Archive | Gluten Free RSS feed for this section

Mint Chip Bon Bons

20 Sep

“If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.”  ~Author Unknown

Mint Chip Bon Bons

Amen friends, amen. This recipe for bite-sized mint chip bon bons calls for a fast eater! I fully support savoring delicious foods, eating slowly so as to delight in each bite. That, however, does not work with ice cream! The longer you wait, the faster it melts. Same goes for these bon bons. These morsels of goodness are smothered in chocolate, so if you hold them for more than the time it takes to grab from the freezer and pop in your mouth, you’ll be covered in chocolate. A sure sign that you’re eating too slowly!

You may recall the great mint tragedy of 2011. It was epic. The first failure of 365scoops. But hey, it was a learning experience and ever since then, I’ve tried to reclaim my mint ice cream recipes, perfecting them in hopes of an “ah-hah” mint ice cream moment. I think we’re nearly there!

These bon bons are an ode to mint chip ice cream, and a fun twist on the classic ice cream. Rather than having to get a bowl and spoon, and go into the freezer and scoop out ice cream, these special treats are already bite-sized. All you have to do is grab one (or two, or three….) and enjoy. They’re so simple that they’re hard to resist.

The crunchy outer shell, mixed with the refreshing mint chip ice cream is an absolutely satisfying snack. Plus they’re totally adorable and hard to refuse. In fact, I swear that every time I open the freezer (allegedly to get out frozen spinach, or some ice cubes) I hear “eat me, eat me.” I’ve had my ears checked. There’s nothing wrong with me. I swear these things talk. And you know what? I listen. That’s right, I’m a good listener, and I’d hate to disappoint these cute little guys. And so I indulge them and eat one. I’m a real martyr. Thankyouverymuch.

Aaaaaaanyhow….mint chip bon bons. They’re great. Try them yourself. Super easy, super fun, super satisfying. Enjoy!

Pure mint deliciousness

Ingredients – Ice Cream

3 cups half-and-half

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp mint extract

2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted (not chips!)

Ingredients – Chocolate Coating (for 12 Bon Bons)

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted (not chips!)

1 tsp vegetable oil

Method

Scoops of mint chip ice cream

One of the great things about this recipe is that it is egg-free, which in the ice cream world means hassle free. While I generally prefer custards (they’re much creamier and often a more robust flavor) they require an additional step of tempering eggs. It’s certainly worth it, but in a pinch, egg-free ice cream will do. This ice cream recipe contains 4 ingredients and nothing more. No preservatives, no junk, no nothing. Just pure mint-chocolatey goodness. I’ll raise a scoop to that!

First, make the chocolate chips by melting 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate (not chips, but the 1oz blocks) in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir and repeat until the chocolate is fully melted. Spread the chocolate into a very thin layer onto a piece of parchment paper. Transfer to freezer and let harden until you’re ready to break the chocolate into chips.

Scoops of ice cream with toothpicks

Next, make the ice cream. Pour three cups of half-and-half and sugar into a medium pan and heat until small bubbles form around the edges. Whisk periodically so that the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and stir in the mint extract. If you want a stronger mint taste then add a bit more mint extract, but remember, a little goes a long way, so I would suggest adding in a drop at a time, whisking thoroughly, and then tasting to be sure you haven’t overdone it! Let this mixture cool completely, and transfer to the refrigerator to chill.

Once the mixture is fully chilled, transfer to the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 2o minutes). While the mixture is churning, take the chocolate sheet out of the freezer and using a paring knife, slice the chocolate into very thin slivers to make chocolate chips (if done correctly, the chips will almost look like little slivers of glass). Approximately 5 minutes before the mixture is done churning slowly pour in the chocolate chips. Once done churning, transfer to a freezer safe container and let harden overnight.

To make the 12 bon bons line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a scoop of ice cream, and transfer quickly to the baking sheet. Put a toothpick in each scoop and return to freezer. You’ll need to work very quickly here or else the ice cream balls will melt. Let them harden in the freezer for a few hours before you begin dipping. (You will have leftover ice cream which you can either enjoy itself, or you can double the chocolate and make an additional dozen bon bons.)

When you’re ready to coat the bon bons, melt the 6 oz of chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir, and repeat until the chocolate is completely melted.

The finished product! Bon Appetit

Remove the ice cream from the freezer, pick up each ice cream ball by the toothpick and dip very quickly into the warm chocolate. Flip over and repeat on the other side. Remove the toothpick and immediately transfer to the freezer. Repeat until you’ve done this with all 12 bon bons. This is an extremely messy process and not an exact science. The bon bons will not be the most beautiful shape, that’s OK. I promise, they taste delicious. Let harden in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before enjoying. Serve with a fresh sprig of mint and voila, you have your very own mint chip bon bons!

