Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chocolate Ice Cream

Since I've made the household endure multiple batches of ice cream with not-their-first-choice flavors, I agreed to make a batch of regular, plain old chocolate ice cream. I used a recipe from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop. The base for this ice cream came out silky smooth, and it churned beautifully. It's ripening in the freezer now, and it was not a hardship to scrape out the canister of the ice cream maker to test the final product for quality control.

Banana Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Summertime, and the living is easy, unless you are a banana, in which case you are bound to be overripe in about 3.5 hours. A happy coincidence of overripe bananas and a link to this recipe (thanks to my Aunt Joan--yes, I do follow the recipe links!) gave me an excuse for another batch of ice cream.

First note: This recipe makes a lot of ice-cream base. I had to churn it in two batches.

Second note: I didn't follow the recipe as printed. I sauteed the chopped pecans in the butter and salt. Also, I heated the cream and brown sugar, then pureed the bananas in the blender with some of the warm liquid. I then rewarmed the cream, tempered the egg yolks, and proceeded with the rest of the recipe. After churning both batches of the base, I folded in the toasted butter pecans. It all turned out just fine and is a great twist on traditional butter pecan ice cream.

Ganache Cookie

As a public service, I would like to call attention to one of the finest sandwich cookies I've ever had. It's a Ganache Cookie and is available at the Bakery Normand in Northampton, Mass. The sandwich consists of three thin sugar cookies layered with an orange-spiked ganache. The top cookie has a streusel-like topping, and the exterior of the sandwich is rolled in chocolate. If you find yourself in or near Noho, it's worthwhile to stop at the Bakery Normand for a Ganache Cookie.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Peanut Butter-Banana-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

So I had some overripe bananas and decided to make a banana ice cream. I found this recipe in Scoop by Ellen Brown and decided to give it a try. The original recipe didn't call for the chocolate chips, but I decided to add them since PB, bananas, and chocolate are a holy trinity of sweets. While the ice cream ended up tasting OK, I was a little disappointed with the base, which was incredibly thick--essentially too thick to churn in the canister of my ice-cream freezer. I am going to chalk it up partly to not enough volume from the bananas.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wedding Cupcakes

One of my colleagues was approaching his wedding day, so we had a little party at work to celebrate. I made these cupcakes from Dede Wilson's Wedding Cakes You Can Make. They're white cupcakes with coconut and a lemon-curd filling. For the frosting, I made a white-chocolate buttercream. Nice recipe, and it allowed me to use some of the egg whites I've been accumulating after using egg yolks in ice cream.

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

So I have been getting back into making ice cream. Maybe it's just a jag as a result of the onset of hot and humid weather. As part of my getting back into it, I made chocolate mint ice cream, using a recipe from Fine Cooking, which published a terrific David Lebovitz ice cream article a couple of years ago and now has a design-your-own-flavor feature on its website.

This version of chocolate mint ice cream is subtle. Fresh mint is steeped in warm cream, and the flavor is much less in your face than the usual take on this flavor. For a flavor and texture bonus, I mixed in a sleeve of Thin Mints that, sadly, had somehow gotten a little crushed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strawberries and Cream Ice Cream

It's not always flour and butter here. After unearthing my ice cream maker last weekend, I was motivated to make a batch or two. Since I had some fresh local strawberries, I started with this batch; the recipe is from The Ice Cream Bible by Marilyn Linton and Tanya Linton. Because of the high moisture content of the strawberry puree, this ice cream turned out more like a hybrid of ice cream and sorbet. Not at all unpleasant to consume as it had a lot of great fresh berry flavor but also makes me think that something creamier might also be nice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes

I happened upon this recipe last week but didn't get a chance to try it until yesterday. I tweaked a couple of things: I didn't have three lemons to zest for the cupcake batter, but I did have one lemon and one lime. Also, I made a regular buttercream frosting and flavored it with lemon. In honor of the blog the recipe came from ("Chocolate and Chaturangas"), I will bring one of these cupcakes for the instructor when I go to yoga tonight.