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Sunday Slow Scoopers Archives

August 10, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS

As I mentioned on last week's Sunday Slow Bakers posting, we have now completed our official cooking from Dolce Italiano. I'm sure everyone else feels the way that I do, that although our official cooking from the book is over, it sure won't be the last I cook from it. There are many more recipes I am anxious to try.

As we debated what next book to cook from, Jerry suggested The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. So our transition began from the Sunday Slow Bakers to the Sunday Slow Scoopers. We had a name, and Sandi came up with our logo.

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I had looked at this book before and thought it had some wonderful-sounding recipes, but although I like ice cream, it's not something that I make very often. But I had so much fun cooking with the Sunday Slow Bakers that I decided that I would participate in the Sunday Slow Scoopers. So I ordered the book from Amazon.com, and upon arrival, the anticipation began. I could tell that I was in for some tasty frozen treats.

I just returned from vacation, and haven't been to the store yet for the ingredients for this weeks choice. The choice was from Jerry, and the selection is Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream. So I will be late with my first week's ice cream. I plan on going to the store and mixing up the ice cream today, but as it has to completely chill before churning, it will most likely be tomorrow before I post the results. But in the meantime, you can go to any of the participant's links on the side of my blog and see the results their results. Jerry made the Blondies recipe that was also in the same cookbook to accompany his ice cream, topped with a chocolate sauce. It looks like quite a delicious combination.

I'm ready for the churning to begin....

August 11, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS-BUTTERSCOTCH PECAN ICE CREAM

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BUTTERSCOTCH PECAN ICE CREAM WITH PEACH PECAN BARS

I'm glad I didn't skip the first week of Sunday Slow Scoopers, because this ice cream was wonderful! Very rich, great butterscotch flavor, and salty pecans. What a combination. And when Deborah said that she was going to try to make an accompaniment to go with the ice cream each week, I decided that was a great idea. (At least this week-not sure I can keep that up every week!). So to accompany the Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream, I chose Peach Pecan Bars. I'm not sure where this recipe came from. I had printed it off, so it likely came from Epicurious. The title was Apricot Walnut Bars, but I decided to make a few substitutions. These were quick bars to make, with a nice buttery crust and the crunch of pecans on top. I would suggest making the ice cream, the bars, or both! They were both very easy to make.

Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream Makes about 1 1/4 quarts

5 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Scotch whiskey
Buttered Pecans (see recipe below), coarsely chopped

Melt butter in medium saucepan, then stir in the brown sugar and salt until well moistened. Whisk in 1 cup of the cream and milk.

Warm this mixture on the stove over med heat. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour warm brown sugar mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed 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. Pour mixture through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla and scotch , then stir until cool over ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refridgerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the Buttered Pecans.

Buttered Pecans
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1/4 tsp coarse salt

Preheat over to 350F(175C). Melt butter in skillet. Toss pecans until well coated, then sprinkle with salt. Spread evenly on baking sheet and toast in oven for about 10 minutes, stirring once during baking.

PEACH PECAN BARS
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peach preserves
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9" square baking pan and line with 1 sheet of foil, leaving a 2" overhand on 2 opposite sides, then butter foil.

Pulse flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Add yolks and vanilla and pulse just until clumps of dough form, about 30 seconds.

Press three fourths of dough evenly onto bottom of pan, then spread with peach preserves. Crumble remaining dough over preserves and sprinkle evenly with pecans.

Bake until top is golden brown and preserves are bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack. Lift from pan by grasping both ends of foil. Cut into 32 bars and lift bars off foil with spatula.

August 17, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS-TIRAMISU ICE CREAM (AND TRIBUTE-TO-KATHERINE HEBBURN BROWNIES)

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This week, Krista chose Triamisu for our ice cream choice of the week. I am really liking David Lebovitz's book "The Perfect Scoop". The ice creams I have tried are all great. I was really looking forward to this one, because when my husband and I were in Italy last year, Tiramisu was his favorite flavor. This was expensive to make, at least to purchase the ingredients here in Alaska. One package of mascarpone cheese was over $5, and I needed two. So that, along with the half and half, and the Kahula, did add up, but it was worth it. If you like mascarpone cheese, you will love this ice cream. It tastes just like regular Tiramisu. It was very quick and easy to make, since there is no cooking (except for the Mocha Ripple). When churning in my Kitchenaid ice cream maker, the base didn't freeze up as hard as it normally does, so it did need to freeze overnight before serving.

