Saturday, March 01, 2008

A resolution with a serve of ice cream

A week or so ago I was in Borders, with a brand new cookbook (bills Holiday)clutched in my hot little hand. I was headed toward the checkout, when something just snapped. What on earth was I doing???? I had only bought a new cookbook less than a week ago and I was yet to make a single thing out of it. Why was I buying yet another one????

I pushed it back onto a shelf and beat a retreat to a nearby coffee shop. Staring down into a cup of hot chocolate I made a decision. I was going cold turkey. No more cookbooks until I had made full use of what I already had. I probably have some absolutely fantastic recipes sitting right there on my bookshelf and I don't even know it. That's just criminal.

So I decided - I must make at least one recipe from every cookbook I own before I can buy any any more, including foodie magazines. I have about 50 books so I figure this will take about a year. If I get through all those before 23 February 2009 (a year to the day), I have to start on my huge stack of magazines.

This is not to say that I can only make recipes from these books. Any I can get for free -internet, blogs, friends etc - is fine. I just can't pay for anything.

The best bit of this self made bargain is that if I succeed, I can treat myself to a new mixer, maybe even a Kitchen AID. Yipeeee!!! I have been wanting one forever, but I can never bring myself to hand over the vast sum of cash. If I actually save some money I can justify it.

I've made it through week one just fine. What's more I've even made a start. First up is The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. An easy choice, it's all just so good. I couldn't make up my mind between toasted coconut and pear caramel, so I made both. HA!!!!

If anyone has any bright suggestions about how to make brownish ice cream look attractive I am all ears. I did my best, but I'm afraid I did not have much success.

This is the toasted coconut ice cream. It is not only delicious, but super silky smooth and creamy. Yum.

This is pear caramel. As always I was a bit nervous about making caramel. I am never confident that it will not end in pain. But it all turned out fine. It too was absolutely delicious. Not quite as smooth as the coconut, I think mainly because of the pear. But lovely nonetheless.

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
(adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

Toast 1 cup of shredded coconut until golden brown. Spread the coconut on a baking tray and toast in a 175C oven or use a dry pan on the stovetop.

Warm 1 cup of milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and a split vanilla bean in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the coconut, cover and let stand at room temperature for about an hour.

Whisk together 5 large egg yolks. Rewarm the coconut mixture and then strain out the coconut extracting as much liquid as possible. Slowly pour the coconut liquid into the eggs, whisking constantly.

Pour into a saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens. It should coat the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture and then stir in another cup of heavy cream.

If you wish, add 1/2 tspn vanilla extract or 1 tspn rum. I did not add either and it was still delicious.

Refrigerate the mixture until cold. Churn in an ice cream maker and freeze.

Pear Caramel Ice Cream
(adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

Peel and core 3 ripe medium sized pears and dice.

Spread 3/4 cup plus 2 tbspn of sugar over the bottom of a heavy saucepan. Heat until the sugar begins to liquefy around the edges. Stir very gently to encourage the sugar to melt in the middle. Continue to heat until the sugar is a deep amber colour.

Stir in the pears. If the sugar goes a bit hard keep stirring and it will become liquid again. Continue until the pears are cooked through, about 10 minutes or so.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Mix in a further 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 1/8 tspn of salt and a few drops of lemon or lime juice.

Let cool to room temperature and then puree until smooth. Strain the mixture.

Refrigerate until cold. Churn in an ice cream maker and freeze.


At 1:50 am, Blogger Brilynn said...

This book has been on my wish list ever since it came out, I've still managed to make a few recipes even though I don't have it and I think I just added two more to that list!

At 3:33 pm, Blogger Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

good on ya! this is a great challenge.

Two years ago, faced with limited shelf space and unlimited cookbooks on my wishlist, I forced myself to check out every book from the library before I decided to add it to the permanent collection. I'm still doing it, and I have found some real gems this way -- it's far riskier to buy a book you think you might not like than to borrow it.

At 10:07 pm, Blogger Kelly-Jane said...

Good luck with your challenge.

I haven't made a new ice cream for ages, and seeing these David is going to have to come off the bookshelf!! They look gorgeous.

At 12:45 am, Blogger Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Ice cream is a good place to start especially with Spring and summer on the way:D I can sympathize with the magazine and cookbook "fetish". I am drawn in all the time. Mt stack is getting bigger and is time to step up and make something:D

At 2:24 am, Blogger Patricia Scarpin said...

I like that resolution and I think I should be taking it as well, KJ. I have many cookbooks (bills Holiday was delivered last week) but I don't use them as I should.
Thank you for the inspiration, I think I really needed it!

Oh, the ice creams look fabulous, too. :)

At 8:15 pm, Blogger KJ said...

Hi Brilynn, it's a great book, well worth having.

Hi Anita, that is a great idea as well. The blogosphere is great for this as well. Good reviews from bloggers, generally means a good book.

Hi Val, 'fetish' is right. It's an addiction.

Hi Patricia, thanks and you're welcome.

At 8:16 pm, Blogger KJ said...

Hi Kelly-Jane, thanks. Get stuck into those ice cream recipes!

At 3:11 am, Blogger Deborah said...

I made the same resolution, although I haven't stopped myself from buying cookbooks. I do think twice about it now, though, because I know that I will have to add the new one to the stack to make by the end of the year. It has been fun going through all of my cookbooks, though, and working my way through them! I even started a new blog for it, but that was mainly just my over-organized self...

At 7:05 am, Blogger kellypea said...

Hahahaha! Sounds like a challenge I forced myself to take on with fiction. Of course I bombed. As far as your ice cream goes, you wouldn't have to twist my arm to eat either of those. They look luscious! Good luck on your challenge!

At 3:46 am, Blogger pRiyA said...

ooooooo... i'm dying. gotta make this too, after hoto pots, do nut muffins and choc cake.
God help me.

At 11:51 am, Blogger thecelticcookinshanghai said...

Have just found your blog and can sympathise with you. I have over 130 coo books and love everyone of them.Some I will never cook from but love browsing and dreaming. I have many favourites and love to collect them as souveniers of my travels. I have just started blogging

I look forward to following your blog.


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