Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie 45: Cinnamon Ice Cream

If there is one thing our house is never out of, it's ice cream! Since there was always a strict 'no dessert' policy when I was growing up, I found it really strange to always have dessert when I moved in with S. Now, I can't imagine my life without it (yes it, not him!). In fact, I tend to get really cranky if I don't have my daily dose of sugar.

I suppose S's love of ice cream came from when he worked at an ice cream shop during high school. Somehow he managed to put on about 10kg while he worked there (a one for me, one for you mentality I'm sure). Lynne of Cafe Lynnylu chose vanilla ice cream this week, but I decided to 'play around' and try my hand at cinnamon. We have a constant supply of vanilla ice cream in our house which really doesn't need adding to. Well, the cinnamon is just delicious! It certainly packs a punch, so I would recommend reducing the amount of cinnamon if you would prefer it to be more subtle. The one mistake I made was not heating the custard to a high enough temperature. Usually I just eyeball it, but I recently got a laser thermometer and am quite addicted to taking everything and any thing's temperature. At a guess, my custard usually reaches about 82 degrees celsius- Dorie recommends at least 76, but not more than 82. I should have gone with my gut instinct because my ice cream turned out extremely icy. At least the flavour is delicious though and I can't wait to remake it properly.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Bakers 8: Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies

Well it feels like forever since I completed a Daring Bakers challenge! Participating this month though just reminded me how much I love being a part of the group- always different and fun.

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

This challenge brings back a lot of childhood memories. I was never allowed junk food and I would salavate over all the delicious treats my friends would bring to school. If there was just one thing I used to wish I could eat, it was cookies! I loved iced-vovos, monte carlos, tim tams and especially tic-tocs! On my mum's days off from work, I'd beg her to have some freshly baked cookies for me when I got home. I had so much fun making these chocolate covered marshmallow cookies and they really did taste better than anything you can buy. I made mini cookies with plain marshmallow and I flavoured the others with raspberry coulis (which was really delicious). My only complaint is that the cookie itself wasn't sweet enough... next time I'd add just a touch more sugar.

Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie 44: Raspberry Blanc-Manger

This week's recipe was chosen by Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy (got to love that blog name). I know I have been falling behind with blogging lately but I really am trying to get back into the swing of things. This Raspberry Blanc-Manger is the perfect dessert for those who are time poor (like me). It is literally a matter of minutes before you are putting this in the fridge. It can even be made the day before, so all you have to do is literally un-mould it and serve it with a little raspberry coulis.

I decided to halve the recipe and make little individual blanc-mangers which were really cute. The hardest part of making this dessert was definitely un-moulding it! I would really recommend a silicone mould, especially if you decide to make mini ones. I ended up having to blast my metal muffin tray with my blow torch to ease them out. I didn't have time to buy fresh raspberries unfortunately which is why my berries bled a little throughout the blanc-manger. I found the addition of ground almonds a little strange in terms of texture- maybe mine weren't fine enough?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie 43: Tribute To Katherine Hepburn Brownies

This week's recipe was chosen by Lisa of Surviving Oz. I am on the hunt for the perfect brownie recipe, so I was pretty happy they were chosen. I've now made three different brownie recipes from Baking: From my home to yours, and these are probably my favourite so far.

Most brownies I have made in the past are quite cake like and fudgy, however these were dense, chewy and fudgy- perfect! I usually don't like nuts or fruit in my brownies, but I opted to include pecans which turned out to be a wise decision. Next time I am actually thinking of adding candied pecans.

So far these are my favourite brownie recipe, closely followed by Dorie's French Chocolate Brownies. I wasn't a huge fan of her Classic Brownies. I'm sure you will see many more brownie recipes here in the future though as I am always on the search for perfection. Next up my sleeve to try are mascarpone chocolate brownies I think!