The Verdict: Delicious! The chocolate shell is quite thick, so if you don’t want so much chocolate coating, feel free to only dip one side, or to drizzle the chocolate on top instead of fully immersing the ice cream balls into the chocolate. No matter how you shake it, the combination of mint and chocolate is truly irresistible and very refreshing! These are a perfect dessert for any meal!

 

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

2 Feb

“The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything; the young know everything.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Signature Ice Cream - coming right up!

This ice cream is sinful. Not normal. Insanely good. So good, in fact, that it’s topping my leader board and becoming a 365scoops signature flavor.

As you all know, it’s birthday week at 365scoops and I’ve had the distinct pleasure of making ice creams for a few of my nearest and dearests!  I served this flavor on Sunday at Baby S’s first birthday party and all her cool family and friends loved it. So much so, in fact, that her grandfather told me “In my rolodex, 365scoops is listed as #1 under ice cream.” Hilarious! Not to sound like a moron but who uses a rolodex anymore? Too funny!

Needless to say, all the little yentas loved this flavor. In fact, they requested that this become a Signature Flavor for 365scoops. So, your wishes are my command!

Behold, the power of salty and sweet!

This flavor is perfect for anyone with a brain who loves the combination of salty and sweet. The rich vanilla bean ice cream is a great backdrop for the salty yet sweet caramel swirl (heavenly) and the chunks of chocolate covered potato chips. Coming from someone who usually prefers chocolate-based ice creams, this vanilla bean was so creamy and perfect that you should RUN don’t walk to make this flavor at home. Enjoy!

Signature Flavor: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

Flavor created by 365scoops; vanilla ice cream adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop; Salted Caramel from Smitten Kitchen

Swirling in the vanilla bean paste

Ingredients: Ice Cream

3 cups half-and-half

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbs vanilla bean paste

1 tsp vanilla extract

Salted caramel (recipe below)

1 cup chopped (in big pieces!) Trader Joe’s chocolate covered potato chips

Sugar browning, ever so slowly

Ingredients: Salted Caramel

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
A few grinds of sea salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Method: Salted Caramel

Melt the sugar over medium to moderately high heat in a larger pot than you think you’ll need–at least two quarts, whisking or stirring the sugar as it melts to ensure it heats evenly. Cook the liquefied sugar to a nice copper color.

Starting to caramelize

Add the sea salt and butter and stir until the butter melts. Lower the heat and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream, whisking the whole time. The sauce will foam and hiss; just ignore it and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Taste it and if you think it needs more sea salt, grind in a bit more. Set aside until needed. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, but you’ll be using it all in this outstanding ice cream!

Adding in the butter and it foams up

Method: Ice Cream

In a saucepan heat the half-and-half until small bubbles form around the sides. Set aside. While the mixture is heating, whisk together three egg yolks and sugar in a large heat-proof bowl until the mixture thickens and turns a pale yellow. Temper the eggs by slowly pouring in the heated half-and-half and whisking together. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, add in the vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract. Heat the mixture until it reaches 175 degrees or is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Let cool completely before refrigerating for 1-2 hours.

Look at that beautiful salted caramel!

The Great Assembly

Once the ice cream is chilled, pour into the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Approximately 5 minutes before the mixture is done churning pour in the chocolate covered potato chips (make sure they are pretty good sized chunks).  Once done churning you’ll need to assemble the ice cream with the salted caramel swirl. Scoop 2 tbs of caramel on the bottom of the freezer safe container. Layer with a hefty scoop of ice cream. Repeat, until you fill the container, each time digging the spoon to the base of the ice cream and swirly very gently so that the caramel swirls throughout the ice cream. Top with a few extra potato chips for good measure and return to the freezer to harden. When you’re ready to eat it, grab and spoon and dive in straight from the container. No need for a bowl on this one.

Dig in!

The Verdict: Considering my peeps said to make this a signature flavor, I think that speaks for itself! In the words of Rachel Ray, Yum-O! Happy Birthday Baby S. I hope you enjoyed it too!

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

17 Jan

“I want to sit down, and I want to laugh. Nothing works better for me than watching somebody slip on a banana peel. “~ Diane Lane

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

To say that I hate bananas is a gross understatement. For those of you who know me, you know that I loathe bananas. I despise bananas. I am utterly repulsed by bananas. They smell. The consistency is disgusting. And the sound they make when people eat them? Uch. Fuggedaboutit. And what’s worse? A rotten banana.

Each year for The Husband’s birthday I make him chocolate chip banana bread. It’s a labor of love. I pinch my nose the entire time while baking it, and each time, he calls me a baby. I swear that I am allergic to bananas. In fact, sometimes I tell people that I have a very serious banana allergy just so that I don’t have to explain that I actually dislike bananas.

This year, The Husband turned the big 3o. I’ve been prepping myself for this day for years and as his “much younger wife” it’s my duty to remind him, day in and day out, just how old he has become (and just how young I remain!) As a special treat for his birthday I decided to make an outrageous triple-layer chocolate peanut butter cake (it was breathtaking!) with none other than…drumroll please…banana ice cream.

