Coffee Stracchiatella Ice Cream

8 May

“Espresso is to Italy what Champagne is to France.” ~ Charles-Maurice De Talleyrand-Perigord, French Diplomat 18th century

Coffee Stracciatella. Mmm. Mmm. Good.

Coffee ice cream is my favorite. The other night I decided I needed coffee ice cream, as in, how could I possibly live without it. I took matters into my own hands and whipped up a fresh batch of coffee ice cream. It dawned on me that stracciatella would really make this ice cream off the charts. So, a few minutes before it was done, I melted semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled it into the ice cream. It was, for lack of a better word, insane.

A word about stracciatella. Originating from Italy, stracciatella is the quintessential Italian chocolate “chip” ice cream. It results from a technique in which one pours warm, melted chocolate into cold ice cream. Upon hitting the cold ice cream, the flow of chocolate immediately hardens into streaks, which get shredded (stracciato) into chips as the ice cream is stirred.

David Lebovitz. the guru of all ice cream gurus, notes that the trick to stracciatella is to pour it into your ice cream maker in a very thin stream during the last possible moment of churning. He’s right. I followed his lead, and these chocolate “chips” came out perfectly.

The coffee dispersing in the milk mixture

Back at 365scoops, just as the ice cream was churning The Hubby and his friend (who we shall call The Horse) came home after a sweaty game of basketball. To put it lightly, they smelled like holy hell. I wanted them to shower, stat. But no, not when fresh ice cream is churning! Perched over the machine like little puppies, the two of them proceeded to sweat and drool for 10 minutes until it was done. I transferred the ice cream into a container and placed it gently in front of them. A few minutes later I turned around and it was nearly gone. That’s right, almost completely polished off. I may be slightly guilty myself too… but the good news is that they loved it.

After eating the ice cream, the Husband told me that he had an” ice cream boner”. I was debating whether to put this on the blog. Afterall, ice cream is pretty much the most pure, unadulterated, child-like treat. And ruining this blog with profanities seemed unprofessional. Then I thought about it – and really his description is the best way to describe this treat. And so, my friends, it remains!

Tempering the eggs by slowly pouring in the hot coffee mixture and whisking it into the egg yolks and sugar.

Coffee Stracciatella Ice Cream

Ingredients

3 cups half-and-half

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

3 1/2 tbs instant decaf coffee

5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (not chocolate chips)

Method

What I love most about this ice cream is the simplicity of the recipe. One of the best things about home-made ice cream is that unlike conventional, store-bought, factory-processed ice cream, ours contains very few ingredients. This means less preservatives, and more nutrients. This means less sugar and fat and more quality tastes. In sum, home-made ice cream is so radically different from other ice cream that it shouldn’t even be compared. This flavor is a perfect example of how few ingredients can yield such a robust flavor.

I digress…

Glossy, creamy, beautiful semi-sweet chocolate

First, heat the half-in-half in a medium sauce pan until small bubbles form around the edges. Stir in the instant coffee and whisk until blended. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk together the three egg yolks, slowly pouring in the sugar until the mixture is creamy, thick and pale yellow.

Temper the eggs by slowly pouring the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring until the two mixtures are well combined. Pour back into the sauce pan and heat until the temperature reaches 165/170 degrees, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

The stracciatella right before The Hubby and The Horse got to it…

Once fully chilled, pour into the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes). While the mixture is churning melt the the 5 oz of semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave. Begin by heating for 30 seconds, mix, and repeat in 20 second increments until the chocolate is smooth and melted.

At the last possible minute (let’s say 2 minutes before the mixture is done churning) slowly pour in the melted semi sweet chocolate in a very thin drizzle. As soon as it hits the cold ice cream, the chocolate will harden and form little “chips”. When the ice cream is done churning transfer to a freezer safe container and let harden (or in our case, consume immediately) until you’re ready to serve it. And there you have it, coffee stracciatella ice cream! Enjoy

This is about how much remained after the two boys devoured the ice cream!