I wanted to make something chocolatey to go with this ice cream, and chose a recipe for brownies from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my home to yours. It is said that these brownies are similar to ones made by Katherine Hepburn, and that the key is to use just a small amount of flour. I loved the flavor (they contain some cinnamon), and they were very soft and gooey, almost like a fudge. I cooked them for 30 minutes as called for, but next time will cook for at least 5 minutes longer-the middle ones couldn't even be served as a brownie, as you had to scoop them up with a spoon! Served cold from the fridge, they were almost like fudge.

TIRAMISU ICE CREAM Makes about 1 1/4 quarts

2 cups mascarpone
1 cup half and half
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup coffee-flavored liquer, such as Kahlua
3 tablespoons brandy or dark rum
Mocha Ripple(see below)

Puree the mascarpone, half and half, sugar, salt, liqueur, and brandy together in a blender or food processor until smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Chill thorougly in the refrigerator.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. As you remove it from the machine, alternate layers of Mocha Ripple with the frozen ice cream in the storage container.

MOCHA RIPPLE
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup strongly brewed espresso (or use 1/2 cup water and stir in 1 Tablespoon best-quality instant coffee granules after you boil the mixture)
6 Tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges.

Continue to whisk until it just comes to a low boil. Cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator before using.

TRIBUTE TO KATHARINE HEPBURN BROWNIES

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon(optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp finely ground instant coffee
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coursely chopped

Put oven rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 8" square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper, dust the inside of pan with flour, and tap out the excess. Place pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, and salt together.

Put the butter in a med saucepan and place over low heat. When butter starts to melt, sift the cocoa over it and add the instant coffee. Continue to cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the cocoa and coffee are blended into it. Remove from heat and cool for about 3 minutes.

Using a whisk or rubber spatula, beat the eggs into the saucepan one at a time. Next, stir in the sugar and vanilla(don't beat too vigorously), followed by the dry ingredients, nuts and dropped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, at which point the brownies will still be gooey but the top will have a dry papery crust. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the brownies cool for at least 30 mintues.

Turn out onto a rack, peel away the paper and invert onto a cutting board. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares, each approx. 2" on a side.

August 24, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS-PINA COLADA SHERBET

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Another Sunday, another Sunday Slow Scoopers. This week the choice was Pina Colada Sherbet. I was really looking forward to this weeks choice, because I love both pineapple and coconut. This was an extremely easy sherbet to make-cut up pineapple, place in blender along with coconut milk, sugar, rum, and lime juice, puree, chill and freeze. How much easier could it be?

PINA COLADA SHERBET Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

1 pineapple, peeled and cored (4 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 cup Thai coconut milk
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Cut the pineapple into chunks. Puree in a blender with the sugar, coconut milk, rum, and lime juice untikl smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

August 30, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - LAVENDER-HONEY ICE CREAM

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This week our selection from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop was Lavender-Honey Ice Cream. I thought that sounded like a very nice choice, since I love honey in ice cream. The recipe calls for fresh or dried lavender, which is heated with the honey and then steeped. I didn't have any lavender, and didn't want to spend hours trying to find it. But I did have a jar of a favorite honey, which happens to be lavender flavored. So that is what I used. The recipe below modifies David's recipe so that you just use the lavender honey instead of using fresh or dried lavender. That is the only variation from the recipe.

This ice cream was very good if you like the flavor of honey. It is very sweet, so probably not the best choice for those who don't like a very sweet ice cream. The lavender flavor was very subtle, and might be stronger if you used the actual lavender. This ice cream mellows out after a day or two in the freezer. I wasn't sure if chocolate would pair well with it, but I had leftover chocolate ganache in the fridge, and I heated that up and poured it over the ice cream, and the flavors really complemented each other.

