Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dark Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream

Chewy ice creams. Some people might say - no such thing . I would reply - oh, but there is.

Many years ago when I was travelling through Turkey, I stopped in a town and went into what looked like an old fashioned ice cream parlour. Little did I realise what I treat I was in for. I sat watching while a hulking great man stood on a stool chipping ice cream out of metal drum at his feet with a long handled chisel. It was put into cones and served to small children. I myself was served a rectangular slab on a plate with a knife and fork.

This ice cream was of course, dondurma made with salep, which Wikepedia informs me is flour made from dried orchid tubers. It gives the ice cream a taffy like texture. I really needed that knife and fork. From memory the flavour was kind of vanillay noughaty sort of. Anyway, it was absolutely delicious. You can read more about it here.

The reason I relate this story is because I am always reminded of it, whenever I make this.

In this case, a dense sticky texture is produced by golden syrup. Don't worry it's not as extreme as the dondurma, you won't need a knife and fork to eat it.

Regardless of the texture, the flavour is more than enough for a recommendation. It is so, so good - creamy and deeply chocolately. It's very rich so a little goes a long way.

The process is a bit longer than for most ice cream recipes, but it is easy enough. The only frustation I have is that it takes an age for the sugar to melt completely. You just have to stick with it.

This is an Amercian recipe and there are numerous copies on the net. One can be found here. These recipes use corn syrup. I do not know if the use of corn syrup will produce the same texture. Being in Australia I also don't use half and half. This is how I make it.

Dark Fudge Ice Cream

In a large, heavy saucepan melt 250gm of dark chocolate with 2 tbspn of butter over a low heat. Stir in 2 cups of sugar, 1/3 cup of golden syrup and 2/3 cup of lite cream. Stir over a medium-low heat until the mix comes to boil. The sugar should be completely melted. Simmer for 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk 4 eggs. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot chocolate mix. Stir in the remaining chocolate mix. Return to a medium heat and continue stirring until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

Stir in 2 tspn of vanilla extract, 2 cups of whipping cream and a further 1 1/3 cups of lite cream.

Pour into a container and freeze. I find that there is no need to use an ice cream maker. The mixture will remain completely smooth when frozen.

N.B. It may or may not be some time until my next post. I am the proud owner of a new laptop, which is currently somewhere between here and Singapore. Once I have it in my hot little hands I will be signing up with a new internet provider. Given my luddite tendencies, this is nothing less than a veritable technological mountain I have to climb. Hope to see you on the other side in a shiny new broadband world.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Cheesecake Shake

Who doesn't love cheesecake? I certainly do. But there never seems to be a good time to eat it. It's too rich for the morning. It's too heavy for afternoon tea - an appetite for dinner killer. And it's too rich and heavy to follow most meals.

So I get my cheesecake fix through this drink. It's ligher on the stomach and lighter on the guilt as its yoghurt based. Yes, there is a bit of cream but not much, and it can be replaced with milk with no reall ill effects. Most importantly, it is really delicious. I prefer it with lime, but lemon is also good.

Lemon/Lime Cheesecake Shake
(adapted from Marie Claire Kitchen)

Blend 125 gm of plain yoghurt with 2 tbspn of cream or milk, 2 tbspn of caster sugar, 2 tbspn of lemon or lime juice (or to taste), 1/2 tspn of vanilla extract and 6 ice cubes. Pour into one big or two small glasses.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yoghurt Ice Cream

I'm a yoghurt lover. I love yoghurt flavoured anything. I particularly love this yoghurt ice cream.

It is so deadly simple. Mix, churn and freeze. No cooking and hence no waiting around for the custard to cool and hence ice cream in a flash. Well almost, you still have to freeze it at the end.

Summer is almost at an end here in Canberra. It is positively chilly outside right now and it's the middle of the day. Ice cream will soon cease to become enjoyable and I will be moving onto hot chocolate. So sad, too bad.

Yoghurt Ice Cream
(adapted from Apples for Jam)

Whisk 250ml of pouring cream with 200gm of caster sugar until dissolved. Add 500gm of greek yoghurt and 1 tspn of vanilla extract. Churn and freeze.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Pancakes with lemon and sugar

Pancake Tuesday may have come and gone, but the pancakes live on. As soon as I picked up this month's Delicious magazine, I knew what I was going to be making. I cannot resist pancakes. They satisfy my deep love of carbohydrates and sugar all mixed into one.

I cannot decide which is my favourite. Thin and crepey or thick and fluffy. My mum used to sit my sister and I at the kitchen table and make us a continuous stream of thin delicious crepes. In the middle of the table would be a huge industrial sized tin of golden syrup. We would hold the spoon up high and drizzle the syrup in endless pretty patterns over the crepes. Happy days.

On the other hand, is there anything much better than a thick pillow of pancake doused in whipped butter and maple syrup. I really wonder.

This time I went for the traditional favourite - lemon and sugar. So simple and so good. I was very pleased with the crepes. They were lovely and light with a satisfying crispiness around the edges.

They really are easy to make. I ended up with a few small lumps in the mix but it did not matter at all. Getting the pan to the right temperature is the biggest trick. Accepting that the first pancake is purely sacrificial is really the only option I find. A bit of adjustment and you are then on your way.

As for the lemon and sugar. It's just a case of sprinkle, squeeze and dig in.

Pancakes with lemon/lime and sugar
(from Delicious Magazine)

Sift 1 cup plain flour with a pinch of salt. Make a well and add two eggs. Gradually mix into flour.

Gradually add 1 cup of milk mixed with 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbspn of melted butter.

Heat a heavy based fry pan and grease with melted butter. Add two tbspn of batter and tilt the pan around in a circle to coat the bottom thinly with batter. Cook about thirty seconds on either side until golden.

Makes 12.

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