The Verdict: If The Hubby’s description above isn’t enough of a sell, this ice cream is supremely creamy and utterly delicious. If you’re feeling a little bit sassy, scoop a heaping spoonful on top of a cup of coffee, and there you have it, a coffee stracciatella affogato. Need I say more?

Pistachio Gelato

29 Apr

“I think everybody’s nuts.” ~ Johnny Depp

One pint of Pistachio Gelato coming right up!

I always say to people, if you think you’re family is normal, you’re nuts. And it’s so true!

When I was a little girl there used to be a nut factory called “The Superior Nut Company” located in some seedy neighborhood of Boston, and every time we’d drive by mother would say “that’s where I got you and your sisters.” Ha ha. Very funny. Turns out, I actually still giggle when I think of it. At least she considers us superior nuts, high-quality, Grade-A lunatics. Thanks mom!

So far, in my ice cream making life, I’ve only used peanuts in my ice cream. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of nuts (maybe because I am one?) and I find that they absolutely pollute desserts. But, when a customer requests a flavor, we jump for joy, and so that’s how Pistachio Gelato came to be.

I actually had a blast making this flavor (and apparently the customer had as much fun eating it as well, which always makes me feel good). The best part about pistachio ice cream is the rich, creamy, nutty flavor that each bite exudes. This, my friends, is the result of toasted pistachios that are then put through a food processor until they turn into “pistachio paste” and can be easily incorporated into the ice cream base. Stir in a little almond extract and some whole, roasted pistachios and you’ve got it made!

Whisking the egg yolks and sugar. Extra creamy!

Pistachio Gelato

Adapted from Ciao Bella and Jenny’s Splendid Ice Creams

Ingredients

3 cups half-and-half

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup of sugar

1/2 cup roasted**, unsalted pistachios – whole

1/2 cup roasted**, unsalted pistachios – pulverized into pistachio butter (recipe below)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp almond extract

Whole roasted pistachios before food processing

Method

**If you are able to buy pre-roasted pistachios, then no need to roast at home. But if you buy raw pistachios, you’ll need to roast them first, and here’s how:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, and cool. Set aside and follow the rest of the instructions below.

Heat 2 cups of half-and-half in a medium saucepan until small bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from the heat.

The pistachios are starting to crumble

Whisk together the four egg yolks, slowly adding in the sugar until it thickens and turns pale yellow.

Temper the egg yolks by slowly pouring in the warm half-and-half until the two are well incorporated. Pour back onto the stove top and heat until 170 degree F or thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, pour in the extra cup of half-and-half and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.

It's starting to look a little more like paste

Now it’s time to make the pistachio paste. While this process takes about 10 minutes, it’s completely simple and rather satisfying too. Have you always wanted to buy “natural” peanut butter but not wanted to spend the extra cash? This pistachio butter recipe can be substituted for peanuts, almonds, really any nut. It’s delicious. Spread it on toast with a little apricot preserves and you’re good to go.

I digress…To make the pistachio paste/butter, pour 1/2 cup of pistachios into a food processor and pulse for approximately 5-7 minutes until the pistachios crumble into small chunks, a chunky paste, and then ultimately a very creamy and smooth paste, with a little bit of oil settling on the side. You’ll know it’s done when it’s one uniform color and can easily be spread onto bread. You might occasionally have to remove the top of the food processor, and with a spatula or knife, scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor bowl so as to incorporate any rogue chunks of pistachios. Continue pulverizing until smooth.

Only a few more minutes...

Next you’re going to pour half the gelato base into a blender with the pistachio butter, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add in the remaining gelato base along with the salt, and almond extract. Let cool completely before refrigerating for 2 hours or overnight.

Voila! Pistachio Butter at its finest!

Once fully chilled, pour the mixture 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 remaining half cup of pistachios. Transfer immediately to a freezer-safe container and let freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight before scooping.

Like any home-made ice cream, remember to let it sit out for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

The final product!