Now that’s love!

Two rotten bananas + two fresh bananas = gross!

To make this banana ice cream I used two uber-rotten bananas, and two fresh ones. The combination was perfect, and really mimicked the taste of banana bread. (Or so I’ve been told — this is actually the first ice cream that I have not tasted, so technically I cannot vouch for it’s quality). To further enhance the banana flavor I caramelized the bananas first – and again, I’ve been told by the royal taste-testers that this was well worth it. While I’d love to add my own personal opinion of this ice cream, I will never, ever taste it. Mark my word. You’ll just have to trust The Husband and our friends who ate this ice cream. They seemed to like it, a lot, and I think you will too.

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and David Lebovitz

Bananas smothered in brown sugar and butter

Ingredients

2 yellow bananas

2 brown bananas

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbs butter

1 1/2 cups cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

3 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

Method

Caramelized bananas

Cut the four bananas into small discs. The very ripe bananas will not cut as cleanly, that’s fine, just break into small pieces. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the bananas in it. Sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped butter. Toss well with hands and bake for 35-40 minutes until the bananas get very soft and begin to roast and caramelize.

While the bananas are cooking combine the cream, whole milk, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Whisk until small bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk together the three egg yolks, slowly adding in the white sugar until the egg yolks thicken and become pale yellow. Slowly temper the eggs by pouring the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, stirring in between each pour.

At this point, the bananas should be done roasting. Remove them from the oven and set aside.

Tempering the eggs

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the medium saucepan and heat until it reaches 170 degrees and the eggs are fully cooked. If you don’t have a candy thermometer the mixture is cooked when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.

Next, add the bananas into the milk mixture. Stir thoroughly to break up the small banana pieces. Transfer to a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth. Let the banana ice cream base chill completely before refrigerating for at least two hours.

Mixing in the bananas before pureeing in the blender

Transfer the fully chilled mixture into the base of an ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, approximately 20 minutes. When it’s done, freeze for at least 2 hours to firm up, or enjoy “soft serve” straight out of the machine.

The Verdict:  I asked The Husband what to write here – after all, I never tasted this flavor, so how could I know. In his words, “this $hit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S”. Enjoy!

They say it's delicious...

Gluten Free Coffee Oreo Ice Cream

12 Dec

“All the coffee in Columbia wouldn’t make me a morning person.” ~ Unknown

Coffee Oreo. Totally delicious.

Amen to that. I used to think that I was a morning person. Who the hell am I kidding? I am delusional, irritable and flat out cranky in the morning. Don’t even try talking to me if I haven’t slept the night before. You will regret it. I always thought that when I “grew up” I wouldn’t need sleep as much. Au contraire, mon frère! When left to my own devices on the weekend I can sleep until 1pm. And I do. Regularly. Recently someone asked me to go to the gym at 11am on Sunday. Nope, I’ll still be sleeping. The person looked at me like I had 2 heads. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

This ice cream flavor pays homage to my favorite flavor ever: coffee oreo at JP Licks. In fact, coffee oreo yogurt was the first flavor I ever made at 365scoops. This time, however, it’s gluten free!

Look at those cute little Oreos!

Usually I’m not a fan of imitation anything. Fake sugar, no thanks. Fake cheese, eh. Fake milk, hell no. Up until recently I may have even turned my nose up at “fake” oreos as well. Not this time! I was on a mission to make coffee oreo ice cream as a special treat for my gluten-free best friend. In fact, it’s been one year since she started the G-Free diet and it’s going swimmingly! Coffee Oreo used to be her favorite flavor, but those dang oreos are loaded with so much gluten that she can no longer eat them.

Milk, coffee and sugar. Nothing wrong with that!

Lucky for me, an awesome store recently opened in my ‘hood called G-Free NYC and as a result, I was able to make this fabulous ice cream treat just for her!

So, take a spoonful of this sinful G-free coffee oreo ice cream. Trust me, it’s the perfect way to start your Monday morning (some people drink coffee, I eat coffee ice cream!)

Gluten Free Coffee Oreo Ice Cream

Ingredients

3 cups half-and-half

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

3 1/2 tbs good quality instant coffee (funny enough, I used Maxwell House)

1 1/4 cups chopped Gluten Free Oreos

1/4 tsp ground coffee (I used Cafe Du Monde Coffee and Chicory)

1 tbs Kahlua

Adding the kahlua and instant ground coffee

Method

In a medium saucepan heat 2 cups of half-and-half, the sugar and the instant coffee until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from heat.

Whisk together the three egg yolks, and slowly pour the coffee+milk mixture over the eggs. Stir well.

Pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan, add the kahlua, and heat until it reaches 170 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. Remove from heat immediately and pour into a heat-proof mixing bowl. Add the last cup of half-and-half and the 1/4 tsp of ground coffee and stir well. Cool completely before refrigerating for at least 2 hours.

Chopped up and ready to go!

Once ready to churn, pour into the base of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning chop 1 1/4 cup Oreos and set aside. Approximately 5 minutes before the mixture is done churning  pour in the Oreos and let mix thoroughly. Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for 2 hours before enjoying.

Up close and personal. Look at those nice oreo chunks!

The Verdict: Unbelievable! I don’t want to sound like I’m speaking in hyperboles here, but honestly this stuff is good. Real good. Something about those G-Free Oreos enables them to retain their crunch — and the combination of cookie and oreo is, simply put, delectable! I highly recommend making this flavor, even if you aren’t G-free.

Strawberry Ice Cream

23 Oct

“Let me take you down

‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields

Nothing is real

And nothing to get hung about

Strawberry Fields Forever” ~ The Beatles

Strawberries and sugar...what could be bad about that?

It’s been two months since I had my last eggless ice cream.

That sounds like some sort of AA confession.

Truth be told, it is.

When I first started 365scoops I was making loads of ice cream but was petrified of using eggs. What if I gave someone salmonella? What if I overcooked the eggs and made chocolate scrambled egg ice cream? Tempering eggs seemed way out of my league and Philadelphia-style ice cream suited me just fine. Then one day I decided to start using eggs and to be honest, I haven’t looked back. I never thought I would say this but I absolutely prefer custard. It’s richer, creamier, and allows you to use whole milk/half-and-half instead of heavy cream. Bottom line: I’m addicted to ice creams and gelato made with eggs.

Enter Jeni. I’ve been following Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams since I started this blog and I’ve been waiting with bated breath for her highly-anticipated cookbook to hit the stores. Hearing that she uses cream cheese, corn starch and corn syrup instead of egg yolks, I was intrigued. So, when I saw her new cookbook in Williams Sonoma I knew I had to have it. The next thing I knew, I was at home reading each page of the cookbook, savoring the beautiful photos and drooling over her recipes. David Lebovitz raves about her, and so naturally she must be great.

I dove into her book head first and decided to make a good, old fashioned classic: Strawberry Ice Cream. If you like hard-packed ice cream, this is the recipe for you. If not, I say stick to the custards. But, roasting the strawberries, as described below, is a fabulous idea because it releases some of the extra juices and makes the flavor even more intense. Strawberry fields forever.

Washing the berries before use (always a good idea, even when they're organic!)

Strawberry Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Ingredients (Roasted Strawberries)

1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/3 cup sugar

3 tbs fresh lemon juice

Ingredients (Ice Cream Base)

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 tbs cornstarch

2 ounces (4tbs) cream cheese, softened

1/8 tsp fine sea salt

1 1/2 cups half-and-half (1/4 cup reserved until later)

2/3 cup sugar

2 tbs light corn syrup

Corn starch and milk mixture

Method

First you’re going to roast the strawberries (note: I don’t have a roast function in my tiny NYC apartment kitchen, so I did bake, and it was just fine). Preheat oven the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the strawberries with the sugar in a glass or ceramic baking dish, stirring gently to mix well. Bake for 8 minutes or until just soft. Let cool slightly. Puree the berries in a food processor with the lemon juice. Set aside.

For the ice cream base: mix about 2 tbs 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.

Combine the remaining milk, half-and-half, sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Adding the warm milk mixture to the bowl

In a separate heat-proof bowl gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the strawberry puree and the remaining 1/4 cup of half-and-half  and blend well. Let the mixture cool completely before refrigerating for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer into a freezer safe container and freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, approximately 3-4 hours.

Enjoy!

Mixing the strawberry mixture into the ice cream base

The Verdict: Honestly I was not too impressed. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of pureed berries, and I used approximately 3 1/2 cups – which just goes to show that this original recipe lacked flavor. Once I added enough berries it was much tastier and when drizzled with hot fudge sauce it was simply delicious. But, being that this ice cream was not made with eggs, it got harder and icier in the freezer than a typical custard so I suggest eating it the same day. Try your hand at this flavor, but I would recommend using 3 egg yolks instead of the cornstarch, corn syrup and cream cheese (follow any of my other recipes with eggs to  learn how to temper), the same proportions of everything else, and it will provide a much yummier texture.

One tiny little apology – I forgot to photograph the final product. My bad. You’ll just have to imagine that it looked like this  because it did!

Mocha Choca Latta Gelato

19 Oct

“Mocha Choca latta ya ya (oh oh oohoh ) 
Creole Lady Marmalade”  ~ Lady Marmalade

Mocha Choca Latta

Top of the morning to ya.

As of late, that’s become my favorite greeting. It’s weird, it’s retro, it’s fun.

