Thursday, May 27, 2010
As I've been raving about for weeks now, The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz is the be-all and end-all of ice cream cookbooks. If you don't want to get hooked on making ice cream, do not pick up this book. It explains the ice cream process in a simple way that makes you feel like you can conquer everything from homemade cones to velvety chocolate ice cream. You can get the book for cheap on Amazon (like most books, let's be honest). The ice cream maker itself is the only real investment, and you can get those for cheap if you're not crazy like me. All you need to do is crack open this book and your views on ice cream will be changed forever. You'll be the next convert of Lebovitz into the world of homemade ice cream.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I'm a Le Creuset junkie, as many people seem to be nowadays. This cabinet currently houses all of my dutch ovens. What, three is too many? Blasphemy! The red one was my first, the original. It's done me well, but I knew I needed another. Lots of my favorite recipes require dutch ovens, and having only one has been holding me back. I could never make a double batch of short ribs or make no-knead bread and coq au vin on the same night. Plus my 5.5 quart one really only holds enough food for 4. Yes, I only have two people in my family, but I love having people over for dinner, and most dutch-oven produced foods are great for dinner parties (slow-cooked food means you don't have to be slaving over the stove in front of your guests). So now I have a 5.5 quart round, a 6.75 quart oval, and a 5 quart oval French-oven. Please ignore the fact that they are the colors of Germany/poisonous snakes/Gwen Stafani. I guess now I have an excuse to buy another - to get rid of my bizarro color scheme.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
And John and I were greeted with the most perfect, simple dessert of all. Freshly churned vanilla ice cream. I topped mine with chocolate sauce the first couple of days, and then for the last two I decided I wanted the unadulterated vanilla flavor and went "plain vanilla." I hope everyone isn't tiring of my ice cream posts, because this summer, I'm hoping to make ice cream every weekend. Or sorbet. Or sherbet. Or frozen yogurt. Yum.
Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadelphia Style
Makes about 1 quart/liter
3 cups heavy cream (or 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk)
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour 1 cup heavy cream into a medium saucepan and add 3/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt. Split a vanilla bean from top to bottom and scrape out the seeds with a knife. Add the seeds to the pan and then add the empty vanilla bean. Warm the mixture over medium heat, mixing thoroughly until the sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes). Remove the pan from heat and add in 2 additional cups of cream (or 1 cup cream and 1 cup milk) and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Chill in the fridge for a few hours and then churn in an ice cream maker according the machine's instructions. Enjoy "plain" or with chocolate sauce.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Chocolate Fudge Sauce
From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
1 cup water
1/2 cup (50 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 oz (57 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Whisk 1 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup light corn syrup together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. After it boils, reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove pan from heat and add 2 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chopped chocolate. Stir the mixture until the chocolate melts. Serve warm over your favorite ice cream.
Chocolate sauce can keep for up to two weeks covered in a refrigerator. Rewarm sauce in microwave (be careful not to overheat) or in a saucepan over low heat.
Monday, May 17, 2010
perfect vanilla buttercream. Black and white cupcakes bring the best of both worlds together. When you're an indecisive Libra like me, it's good to have a dessert up your sleeve when you can't decide between chocolate and vanilla. But if you're also torn between a fruit dessert too, I can't help you there.
One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
By Martha Stewart
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 24 liners. Start by sifting together 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add in 2 eggs, 3/4 cup warm water, 3/4 cup buttermilk, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix for 3 minutes (by hand) until no lumps remain. Fill cups 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched by a finger. Cool completely before icing, preferably with vanilla buttercream.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
I have been cooking pizza so much at home that I finally caved and bought a pizza peel recently (the paddle you transfer pizzas to and from the oven with) and it helps a lot. If you get into homemade pizza like me, I highly recommend buying a stone and a peel. Both of mine are from Williams Sonoma and they are the biggest peels and stones that I've seen out there, which is helpful if you want to make big, thin pizzas like this gal.
All you need is pictured above: kosher salt, 28 oz. crushed tomatoes, one lemon, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, and fresh pepper.
Crushed Tomato Pizza Sauce
From Peter Reinhart's American Pie
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 cloves crushed garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or red wine vinegar or a combo of the two)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together well and use on your favorite pizza dough. Freeze the leftovers in 3/4 cup increments to save for easy pizza-making in the future.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Add the yeast (or water/yeast) to the flour along with 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey, 2 teaspoons salt (or 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt), 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 3/4 cups room-temperature water (remember to subtract out whatever amount you use to mix with the yeast, so if you use 1/4 cup with the yeast only use 1 1/2 cups otherwise).
Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Crust
By Peter Reinhart, American Pie
Makes four 10 to 12 inch pizzas
5 cups (22 1/2 oz.) high-gluten or bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 teaspoon instant yeast (or 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast - be sure to mix with some of your water)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt or 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 3/4 cups room temperature water
Using your paddle attachment, mix all ingredients in the bowl of your electric mixer. Once it is just combined, turn the mixer off and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Using the dough hook, mix the dough for 4 minutes on low speed until the dough comes together in a ball. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then mix it on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. The dough should stick to the bottom a little but not stick to the sides. The dough should be very sticky - add an extra tablespoon of flour or water to make sure it is sticky but still holds it shape. Divide the dough in four pieces and round into balls. Brush each ball with olive oil and either put in a plastic bag for freezing or a covered bowl for placing in the fridge. Let the dough rest in the fridge overnight. Remove two hours before using dough and place on a floured surface (probably parchment paper) slightly flattened. Preheat oven (if using a pizza stone) one hour before cooking the pizza. Heat your oven to the highest setting. Prepare pizza on parchment paper for easier transferring. Use a small amount of tomato sauce and a mixture of fresh mozzarella and pecorino Romano for an authentic Neo-Neapolitan flavor. Cook the pizza for 8-12 minutes until browned and bubbling.