The Verdict: The Husband said “oh wow, that’s really pistachio-ey”. Duh. It’s pistachio gelato, so I ignored him. While not a fan of pistachio gelato myself, I was still able to recognize that the ice cream was quite good. The best feedback, however, comes from my loyal customer, for whom this ice cream was made as a surprise birthday treat. It turns out that he loved it. In fact, he allegedly ate the pint in 2 days, insisting on sampling some at 2:30am when he returned home from traveling. That, my friends, is a glowing review!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

18 Apr

It was brought to my attention that a terrible ice cream tragedy is occurring in Brooklyn, NY.

Ice Cream Truck

Just as we New Yorkers welcome in the first few days of spring, and children are able to play outside for the first time in months, over- protective, selfish, and quite honestly, plain old mean parents are banning ice cream trucks.

That’s right. You read that correctly!

When I was a little girl, spring and summer were marked by the beautiful jingle coming from the local ice cream truck. In fact, when we were kids, if the ice cream truck would drive down our street we’d scream “Mom, come quick, the ice cream truck is here!” at which point we’d beg and plead for $1 for an ice cream. I’d usually order the strawberry shortcake. The Hubby says his personal favorite was the Chip Wich or Choco Taco. Both solid choices, if you ask me.

Fast forward to 2012 and the time-honored tradition of running after an ice cream truck is still a staple of every child’s spring and summer evening ritual.

Now that's the spirit

That is, until rude parents come into the mix. In Park Slope, parents are complaining that their children throw such wild temper tantrums when told “no” to getting an ice cream, that in order to reign in their “unruly” children, they think it’s best to simply ban ice cream trucks in Prospect Park.

You’ve got to be kidding me! Uch. A real shanda.

My favorite quote from the article comes from a nanny who wishes the worked-up moms and dads would just get a life. “They’re obnoxious,” she said. “There’s no harm in this.”

Have I mentioned how much I love her?

If you ask me, banning an ice cream truck, is like violating the First Amendment. Let kids be kids, and parents, stop being so darn bossy! Let your kid have an ice cream, trust me, it’s worth it!

Anniversary Ice Cream

5 Apr

“I’ve been looking forward to this for 364 days.” ~ someecards

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY 365SCOOPS!

Folks, you guessed it!  Today is the ONE year anniversary of 365scoops, and what a year it’s been!

Since we started last April 5th we’ve:

In honor of 365scoops’ anniversary, receive 10% off your next order throughout the month of April. Mention code 365ANN and consider it done!

Many people ask why I named this blog 365scoops. Simply put, I believe that everyone should eat ice cream daily, heck, a scoop a day keeps the doctor away! So, in honor of that motto, I’ve created a very special birthday ice cream treat.

Here’s to a wonderfully sweet, rich, fun and fulfilling year. Happy Anniversary 365scoops, I love you!

Look at that gorgeous vanilla bean swirl

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate/White Chocolate Covered Waffle Cones

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 chocolate covered waffle cones (recipe below)

Starting to caramelize the sugar

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.

Copper colored sugar, right before adding the butter and cream

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!

Ingredients: Chocolate Covered Waffle Cones

1 cup waffle cones, broken into small- medium pieces

1/2 cup melted milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup melted white chocolate chips

Freshly ground sea salt (optional)

Sugar and foaming butter...it's about to be delicious

Method: Chocolate Covered Waffle Cones

Carefully break the waffle cones into small-medium pieces.

Heat the milk chocolate chips then the white chocolate chips  in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and heat again for 10 seconds. Stir and repeat until the chocolate chips are melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate!

Dip half of the pieces of cone into the chocolate and coat completely. Repeat with the white chocolate. Place the chocolate covered cone pieces on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, and if you want, drizzle with freshly grated sea salt. Let the cone pieces harden in the refrigerator for approximately 35 minutes and reserve for later.

Creamy dreamy caramel

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.

Dipping the milk chocolate cone

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 waffle cone pieces.  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 swirling very gently so that the caramel swirls throughout the ice cream.

Beautiful chocolate and sea-salt covered waffle cones

Top with a few extra chocolate covered waffle cone pieces for good measure and return to the freezer to harden. When you’re ready to eat it, grab and spoon and dive in!