Last night was a big day for 365scoops – we debuted our flavors at the Real Bloggers of NYC. Not to toot my own horn (wow, another awkward expression) but it seemed that the ice cream went over swimmingly! We served over 100 cups of ice cream from 15 pints of freshly churned flavors including Tiramisu, Charleston Chew, Key Lime Pie, Peach Sorbetto, and Vanilla Bean.

This morning, however, I was zonked. So zonked, that I needed a cup of caffeine – stat. For those of you who know me, I cannot drink caffeine. I become crazy, nutty, loopy and shaky (not so different from the present, non-caffeinated me). Not good things when I’m trying to work at my day job. But, alas, I had to succumb to my urges and drink coffee. In so doing, I realized that caffeinated ice was in order. After work, I marched myself home to create this very flavor.

Fun fact:

Adding the coffee to the milk and cocoa mixture

Shakers banned the consumption of coffee because they felt it was a luxury, but shortly thereafter the older members of congregations complained, so the elderly were allowed to drink coffee in the morning.  Upon hearing this, the women in the community became very angry with the unfairness of the rule, so they lobbied and received the right to drink coffee the mornings of communal clothes-washing as well.  SO despite their reputations of being stringent and unyielding, Shakers did sometimes show some flexibility!

Mocha Choca Latta Gelato

Inspired by Ben and Jerry’s 

Whisking the eggs and sugar

Ice Cream Ingredients

2 1/4 cups half-and-half

3/4 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

3 egg yolks

3 tbs good quality instant coffee

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

Mocha Sauce 

Adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe here

Method

This happens to be a very simple (and wildly delicious recipe). I made the ice cream with caffeinated coffee (duh) but have also made versions with decaf and it tastes exactly the same and still delicious.

The mocha sauce comes to life

Make the mocha sauce here and set aside.

Warm the milk and half-and-half in a large pot until small bubbles form around the edges. Whisk in the cocoa and instant coffee and stir vigorously so that it dissolves. Set aside.

Whisk together (I used my new fun blue whisk!) the three egg yolks. Slowly add in the sugar until it is dissolved and the yolks are pale yellow.

Pour the hot coffee/chocolate mixture into the egg mixture (slowly so they don’t scramble!) and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture back into the large pot and heat until the mixture either coats the back of a spoon, or it reaches 185 degrees.

And it reaches 185 degrees. Eggs are cooked, phew!

Let the mixture cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Once the mixture is cooled, pour into the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes).

Scoop into a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Drizzle with the mocha sauce and enjoy!

The Verdict:  Hit the spot. I’m sick and tired of saying “yummy” so this time I’ll say, delectable! Really, this is good stuff. I even put a scoop of it in my coffee this morning, and let me tell you, I do not regret it. A perfect, creamy addition. Enjoy!

Pomegranate Champagne Sorbetto

4 Oct

“Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil.” ~ Song of Solomon

Dig in!

Ok let me be clear about one thing. This quote is rather erotic – and maybe not totally appropriate for an ice cream blog, but in the spirit of researching the biblical significance of the pomegranate, this seemed apropos. I should also note that if The Husband recited these lines to me as some sort of a love poem, I’d vomit. Let me be clear, if my cheeks were like halves of a pomegranate I’d probably look like a chipmunk, or maybe like I just had my wisdom teeth removed. That ‘aint no compliment. Oh, and I don’t want to be told that my mouth is lovely. That’s like saying I’m really good at eating. Gee, thanks. Solomon, I think you need to try a little harder with your pick up lines. These just stink.

This recipe is the second in a series of Jewish New Year sorbet posts. I’ve decided to use fruits that are quintessentially Jewish – or that are prominently featured this time of year. Enter the pomegranate. This beautiful fruit, though a big fat pain in the tuchas to peel, is rather significant in Judaism.

Adding the champagne to the simple syrup

First, legend has it (though I cannot personally confirm because I do not have the time to sit there and peel and count the seeds) that the pomegranate has 613 seeds. This number is of great significance in Judaism as it corresponds to the number of mitzvot, or commandments in the Bible. Second, the pomegranate is one of the seven original species of fruits and grains enumerated in the Bible. In fact, upon entering the Land of Israel, the Israelite scouts brought Moses a pomegranate, to show that the promised land was fertile. This, my friends, is precisely why we eat the pomegranate on the new year (that and it’s harvesting season is September – December, so eco-conscious foodies would approve!).

And as for the champagne – well, let’s be honest, there really isn’t much of a significance, other than this new year is cause for celebration, so let’s pop open a bottle of bubbly. You should know that when we opened it, The Husband did a piss poor job because the champagne literally exploded everywhere – including all over this recipe. Good thing enough remained to make this sorbetto.

So, in the spirit of the new year we bless one another with prosperity and fertility, health and happiness. May your good deeds and kindness be as numerous as the pomegranate seeds. Here’s to a sweet new year.

