Dark Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream

It’s our 7th wedding anniversary tomorrow, and after 408 days of stay-at-home because of a frickin’ pandemic, I wanted to make a fun dinner for us. And fun dinner calls for a fun dessert.

Happy anniversary, my love!

I adapted this recipe from It’s Always Autumn‘s Dark Chocolate Fudge ice cream recipe.

You’ll need an ice cream maker for this recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups 2% milk divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 cup 60% or darker chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package of 2-bite brownies

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, heat cream and unsweetened cocoa over medium heat, whisking until well combined.
  • When edges begin to bubble, remove from heat and add chocolate chips.
  • Let them sit for a few minutes to melt, then stir until smooth.
  • Whisk in one cup of milk. Pour mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
  • Heat remaining cup of milk, sugar, and salt in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring until combined.
  • While that continues to heat, separate 5 eggs, discarding whites. Whisk yolks.
  • Pour all the eggs back into the warm milk, whisking well.
  • Continue to heat mixture until it starts to thicken. When it’s thick enough to coat a metal spoon, remove from heat and pour milk/egg mixture over the chocolate mixture.
  • Add vanilla and stir until completely combined.
  • Cover mixture and chill in the fridge for 5-6 hours until cold.
  • Chop 2-bite brownies into small pieces and set aside.
  • Once cooled, churn in ice cream maker for 20-25 mins until it’s a soft serve consistency
  • Put ice cream into freezer safe container and fold in brownie pieces until incorporated
  • Freeze for 3-4 hours (or overnight) and take out of the freezer for 10 mins prior to serving

Doughnuts!

With great power comes great responsibility

Last weekend I wanted to give doughnuts a try. They turned out all well and good but they were super dense and very oily

During the week I reviewed several other yeast doughnut recipes and decided to give it another go. SUCCESS!

My thanks to Immal and her recipe for finally getting things right.

Doughnut Batter

  • 2 packs 1/4 ounce packages yeast or 4-½ teaspoon yeast
  • 1/3 cup water 105-115F / 40-46C
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup lard (75 grams)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil for frying

Doughnut Glaze

  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5-7 tablespoons evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. In a standing mixer, combine lukewarm water and yeast. Let it sit until dissolve for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile in a microwave safe medium bowl, heat milk for about 2 minutes. Remove and let it cool.
  3. Add, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening or butter and 2 cups of flour to bowl of yeast.
  4. Mix with dough hook attachment for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and continue mixing dough. Scraping down sides.
  5. Place dough in a large greased bowl. Cover loosely with a clean dishtowel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 2 hours or until doubled.
  6. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts using a donut cutter or cookie cutter about one 1-inch and one 3 or 4-inch .Let stand for about 10 minutes.
  7. In a large French oven, pour in canola oil until it is at least 3 inches (or about 5 centimeters) high and place on medium heat until oil is 375 degrees.
  8. Carefully drop doughnuts into hot oil, only a few at a time. (I used a slotted spatula to ease each doughnut into the oil) Fry, turning once, for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on prepared paper towels.

Doughnut Glaze

  1. In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter.
  2. Remove and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until everything comes together
  3. Then evaporated milk (or sub water) until you have reached desired consistency
  4. Dip doughnuts in glaze and let it drip on the rack.
  5. If desired, dip glazed donut into sprinkles or topping of your choice

Sticky Toffee Pudding

One of my favourite desserts when it appears on a menu is sticky toffee pudding, particularly when travelling in the UK.

I’ve always wanted to make this dessert and on a vacation day over Christmas holidays, it seemed like a good time to try.  Shout out to my fellow chef Samantha for going on this adventure with me!

The sauce: 

  • 2 1/2 cups 18% cream
  • 1 tbsp spiced rum
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap mollasses
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

The cake: 

  • 6 ounces pitted dates, preferably Medjool (about 7-8 dates)
  •  1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

Sauce:
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups of the cream with the butter, rum, molasses/syrup and sugar; bring to a boil. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 30 minutes. Carefully whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of cream.