The Verdict: TERRIFIC!!! What a wonderful way to celebrate this most auspicious day….365 days of 365scoops! The Hubby and I had friends over to celebrate this occasion and they absolutely loved the ice cream. In fact,  

Up close and personal. Beautiful caramel swirls and chocolate covered waffle cones.


Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

3 Apr

“Brownie, you’re doing a hechuva job!” ~ President Bush

Chocolate ice cream with peanut butter fudge brownies. Yum!

This is a very special week at 365scoops. The first person to tell me why gets $5 off his/her next order!

Anyhow, on Sunday I taught a really fun ice cream class and my wonderful students brought so much joy and energy to the class, that it made making ice cream such a blast!

My students requested two flavors, one with a vanilla base (to be seen later this week) and one with a chocolate base. They told me that they love chocolate peanut butter, and immediately I knew that we had to swirl in some peanut butter brownies. I spent the week testing new recipes (which resulted in lots of additional junk food in Casa Sugar but what can you do?) and found the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and of course, chewy and fudgy.

Brownie crumbles

Many of my ice creams include baked goods, and for each of these recipes, I always slightly undercook the cookie or brownie. The reason being that when frozen into ice cream, these cookies or brownies harden quite a bit. If you use a fully cooked brownie, it will be rock solid when you take a bite. We all know that breaking a tooth on ice cream would really ruin the dining experience! So, instead, I shave a few minutes off the baking time (don’t worry the eggs are fully cooked!) and voila, you’ll have delicious home-made mix-ins!

Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

Ice Cream Ingredients

3 cups half-and-half

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces

1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder, sifted

1 ½ cups of peanut butter cup brownies, cut into small chunks

Chocolate shavings for the brownie mixture

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Ingredients

Adapted  from David Lebovitz

 4 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted undated butter

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1tsp vanilla bean paste

1/8 tsp salt (I added a bit more)

1/2 cup milk chocolate and peanut butter chips

1/2 cup mini peanut butter cups

Do you see those mini peanut butter cups? And the chocolate chips peeping through. It was totally delicious!

Peanut Butter Brownie Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with tin foil, making sure that it covers all sides of the pan. Grease with either butter or spray.

Chop the butter and the chocolate into pieces.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, stirring occasionally to break up the chunks.

Melt butter add and add the chopped chocolate, whisking thoroughly until all the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add in sugar and mix thoroughly. Add in the two eggs and again, mix completely.

Slowly add in the flour and salt and beat vigorously for 30 seconds.

Pour half the batter into the pan, sprinkle the milk chocolate/peanut butter chips on top, and cover with the remaining batter. Top with mini peanut butter cups  and bake for 23-35 minutes until the brownies set, but are still chewy and fudgy.  The brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to three days.

Triple chocolate decadence

Ice Cream Method

Sift the cocoa into a bowl. Pour in the chocolate chips and the chopped unsweetened chocolate.  Set aside.

Pour the half-and-half into a medium saucepan and heat until steam begins rising (but it’s not boiling). Once heated, pour in the triple chocolate mixture whisking vigorously until the chocolate is well-mixed and entirely melted. Continue heating the chocolate milk mixture until small bubbles begin to form around the edges. Set aside.

Whisk together the three egg yolks in a large heat-proof bowl, slowly adding in the sugar until the mixture thickens and turns pale yellow. To temper the eggs slowly pour in the chocolate mixture and whisk into the egg mixture. Pour back into a medium saucepan and heat until the mixture reaches 175 degrees or is thick enough to coat the back of a spatula. Remove from heat, cool thoroughly and then refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Whisking the three types of chocolate and half-and-half

When you are ready to churn pour into the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Approximately 5 minutes before the ice cream is done, pour in the brownie chunks. Transfer to a freezer safe container and let freeze for 2 hours before serving.  Enjoy!

The Verdict: I suppose you know something is good when we dig into the pan of freshly baked brownies and literally cannot stop eating them! As soon as they came out of the oven, my students and I had to taste them, and once we did, we were addicted. For every brownie chunk that we put into the ice cream, we took another one for ourselves. It was absolutely delicious. Dig in and enjoy!

Up close and personal. Dig in!

