Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Dakers S'mores Style

It's Daring Bakers time! The challenge: A flourless chocolate cake and an ice-cream. My take on it: S'mores!

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

Valentino S'mores:

Ever since I read we had to do an ice-cream to go with our cake, million flavours popped into my head. So many choices, I couldn't decide! What ended up deciding it were the leftover egg whites I had living in my fridge for a while. Most ice creams are made with yolks and I really didn't want to have more egg whites, so I decided to try to make a marshmallow ice cream! And oh boy, was that a good idea!

MARSHMALLOW ICE CREAM

  • 3 egg whites
  • 200 gr (7.1 oz) sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk

Start by making an italian meringue: In a pot, combine sugar and water and boil to soft-ball stage* (121ºC/ 240ºF on a candy thermometer). Wash down the inside wall of the pot with a wet pastry brush from time to time to prevent sugar crystals. When the syrup starts boiling you can start whiping the eggs whites on low speed until foamy, then increase the speed to medium, and beat until soft peaks form. Whe the syrup is at the right temperature take it out of the stove and wait until the bubbles stop. Then with the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over the egg whites. Beat until the bowl is cold and the meringue is very glossy. Mix the meringue with the cream and milk and churn.

Notes about this ice-cream:

  • It doesn't freeze hard as a rock, it has more of a parfait consitency.
  • Don't worry about raw egg whites, they're cooked by the hot syrup
  • *Soft ball stage: At this temperature, a drop of sugar syrup dropped into cold water will form a soft, flexible ball.
  • I froze a bit of this ice-cream (without churning) and it was as great, so even if you don't have an ice-cream maker you can make this with great results.
  • Oh... and it's delicious!

And so if I had chocolate and marshmallows allready how could I not invite Graham Crackers to join the party and do a play on S'mores? It was a good thing because I've been wanting to make homemade Graham Crackers for a while, specially since I saw them on Katrina's blog. I followed this recipe with great results. I've cut mine in hearts with various sizes.

Guess I should also give you the recipe for the Valentino cake itself.

VALENTINO CAKE

  • 16 ounces (1 pound/454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tbsps (146 grs total) of unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs separated

Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry). With the same beater beat the egg yolks together. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375ºF/190ºC. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140ºF/60ºC. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold. I let mine cool completely and then cut little hearts with a cookie cutter.

And to assemble the dessert start with a heart Graham Cracker, followed by a Valentino heart topped with a quenelle of Marshmallow ice-cream. Decorate and enjoy!

So rich, sweet, creamy and wonderful. Give me s'more please!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let's ice the rice!

Before you ask about the silly title, it's a Rice Pudding Ice Cream.

Don't the quenelles of ice cream look like gigantic rice grains?

No? It's just me then. It's possible. The lack of sleep does have some strange effects on me. I've been quite busy lately, that's why I haven't been arround much. But life is slowly going back to normal so here I am! And with ice cream!

I love Rice Pudding! Love it! Rice pudding was what my gradma allways made on Sundays or on any special ocasion, so in my family rice pudding is THE dessert. Don't be mad at me for not sharing the recipe, but the truth is... there is none. My grandma allways eyeballs it and so do I (of course, I've learned from her). But the good news is that I'm sure this ice cream will work with any rice pudding.

RICE PUDDING ICE CREAM

  • 2 cups creamy rice pudding*
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp glucose or corn syrup

* My rice pudding was flavoured with orange and cinnamon. Other ingredients were: rice (obviosly), milk, sugar, salt and egg yolks.

Mix the milk and glucose (or corn syrup) and heat just to melt the glucose. Add to the rice pudding. Blitz together until you have a thick liquid (I've used an inmersion blender). Pass through a sieve to discard some stubborn rice grains. Let it cool completely and churn.

I did feel a bit bad for "destroying" my rice pudding, but it was so worth it! Perfect for the warm winter days we are having arround here!

And now some Thank Yous: Thank you Magnolia Mom for the "Your site measures up" award, thank you Mavele for the "Blog amigable" award, thank you Dragon for the "Inspiration" award and thank you Lisa Michele for the "Triple" awards! You girls all deserve a big bowl of rice pudding ice cream!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pop Popcorn Pop

Now try to say Pop Popcorn Pop 3 times in a row very fast! Not very difficult, is it? You know what else is not difficult? Eating 3 of these Pop Popcorn Pops in a row very fast!

This was another Probocado Challenge from Blogolosas. This time the challenge was to create something using leftovers as a base, or as they put it: Recycling cooking. And just for fun we also had to present it on a stick.

So I had leftover popcorn. What kind of a person has leftover popcorn, you ask! It's a shame I now! But here's what happened, I had some friends over a few days ago and I made a big bowl of popcorn. And this is were I went wrong, I also offered them a big platter of homemade cookies. I guess the cookies were more popular and the popcorn were left almost untouched. So the next day I've made a powder out of the popcorn and made these popcorn truffles with it. And now I can't wait to have leftover popcorn again! They were delicious! If you're a sweet & salty lover, you'll like these for sure.

POP POPCORN POP
  • 1 cup popcorn (no butter)
  • 170 gr (6oz) white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cocoa powder
Put the popcorn in the food processor and process until you have a powder. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or the microwave. Heat the cream until it almost start to boil. Mix the chocolate with the cream and mix in the salt and butter. Mix until the butter is melted. Add the powdered popcorn and take to the fridge for a couple of hours. Make little balls with the mixture and pass in the cocoa powder. If you want put on a stick and attach a popcorn with a drop of melted chocolate.

PIRULITO DE PALOMITAS
  • 1 taza de palomitas (sin mantequilla)
  • 170 gr de chocolate blanco
  • 1/4 de taza natas
  • 1 cucharilla de mantequilla
  • 1/4 cucharilla de sal
  • Cacao en polvo

Hacer un polvo con las palomitas. Derretir el chocolate en banho-maria o en el microondas. Calentar la nata hasta que casi empieze a herbir y añadir al chocolate. Mezclar la mantequilla y la sal y remover hasta que se derrieta la mantequilla. Juntar el polvo de palomitas y llevar a la nevera un par de horas. Hacer bolitas con la mezcla y pasarlas por cacao en polvo. Poner en un palito y decorar con una palomita pegada con una gota de chocolate derretido.

Don't you feel like popping some popcorn and then pop some pop popcorn pops into your mouth?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When you wish upon a Star...

I have a lot of cake pans, but I don't have any shaped as a star. Strange, I know... But do you think that stopped me from making a star shaped cake? Well, I could have bought a star pan, but this way is a) cheaper, b) much more fun and c) you get cake scraps.

Start with 2 cakes (mine were apple & cinnamon), one slightly bigger than the other.

Get the bigger one and divide it in 6 huge slices.

Cut the 6 slices with a serrated knife.

Again with the serrated knife, cut the rounded edge of each cake piece, making perfect triangles.

Now get the smaller cake and divide it in 5, making a pentagon.

Cut the 5 ronded edges of the cake.

Get 5 of the 6 triangles and attach them to each side of the pentagon. There you have it: a star!

Now all you have to do is to fill it (I've used dulce de leche) and decorate it as you like. By the way you can check my latest cakes here.

I've used the extra slice to do that small round cake on top of the star, but you can use the scraps to do Bakerella's famous Cake Pops or go crazy like my friend Morgana and use Bakerella's technic to produce all kinds of cool shapes. Or of course, eat it, that's allways a perfectly good option.