Lavender-Honey Ice Cream Makes about 1 quart
1/2 cup lavender-flavored honey
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks

Warm the honey, milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh stainer on top; set aside.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture 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. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture overnight in the refrigerator, or until completely chilled. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

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September 7, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - PEACH ICE CREAM

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PEACH ICE CREAM

This week our selection was peach ice cream. It's hard to get good peaches at the grocery stores in Alaska, so I ordered them from my community-supported agriculture, Full Circle Farm, in hopes that I would be able to get some very flavorful ones. I was disappointment in them this time. They were very juicy, but not very flavorful. I made the ice cream anyway, but I don't believe the flavor was as good as it would have been had my peaches been more flavorful. This is another uncooked ice cream, so very quick to make. This one called for 1/2 cup of sour cream. I was making this quickly before leaving town, and I forgot to buy sour cream. So I substituted 1/2 cup plain yogurt. The yogurt I had on had was fat free, which might have affected the texture of the ice cream a little. This ice cream was less creamy than the others I have made. Not icy, but less creamy. I served my ice cream with a topping of homemade raspberry jam, thinned with a little chambord, and toasted almonds on top. A take on peach melba. Although this ice cream was good, it was not my favorite, and with so many other wonderful ones to choose from, I probably won't make it again. But don't let that stop you from trying it.

PEACH ICE CREAM Makes about 1 quart
1 1/3 pounds ripe peaches (about 4 very large peaches)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
A few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice

Peel the peaches, slice them in half, and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into chunks and cook them with the water in a medium, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, covered, stirring once or twice, until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar, then cool to room temperature.

Puree the cooked peaches and any liquid in a blender or food processor with the sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon juice until almost smooth but slightly chunky.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

September 13, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - PANFORTE ICE CREAM

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This week the ice cream selection was Panforte Ice Cream. For those who may not know, Panforte is an Italian cake, very dense, and flavored with spices, toasted almonds and candied orange peel. These same flavors are in this ice cream, and it is delicious. It is a very rich and creamy ice cream. The only change I made from the recipe was to add 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier. This added a little extra flavor and kept the ice cream from freezing too hard. Give this ice cream a try-especially around holiday time when the flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are especially welcoming. I paired my ice cream with the Zucchini Olive Oil Cake from Dolce Italiano, which you can find on an earlier posting in my blog.

PANFORTE ICE CREAM Makes about 1 quart

1 cup half and half
2/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons full-flavored honey
1/4 cup candied citrus peel (see note below)
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and coursely chopped

Warm the half and half, sugar, and spices in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temp. for 30 minutes.

Rewarm the spice-infused mixture. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scraped 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. Pour the custard through the stainer and mix it into the cream. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir the custard until cool over an ice bath. While it's cooling, warm the honey in a small saucepan, then stir it into the custard.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the candied citrus peel and almonds.

Note: You can use good-quality candied peel or you can use the recipe below for Candied Citrus Peel.

CANDIED CITRUS PEEL Makes about 1 cup

4 large lemons or oranges, preferably unsprayed
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
Pinch of salt

Wtih a vegetable peeler, remove strips of peel 1 inch wide from the lemons or oranges, cutting lengthwise down the fruit. Remove just the colorful outer peel, leaving behind the bitter white pith. Using a very sharp chef's knife, slice the peel lengthwilse into very thin strips no wider than a toothpick.

Put the stips into a small, nonreactive saucepan, add enough water to cover them by a few inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain the peel, and rinse with fresh water.

Combine the 2 cups water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in the saucepan. Fit the pan with a candy thermometer and bring to a boil. Add the blanched peel, reduce the heat, and cook at a very low boil for about 25 minutes, until the thermometer reads 230 degrees F. Turn off the heat and let the peel cool in the syrup.

Once cool, lift the peel out of the syrup with a fork, letting the syrup drain away, and serve atop ice cream or sorbet.

Storage: Store the peel in the syrup, refrigerated, for up to 2 months.