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

30 Mar

“Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.” ~ Kinky Friedman

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream. Bottoms up!

When I was a senior in high school my parents went away for a few days and left me to watch my sisters. It so happened that they were gone over St. Patrick’s Day, and the nice little Jewish girl that I was, I decided it would be fun (err my friends convinced me) to host a St. Patrick’s Day party, complete with green beer and green funnels.

Clearly an amateur, I decided to photograph the party, you know, to document how much fun we were having. A few days later, I had the photos developed (yes, this was before the days of digital cameras and facebook!) and they were INSIDE my school backpack. My parents came back from their trip, and we were all innocently eating dinner together when my mother said “So, did you have fun while we were gone? What did you do?” $HIT! I smell trouble. But I played it cool. “Oh it was fun, I went to Emily’s on Saturday night.” LIE #1

“Oh really,” she said, “I happened to be in the back hall and saw your bag with photos hanging out, so I looked and saw all these great pictures of you with green colored liquid all around our house.”

“That’s strange,” I said “because we were at Emily’s house.” LIE #2

“How funny,” my mom said “because I recognize all the furniture in those photos. Are you telling me that you moved all the furniture to Emily’s house?”

And that’s where it all went wrong.

“We sure did!” I said. LIE #3

Needless to say you can guess how the rest of this unfolded. I was grounded, and pissed off. The thing is, I thought I was being so clever and sneaky, but when you have parents who SNOOP through your stuff (those photos were buried deep within my backpack), it’s hard to get away with anything. This was the house that LIES built!

Anyhow, ever since that fun “party” (there were maybe 10 people, it was hardly a party, OK?), I have always had a soft spot in my heart for St. Patrick’s day.

So, in honor of that wonderful celebration (better late then never!), I present you with Chocolate Stout Ice Cream. Bottoms up!

Tempering the egg mixture

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients

1 cup (scant) milk chocolate chips

2 cups half-and-half

1/2 cup sugar

3 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup Chocolate Stout (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

pinch of salt

Method

Pouring the egg and milk mixture over the chocolate chips

Warm one cup half-and-half, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.

While this is heating, whisk together the three egg yolks.

Temper the eggs by pouring the hot milk mixture over the egg yolks, whisking vigorously. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until 170 degrees F or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or wooden spatula.

Pour the chocolate chips into a large mixing bowl and cover with a fine mesh strainer. Pour the egg/milk mixture through the strainer onto the chocolate chips and stir until melted.

Whisk in the remaining 1 cup of half-and-half, then the beer, then the vanilla.

Chill completely in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours.

Adding the chocolate stout to the ice cream base

Pour the mixture in the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes). Because this recipe contains beer it will be slightly softer and creamier when you scoop it out of the machine. Transfer to a freezer safe container and let harden in the freezer for at least 2 hours before scooping.

The Verdict: The Hubby brought a pint of this concoction to his office and needless to say, they loved it! Two people even ate it for breakfast (be still, my heart!). I don’t personally love beer, but I really liked this ice cream. It has the perfect amount of beer, and because I used chocolate stout, it really enhanced the chocolate ice cream base as well. Bottoms up!

Enjoy!

Strawberry Lemonade Granita

26 Mar

“A lot of people think Passover just means you can’t eat bread. But it’s so much more than that, and that’s what I find the hardest. I love ice cream, but it has corn syrup in it, so I can’t eat it.” ~Marsha Cohen*

*Oh, poor Marsha, don’t fret. At 365scoops we don’t use corn syrup in our ice cream, so you can always eat our creations!

Look at that beautiful granita!

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost Passover…where has the year gone?  I feel like it was just last week when we gathered around the Seder table scarfing down charoset and matzah ball soup. In honor of Passover, I was asked to write a piece for The Nosher and My Jewish Learning and provide you, my readers, with a Passover frozen treat.