The sorbetto with it's main ingredient, POM

Pomegranate Champagne Sorbetto

From Ciao Bella

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice

1 cup champagne, chilled

Simple Syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice (I omitted this)

Method

Prepare the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high  heat and bring to a boil, whisking often to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 minutes, while continuing to whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool, then transfer to a bowl or container, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

In a large bowl whisk together the pomegranate juice, champagne, simple syrup and lemon juice (if you use it). Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. When ready to eat, drizzle with pomegranate seeds and enjoy.

Pomegranate Champagne Sorbetto

Cheers!

Note: Because this recipe involves alcohol, you’ll notice that even after 20 minutes (the usual churning time) it does not fully freeze. It’s going to be slightly more liquid than other sorbets, so just keep in the freezer until right before you serve.

The Verdict: Wow! The first bite is all champagne. The second bite is all pomegranate. The third – a perfect mixture of the two. I must admit, even though I can appreciate how yummy this flavor is, it is not one of my favorite concoctions – partially because I don’t like champagne, and partially because I was so obsessed with the apple sorbet that I didn’t have any room in my heart for another flavor. But apparently my entire family (yes, all 30 of them who tasted it) actually preferred the Pomegranate Champagne Sorbetto. So, I was outvoted. They raved about this flavor. In fact, they loved it so much that I they may have successfully changed my mind. I’ve been converted. This flavor is good!

Pure deliciousness! Three cheers for the sorbetto

Apple Sorbet

28 Sep

Shanah Tovah U’Metukah

Have a good and sweet year

Apple Sorbet

Please forgive me, but this is going to be a rather reflective post. In honor of the Jewish New Year, which begins on sundown Wednesday evening, I am making a trio of sorbets, each one bringing forth a new flavor and blessing for the new year. This recipe, apple sorbet, carries quite a bit of meaning.

Ever since I was a little girl, my parents used to say that no matter what – the most important thing is that we have our health, and that we have each other. I never fully understood those words – they resonated, sure, I knew that it was very important to have family, but as a kid, you take good health for granted. As an adult, working for Project Sunshine I see the impact of health, both good and bad, on families across the country. Every day I am humbled by the generosity, strong spirits, and resiliency of these brave, young patients. In the face of such challenges, they smile, they laugh, and quite honestly, they elicit from me such joy and happiness that I am truly in awe.

Macintosh Apples. Good stuff.

It’s times like these that I am reminded of how blessed I am to have my health – and as my mom always said – to have “each other”. I am truly grateful for each family member and each friend that is part of my life. I can only wish that each one of you are blessed with good health, happiness and lots of sweetness as we embark on this new year together.

And now, a bit about the sorbet. Apples and honey are the quintessential combination during the Jewish New Year. There are many interpretations about the combination of apple and honey – and at the most rudimentary level – they represent the sweetness with which we should all be blessed each year. But on a deeper level, the apple is a rather famous fruit in our culture.  Midrash, or biblical stories, teach that the apple tree puts forth the nub of its fruit even before the leaves that will surround and protect the little fruit  are fully sprouting. This is a beautiful metaphor. Much like the apple leaves protect the fruit until it is truly ready to enter the world, so too do our family and friends protect us from the outside world until we are truly ready to venture into it ourselves. As each of one you embarks on a new journeys this year, I wish you the necessary shelter and support until you are ready to face those challenges, be they good or bad, and the strength to carry you forward to achieve each and every goal along the way.

Look at that beautiful star created by the apple seeds

That my friends, is why I’ve decided to make an apple sorbet. May your homes be filled with sweetness in the coming year. Here’s to good health and happiness.

Apple Sorbet

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients

3 Macintosh Apples

1 Gala Apple

2 cups Riesling wine

2/3 cup sugar

Honey (optional – but just enough to drizzle on top of your scoop)

Apples + Riesling = Pure Goodness

Method

Brace yourselves, this is very simple.

Core and seed the apples. Cut into 1 inch pieces. (Do not peel, the skin adds great flavor and color).

Put the apple pieces and 2 cups of Riesling into pot. Cover and let boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce to a simmer for 15-18 minutes. Stir a few times so that the apples cook evenly.

Straining the apples and syrup created from boiling the apples and riesling

Remove from the stovetop and pour the liquid into a heat-proof bowl. You’ll notice that a lot of apple pulp and skins will remain, and it looks a bit like apple sauce. Put the remaining chunky mixture into a blender (or you can use an immersion blender or food processor) and puree. Whisk the thicker, apple-sauce type puree into the liquid mixture. While it’s still hot, pour in the sugar and whisk until it dissolves. Cool completely before refrigerating for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes). Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for 2 hours before serving. When ready to eat, scoop into a bowl, drizzle with a little bit of honey (optional) and enjoy!

Here's to a sweet new year. Dig in!

