Monday, June 25, 2012

Lemon Granita

from The Martha Stewart Cookbook

3 cups water
1 cup sugar
10 sprigs lemon balm
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup lemon-flavored vodka
10 whole lemons for shells
Almond extract

In a heavy saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and 5 sprigs lemon balm to a boil over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Discard the lemon balm and cool the syrup over a bowl of ice water until cold.

Whisk together the syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vodka in a metal bowl and place in the freezer. Whisk about every 30 minutes until frozen, about 2 to 3 hours.

Remove any ink on the lemons by rubbing with almond extract. Cut one quarter from the stem end of each lemon. Using a grapefruit knife, cut between the pulp and the pith, and remove the pulp with a grapefruit spoon or melon baller, scraping the shell clean.

Using a teaspoon, mound each lemon with granita. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

Remove from the freezer, garnish each with a half sprig of lemon balm, and serve immediately.

Note:  I omit the vodka and lemon balm (it's an herb and I've never found it). I simply increase the amount of lemon juice a bit. This is an easy yet impressive dish to serve at a party. You can also just serve this in cups. Fresh mint makes a great garnish if you don't have the lemon balm.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World



2 cups milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened


1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup brewed coffee (I sub 1/4 C Chocolate Syrup & 1/4 C Milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (55% to 70% Cacao), finely chopped


In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth, also set aside. 

For Chocolate Syrup:Bring cocoa, brewed coffee (or 1/4 C Chocolate Syrup & 1/4 C Milk), and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat; stirring to dissolve sugar, boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Let stand for five minutes.

In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, and corn  syrup; bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat for 4 minutes; remove from heat and whisk in  cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.  

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
 Pour mixture into a 1 gallon ziploc freezer bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until cold, about 30 minutes.

 Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; spin until thick and creamy.  Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set, at least 4 hours. 

Salty Caramel Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*Danger! This is the dry-burn technique. I don't add water to the sugar before putting it on the heat, as some chefs do. Caramelizing sugar dry means it goes faster, but you have to watch it more closely and be ready with your cream. Here is an overview of what you are going to do:
Stand over the pan of sugar with a heatproof spatula ready, but do not touch the sugar until there is a full layer of melted and browning liquid sugar on the bottom with a smaller layer of unmelted white sugar on the top. When the edges of the melted sugar begin to darken, use the spatula to bring them into the center to help melt the unmelted sugar. Continue stirring and pushing the sugar around until it is all melted and evenly amber in color — like an old penny. When little bubbles begin to explode with dark smoke, give the sugar another moment and then remove from the heat. Immediately but slowly pour about 1/4 cup of the cream and corn syrup mixture into the burning-hot sugar. Be careful! It will pop and spit! Stir until it is incorporated, then add a bit more cream and stir, then continue until it is all in.
Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
Mix the cream with the corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Heat the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until it is melted and golden amber in color (*see note above). Remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, slowly add a bit of the cream and corn syrup mixture to the caramel: It will fizzle, pop, and spurt. Stir until well combined, then add a little more and stir. Keep adding the cream a little at a time until all of it is incorporated.
Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
Bring back to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. If any caramel flecks remain, pour the mixture through a sieve.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Pour into frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.
Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.
Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

For more great ice cream recipes purchase the Jeni's Ice Cream Book: "Jenis Splendid Ice Creams At Home" 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

Source: Better Homes & GardensMakes: 8 servings
Prep: 25 minsFreeze: 3 hrs
Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • 16
    chocolate wafers (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
  • 1/3
    cup chocolate hazelnut spread, (such as Nutella)
  • 1
    pint premium chocolate ice cream
  • 1/3
    cup cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1.Spread flat side of each wafer with hazelnut spread; set
aside. Scoop 8 ice cream balls, about 3 tablespoons each;
keep in freezer until ready to assemble.
2.To assemble sandwiches, remove ice cream balls from
freezer; let stand 1 minute to soften. Place 1 ice cream
ball on 8 hazelnut-spread wafers. Top with remaining
wafers; press gently together.
3.Sprinkle edges with nuts. Place sandwiches on baking
sheet lined with waxed paper; freeze 3 hours or until
firm. To store, freeze up to two weeks in self-sealing
plastic bags. Makes 8 sandwiches.