Aside from the important themes of Passover, particularly those of freedom and liberty, Passover also means, at least in my world, a paucity of good desserts. While I am completely obsessed with ice cream, I also love sinking my teeth in a nice, moist piece of cake. That just ‘aint possible on Passover. The other major pain about Pesach is that no one ever has good cooking utensils. We always reserve the good stuff for the rest of the year, and often our pots and pans, let alone baking equipment for Pesach, ends up being pretty junky. Save for the amazing omelet pan that my parents have for Passover (I’m convinced omelets are better this time of year as a result of the pan) we don’t have nearly as many fun kitchen gadgets. Needless to say, this obviously goes for the ice cream maker as well.

Though I am a big supporter of a kosher-for-Passover ice cream maker, I realize that it’s a completely unnecessary expense. So, in the absence of an ice cream maker, you might be left with a dearth of good dessert ideas.

Zesting the lemons. Make sure to roll them in your hands first to warm up the juices.

Enter the granita. Originally created in Italy, the granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavoring. It requires absolutely no special equipment, and the beautiful thing about this granita is that it can be served as a dessert (perhaps with some fresh berries on the side) or as an intermezzo (or, as I prefer, an intermatzoh) to cleanse the palette between courses at the Seder. It’s your choice…and whatever you decide, you won’t be disappointed.

Strawberry Lemonade Granita

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

 Ingredients

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

Juice from 2 lemons (approximately 4 tbs)

Zest from 1 lemon

3 cups strawberries, hulled 

1 tbs potato vodka (optional)

Method

Tons of strawberries!

First make simple syrup. Normally simple syrup is made with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, in other words, a 1:1 ratio. However, this recipe cuts down on the sugar (you’ll thank me later) and ends up just fine!

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.

While the mixture is cooling, place the strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and vodka into a blender and mix until smooth.

Pour the cool simple syrup into the strawberry/lemon puree and blend until mixed.

Blending all the ingredients

Pour into an 8×8 square glass pan and freeze. After approximately 2 hours, check the granita. Once it has started to freeze run a fork through the entire pan and begin breaking up the ice to make little icicles. Return the dish to the freezer, then check the mixture every 30 minutes afterward, stirring each time and breaking up any large chunks into small pieces with a fork, until you have fine crystals of homemade granita!

If by mistake, you forget about the granita and it freezes solid, run a very sharp knife through frozen mixture from one side of the pan to the other to loosen the ice crystals. Then scrape a fork back and forth to create fine crystals. Scoop into a cup and enjoy!

Look at those beautiful granita crystals. Yum!

While this makes a quart of granita, it doesn’t actually serve as many people as a quart of ice cream. Expect to serve four people with this, especially because they’ll definitely come back for seconds!

Serve with fresh strawberries and a lemon wedge to enhance the presentation. Enjoy!

The Verdict: Delicious! The addition of potato vodka actually raises the freezing temperature, so the granita was slightly slushie. Plus, after a long Passover Seder, a little vodka might be a good idea!

The best part? No ice cream maker or tools required. This is a very simple crowd pleaser and absolutely refreshing as well. Granitas are a perfect treat for Passover or year round. Enjoy.

Nutella Molten Cake A La Mode

15 Mar

“You are the Nutella to my spoon” ~ Unknown

Dig in!

What a beautiful pick up line… If only The Husband used that one on me…

A few weeks ago my coworker joined pinterest and so graciously pinned my Nutella Gelato recipe. Lo and behold, a few minutes later it had been re-pinned a number of times (by people we don’t even know!). I felt like a mega celebrity and this got me thinking…I should probably create a 365scoops pinterest, after all, it’s a great way for people to learn more about my creations and of course, order ice cream.  In creating this page, I found myself getting lost in hundreds of dessert recipes, and the next thing I knew, it was an hour later. Who has time for this? It’s becoming “Pinsanity!” (I didn’t create this name, my coworker did, so creative, right?)

Anyhow, I found this great recipe for Nutella Mug Cake which I realized would be far superior with Nutella Gelato a-la-mode. So, on Saturday night, with an apartment full of friends, I set out to make this creation. Suffice it to say it was totally insane. These cakes cooked beautifully in the microwave (warning, do not try cooking two at once, they must be cooked individually) and then topped with freshly churned Nutella Gelato, a dollop of Nutella and fresh hazelnuts…what else can I say? Insanity.