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SLICING THE ORANGE PEEL INTO THIN PIECES

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COMPLETED CANDIED ORANGE PEEL

October 5, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - CREPES

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This week our Sunday Slow Scoopers selection was chosen by Sandi of Whistlestop Cafe Cooking. Sandi decided to choose crepes, one of the items that the author lists under "vessels". We didn't have to choose an ice cream to fill them with, but unfortunately for my weight, I'm now one who craves ice cream if I don't have it every week. Funny, because before we started Sunday Slow Scoopers, I liked ice cream but didn't eat it often.

The crepes were fast to make, and pretty easy. It does help to have the correct size pan though. Tilting the batter in a too large pan makes it hard to get even crepes.

I chose to fill my crepes with Turron Ice Cream. Turron is a Spanish sweet, formed into blocks and flavored with almonds, honey, and candied orange peel. The ice cream was another winner. The orange flower water gives it a very unique taste.

Turron Ice Cream Makes 1 1/4 quarts
1 1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup good-flavored honey
Pinch of salt
1 orange
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon orange-flower water
2 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel
2/3 cup almonds, toasted and very coursely chopped
1/4 cup shelled unsalted pisachio nuts, very coursely chopped
I also added 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Warm the half and half, sugar, honey, and salt in a medium saucepan. Zest the orange directly into the mixture. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm half and half 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. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream to cool. Add the orange-flower water (and Grand Marnier, if using) and stir until cook over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. As you remove it from the machine, fold in the candied orange peel, almonds, and pistachio nuts.

Crepes Makes 8 crepes
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon course salt
3/4 cup flour

Pour the milk and melted butter into a blender. Add the eggs, sugar, and salt. Blend briefly. Add the flour and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can make it in advance and refrigerate overnight.)

To fry crepes, let the batter come to room temperature, then whisk it to thin it out a bit.
Heat a 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium to high heat. When a few drops of water sprinkled on the pan sizzle, pour in 1/4 cup of batter and quickly tilt the pan so the batter covers the bottom. Cook the crepe for about 45 seconds, until the edges begin to darken. Use a flexible spatula to flip it over, then cook for another 45 seconds on the reverse side.

Slide the crepe onto a dinner plate, then repeat with the remaining batter.
To serve, fold the crepes in half and arrange them, overlapping slightly, in a buttered baking dish. Cover with foil and heat in a 300 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until hot. Serve the hot crepes topped with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of sauce.

Storage-Crepes can be made in advance and, once cool, wrappted in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To freeze crepes, wrap them in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Crepes can be frozen for up to 2 months.

October 12, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - GREEN APPLE AND SPARKLING CIDER SORBET

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This week the Sunday Slow Scoopers selection was a Green Apple and Sparkling Cider Sorbet. I was looking forward to having a selection that wasn't full of eggs and cream. The recipe calls for Granny Smith apples. The process is to cook them in the sparkling cider and a small amount of sugar, leaving the skins on for more flavor. Then the apples are pressed through a food mill, leaving their skins behind. A small amount of lemon juice is added, and I added a little brandy (2 tsp). That mixutre goes into the fridge to cool, then is churned in the ice cream maker. The flavor of the sorbet is that of the apples you use. Although the flavor and texture were very good, I would prefer a small amount of this, and would prefer it as a palate cleanser in between courses. It would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

GREEEN APPLE AND SPARKLING CIDER SORBET Makes about 3 cups

4 Granny Smith or green pippin apples
2 cups sparkling dry apple cider, with or without alcohol
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

Quarter the apples and remove the cores and seeds. Cut the unpeeled apples into 1" chunks.

Combine the cider, sugar, and water and bring to a boil in a medium, nonreactive saucepan. Add the apples, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Simmer the apple chunks for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the apples steep until the mixture is room temperature. (**NOTE: I cooked my apples closer to a 1/2 hour, as I don't have a food mill and I pushed them through a sieve and I needed the apples to be soft to be able to do that.)