Cake:   

  • In a small saucepan, simmer the dates in the rum/water over moderately low heat until the water is nearly absorbed and the dates are soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the dates and any liquid to a blender and puree until very smooth.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter four 1/2-cup ramekins. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then beat in the date puree. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the ramekins and smooth the tops. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean; let cool slightly.
  • Using a small serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes level with the rims of the ramekins. Unmold the cakes and invert them onto a wire rack. Slice each cake in half horizontally. Wipe out the ramekins and spoon 1 tablespoon of the toffee sauce into each. Return the bottom layers of the cakes to the ramekins, cut side up. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce into the ramekins and top with the remaining cake layers. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce over the cakes and spread evenly. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbling around the edges.
  • Let the puddings cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife around the insides of the ramekins; invert each pudding onto a dessert plate. Rewarm the remaining toffee sauce and spoon some around the puddings. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

This recipe yielded 4 puddings and LOTS of sauce.  Leftover sauce meant trying something else so this morning I added 1 tbsp of sauce to my latte and oh my… was that a great decision.

 

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Chocolate meringue cookies

And the Oscar goes to….

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These cookies. Crispy on the outside, fudgey and chewy on the inside. *drools*

I’m heading out for an Oscar party this evening and wanted to bring something decadent and delicious, but also something that wouldn’t take up several hours of my weekend to make.

I found this recipe here

Made a few adjustments, as I usually do,  and damn, these cookies fit the bill.  Also? They’re gluten free!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 ½ cups PC chocolate chunks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 large baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
2. Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a bowl. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.
3. Whip egg whites and vanilla until they start to form soft peaks.
4. Fold in dry ingredients until batter is just moistened. (Do not overbeat batter or it will stiffen.)
5. Drop batter by heaping teaspoonful onto baking sheets in evenly spaced mounds.
6. Bake cookies until tops are lightly cracked and glossy, about 13-14 minutes.

7. Let cool and then transfer to wire racks  using a spatula to cool completely. Careful, they may be soft and fragile.
8. Serve same day, or place in air-tight container for later.
Will make about 15ish cookies
Hooray for Oscar parties and hooray for these cookies!
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Brown butter salted chocolate chip cookies

It’s a bit of a February-blah kind of Sunday so I decided to try something new.

Making brown butter for first time:

 

Inspiration for this recipe was found here, though I made a few tweaks of my own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel chips
  • 1 package of Farm Boy milk chocolate drops
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions:

  • Make brown butter and set aside to cool.

  • Take salted caramels chips and run through food processor until they are finely chopped.

  • Whisk flour, baking soda, chopped caramel chips and kosher salt in a bowl.

  • In a separate large mixing bowl, pour brown butter in and mix brown sugar and granulated sugar. On medium speed, beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add eggs and vanilla and then slowly mix in dry ingredients. Once throughly mixed, fold in chocolate drops.

  • Let dough sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate. Dough will look very loose at first, but will thicken as it sits.

  • Preheat oven to 375°

  • Portion into “ping pong ball” sized dough balls and place on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Space evenly and do not flatten.

  • Sprinkle with sea salt.

  • Bake cookies until edges are golden brown and firm but centers are still soft, 9–10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Accurate representation of me trying these cookies once they were cooled:

Ontario fresh fruit cobbler

IMG_8754When friends give you rhubarb from their garden and the farmers market brings you fresh Ontario cherries and strawberries… you have to do something with them.

I love free-styling in the kitchen when I’m presented with ingredients I know will mesh well together, but I don’t neccesarily have a recipe to go on.  So I made this up as I went and oh man, did it turn out well.  *DISCLAIMER* sometimes the free-styling goes horribly wrong.  Not with the one, but it was touch and go for a while when it wasn’t baking in the middle. Read on… 

Here’s what I came up with –

Filling :
– 6 stalks rhubarb, washed and chopped into small pieces
– 1 quart of strawberries, washed and halved
– 1 quart of cherries, pits out, washed and halved
– 1/4 cup cornstarch
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– 1/2 cup caster sugar (super fine white sugar)

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Cobbler (cake): 
– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
– 2 tsp pure vanilla
– 1 1/4 cups milk
– 3 tbsp cold butter

Prepare:

Preheat oven to 350C

Take your prepped fruit and put in large mixing bowl. Mix in lemon juice and sugar and then toss in cornstarch. Set aside

In large bowl, take flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix well. Slowly incorporate milk until full mixed.  Stir in vanilla.

Cut butter into 6 equal squares (1/2 tbsp each) and place into your baking dish evenly. (I used a casserole dish with a lid)

Pour cobbler mix over butter.

Pour fruit mixture over cobbler mix

Put in oven, uncovered, for 30 mins.  Check at 30 mins mark, if brown on top but still uncooked in middle, put lid on and bake for additional 20 mins until you can draw a knife out cleanly

Serve with vanilla ice cream as a dessert OR bring it to work and eat it cold as a treat after lunch.