Sunday, April 29, 2012

Honey butter croissants (from Hop's restaurants)

I've heard time and time again that the restaurant industry is brutal. Sometimes you make it, and sometimes you don't. I was saddened when a chain restaurant around us, Hop's, had closed all of its area locations many years ago.

Hop's was a restaurant/brewery that I enjoyed going to with friends. They brewed their own beer and had some good entrees as well. But the main reason I loved going was for the honey butter croissants. While many restaurants offer bread as the pre-meal appetizer, Hop's went one step further and served these steaming hot, sweet bites of heaven prior to the meal service.

Like I said, I was bummed when Hop's closed its locations around me. I craved those buttery croissants with the honey butter drizzle. I scoured the interwebs for a copycat recipe but to no avail. So I did the next logical thing: I emailed their corporate headquarters. My sentimental note must have worked because they actually wrote me back and shared the recipe! 

In time, I will find the courage to make my own croissants, but for now, I am sticking with the grocery store brand. I also made my own honey butter (recipe below), but Hop's preferred brand is Downey's Honey Butter sauce.  This recipe was taste tested and approved by both my daughter and husband. Enjoy - they are ridiculously addictive!


Ingredients
  • One batch of croissants (use your favorite recipe or the refrigerated, store-bought kind)
  • Downey's Honey Butter sauce (sold at Wegman's, Shop-Rite and Amazon); recipe for a homemade version is below
Directions
Roll, cut your croissants in half, and place cut side down on sheet tray and proof (see your oven's manual for proofing instructions).  Proofing gives them a light, airy texture.  Once you've proofed them, bake until golden brown, top with Honey Butter sauce and enjoy.  


Note: I used store-bought, refrigerated crescent rolls and found that the baking time listed on the instructions was too lengthy. Because I cut the rolls in half as Hop's instructed, I should have baked for less time.  I also did not proof my croissants because the instructions did not call for it.

Honey Butter Sauce
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 3/4 c butter
  • 3/4 c honey
Directions
Mix all together and heat to melt. 


Note: The recipe above makes a lot of honey butter. I used 4 tablespoons of each (powdered sugar, butter and honey). I melted the butter in the microwave and stirred in the remaining ingredients and still had a ton left over. If you are using store-bought refrigerated crescent rolls, you will only need a little bit of the sauce. I'd recommend using either 1 tablespoon of each ingredient above or 2 tablespoons.  The left over honey butter sauce can be either put back in the refrigerator or left on the countertop for a few days. Top on bread, pastries, fruit or muffins.

Source: Hop's restaurant (email from their corporate headquarters); Honey butter sauce from Beth's Favorite Recipes

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brown derby cake

Not a lot of people know that I used to live in New Jersey. In fact, I spent the first half of my childhood in Parsippany. We lived half an hour from the city (New York City, that is), and life was great. For every special occasion, my family and I would go to a local bakery in the Short Hills area and order a brown derby cake. Brown derby cakes must be a Jersey thing because nobody around here has ever heard of them. A brown derby cake is a devil's food cake with a whipped cream and fruit filling. The cake is frosted with whipped cream and covered in devil's food cake crumbs. It's called a brown derby cake because the domed shape is supposed to resemble a derby hat.

I had the most difficult time finding a brown derby cake recipe for Addison's 2nd birthday. I came across two recipes, and neither piqued my interest. (Side note - apparently there is a place in California called the Brown Derby that makes a grapefruit cake. Most of my search resulted in recipes for this.)

Finally, I came across a YouTube video by someone calling themselves the Crumb Boss. I was intrigued and thought I'd check it out. Crumb Boss is a bakery owner/pastry chef in New Jersey, so I figured that her recipe was trustworthy and tried it out.

I'm so glad I tried the Crumb Boss' recipe! This cake gives me great memories of my old stomping grounds. The cake is not too dense and is paired nicely with the whipped cream and fruit filling. The outer cake crumbs help the cake from being over the top with whipped cream (I am not usually a fan of whipped cream). My parents were overjoyed when I told them that I was looking for a brown derby cake recipe, and they loved it! Addison, the birthday girl, even enjoyed a slice!