Nutella Mug Cake A-La-Mode

Look at those globs of Nutella making their way into my gelato...

Nutella Gelato

Gelato adapted from Giada De Laurentiis and Ciao Bella

Gelato Ingredients

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup Nutella, plus additional for topping

Toasted and chopped hazelnuts, for topping

Whisking the tempered egg and nutella mixture together

Gelato 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.

All the ingredients for the molten cake, set and ready to go!

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. Once the ice cream begins churning, make the cakes.

Cake Ingredients

Cake adapted only slightly from The Family Kitchen

4 tbs self rising flour (I used regular flour, is there a difference?)
4 tbs sugar
1 egg
3 tbs cocoa powder
3 tbs Nutella
3 tbs 1% milk
3 tbs Canola oil

The first time I made this in a mug, it looked awesome, but you couldn't tell what was inside, especially with ice cream on top. So this time I tried making it in a glass...

Cake Method

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. If you wish to double or triple the recipe (these are rich!) go ahead, it can be doubled and just baked separately. Whisk well with a fork until smooth. Pour into a large mug and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes. The time depends on the wattage so it can take up to 3 minutes to cook.

Remove the cakes from the microwave and let cool for a minute before serving. Put two heaping scoops of ice cream on top (warning it melts extremely fast), along with a dollop of Nutella and crushed hazelnuts. Or, you can serve the mug cake on a saucer with 2 scoops of ice cream, Nutella and hazelnuts on the side. Either way, it’s totally sinful and outstanding!

The Verdict: Insanely rich and delicious! This cake should definitely be shared between two people (and that means a lot coming from a sweet-o-holic!). Topped with dollop of gelato, nutella and toasted hazelnuts, I’m telling you, yum yum yum! This is the perfect dessert for National Chocolate Week, dig in!

Sinful! Totally easy and delicious. Enjoy

Peach Raspberry Hamentaschen Ice Cream

9 Mar

“Whoever ushers in Adar*, their joy shall increase!”  

Peach raspberry ice cream and raspberry hamentaschen

Friends, it’s the Jewish month of Adar* and you know what that means? Purim! And hamentaschen, and candy and drinking and fun!

But mostly hamentaschen.

Prepping the peaches

For those of you who are not familiar with these adorable three-cornered treats, Hamentaschen are triangular cookies, traditionally filled with jams, and eaten during the holiday of Passover. Their shape is modeled after the three-cornered hat worn by the holiday’s villain, Haman. The holiday of Purim commemorates the day when Haman cast a lot (aka “pur”, hence the name “pur”im) to determine the day on which he would kill the Jews. After a turn of events, the Jews were not killed and instead, killed the enemies who wished to destroy them (not such a great thing to celebrate in my opinion, as we should not rejoice as our enemies fall…but that’s besides the point). On this joyous holiday we celebrate by donning costumes, giving gifts to the poor, giving food gifts to friends, reading a megillah (scroll book), imbibing, partying, and of course, eating Hamentaschen.

Scraping the vanilla bean and making vanilla sugar

Anyhow…I wanted to make a hamentaschen ice cream, but putting bits of these cookies in the ice cream would get soggy, and nobody likes soggy ice cream. So, my mother suggested making peach raspberry ice cream served with a peach or raspberry hamentaschen on the side. Sounds great to me.

Like usual, I combined a number of recipes to make this treat. Suffice it to say, it may not have been worth the effort. Either it’s not peach season (well, I know it’s not peach season) or I didn’t use enough peaches, or my recipes were just all so-so but I was not impressed. It’s OK, you win some, you lose some. And let’s be clear, this flavor is by no means awful it’s just not my favorite. The hamentaschen, however, now those were the bees knees!  Thanks to Not Derby Pie for this yummers recipe.

Peaches smothered in vanilla bean sugar

Peach Raspberry Hamentaschen Ice Cream

Adapted from Sips and Spoonfuls and Ciao Bella

Ingredients

6 peaches, cut in half, depitted

1 vanilla bean (scraped)

3 tbs sugar

3 cups half-and-half

3/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 cups frozen raspberries

a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice

Method

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Place skin side down in a baking dish.

