Valentine’s Day calls for something super-chocolatey, right? Chocolate mousse, maybe? Or perhaps frozen chocolate mousse? Would it sound sexier if we said it in French? Mais bien sûr…Marquise au Chocolat it is.
This is a delicious and decadent dessert. Butter, dark chocolate, sugar, whipped cream– it’s all in there, baby. Oh, and raw egg yolks, too. This was a hot topic for our group, and if you’re concerned (I wasn’t really), some alternative ideas were floated around. I thought about making a whole recipe in a loaf pan because it can keep for a month in the freezer, but decided to just make a few servings worth and set them up in the little molds I use for coeur à la crème.
I think the deep chocolate flavor and the creamy texture are best enjoyed after the marquise has had several minutes to temper outside of the freezer. You’ll probably need to do that anyway to get your plastic wrap liner to easily release from the mold. If you make a larger loaf, Dorie says dental floss or a warm knife is the way to cut nice slices. This would be lovely with berries or crème anglaise or whipped cream. I had a can of coconut cream that I tried unsuccessfully to whip…it wouldn’t get anymore volume than a foamy sauce, so I just went with it.
Gale Gand’s Inside-Out, Upside-Down Tirami Sù is pretty different from the tiramisu I usually make. The flavors are all here, but this reinterprets the dessert into a mix of textures and temperatures. Instead of ladyfinger biscuits soaked and layered into something so soft you can glide a spoon through, here you get shatteringly crisp phyllo disks sandwiching a luxurious mascarpone sabayon and an icy-cold espresso granita.
I baked off my scrunched up phyllo disks in 4-inch ring molds, which worked really well. I left the ginger out of the sugar sprinkled on top of them, because I didn’t want that flavor here. I did, however, want a nice splash of Kahlúa in my sabayon, so I added that.
This is kind of a posh plated dessert, but you can get the three easy steps (phyllo disks, granita and sabayon) done earlier in the day and just assemble it all right before serving. You really can’t wait to eat it once you’ve put the granita on, because it starts to melt immediately! By the way, I have plenty of granita left in the freezer…I’m thinking of turning it into an espresso-frappe-milkshake-type concoction. Bonus.
Tags: dessert, ice cream
Summer is about bright nail polish and ice cream cones. Why the heck have I waited till the tail end of it to both paint my nails coral and to make my first homemade ice cream of the season? The color is new for me, but the ice cream is sort of one I’ve already made here before. Am I allowed a redo? I hope so, because while this ice cream has the same flavors as the one I made six (gasp!) years ago, I found that one to be a little too fatty, a lot too hard and also too homogenized. This a totally different recipe and technique, with swirls of dark purple blueberry sauce in a tangy, scoopable base.
Most homemade ice cream aficionados out there have probably at least tried out Jeni’s technique, which concentrates and denatures dairy proteins by boiling off some of the water in the milk and cream, and uses cornstarch and cream cheese to thicken the base…these steps make the finished ice cream less icy and hard when frozen. I thought this eggless base would be a good match for blueberry sauce, and since it has a bit of cream cheese in it already, it would also go right along with the tang of sour cream.
This is ice cream and sauce in one– perfect for cones!
Blueberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream (makes about a quart)
inspired by and adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer
Steph’s Note: I like to store my homemade ice cream in a restaurant-style 1/6 pan with a snap-on lid. Freeze the empty stainless steel container while the ice cream is churning, and you’ll be good to go!
for the blueberry sauce:
1 cup blueberries
squirt of lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
-In a small pot over medium-low heat, add the blueberries, lemon juice and sugar. Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes, as the sugar dissolves and the berries begin to break down and release juice. (You can gently squish some of the berries as they cook to encourage “saucing”…I like to leave about half the berries somewhat intact for texture.)
-Meanwhile, mix together the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl. Add to the cooking berries and bring to a gentle bubble for about a minute, stirring constantly. After about a minute, the sauce will thicken slightly (you are just looking to give it a little more body), at which point remove it from the heat, transfer it to a container and refrigerate it until completely chilled.
for the ice cream:
11/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup sour cream
-In a small bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth slurry. In a medium bowl, add the salt and room-temperature cream cheese and whip it smooth. In a large bowl, make an ice bath (heavy on the ice) and set aside.