The Verdict: While I don’t have input yet from the official taste-testers (my entire extended family!) I do know that this was one of the best sorbets I have personally tasted. It was so creamy you would think it was ice cream, and interestingly enough, the wine cooked off leaving behind a sweet, flavorful taste. In fact, the wine actually augmented the flavor of the fruit – it was just delightful and refreshing. I’m definitely going to make this again!

Happy New Year. Dig in!

Cappuccino Chip Ice Cream

14 Sep

One morning, a grandmother was surprised to find that her 7-year-old grandson had made her coffee! Smiling, she choked down the worst cup of her life. When she finished, she found three little green Army men at the bottom. Puzzled, she asked, “Honey, what are these Army men doing in my coffee?” Her grandson answered, “Like it says on TV, Grandma. ‘The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup.

Two cups of cappuccino chip ice cream. One for me. One for The Husband.

Kids say the darndest things!

When my sisters and I were little, we loved watching America’s Funniest Home Videos and Kids Say the Darndest Things (probably because we were forbidden from watching 90210, Friends, anything on Fox or MTV, in other words, anything that wasn’t G-rated). Irony of all ironies, Bob Saget, who we loved from Full House, hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos, but boy does he have a potty mouth these days. See mom and dad, that’ll show you! You should have just let us watch what we wanted – it would have avoided tons of fights. But, alas, we were pure and untainted by the trashy 80’s/90’s TV shows and I suppose we’re better people because of it…

Must. Have. Cappuccino. Now.

In my older years, I’ve started re-watching the Cosby show. I have to say, that show is outrageously funny. The other night I was watching it on my iphone in bed, when I began belly laughing. I woke up The Husband. He was pissed. I felt badly, but honestly, Bill Cosby is too funny for words. Now that’s a good wholesome show worth re-watching!

Mixing the coffee granules and cinnamon into the hot milk mixture

Onto the ice cream. I promise this post is about more than strict TV schedules and funny 80’s sitcoms. Fast forward 20 years and instead of watching innocent, harmless TV, I sit at a desk all day and drink coffee. Well, the sitting at a desk part is true, the all day drinking coffee is a slight exaggeration. You see, I love coffee. Unlike most people who drink it only for caffeine, I actually drink it because I like the taste. In fact, I can’t actually drink caffeine because it makes me so jittery and insane. I’m already Type A enough, I don’t need a dose of caffeine to keep me going! So, instead, I drink decaf coffee and savor the flavor.

Oooh look at that beautiful frothy swirl

If you recall, I can’t really have all that much dairy, and so while I love me a good cappuccino the milk doesn’t love me back, and by the end of the day, I’m paying for it. But, like any stubborn food lover, I ignore my belly aches and drink the coffee anyway. So, during a coffee-less morning last week, I began daydreaming about cappuccinos when boom – this flavor came to me. Cappuccino Chip. It’s the perfect mixture of coffee, cinnamon and cream. The chips add a great extra layer of texture and because they are infused with coffee and cinnamon, they match the ice cream’s flavor profile perfectly.

Tempering the egg mixture by slowly adding in the coffee cream into the eggs

In short, this is a great ice cream and it’s even more delicious when served in a coffee mug. The Husband and I loved it. Dig in!

Cappuccino Chip Ice Cream

Ice cream base adapted quite a bit from Ben & Jerry

The chips are a 365scoops original!

Ingredients

The Ice Cream

3 1/2 tbs good quality instant coffee

1 tbs cinnamon

3 large egg yolks

2 1/4 cups half-and-half

3/4 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

After melting the chocolate, patting it down to form the chips

The Chips

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 tsp instant coffee mixed with 2 tsp hot water

1 tsp cinnamon

Method

Heat the milk and half-and-half in a large pot on the stove-top. While the mixture is warming, whisk the three egg yolks together, slowly adding the sugar until well-blended. Once bubbles start to form around the edges of the milk, stir in the instant coffee and cinnamon. Remove from heat and slowly pour into the egg mixture. Add a little milk, whisk, and repeat. Congratulations, you’ve tempered the eggs! Now pour the liquid back into the pot and heat until it reaches 170 degrees F (so that the eggs are fully cooked). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before chilling completely in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Breaking up the chocolate, espresso, cinnamon chips before adding to the ice cream

While the mixture is cooling, make the chocolate chips. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl, add the cinnamon and coffee. Melt in the microwave on high for 15 seconds, stir, and repeat until the chips are fully mixed. This should take no more than 30 -45 seconds. Alternatively you can heat the chocolate in a double broiler but since I don’t have one, the microwave worked just fine. Be careful not to burn or overcook the chocolate!

Behold, the power of cappuccino chip ice cream!