Peaches...roasted and toasted

Scrape out the vanilla from the bean and mix with 3 tbs of sugar. Sprinkle over the peaches. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and then broil for approximately 5 minutes until the tops caramelize and brown a bit.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely. While the peaches are cooling, make the ice cream base. Heat the half-and-half in a large saucepan until small bubbles form around the sides. Remove from heat and set aside. Whisk together the two egg yolks with the 3/4 cup sugar until it thickens (it will get very thick and almost impossible to whisk because you will only be using 2 yolks). Temper the eggs by pouring in the hot milk mixture slowly into the egg yolks, whisking thoroughly until well-blended. Pour back into the saucepan and heat until it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside and cool.

Adding raspberries to the peach puree

Once the peaches have cooled, remove the skin, and puree in a blender along with any other peach juices that remained in the baking dish. Pour in the milk mixture into the blender and puree with the peaches. Slowly add in the frozen raspberries until the whole mixture is well blended. Squeeze in some lemon juice (to taste) and blend one more time.

There will inevitably be small pieces of peach skin and raspberry seeds in your mixture which you’ll need to strain out. So, pour the mixture a few cups at a time over a fine mesh strainer. Discard the seeds and skin, keeping only the perfectly smooth mixture. Chill completely in the refrigerator before churning.

Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes). Once it’s finished, transfer to a freezer safe container for at least 2 hours so that it can harden before you serve it.

To enjoy, put 2 hamentaschen on your plate (preferably a raspberry one and a peach one, get it?) along with a scoop of ice cream, and enjoy!

The finished product. Happy Purim!

The Verdict: Eh. I actually had a moral dilemma posting this flavor. You see, I knew from the moment that I roasted the peaches that it wasn’t going to be too flavorful. I didn’t want to waste the precious ingredients, but then again didn’t want to make a yucky flavor, and post it in public. The Husband reminded me that people actually enjoy reading about my failures (thanks peeps!) and that it keeps me honest to post flavors that are not as terrific as the rest. Because, let’s be honest, not every flavor is going to be a winner. While this flavor lacked a little flavor punch, it was still very, very creamy. So, on that note, enjoy this fruity ice cream and if nothing else, Happy Purim!

Ice Cream Making 101

6 Mar

“I doubt whether the world holds for any one a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice-cream.” ~ Heywood Broun

A bevvy of beautiful ice cream makers

I was asked to write a post about making ice cream for Cook Kosher , a fantastic site dedicated to kosher cooking. Founded by brother and sister team, Leah Schapira and Zalman Roth, the duo shares terrific recipes, food news, tips and tricks. Below is an excerpt from my piece on ice cream making 101. To read the full article click here 

I still remember my first time like it was yesterday. It was a warm April day. The sun was shining. I got home from work early, giddy with excitement and eager anticipation. I have to admit though, I was nervous. What if The Husband found me? I was afraid of getting in trouble, of divulging my deepest secret. After all, I snuck this little toy into my apartment, and if he found me, oooh if he found me, what would I ever do?

And then it hit me. Who cares if someone finds out! I am so in love that I feel like shouting from the rooftop of my NYC apartment for the entire world to hear!

And that’s what I did.

Listen up everyone. I MADE ICE CREAM FOR THE FIRST TIME!

There, I said it. I feel so much better now!

That was 11 months ago, and the rest is history.

I set out to write 365scoops with the intention of making a few flavors of ice cream a week, blogging about the experience, and sharing with you, my loyal readers, the recipes and how-to’s so that you could create the very same flavors at home. Along the way, I tasted every type of ice cream and gelato I could find, for…errrr…inspiration…and market research! Now I’ve become a self-proclaimed ice-cream-o-holic. I cannot live without ice cream. In fact, 365scoops has grown so much, that we cater parties, sell ice cream, and even do tastings and demonstrations (shameless plug: visit 365scoops.com to find out how to score a quart of ice cream for your freezer!)

To read the full article and get some delicious ice cream recipes, visit Cook Kosher here! 

Happy ice cream making!