Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh man...I want one of these!

I had to make marshmallows for Heather's baby shower last Sunday.  I borrowed my Dad's Cuisinart stand mixer.  Oh. Man.  He and Mom managed to snag it for a great price when Linens 'n Things was going out of business.  Love this thing.  Love. It!   1000 watts of power.  Seven-quart bowl.  It's a monster!  Love the timer.  Just wish I had counter space for one.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Daring Bakers: For the Love of Chocolate

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.
Due to my being a total moron and mother of four children (three of whom have been sick over the past 10 days), we have photos of the cake but not the cake & ice cream.  :)  And like November's challenge, I enjoyed the main recipe so much, I made it more than once.
Once again, the challenge for Daring Bakers comes to the rescue when I have to take dessert to a potluck dinner with Care Group friends.  We had dinner at Jon & Mandy's (paella, which was wonderful).  I made the cake with Ghirardelli 70% Cacao Extra Bittersweet bar and it was delicious.  This cake is chocolate, eggs and sugar - I mean, really now.  Let's talk about how light and moist and PERFECT it was (thank goodness. I'm always afraid I'll do this and take it to a dinner and have bombed on the recipe).  It *does need* something creamy to cut the richness of the chocolate - so if you make this (and DO! It's easy, it's fabulous), remember to serve it with whipped cream or ice cream.  The night we had it with friends, we served it with an all-natural, premium vanilla-bean ice cream.  I did it again, later in the month, to serve with the ice cream recipe I'd decided to use.   The important thing to remember about this recipe is that it is ALL about the chocolate you use to make it. Use cheap chocolate, it's going to taste like cheap chocolate.  Use the best chocolate you can get your hands on or afford.  Ghirardelli was my budget limit when I made it this month - however, if I can get my hands on a pound of Amano....mmmmmm, THAT would be a most awesome cake.  (let me channel Bill & Ted here for a minute)
Ice cream: (no photo available thanks to the distraction of sick little Eggs) Brad and I received a Donvier Ice Cream Maker as a wedding gift and we've used it - oh, maybe five times in the past 19 years - - 18 years, 363 days ;) .  However, I've never gotten rid of it.  This past summer, though, I did break it out again and make ice cream with the girls.  We had great luck with the French Vanilla Ice Cream recipe that came in the instruction booklet for the maker. So, I elected to make that again. 
French Vanilla Ice Cream
3 eggs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
1 cup sugar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250 ml
2 cups light cream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .500 ml
2 cups milk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .500 ml
2 tsp vanilla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 ml
Beat eggs and milk together in a large saucepan.
Add sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring
constantly until thickened (approx. 10 min).
Mixture should smoothly coat the spoon.
Cool, then add cream and vanilla. Refrigerate
overnight. Makes about 1Qt/.9L.
A delicious, delicious month to be a Daring Baker.  Thanks to our wonderful hosts this month!