The cake did seem a bit on the dry side when we cut into it to eat, even though I had stored it in the refrigerator overnight (for one night). I may try a different version of devil's food cake next time or serve it on the same day to prevent overdrying. Otherwise, this cake was a pretty good imitation of what we used to buy in New Jersey!

 Addison, my mom and I (photo courtesy of my brother--he uses a professional Nikon camera)

Chocolate cake (recipe from Crumb Boss)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 oz butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 oz buttermilk
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
Chocolate cake directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. While the butter is creaming, sift all dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, salt) in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Add eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time.  Then add half the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Add half the buttermilk and then the remainder of the dry ingredients. Finally, add the rest of the buttermilk and then the vanilla extract.

Bake in three 8-inch round pans for 35 minutes or until center is springy. (I used three 10-inch pans and baked for 25 minutes).

Whipped cream filling and frosting ingredients (from Crumb Boss)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar (or to taste if you like sweeter or less sugar)
  • Gelatine mixture (directions below; I used 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar instead)
Whipped cream directions
If using gelatine, "bloom" 1 TBSP of gelatine in 1/4 cup of cold water for 5 minutes.

While gelatine is "blooming," whip the cream in a stand mixer (or a handheld one). Slowly add the confectioners sugar and cream of tartar (if using) until you reach stiff peaks.

Melt 1 TBSP of the gelatine mixture in the microwave on low for about 10 seconds or until melted. Add the mixture to the whipped cream to help it stabilize. (Again, I did not use gelatine so I skipped this step.)

Brown derby cake filling
  • Strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Canned peaches, drained (can use pre-bought or homemade peach pie filling)
  • 1 banana, sliced
Brown derby cake directions (you can view Crumb Boss' video tutorial here)
Put one layer of the chocolate cake down on a cake pedestal or a cake board. Build a whipped cream "wall"  around the circumference of the cake. Do this twice so you have two layers of whipped cream. Crumb Boss uses a large star tip, but any tip will do.

Fill the inside of the cake with  peaches, strawberries and bananas.

Add more whipped cream to the top of the cake so your cake now looks like a pyramid on the top.

Take the second layer of cake and crumble it so you have a lot of small crumbs and set aside. (I added a second layer of cake, whipped cream and fruit filling and crumbled the third layer instead.)

With the final layer of cake, cut a wedge out of it so it looks like Pac-Man. Fold the Pac-Man layer into a cone and set it on top of the cake. (I ran out of whipped cream so I skipped this step. Instead, I crumbled this layer and used it as the exterior crumb for the cake.)

Using an offset spatula, smooth out the whipped cream all around the top and the sides of the cake. To get a perfectly smooth surface, use a parchment cut into the shape of a triangle and using one swift motion, drag the parchment from the bottom to the top of the cake and over to the other side. (I did not do this step.)

Add the cake crumbs over the cake and garnish with additional strawberries if desired.

Source: Crumb Boss

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream

As you all know, my daughter Addison turned 2 last weekend. Since I constantly bring treats into her daycare, I knew that this day would be no different. I had to submit my ingredient list to the school in advance to check for potential allergens.  I didn't want to make anything too fancy since the people enjoying my sweets would be mostly 2-year olds. Most of them are only familiar with vanilla or chocolate so I opted to keep the flavors simple.

Because I bought a 1/4 pound package of Madagascar vanilla beans a while ago, I wanted to use them for Addison's birthday cupcakes. I found these vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream on My Baking Addiction. I was able to bake and frost these in less than an hour, so this recipe was not time-consuming at all.

These cupcakes were nice and fluffy and didn't get dry overnight. I devoured the one cupcake without the frosting but did have a little taste from the bowl - it is full of vanilla bean flavor and is the perfect buttercream. I heard that Addie's classmates and teachers enjoyed eating these!

Cupcake Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used all purpose flour and removed 4.5 tablespoons of it and replaced it with 4.5 tablespoons of corn starch)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Buttercream Ingredients
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (this helps maintain the bright white color)
  • 1 ½ pounds (24 ounces or 3 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
Cupcake Directions
Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.

Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.

Bake for 18-24 minutes (I baked for 21 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come clean. Cool on wire rack.

Buttercream directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and seeds from vanilla bean until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended.

Add in vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.

Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Note: I used a Wilton #1A tip for the large swirl. 