-Pour the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and remaining milk into a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, set a timer for precisely 4 minutes and boil for exactly 4 minutes—you will need to be right there with it, stirring and adjusting heat so as not to endure the cleanup that comes with a dairy boil-over! Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
-Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Do this a little bit at a time so that you can whip out any lumps of cream cheese. Whisk in the sour cream (or if you’ve had a hard time getting out lumps, place the sour cream in a separate medium bowl, strain the milk mixture over the sour cream and then whisk them together).
-If you are not making your ice cream until late in the day or the following day, place the bowl in your ice bath and when cold, transfer to the refrigerator until churning. If you need more immediate ice cream, do a fast chill by pouring the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag, sealing, and submerging the bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until very cold, about 30 minutes.
-Pour the chilled base (if you used the Ziploc bag method, you can do this by just cutting off a corner of the bag) into the frozen canister of your ice cream machine. Churn according manufacturer’s directions.
-Transfer to a container for freezer storage, press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving.
Tags: fruit, ice cream
Gale Gand’s Pylloccine Ice Cream Sandwiches are the cutest things to come out of my kitchen in a long time– retro and adorbs!
I had no idea what “phylloccine” meant, and went along pronouncing it incorrectly in my head all week, until about five minutes ago, when I finally read the recipe intro and found the explanation was right there all along. “Phylloccine” equals “phyllo fettuccine,” which just equals phyllo dough rolled up and cut into long strips. The strips get scrunched into sandwich-able rounds and buttered and sugared and baked. While the recipe calls for a mix of summer berries with this, I just had strawberries and simply diced them and tossed them with simple syup. It also calls for whipped cream, but I skipped it entirely…the ice cream was plenty, I think. Gotta trim calories where I can.
These were really great and easy to make. I loved the crispy, sugary phyllo. Apart from baklava, I seem to forget how good phyllo is in sweet applications. Unlike a regular ice cream sandwich, these are too delicate and crumbly to pick up and eat with your hands (not to mention all those loose fruit bits), so definitely grab forks.
Tags: dessert, ice cream
We’re in the summer swing here, and I’m starting to see some good-looking fruit at the farmers’ markets. The first nice strawberries had me digging through my cookbook collection (I’m not a gardener) the other week for some fresh fruit inspiration. Who wants to turn on the oven, especially in a house with no A/C? What wound up catching my eye didn’t actually involve fresh fruit, but was something to go with it…Buttermilk Ice Cream. It had been a while since I’d made ice cream at home and I happened to have some extra-special “real” buttermilk that I thought I’d paid too much for to hide in a baked good. The gentle sweet tang of this ice cream is the prefect partner for simply sliced berries or peaches. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll also be *stellar* with strawberry-rhubarb double crisp or blueberry-nectarine pie. Oh, and a strawberry-buttermilk milkshake…try that out, too.
Buttermilk Ice Cream (makes about a quart)
adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming
1 1/2 heavy cream
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
5 large egg yolks (you could use up to 9 yolks- the more the richer)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or half a vanilla bean, scraped)
pinch of salt
about 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional; helps keep ice cream scoopable)
-In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the heavy cream and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar (and the vanilla bean seeds and pod, if using) and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
-In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. You want it to look lightened.
-Remove the cream mixture from the heat and slowly drizzle about half the warm liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
-Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (if you are using a thermometer, this should be about 175-180°F). Vigorously whisk in the xanthan gum, if using. Strain the mixture and whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla extract (if not using a bean), and salt.
-Cool completely over an ice bath. Then refrigerate several hours or overnight before churning in an ice cream machine according manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a container for freezer storage.
Tags: cake, dessert, ice cream
Why must bikini season and ice cream season be one and the same?
It was my husband’s birthday last weekend. Like a good, caring wife, I made him an unbaked cake using all prepared ingredients. Sounds kind of mean when I put it that way, but it started when an unopened box of Girl Scout Cookies from God know when (they don’t expire, right??) was found in the cupboard, and he requested an ice cream cake with a Thin Mints crust. That sounded pretty simple compared to some past requests, so I was happy to oblige. I used a nice (but store-bought) chocolate gelato, and redeemed myself a bit by stirring together a little ganache for the top. Colored sprinkles, a candle and a secret wish made it a birthday cake.
