Tuesdays with Dorie: Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet

July 26, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 32 Comments
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creamy dark chocolate 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

As always, hugs and kisses to Dorie, LaurieJules and the TWD gang for making every Tuesday fun and tasty. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll this week! 

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.

Quick Bread and Butter Pickles

July 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Posted in pickles, savory things | 4 Comments
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quick bread and butter pickles

After a bit of cutthroat competition involving a waitlist and a rush to a sign-up event to snag one of fifteen spots off said waitlist (oh New York, why must everything be so difficult?), I managed to secure a spot in a local CSA for the season.  One of my favorite things about being in a CSA is also its big challenge…having to think quickly so that the surprise assortment of perishables you are presented with doesn’t do just that.  I am determined not to toss anything into the bin, so I have to get a little creative sometimes.  There have been some interesting slaws (a kohlrabi one, in particular, was a stand-out) and a lot of grain and veggie salads. Pickling is another great way to use vegetables, especially because the ten minutes you spend to prep your pickles gives you snacks that last for weeks.  They are the gift that keeps on giving, so to speak.

When I came home from my CSA pick-up a couple of weeks ago with a sack of Kirby cucumbers, I knew immediately that I wanted to make bread and butter pickles.  For just a couple of bucks, I knew I could make sandwich pickles just as tasty as those $10 jars of Brooklyn hipster-made ones that all the gourmet shops around here sell.  Quick, refrigerator-style pickles are my thing.  I’m just making a jar at a time anyway, so there’s no need for me to get into canning for really-long-term storage.  These are extremely easy to make.  Not only do you get zingy, crunchy pickled cukes, but also onions(!), which are equally tasty on sandwiches.  The recipe says you can keep them for two weeks, but I’m betting that in their vinegary brine, they’ll keep for up to a month in the fridge.

*Have beets?  Try these Raw Pickled Beets.*

Quick Bread and Butter Pickles– makes one large jar
modified from Cooks Illustrated (July 2007)

Steph’s Note: The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar, but I reduced it to 1/2 cup (after my experience making some too-sweet pickles out of another veggie a few weeks ago).  Use the amount you think would suit your tastes.

1 pound pickling (Kirby) cucumbers , sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch disks
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin
1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground tumeric

-Toss cucumbers, onion, and salt in colander set over bowl.  Let stand 1 hour.  Discard any liquid collected in the bowl.

-Bring vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, corriander seeds and turmeric to boil in large saucepan.  Reduce heat to low, add cucumbers and onion, and press to submerge in liquid.  Cover and cook until cucumbers turn dullish olive-brown, about 5 minutes.

-Transfer entire pan contents to glass bowl. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 2 hours before serving.  Pickles can be refrigerated in a clean jar or covered container for 2 weeks.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Cream Scones

July 12, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in biscuits & scones, breakfast things, groups, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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cream scones

It’s steamy hot out…hot and gross…but these Cream Scones were sooo worth turning the oven on for.  Butter and cream…they are a combo to be reckoned with.  I don’t know how two things that are so rich can make something that is so light, crumbly and almost melt-in-your-mouth, but there you have it.  I’ll be making these again when it’s cooler out and I can stand a proper cuppa to go along with them.

After many attempts at scones and biscuits that wound up looking annoyingly like pancakes (sad!), I think that with my last few batches, I’ve finally gotten it down.  I already told you all this stuff with the last one, but….now I grate my cold butter, and then pop it into the freezer while I assemble my dry ingredients.  Then I just give a quick, fingertippy toss of the butter and dry stuff.  I find that this way, I don’t have to do as much rubbing and working to get the two incorporated.  Also, I pat the scones out a little fatter than Dorie says to ensure a tall rise (which I don’t think the angle on this photo shows, but I assure you, they were nice and high).  Of course I get one or two fewer scones per batch, but that’s fine by me.

I skipped the currants here (I didn’t have any), but they aren’t really necessary anyway…especially when there’s jam.  Also not strictly necessary (but crazy delicious!), one of my favorite things about British-style tea service is the thick cream you spread on along with jam.  I found some of that Luxury Clotted Cream in a local shop, and shelled out for it in anticipation of these guys.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Cafe Lynnylu, as it was Patricia’s pick this week.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

July 5, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, groups, muffins & quick breads, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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chocolate-chocolate chunk muffins

Will you think less of me if I admit to you that I don’t really “do” chocolate for breakfast?  I eat sweet stuff for brekkie all the time–usually pancakes or waffles drowned in syrup– but chocolate for some reason feels a bit too indulgent.  I made a little exception this past weekend (since it was a holiday and all) for these Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins.  OK, these  really are great with coffee.  They’re not too sweet at all, and I did follow suggestions to add more chocolate chunks by doubling the amount of chips I folded into the batter at the end.  Hey– if your gonna have chocolate for breakfast, you may as well really have chocolate for breakfast.

And, if chocolate in the a.m. isn’t really your thing either, I can assure you that they are also fab for dessert with a scoop of ice cream (may I suggest something like Strawberry- Sour Cream Ice Cream?).

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Epicurious) or read The Way the Cookie Crumbles, as Bridget got to pick again this week.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream

July 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Posted in ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 1 Comment
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strawberry-sour cream 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.

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