Posts Tagged ‘Ice cream’

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Baked Alaska

September 8, 2009

Why Baked Alaska? My husband mentioned it a few times, so I asked him what the deal was with Baked Alaska. Was he dying to have some? His response was “I know it’s hard to make.” Those are fighting words! Neither of us had ever eaten it, and I don’t think he knew what it was, but I knew I was up to the challenge. And the really fun part is that as you read this, we are in Alaska! It was fun to eat Baked Alaska while planning our trip to Alaska.

I did some research in cookbooks and online and found that there are a lot of interpretations of this classic dessert.  I decided to make two individual-sized servings. These have a brownie base and chocolate peanut butter ice cream: one of the tips I found when researching is that you want an ice cream that will contrast the color of the meringue. This was also an opportunity to use a couple of things I was planning to make anyway, and to use some egg whites that I had in the freezer. So although there are a lot of components to this dessert, it wasn’t too much work to make it.

BakedAlaska2

The components:

  • For the base, I used a brownie baked in a standard-size muffin pan. When I made Brownie Buttons for Tuesdays With Dorie, I baked a few in my regular muffin pan, left the white chocolate off, and stashed them in the freezer. You could also use cake or a brownie cut into a circle about the same size as a scoop of ice cream.
  • For the ice cream, I used this Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.
  • For the meringue, I whipped three egg whites with 1/3 cup sugar and a tiny pinch of salt. If you have a copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours, look at the meringue tips on page 400. I used a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whipped the whites and salt on high speed for a couple of minutes, then added the sugar slowly. I stopped when the meringue was smooth and glossy and pretty stiff: if you can flip the whisk attachment upside down and the meringue holds a peak, it’s ready. Three egg whites was more than I needed for two servings, but I baked the extra meringue to use in another recipe. Two egg whites should be more than enough for two servings. [Note: the meringue doesn’t bake for long, so standard warnings about egg whites apply. If you have any concerns about eating an undercooked egg, use pasteurized eggs or buy egg white powder.]

The assembly:

  • Put the brownie base on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put one scoop of ice cream on each brownie. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (overnight is fine too).
  • After the brownies and ice cream have been in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, make the meringue. If you want to pipe the meringue like I did, put it in a pastry bag with a large star tip.
  • Move the oven rack to the lowest position and start the oven heating to 500 degrees F. Take the baking sheet out of the freezer and either pipe the meringue on or spread it on with a knife, making swirls and peaks. Be sure to cover the entire brownie and ice cream. Put the baking sheet back in the freezer until the oven is up to temperature.
    Here’s a Baked Alaska ready to go into the oven.

BakedAlaska1

  • When the oven is heated, take the baking sheet out of the freezer and put it in the oven. Stand there and watch it; it will brown quickly. When it’s browned but not burned, take it out. Serve immediately: if you want to do any fancy plating (which I didn’t!) have it queued up ahead of time. Or do what I did – I made my husband come into the kitchen just in case the Baked Alaska didn’t make it to the plate in one piece (although it did).

Enjoy! This was a fun treat to make, and if you have the brownie (or cake) and ice cream ready to go, you just have to do some last-minute meringue making and baking.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Patties

August 21, 2009

Smooth, creamy, chocolate plus peanut butter, plus peanut butter patties. Need I say more?

Choc-PB ice cream

If you read a lot of food blogs like I do, you probably know that Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz is a very popular cookbook. With all the good reviews, I knew that I could pick any recipe and it would turn out great. But which one to pick? It wasn’t that hard, because I really love chocolate and peanut butter together (OK, I love them separately too.) The recipe did not disappoint; in fact, we were pretty much wild about this.

Notes:

  • Lebovitz recommends that you use standard peanut butter: not the natural kind. I used Skippy.
  • The recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa but I used regular unsweetened cocoa. I went to the store for Dutch-process and the only container I found was so expensive it must have flown over on a first-class ticket from Holland!
  • I thought that there were too many peanut butter patties so I added about 2/3 of them. Next time I’ll add the whole batch. Really, can you have too much peanut butter?

If you don’t have the book yet, get the recipe here. But really, get the book. It is full of information about ice cream making, great recipes, and all kinds of mix-ins to add to your ice cream. David Lebovitz has done the homework so you don’t have to! The recipe for the peanut butter patties is not on the Google Books preview, so here’s a quick overview of how to make them:

Mix 6 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or chunky; I used creamy) and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Pinch off small pieces (about 1/2 teaspoon) and put them on a plate or cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. You should get about 40 patties. Freeze for a few hours and then fold into ice cream at the end of churning. Try not to eat them all before you add them to the ice cream.

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Lime Coconut Ice Cream

June 5, 2009

Is this sherbet? Sorbet? Ice cream? Ice milk? Let’s not get technical about it. This is a refreshing frozen dessert with a fabulous fresh lime flavor.

This recipe is adapted from the book Ice Cream and Iced Desserts by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis. In the book, it’s called Coconut Ice Cream, but to me it’s the lime that shines. I used light coconut milk, so that could have made it less coconut-y and more lime-y. Whatever you call it, this is very tasty.

lime sorbet2

A big thank you to my husband for taking the cool photo!

A few notes:

  • I used light coconut milk instead of the regular coconut milk called for in the original recipe.
  • I decided to add some rum to the mixture after reading David Lebovitz’s article Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer. Next time, I’ll increase the rum to 2 tablespoons.
  • This does not have the texture of a creamy ice cream; it’s more like a sorbet.
  • I made this using an ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. This was my first time using the attachment and it worked great!

Lime Coconut Ice Cream

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 limes

14 oz can light coconut milk* (the original recipe calls for regular coconut milk)

1 tablespoon coconut rum (the original recipe does not include this)

Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Cool the syrup and then thoroughly chill in the refrigerator.

Zest the limes finely, taking care to avoid the white pith. Stir the zest into the sugar syrup.

Cut the limes in half and juice them. Stir the juice into the sugar syrup.

Add the coconut milk and the rum to the sugar syrup mixture. If there are any lumps in the milk, whisk the mixutre until it is smooth.

Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions for churning the mixture. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, this article provides instructions for making ice cream without a machine.

* Be sure to use coconut milk and not cream of coconut. You may be able to find it in the Asian section of your grocery store.

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