Put a piece of wax paper on a plate or baking sheet. Scoop the chocolate onto the wax paper, and working quickly, flatten out the chocolate. You can either use your hands (as I did) or you can cover the chocolate with another piece of wax paper and use a rolling pin to methodically and evenly roll out the chocolate. Put the chocolate into the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

Once the ice cream mixture is completely chilled, pour into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, remove the chocolate from the refrigerator and break into small pieces. Approximately five minutes before the ice cream is done churning (which for me was after 15 minutes) add in the chocolate chips. Let the mixture blend thoroughly before transferring to a freezer-safe container.  Freeze for approximately 2 hours before enjoying!

One delicious cappuccino chip ice cream, coming right up!

The Verdict: Tastes just like a cappuccino! Success. The chips are a must for this flavor. Next time, I might cut the cinnamon a bit, especially because The Husband complained that it was too cinnamon-ey. Otherwise, it was really creamy and lasted quite well in the refrigerator. A real treat. A must eat. Grab a spoon and dig in!

Nutella Gelato

8 Sep
“Che cosa sarebbe il mondo senza Nutella?” ~ Nutella Slogan
(What would the world be without Nutella?)

Boy was that delicious.

I ask myself the same thing every day.

What was the world like before Pietro Ferrero and his son Michele invented Nutella? How did people live? The simple answer is, they didn’t!
Lately Nutella is everywhere. In fact, it’s so big – and so widely loved – that February 5th became World Nutella Day. Pimping their image, Nutella came out with a new advertising campaign claiming to be a healthy breakfast. This is where you lose me.  I am a self-proclaimed sweet-o-holic, but even I know that Nutella is no match for a healthy breakfast. In fact, the commercials claiming that it’s made with fresh hazelnuts, skim milk and “a hint” of cocoa is a bunch of malarkey if you ask me.
Let’s all do ourselves a flavor and admit that yes, Nutella is insanely good, and yes, Nutella is the perfect topping for any crepe or brownie, and yes, the Ferrero family is brilliant, but please, oh please, let’s not convince ourselves that Nutella is part of a wholesome, balanced diet. It’s not. And it never will be.
So, for the time being, let’s focus on the perfectly creamy treat, and how it found its way into my Gelato.

The not-so-secret ingredient

I made this flavor as a special gift for a friend who, not so subtly, mentioned that Nutella is one of her favorite things in the world. This girl has managed to put Nutella in everything from brownies to waffles. But, she doesn’t ever need an excuse to eat Nutella; she tells me that it’s just as good straight out of the container. As if I didn’t know that already.

I don’t necessarily discriminate against Nutella. In fact, give me a jar, and I’m likely to take a scoop right off the top. But during my informative tour of Amorino Gelato I learned that Nutella produced here in the US (typically sold in plastic bottles) and that produced in Europe (available in glass jars) actually taste quite different. Naturally, I made this flavor with the US-produced version (still totally delicious, don’t worry) but next time I’m going to use the European version for an even more authentic taste.
But for the time being, grab a spoon and dig in. The was absolutely outrageous and one of my personal favorites.

Adding Nutella into the milk mixture. Getting very excited.

Nutella Gelato

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis and Ciao Bella

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk

1 cup cream

1/2 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup Nutella, plus additional for topping

Toasted and chopped Hazelnuts, for topping

Whisking the egg yolks and sugar. Let the tempering begin.

Method

Heat the milk and cream in a heavy duty saucepan. Once bubbles start to form around the edges, whisk in the Nutella so that it fully incorporated into the liquid. Turn off the heat and set aside.

While the milk and cream mixture is heating, whisk together the 4 egg yolks with the 1/2 cup sugar in a large, heat-proof mixing bowl. Add sugar slowly until the egg yolks get thick and pale yellow. Once the sugar and egg yolks are fully blended, slowly pour in the hot milk mixture to temper the eggs. Once the milk and egg mixture is fully combined, pour it back into the saucepan and heat until the mixture reaches 170 degrees F (which is when the egg yolks are fully cooked). Add the vanilla and let the mixture cool completely before refrigerating for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heating the egg, milk, and Nutella mixture to 170 degrees F

Once fully chilled, pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn for approximately 20 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop into a freezer safe container (if you even make it that far) and freeze. When you’re ready to eat it, place two generous scoops of Nutella Gelato into an ice cream bowl, drizzle Nutella on top, add a few toasted hazelnuts and enjoy!

Up close and personal. Pure heaven.

The Verdict: This. Is. So. Good. (And very addictive . I’ve had two bowls in the time it took me to write this post). To be honest, though, when I first tasted this gelato it was too sweet for my liking (I know that sounds insane coming from a lover of all things sweet). But, once the gelato sat overnight in the freezer, it miraculously lost some of its sweetness, and the Nutella flavor became more prominent. There’s probably a culinary term for this phenomenon, but since I don’t know what it is, I recommend that you let this flavor sit overnight before eating it. The good news is that it’s still delicious (if not more delicious) a week later. I really just can’t get enough. Hopefully my dear friend, the self-proclaimed “Assistant Director of Flavor Creation & Tasting” liked this flavor as much as I did.