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I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads.
~175g matzo (5 matzo), broken into rough pieces 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly slices 4-5 scallions, chopped 5 eggs 250g milk 150g kashkaval cheese (or similar), grated 100g feta, crumbled 1 tbsp lemon juice, or a little vinegar 1/2 tsp baking powder A pinch of MSG (skip it if you avoid it) Plenty of black pepper Chili pepper, to taste Salt to taste (depends on the saltiness of the cheese, apx 1 tsp)
The mixture can be made a day ahead. Place broken matzo in a large bowl. Heat the milk and pour over the matzo. This allowes for faster soaking, don't bother heating it if your making the mixture a day ahead. - Meanwhile, saute the leek until very tender. Mix into the matzo. - Make sure the matzo are not hot before mixing in the eggs and other ingredients. Pour into a well battered casserole dish. Lightly flatten. Bake in 200 C for 30-40 minutes, until nicely browned. Brush/top with butter mid-way baking for added crispness. - I find the dish to taste better, and be more crisp, once reheated. If you wish to, let it chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight before baking it again just until hot and crisp.
I've been working on this one for a while, and went through three different cocoa powders and three different chocolates. I settled on Peet's Dutch processed cocoa because it is good quality, not too expensive, and easy to come by. Peet's has been discontinued and now I'm using Cacao Barry Extra Brute. Valrhona 71% chocolate from the 3.5-oz bars worked best for me, although the 85% was good, too, but I wanted a less "bitter" taste and didn't want to use more sugar to sweeten or soften the flavor. If you like a more intense chocolate taste, the 85% will work, and you may not need more sugar. I weighed the chocolate and found that three squares of the bar equals 1.25-oz. Using more chocolate may result in a slightly thicker pudding, and therefore less cornstarch may be advisable.
I prefer to use 2% milk for this, but whole milk will be fine if that's your preference. My goal was to come up with a nice, rich flavor but keep the fat and sugar down as much as possible. 1% milk is not recommended, but it will work, sort of ...
1 teaspoon of espresso powder will be fine, but I preferred a little more kick in this pudding. I used Medaglia D'oro because it is easy to come by, not too expensive, and it seems to work just fine. I tried another brand at one point and, frankly, couldn't tell the difference. ETA 0n 7/19/2016: I now use Trader Joe's 100% Colombian Instant Coffee. It's less expensive than Medaglia D'oro and I prefer the flavor both in this pudding and for other uses.
Let me know how you like it ...
Shel’s Simple Old Fashioned Low Fat Chocolate Pudding
2 cups low fat (2%) milk - whole milk is OK
2 Tbs cornstarch
3 Tbs sugar
¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
2 Tbs good quality Dutch process cocoa
(1.25-oz 71% Valrhona Chocolate, chopped in small pieces)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant espresso powder
Heat 2 cups milk in microwave for about two - three minutes depending on power level. Pour ½ cup milk into a small bowl and add the cornstarch, sugar, salt, espresso powder, and cocoa, and stir until well mixed.
Put the remaining 1½ cups milk into a non-reactive saucepan, add the cocoa-milk mixture and the chopped chocolate, and heat on medium stirring frequently, almost constantly, until chocolate is dissolved and the mixture thickens. It should get to be almost lava-like, with an ocassional bursting bubble.
Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes, then add the vanilla extract and stir to incorporate well.
Pour into an appropriately sized bowl, or two to four serving dishes, let cool further, and then cover and refrigerate.
If you don't like a skin on your pudding, cover the pudding with plastic wrap or parchment paper cut to fit the bowl before covering and refrigerating.
Before serving, stir or whisk the pudding.
Honey Butter Japanese Sweet Potato
I always serve this dish with Tonkatsu. It is not too sweet and the flavors blend perfectly with the Tonkatsu sauce that is served with the pork.
1 sweet potato
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
Wrap the sweet potato in cling wrap and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes.* Cut into 1 1/2 inch thick strips.
Melt butter in a skillet and cook the sweet potato over medium heat.
When the potatoes are soft, add the honey, water and soy sauce to the pan. Mix well together and stir just until the liquid starts to turn to a syrup. Top it off with sesame seeds.
Instead of putting this in the microwave, I cut the potato into wedges and cook it in the instant pot for 2 minutes. This can be done a day ahead of when you need it.
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