Yield: I got 22 cupcakes and enough frosting for 21 cupcakes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Brown butter sugar cookies

I've been seeing more and more recipes out there with brown butter. Brown butter ice cream. Brown butter sauce (usually over a filled pasta like pumpkin ravioli). Brown butter cake. Are people onto something? What am I missing here?

After Kim at Just Baked nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award (thanks, Kim!), I checked out her website to see what recipes I could try. The first one that appeared on her web page were these brown butter sugar cookies. I jumped at the opportunity and made these immediately.

My brown butter scorched a tad, but I was able to save it and not use the burnt bits. The kitchen smelled nutty and aromatic all morning, and my husband of course exclaimed, "Man, it smells good in here!"  After sampling half a cookie, he declared his approval for these cookies. Little does he know that I snuck the other half after he left.

The cookie is nice and light with a slightly crisp outside. These baked up very similar to the snickerdoodles that I made a few months ago. The rolled sugar coating is also an ode to those cookies. These brown butter sugar cookies will be a welcome rotation in our house, and I am looking forward to making more sweets with brown butter.

Ingredients
  • 14 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp (10 2/3 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
Sugar for rolling the cookies
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Directions
Melt 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Do not use a nonstick/dark pan or it will be difficult to see the color change.  Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes.  Transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl.  Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter and stir until completely melted.  Set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix the 2 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.

Add the 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir to ensure that no flour pockets remain.

Working with 2 tablespoons at a time, roll into balls. Roll half of the dough balls into the sugar mixture to coat (you can make more if you run out).  Place dough balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheet, repeat.  I was able to fit 8 balls on a sheet.

Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 12 to 14 minutes (mine baked for 12 minutes total), rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes.  Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Yield: I got about 26 cookies

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vanilla bean macarons with Biscoff filling

A bunch of my online foodie friends wanted to create macarons, but some were just intimidated by the thought of it. We decided to challenge ourselves and make some and encourage each other throughout the process. Although I've made macarons previously, I wanted to take part in the challenge and try baking another flavor. I altered the recipe I used before by omitting the cocoa powder and scraping a vanilla bean to make a vanilla bean macaron. I didn't spend much time on the filling and just opted to add some Biscoff spread as the filling. The result: divine.

My macarons cracked pretty badly this time, and some of the cookies did not get feet.  I think I overmixed the batter by incorporating too much air, as some of the macarons had pretty big air pockets even after I rapped the sheet several times on a table. I was able to find a few better-looking ones to photograph, as you can see above.

Despite the ugliness of my batch of macarons, they were still really tasty!

Source: Macaron recipe and instructions from this post; filling is a tablespoon of Biscoff spread

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy 2nd birthday to Addison

This past year has flown by like no other. Our daughter, Addison, turns 2 today.  Both sets of her grandparents, as well as her aunt, uncle and future aunt (my future sister-in-law) are in town to celebrate.  I will be posting the desserts that I made in the coming week.

Happy birthday, Addison! We love you very much and love watching you grow every day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dark chocolate buttermilk pie

Riddle me this. Why is it that containers of buttermilk sold in the store come in ginormous quantities?  Do manufacturers think that we drink buttermilk like regular milk?  The smallest container we were able to find at our local grocery store was a half gallon. That's a lot of buttermilk!

I needed some buttermilk to make the warm apple buttermilk custard pie from the recipe swap. Then I had a ton left over. I've heard that classic Southern buttermilk pies were delicious but wanted to add something special to it - like chocolate! And given my fairly recent conversion to dark chocolate, I set out to find a dark chocolate buttermilk pie.

I found this recipe on Thrifty Texan and gave it a try. Because I took a shortcut and used a frozen pie crust, the rest of the pie only took about 15 minutes to put together.

Ingredients
  • 1½ c. dark chocolate chips (you could also use bittersweet or semi-sweet)
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6  eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • One 9″ pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
Directions
Preheat oven to 325°. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

Melt chocolate chips in a saucepan/double boiler and melt over low heat, stirring constantly. (I actually melt them in the microwave: 30 to 40 seconds, stir and go again for 30 to 40 seconds until melted.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt until well combined. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the sugar mixture and mix with an electric hand mixer or whisk vigorously. With a rubber spatula, stir the melted chocolate into the batter.

