Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

I'm officially hooked on David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop.

So far, i've made the following flavors: salted butter caramel, turron, eggnog, honey-lavender, and roasted banana. I'm looking foward to trying green tea, panforte, gianduia, and many others!

I really love that this book introduces some flavors that are familiar, but different. I'd never think to make a roasted banana ice cream. This recipe was incredibly simple (no cream or egg yolks!) and bursting with flavor. I'd recommend smothering it with chocolate sauce or using it to make chocolate covered bon bons.

Honestly, the Turron ice cream stole my heart. I didn't take a photo because I ate it all. Turron is a spanish nougat often studded with toasted almonds, pistachios, and candied orange peel. David's recipe also adds honey, a touch of orange flower water, and orange zest. It is DIVINE. It reminded me of being in Sevilla.

Tonight is my senior cello recital. Think good thoughts for me!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

David Lebovitz's "The Perfect Scoop"

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

My new ice cream maker is getting plenty of work. After trying several recipes by Alice Medrich and Emily Luchetti, i've moved on to David Lebovitz's new book The Perfect Scoop.

Let me tell you- David really knows his textures. I tried his recipes for Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream and Honey Lavender Ice Cream. Both have a really silky, meltingly soft consistency that holds up in the freezer. I highly recommend the caramel ice cream (the recipe is available on his blog.)

I'm really looking foward to trying more flavors like Turron, Eggnog, and Hazelnut Stracciatella...

Anyway, both The Perfect Scoop and A Passion for Ice Cream are great. I don't even want to think about how much heavy cream i've been going through.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Photo Dump: Why I've Been Absent

Here are some of the things i've made recently:

Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Coconut Lime Sago Pudding

Orange Cardamom Biscuits

I am struggling to prepare for my senior cello recital and graduation. For a while, my posts may be a little brief and erratic. When things calm down a bit, i'll definitely post more recipes and tidbits from work.

The aforeposted pictures are: toasted coconut, chai, mint chip, and blueberry sourcream ice creams, coconut tapioca pudding with lime gelee, and orange cardamom biscuits.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Ice Cream Soda!

Ice Cream Soda

Homemade raspberry soda, homemade strawberry ice cream, and black raspberries my roommate brought back from Ithaca, NY.

I'd never tasted a black raspberry before. These tasted just a little bit like licorice, actually.

I used a tiny cup because my trigger scoop is small (so really, it was just to get the photo.) I made myself one about three times as large :)

Cocoa Nib Pistachio Florentines

Cocoa Nib Pistachio Florentines

Cocoa Nib Pistachio Florentines

This is another recipe from Emily Lucchetti's "A Passion for Ice Cream."

Sometimes, florentines can be too thick: chewy in the middle when they should be delightfully crunchy throughout. This recipe is fabulous. You cook the batter until it thickens on the stove and then drop teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet. They spread out to about three or four times their original size!

I love the crunch from the nuts and nibs. I would -definitely- make these again.

Friday, April 6, 2007

I Scream. Strawberry.

Strawberry Ice Cream

My new ice cream maker arrived yesterday. I hauled the thirty-three pound monstrosity from campus to my apartment, and this morning my arms are incredibly sore O.o

I was worried it was a frivolous purchase. Maybe it was, but this ice cream definitely soothed my doubts some. It's strawberry ice cream from Emily Lucchetti's A Passion for Ice Cream. The recipe was so simple, and the results were fabulous.

I also figured out why I had some problems with the cocoa nib ice cream:

1) I didn't strain the base when it grew a skin on top of it, which resulted in a few funky bites that'd have little bits sticking to the spoon.

2) I churned it too long.

Someone at work told me this cuisinart automatically stops when it is done. I don't think this is true: the machine stops turning when the ice cream is too thick for the churning arm to operate properly. This is often after close to an hour of churning.

The ice cream will seem thick, but when you freeze it it will be too airy/icy. I suggest taking the ice cream out of the machine while it is still the consistency of a loose soft serve, then letting it harden in the fridge.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Almond Sticks with Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa Nib Almond Sticks

This week, i've been drawn to new recipes rather than old favorites. These almond dunking cookies are the fourth recipe Alice Medrich recipe i've baked in the past few days. I love cookies that are very convenient for dipping in a tall glass of milk.

Almond Sticks with Cocoa Nibs
adapted from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet.
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds
1 cup+ 2 T all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 T unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 T water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 cup cocoa nibs

Combine the almonds, flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until it is a fine meal. Add the butter and pulse until the dough looks crumbly. Combine the water, vanilla, and almond extract and add it to the bowl, pulsing until it just looks damp. Add the cocoa nibs and pulse until evenly distributed.

On a big sheet of foil, press the dough into a 6x9 in rectangle that's 1/2 inch thick. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350. Using a long, sharp knife, cut 3/8 in thick slices and place them on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake 12-14 minutes, until golden at the edges.

Cocoa Nib Almond Sticks

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cocoa Nib Ice Cream

Cocoa Nib Ice Cream

It looks suspiciously like vanilla, but one bite into this ice cream dispels your assumptions. It tastes a bit like chocolate, but not quite. It's a hint of chocolate that reminds me of malted chocolate milkshakes, mild cocoa powder, and something I can't quite put my finger on.

It is damn delicious.

Cocoa Nib Ice Cream
adapted from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet.

1.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups whole milk
1/4 cup cocoa nibs, finely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Bring the cream, milk, nibs, sugar and salt to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes. Pour the cream mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl. Discard the nibs. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Local Fauna Loves Cuisine...

I live on the second floor of an apartment building. Sometimes i'll leave a tied up bag of garbage on the porch before I leave for the afternoon, thinking i'll carry it downstairs to the dumpster on my way out.

Yesterday, I attempted Dorie Greenspan's Cream Puff Ring and failed miserably. It collapsed into a soggy mess shortly after coming out of the oven. I threw the whole thing away. Eventually, I put the garbage outside.

Later, I return to my apartment and find a squirrel scrabbling up the brick near the stairs. Glancing at the garbage, I realized that not only has he ripped the bag apart, he has picked out -only- the remenants of the cream puff.

The squirrel didn't bother touching anything else.