fresh and creamy vanilla ice cream hits the spot (many spots, actually)

- Scald 2 cups milk (scald = some steam and small bubbles around the sauce pan's edge)
- Wisk 1 cup sugar with 4-5 egg yolks
- Slowly stir in hot milk with eggs
- Return to heat until custard is thickened (custard should hold to back of spoon/utensil). MAKE SURE NOT TO OVER HEAT THE CUSTARD! IF THE EGGS START SEPARATING, REMOVE FROM HEAT AND RUN MIX THROUGH STRAINER.
- Remove from heat, mix in 2 cups heavy cream.
- Cool overnight, at least 4-6 hours
- Before freezing in maker, add 2 tablespoons vanilla extract.

This was a good batch. I like eating homemade ice cream best after about 3 hours of ripening (setting in freezer), while it's still somewhat soft.
I prefer the flavor of real vanilla bean, but, seeing that I had to borrow my vanilla extract from the neighbors, a bean was out of the question.

- mix 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 3/4-1 cup water, 3/4-1 cup brown sugar, half-a-lemon juice
- allow to bubble for 10-15 minutes, until thoroughly combined/reduced.

This is a really quick easy sauce that compliments the ice cream well. Any frozen fruit will work. Maybe combine your favorite fruits, even adding in fresh herbs/spices after taking off the heat (lemon blueberry thyme?)