Pour batter into the pie crust. Place pie in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until the pie is crisp on top and a knife inserted in the center comes out with just a bit of moist chocolate on it.

Remove from the oven and cool completely. Let stand at least 1 hour before serving. If not eating immediately, refrigerate the pie. This pie can be served warm or chilled. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hershey's chocolate mint dessert (aka cool mint dessert)

How many of you remember you (or your mom or other family member) saving and cutting out UPCs and sending them in to get a free cookbook? Well, my mom did this back in the 80s, and she exchanged her UPCs for the Simply Recipes cookbook from Hershey's. I am happy to say that I inherited this publication when I moved out on my own. There is one particular recipe from the collection that has always been a hit every time I've made it. I should have it memorized since it's a dessert that friends request all the time.

Funny story - I was reminded not too long ago that we live in a very small world when a work colleague of mine recognized my dessert when I brought it in for a potluck. He asked if this was the chocolate mint dessert from the Hershey's cookbook, and I said yes. As luck would have it, he was the brand manager in charge of putting this book together! Wow!

This "cool mint dessert" (as dubbed by my husband) is one of his all time favorite sweets that I make. We love the brownie-like cake layer, the mint-flavored creamy middle and the hardened chocolate ganache. It is rich, minty and oh-so-refreshing.

I looked in my recipe book, and the copyright date is 1988. I can't believe it's almost been 30 years since we've had this recipe book!  I hope to be making recipes from it for at least another 30 years, if not more.

Also, I am happy to say that I've received the Versatile Blogger Award from Just Baked.  I'm going to have to go check out her blog because we have lots of similar interests, and our blogs are mostly focused on baking!  Thanks for this award, Kim!

All recipients of this award need to:

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  5. Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  6. In the same post, include this set of rules.
  7. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
Here are the 15 blogs I have chosen to receive this award (please click on the links to check them out!):

And here are the 7 facts about me!
  1. I know 4 different languages but only speak two fluently.
  2. I spin and jump "the other way" (clockwise) in figure skating. I constantly get asked if I am a lefty, but I am not.
  3. When I was a junior in high school, my school caught on fire and burned down over Martin Luther King weekend. School was cancelled the rest of the week and we went to our rival high school for most of the remainder of the school year. School started at noon and went until 5pm. All classes were only 45 minutes long. And they never found the arsonist(s).
  4. I have a music performance (flute) minor.
  5. I hold a 1st degree brown belt in karate.
  6. I have hugged a koala in Australia.
  7. I have been best friends with the same girl since we were 6. And our moms have been best friends since they were both in junior high.



Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups HERSHEY'S Syrup (1 can)
  • MINT CREAM CENTER (recipe follows)
  • CHOCOLATE GLAZE (recipe follows)
Directions
Heat oven to 350° F. 

Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. 

Combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs and syrup in large bowl; beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. 

Spread MINT CREAM CENTER on cake. Cover; refrigerate. Pour CHOCOLATE GLAZE over chilled dessert. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Cover; refrigerate leftover dessert. About 12 servings. 

MINT CREAM CENTER: Combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter or margarine and 2 tablespoons green creme de menthe (OR 1 tablespoon water plus 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon mint extract and 3 drops green food color may be substituted for creme de menthe) in medium bowl; beat until smooth. 

CHOCOLATE GLAZE: Melt 6 tablespoons butter or margarine and 1 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips in small saucepan over very low heat. Remove from heat; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

Source: Simply Recipes from Hershey, page 23; can also be found on the Hershey's website

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vanilla buttermilk cupcakes

Sometimes I feel like I should work at Google or be a Googler full time. While I wish that I would always have all the ingredients on hand for recipes I want to try next, that doesn't always happen. I usually have too much or too little of an ingredient, so my options are limited. I have to go off and Google what recipes are out there that I can make with my limited items.

This time, I had a lot of leftover buttermilk and only 2 eggs.  Buttermilk ice cream sounded interesting, but it called for more than 2 eggs. I saw recipes for buttermilk bread, buttermilk banana bread, cupcakes and other sweets, but yet again, they needed more than 2 eggs. Finally, I found these vanilla buttermilk cupcakes on Baking Bites and breathed a sigh of relief. The recipe asked for one cup of buttermilk and 1 egg. Hooray! That recipe only made 12 cupcakes, so I could double it and share the cupcakes with others.