Steph’s Notes: I made a half recipe in a 6-inch springform, using one sleeve of Thin Mints (minus two cookies), 1 tbsp of butter and one pint of ice cream.
1 box Thin Mints cookies (should you want to set 4 or five cookies aside for snacks or decoration, that’s fine)
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 pints of ice cream
stuff to decorate!
-Line the base of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan with a circle of greased parchment.
-In a food processor, blitz the cookies and melted butter until mixture is coarse crumbs. Firmly press cookie crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. You can give it a little lip, or leave it flat. Pop in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
-Slightly soften your ice cream on the counter for several minutes. Using a scoop, evenly distribute the ice cream around the crust and then smooth it all out with a small offset spatula.
-Freeze your cake for at least a few hours or overnight, until well-set. Decorate and pop off the side of the pan (temper it for a few minutes or run a warm offset around the edge if it’s difficult to remove). Slice using a warm knife.
Tags: dessert, sorbet
Yes–my week to pick again for TWD!! I am crazy-excited! My first turn came way back in March of ’08, when I chose Caramel-Topped Flan. I think a lot of folks skipped that week. Turns out flan is a love-it-or-hate-it thing (I’m a lover, btw). We’ve made sooo many good things in the three+ years since then, and I’ve only missed out on a handful of them. There are still a lot of good things left, which made my choice this month a hard one, but I hoped Dorie’s Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet would be a hit with most everyone (sorry, Kayte!!).
This sorbet really is creamy and intensely chocolaty. It’s also super-melty. Like, don’t blink or you’ll have a chocolate puddle where your sorbet once stood. Of course, that can more than possibly be chalked up to triple-digit temps in NYC and no A/C in my house! No matter…eaten with a spoon or just slurped up out of a bowl, it’s delicious. And so freakin’ easy. I have a plan to work around the meltiness with the rest of my batch, and it looks something like this…
Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet– makes about 1 1/2 pints
recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Steph’s Note: I added a pinch of salt to the mix. Milk with any fat content will work.
1 cup milk
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
-Stir all the ingredients together in a 3- to 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring frequently.
-Lower the temperature and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping a close eye on the pan- as the ingredients bubble and roll, the potential for boil over is high.
-Pour mixture into a heatproof bowl and refrigerate until chilled before churning the sorbet.
-Scrape the chilled sorbet mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the sorbet into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.
Serving: Unlike ice cream, with could be served as soft custard straight from the churn, this sorbet needs time in the freezer to firm.
Storing: Packed tightly in a covered container, the sorbet will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Playing Around: 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract added to the cooled base will give you chocolate-peppermint sorbet. You can even add crushed candy canes a couple of minutes before churning is complete.
Tags: dessert, ice cream
A hot, sunny summer holiday weekend is all the reason I need to indulge in a few of my favorite treats. To celebrate Canada Day here in Brooklyn, R and I had smoked meats and Labatt Blue for lunch today at Mile End. For the Fourth of July, we’ll eat chicken slathered in my favorite homemade BBQ sauce and Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream for dessert.
I’ve made this ice cream several times before, and I gave it a quick nod a while back when I made an equally tasty Blueberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream. Tangy sour cream really makes the sweetness of summer berries pop. The little splash of almond extract in this version is a subtle but nice touch. And…it’s pink…super-pretty pink! While, of course, you can stash ice cream in the freezer for several days, I do think this one is best eaten within several hours of making it, while it’s soft and the dairy has the freshest taste. (The base is uncooked, and the ice cream will get quite hard as it continues to freeze.) So get a quart of berries while they’re still in season, invite a few friends to come around and enjoy!
Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream– makes about a quart
adapted from Sunset Magazine (May 2001)
2 1/2 cups strawberries, rinsed
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
-Hull strawberries and place in a 3- to 4-quart pan. Coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add 1/2 cup sugar and pinch of salt and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble, three to five minutes.
-Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and nest pan in a bowl of ice water and stir often until cold, about ten minutes. Remove pan from ice water. You can store this in the fridge (covered) for a day or so before continuing on, if you wish.
-Add sour cream, half-and-half, vanilla, and almond extract to berries; stir until blended (mixture will be streaked). At this point, you can store the base in the refrigerator for several hours before churning.
-Pour into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until mixture is softly frozen, dasher is hard to turn, or machine stops.
-Spoon out and serve softly frozen or, to scoop, freeze airtight about four hours; store airtight in the freezer up to one week.
Tags: coffee, ice cream
For about two seconds during last year’s holiday season I helped out in a little shop that specializes in a certain sweet made with egg whites. As part of prep, a couple of days a week I’d have to separate nine flats of eggs…the whites were saved, but there was no use for the yolks. There are 30 eggs in a flat, so you can do the math on the number of yolks that went into the bin each time I did this. Is that not horrifying?!? I actually felt pain when I would dump that giant bowl of fatty yellow gold in the garbage. So, one day I asked to take some home and walked off with enough yolks for about eight batches of ice cream (or curd or pastry cream or whatever). I portioned them up and froze them for later. If you’ve never frozen extra yolks before, this link will give you some good tips on how to stabilize them for sweet preparations.
When I made last week’s Coffee Ice Cream Tart, I thought it was the perfect excuse to defrost some of those yolks and churn up my own ice cream. There are recipes for coffee ice cream using instant espresso power and recipes using whole or ground beans. I went the ground beans route and just used my normal drinking coffee, which is a not-too-acidic medium roast bean that I grind myself. A quick steep of the beans in hot milk gives the backbone for the base, which is also flavored with almond extract. The coffee-almond combination is a real winner in my books, but if it doesn’t sound like your thing, just swap vanilla extract for the almond and leave out the toasted almonds at the end of churning. This ice cream is great with chocolate sauce!
Coffee-Almond Ice Cream– makes about a quart
1 3/4 cups whole or 2% milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coarsely ground medium roast coffee (measured after grinding)
5 large egg yolks
1/2 t almond extract
about 1/8 t xanthan gum (optional; helps keep ice cream scoopable)
3/4 cup (3 oz) sliced or slivered almonds, toasted and cooled
-Heat the milk in a medium saucepan until it reaches 190-200°F (steaming but not boiling). Stir in the ground coffee and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the coffee to extract as much liquid as possible, and remeasure the milk. If necessary, add a touch more milk to reach 1 1/2 cups.
-Put the coffee infused milk, 1/2 cup of the heavy cream, a pinch of salt and about half of the sugar in a medium saucepan, stir and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl or measuring cup and set a mesh strainer over the top. Ready an ice bath in a bowl large enough to hold your other bowl or measuring cup.
-In a separate medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks with the other half of the sugar. Slowly pour the warm liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
-Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (the temperature should be about 175°F). Vigorously whisk in the xanthan gum, if using, and quickly pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cold cream. Mix in the almond extract, then cool over your ice bath, stirring occasionally until the base is room temperature or cooler.
-Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least four hours, but overnight is better), then pour the chilled base into your ice cream maker and churn. Just as your mixture is reaching the end of its churn time, add in your sliced or slivered almonds to incorporate.
-Transfer to a resealable container and place in the freezer until firm enough to scoop.
Tags: baking, ice cream, tarts
It’s been awhile since we’ve made a Dorie ice cream concoction. Well, allow me to make up for lost time by presenting you with a slice of Coffee Ice Cream Tart. While you could very successfully use softened store-bought coffee (or any flavor, for that matter) ice cream in this tart, I went ahead and made my own. I have lots of yolks in the freezer, and anyway, ice cream is one of my favorite things to make. The ice cream is jazzed up with almond slices and extract, and the coffee-almond combo is a good one. Add a little chocolate and it’s even better. The crust was a little iffy, though, and it looks like several of us felt this way. Mine sliced fine, but it was awfully hard to get through the frozen crust with a fork. I had to resort to picking it up and eating it. Not terrible, but maybe I just prefer ice cream cakes to tarts?