Pass the apples and their liquid through a food mill fitted with a fine disk, or use a course-mesh strainer and press firmly on the apples to extract their pulp and all the liquid into a container. Discard the apple peels. Add the lemon juice. Taste and add more if you wish, since sparkling ciders can vary in sweetness. (NOTE: the mixture comes out yellow, not green, so I added a couple of drops of green food coloring to make a very faint green color.)

Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

October 19, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - AZTEC "HOT" CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

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Only 4 more weeks of ice cream left after this week. The decision to transform from Sunday Slow Bakers to Sunday Slow Scoopers, using David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop to make ice creams and sorbets has been a great choice. I have made more frozen concoctions in the last 2 months than previously in my lifetime. But although I have enjoyed this time, it's now winter in Alaska and I'm looking forward to turning my oven on each week rather than putting something in the freezer.

This week, our choice was Chocolate Ice Cream. But rather than using a specific recipe, we could choose any of the chocolate ice creams from David's book. I chose the Aztec Ice Cream. This ice cream is flavored with both cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, then spiced with cinnamon, chile powder, and brandy.

I decided to research the history of chocolate, and came across a great website called ALLCHOCOLATE. This website explains that it was not humans, but monkeys, who were the first to find the cacao plant edible. But it wasn't the bitter bean, or seed that they ate, but the sweet pulp. Man also began eating the sweet pulp, and the bitter seeds were discarded, spreading throughout Mesoamerica and making the cacao trees very plentiful in South and Central America. It's not known when or how it was first discovered that the bean could be used. It is known that the Olmecs, an ancient tribe from the tropical lowlands of South Central Mexico (1200 to 300 B.C.), were the first to domesticate the cacao plant and use the beans. They called the bitter seeds kakawa, or cacao, and they believed that these seeds held the secret to health and power.

The Mayans (Mayan Classic Age 300-900 A.D.) are considered the most culturally advanced among the Mesoamerican civilizations. They were the first true chocolate aficionados, believing that it was a restorative, mood-enhancing cure-all. It became an integral part of their society. They ground the beans into a course paste and mixed it with spices, water and chilies to create a variety of hot and cold bitter drinks.

The Aztecs led an empire of almost 15 million people between the 14th and 16th centuries. During this time, chocolate was reserved for the rich and the nobles. Because it was so highly prized by the Aztecs, it was their form of currency. The Aztecs also consumed chocolate in liquid form like the Mayans. It was served cold and frothy, and they believed the foam held the chocolate's fundamental essence. So creating the foam became a ritual. They would pour the chocolate mixture vertically from one vessel to another, and continue pouring it back and forth until a froth was formed.

At this time, chocolate was still a bitter concoction, but I'll let you read more about the history on the above website, and will just say that it wasn't until after the Spanish arrived in the New World that this would change.

Okay, it's now time for Ice Cream. This recipe contains heavy cream and whole milk like previous ones we've made, but it did not contain eggs. So no having to make the custard and trying not to curdle the eggs. As I had the heated mixutre ready to go into the fridge, I had to have a small drink. Let me tell you, even if you don't own an ice cream maker, or don't want something cold, make this mixture and serve it as the best, richest hot chocolate you will ever taste. One word of warning though-be careful how much chili powder you use. I used a wonderful chipotle chili powder that is very hot. The recipe calls for 2 to 3 teaspoons, and I used 2 thinking it wouldn't be so hot. I was wrong. Although I love it this hot, others might not.

I served my ice cream with Mayan Chocolate Mocha cookies. I'll post about those in the next couple of days.

AZTEC "HOT" CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM Makes about 1 quart

2 1/4 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 to 3 teaspoons chilie powder
2 tablespoons brandy

Whisl together the cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, then whisk until it is completely melted. Stir in the milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, chilie powder, and brandy. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend for 30 seconds, until very smooth.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

October 26, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - MALTED MILK ICE CREAM

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This week with Sunday Slow Scoopers it was my turn to choose the flavor of ice cream we were going to make. I chose the Malted Milk Ice Cream. My husband and I met each other while we were both working at a Swenson's Ice Cream factory. We both love many flavors of ice cream, but one thing we are both partial towards are chocolate malts. Back in the days when we were 17 or 18 and didn't have to worry about our weight, we used to indulge in them a lot more than we do now. I thought this ice cream would bring back memories, and it sure did. This ice cream is great! It doesn't have any chocolate in the mix, just coating the malted milk balls that are chopped up in it, but it tastes like you are eating a chocolate malt. It is very rich and sweet, but that's okay just as long as you don't eat too large of a serving.