As an added bonus, I had 11 lonely egg whites sitting in the fridge that were a result of my ice cream making adventures.  I could use up about 4 of them to make a swiss meringue buttercream to frost the cupcakes. Yes!

The recipe below is only for 12 cupcakes.  I doubled it so I could make extras to share.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Place liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it looks creamy.

Beat in the egg and the vanilla and almond extracts until mixture is smooth.

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until almost combined. Add buttermilk and stir, again, until almost combined. Add the rest of the flour and stir until all ingredients are mixed in.

Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.

Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350F, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the muffin pan. Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 12 cupcakes (I got 13 cupcakes)

Source: Baking Bites; swiss meringue buttercream frosting is from this post

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dark chocolate ice cream

In my younger days, I used to be a milk chocolate kind of girl. That has changed as I've gotten older. My tastebuds have matured, and I prefer dark chocolate now. When given a choice, I'll reach for the dark chocolate without thinking. It's just something about that bitterness that I love and enjoy.

I came across this recipe for dark chocolate ice cream on Stresscake and my jaw dropped when I saw the photo. I read the story and knew about the creator of this ice cream, Fergus Henderson (he is one of the pioneers of "nose-to-tail" eating; his philosophy is that no part of an animal gets wasted or discarded when it comes to food). Fergus had been searching for a dark chocolate ice cream recipe but couldn't find one. His first cookbook had a temporary one listed and he even asked readers for help finding the perfect dark chocolate ice cream.

After a few years, Fergus finally figured it out! The resulting recipe was published in his second cookbook and was listed on the Stresscake website. Since our homemade ice cream supply was running out at home, this was the perfect time to tackle his recipe. (And for those of you keeping track, this is the ice cream that required 6 egg yolks. I used up the 6 egg whites in this angel food cake.)

Be forewarned that this recipe will test your patience (the ice cream custard itself is easy to put together and not too much work than your standard ice cream). It takes 5 full days for the ice cream to fully come to fruition before you can eat it. Be patient, my friends. I took one bite (after 5 agonizing days) and was immediately in love. This is the best chocolate ice cream I have ever had. Seriously. I don't know if I will need to try any other kinds because this cool treat is rich, decadent, smooth and chocolately all at once.  There were no ice crystals, no extra air pockets.  Just pure, rich and thick dark chocolate custard. It absolutely puts the store brands to shame and is in a league of its own.

Just remember to wait the full 5 days before you dig in.  Your patience will pay off!

Ingredients
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (70%-75% cacao), finely chopped
  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 13 Tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (I didn't have any and subbed half-and-half instead)
Directions
Melt the chocolate:  either in a bowl set over simmering water or in the microwave in 45 second bursts at 50% power, stirring between bursts until smooth. Set aside until needed; let cool slightly.

Heat milk/cocoa:  In a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and cocoa powder and bring to boil, turn off the heat and set aside.

Whip the egg yolks:  Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 7 Tablespoons of the sugar on high until thick, pale and very thick ribbons form, about 3 minutes.

Temper the eggs:  whisking constantly, gradually add hot milk/cocoa mixture until combined.

Cook mixture:  Return mixture to the saucepan and whisk in the melted chocolate until blended. Stir over low heat until slightly thickened and a thermometer registers 175°F, about 5 minutes.  Stir constantly, especially in the corners.

Cool custard:  Transfer the chocolate custard to a large bowl and place over and ice bath to cool. Stir until custard is cool.

Make caramel:  Bring remaining 6 Tablespoons sugar and 2 Tablespoons water to a boil in a small heavy, deep saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. (Note: a silver or light colored pan is best so you can see the color of the caramelizing sugar.)

Caramelize the sugar over high to medium-high heat, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals (do not stir), until a dark amber color forms, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream (careful – mixture will bubble vigorously).

Combine/strain:  Whisk caramel into chocolate custard. Strain into a large container.

Chill:  cover and chill for 2 days.

Process:  Process custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Note that my ice cream maker seemed to struggle a bit since the custard was so thick. Yours may do the same.

Freeze:  Transfer to another container; freeze for 3 days before eating.

Source: Stresscake; originally from Beyond Nose to Tail

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