Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream

chocolate-truffle-ice-cream-recipe

I’m a purist when it comes to ice cream; not a fan of those what-the-hell flavors that pose as ice cream but are actually a totally different category of dessert – pumpkin pie, cotton candy and wedding cake come to mind.

I avoid distracting mix-ins like swirling candy rainbows, chunks of cake, cookies or even chocolate chips. That stuff just gets in the way.

When I indulge in ice cream, I want to be focused on the very essence of it: cream, air and sugar. I want smooth, super-luscious cream floating in my mouth; sweet, butterfatty custard in easy to understand flavors like vanilla, strawberry or chocolate.

chocolate-truffle-ice-cream-recipe

Making homemade ice cream isn’t difficult, but it does involve some patience and maybe a tiny bit of bravery during certain delicate steps such as making the custard base on the stovetop (scrambled eggs are not fun in ice cream, and neither is throwing them out and starting all over).

The demand and production of ultra-premium “artisanal” ice cream is growing. If you live or visit a city that has small shops like Jeni’s in Columbus, Ohio or Van Leeuwen in New York City, well lucky you. Bypass the recipe below and go out on the town!

But if you have some time, an inexpensive electric ice cream maker and the desire for indulgence, you can make this rich, not-too-sweet ice cream in your kitchen. The texture is very much like the inside of a chocolate truffle, only much colder…

chocolate-truffle-ice-cream-recipe

Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream

Serving Size: 1 quart

Ingredients

  1. 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  2. 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  3. 8 egg yolks
  4. 1 cup brown sugar
  5. 2 cups heavy cream
  6. 1 cup whole milk
  7. 1/3 cup cocoa powder, plus more for serving
  8. 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water. Let the chocolate melt, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until thickened and pale, about 5 minutes on medium-high speed.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the cream, milk, cocoa and salt in a saucepan. Bring the mixture just to a boil - when little bubbles form around the edges of the pan, you're done. Transfer to a container with a pouring spout (like a Pyrex liquid measure) and slowly drizzle into the egg mixture on low speed.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook for 5 - 7 minutes over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened enough that the whisk leaves a trail in the pan. If you want to be sure, the temperature should read 175 degrees on an instant thermometer.
  5. Whisk the melted chocolate into the custard until completely smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until very cold - at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Scrape the mixture into an ice cream maker (it will be thick) and churn according to directions. You can serve right away, or transfer to a container to freeze for a few more hours. Scoop truffle-sized servings and dust with cocoa powder.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/07/chocolate-truffle-ice-cream/

Rosemary & Bittersweet Chocolate Quick Bread

rosemary-chocolate-bread-recipe

My favorite baking book this year has to be Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole Grain Flours. The recipes are wholesome, accessible and appealing; the photography has a warm, rustic simplicity that I love. When I browse through the book I want to make – and taste – just about everything in it.

I’ve been experimenting with switching out butter for olive oil in baking, which led to Olive Oil & Cocoa Brownies a few weeks ago. I’ve also had this recipe for Olive Oil Cake from Kim Boyce’s book flagged for months, and after making it a few times I can say it’s definitely a keeper.

These are perfect little breads to give as gifts, or to snack on when you crave a bite of something not-too-sweet.

rosemary-chocolate-bread-recipe

I have a special place for rosemary in my cooking, so any time I see an opportunity to highlight its distinctive piney-lemon character I jump in to explore.

The first time I baked this lightly sweet cake (to me it’s actually more of a quick bread than a cake), I threw in some freshly grated lemon zest. Lemon is a nice partner with the fruity taste of the olive oil and chocolate, but it got a little lost in there.

Next, I tried adding some ground coriander, a spice that has essential elements of citrus and balsam. You barely notice it in the background, but I think it naturally unites the slightly unusual pairing of chocolate with rosemary and olive oil.

I couldn’t help gilding the rosemary, so I sprinkled rosemary sugar leftover from my Italian Greyhounds over the tops just before putting them in the oven.

Rosemary & Bittersweet Chocolate Quick Bread

Yield: 1 standard loaf or 4 mini loaves

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup spelt flour (or use an equal amount of all purpose flour)
  2. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  7. 3 eggs
  8. 1 cup olive oil
  9. 3/4 cup milk
  10. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  11. 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces
  12. Rosemary sugar

Instructions

  1. Position an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat 4 small loaf pans (5" x 2") or one regular loaf pan with olive oil. Place the pans on a baking sheet. If using a single loaf pan, you can skip the baking sheet.
  3. Put the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and coriander in a large bowl. Use a whisk to blend the dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the olive oil and whisk together. Add the milk and rosemary and mix again just to blend.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, stirring gently to combine. Stir in the chocolate until evenly distributed.
  6. Divide the batter among the pans and smooth the top. Sprinkle tops evenly with some Rosemary Sugar, about 2 teaspoons each, or regular sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes for small loaves; 45- 50 minutes for standard loaf or until the tops are domed and a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaves comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a rack before slicing either warm or cool.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/04/rosemary-bittersweet-chocolate-quick-bread/

Olive Oil & Cocoa Brownies

Olive Oil and Cocoa Brownies

One of my all-time favorite food descriptions comes from Nigella Lawson writing about her Chocolate Guinness Cake, “magnificent in its black dampness”.

Along with her very being, she has a voluptuous way with words – surprise! I could go on quoting Nigella, but I’ll leave that topic for now or things might get sweaty.

I couldn’t help thinking of her words when I made these brownies. Instead, I suppose you could say they’re dark, moist and rich, but black dampness is so much more sensual and tempting, don’t you think?

Olive Oil & Dark Cocoa BrowniesOlive Oil and Cocoa Brownies

Olive oil baked into brownies might seem strange, but trust me, if you take your brownies fudgy these are for you.  And how healthy for us that olive oil and cocoa happen to be loaded with antioxidants, phenols, flavonoids and who knows what else.

I used extra virgin olive oil and extra dark Dutch process cocoa, Hershey’s Special Dark for the brownies pictured here. There’s no detectable olive oil flavor that comes through so if you must use regular olive oil rather than extra virgin that would be okay; however using good quality cocoa is key.

I’ve also made this recipe with natural cocoa (which simply means it’s not treated with an alkalizing agent) and ironically, while they are not as dramatically dark in color, the chocolate flavor is actually deeper.  Green and Black could be my favorite cocoa; I absolutely recommend you try it.

Olive Oil & Cocoa Brownies

Yield: Makes one 8-inch pan of brownies

Ingredients

  1. 3 large eggs
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oi
  4. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  6. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  7. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 1/2 cup cacao nibs

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees for at least 25 minutes.
  2. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish (glass or porcelain) with olive oil. Cut a piece of parchment to fit just the bottom of the dish and oil that too.
  3. Put the eggs in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer and beat on low for a minute. Increase speed to medium high while adding the sugar 1/2 cup at at time. Beat until the eggs are pale, thick and creamy.
  4. Decrease mixer speed and slowly add the oil in a thin stream, as if you were making an emulsion like mayonnaise. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl. Stir into the egg mixture until just incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the cacao nibs over the top, if using.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies emerges with some moist crumbs.
  8. Cool the pan completely on a rack before cutting into serving pieces.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/04/olive-oil-cocoa-brownies/