It was a little hard to find the malt powder. Both Safeway and Fred Meyer quit carrying it. I found it at a small specialty grocery store we have, next to the the hot chocolate mixes. What I found was by Carnation, and it says Malted Milk on the label.

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MALTED MILK ICE CREAM
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup malt powder (don't use Ovaltine-it's not the same thing)
6 large egg yolks
2 cups malted milk balls, coursely chopped

Warm the half and half, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, vanilla, and malt powder and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separtate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture 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. Pour the custard through the strainer and whisk it into the malted milk mixture. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, fold in the chopped malted milk balls.


November 2, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - SALTED BUTTER CARAMEL ICE CREAM

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This week's Sunday Slow Scoopers ice cream choice was Salted Butter Caramel. Instead of this recipe coming from the book The Perfect Scoop, it came from the website of the author, David Lebovitz's blog . This is another great ice cream. My husband declared it his second favorite, behind the Malted Milk Ice Cream. This ice cream is softer than most, and has that wonderful contrast of sweet and salty. It is a little more labor-intensive than most of the ice creams we have made, but the process isn't really hard, you just have to pay attention so you won't burn the sugar while it is carmelizing.


Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
One generous quart (liter)


For the caramel praline (mix-in):
½ cup (100 gram)sugar
¾ teaspoon sea salt, such as fleur de sel (do not use ordinary fine table salt-it's too harsh. If you have to, use kosher salt)

For the ice cream custard:
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk, divided
1½ cups (300 gr) sugar
4 tablespoons (60 gr) salted butter
scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cups (250 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the caramel praline, spread the ½ cup (100 gr) of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized, unlined heavy duty saucepan: I use a 6 quart/liter pan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or brush it sparingly with unflavored oil.

2. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. (Or most of it—there may be some lumps, which will melt later.)
Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it's just about to burn. It won't take long.

3. Without hesitation, sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon salt without stirring (don't pause at all), then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet immediately, tilting and swirling it almost vertically to encourage the caramel to form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool.

4. To make the ice cream, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they're floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts/liters) over the ice, pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.

5. Spread 1½ cups (300 gr) sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described in Step #2.

6. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk.

7. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170 F (71-77 C).

8. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

10. While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into very little bits, about the size of very large confetti (about ½-inch, or 1 cm).

11. Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.

Note: As the ice cream sits, the little bits of caramel may liquefy and get runny and gooey, which is what they're intended to do.

Variations: Add some strong liquid espresso (or instant espresso powder) to the custard to taste, prior to churning the ice cream to make Coffee-Caramel Ice Cream.

November 9, 2008

SUNDAY SLOW SCOOPERS - TOASTED COCONUT ICE CREAM

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Sunday Slow Scoopers is about to come to an end. Only one week left after this one, and I have to say, I'm really glad. I have eaten a life-time of heavy cream and eggs in the few months of our ice-cream making. And unfortunately, I have developed a taste for having good, home-made ice cream. I can only hope that this taste will fade, and, along with the fading of my craving for this frozen treat, I am also hoping that those extra pounds that have shown up on my body will fade also. Enough about my problems, and on to the ice cream!

This week's choice by Deborah of Old Shoes, New Trip was Toasted Coconut Ice Cream. I love coconut, so I was looking forward to this one. I didn't read through the recipe very well before beginning, and was a little surprised when I came to the part where it told me to strain out the coconut. So basically this is a vanilla ice cream that is infused with toasted coconut flavor. And it was delicious. More sophisticated than having the pieces of toasted coconut in the ice cream. And the coconut flavor was very pronounced. I served my ice cream with Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes that were filled with a swirl of coconut-pecan. I'll post about those in a couple of days. Here is the recipe for the coconut ice cream:

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