Paul’s Special Occasion Ice Cream and Cookies

Today is a special day. Not only is it the 29th of February, a day only occurring once every 4 years. It’s 2/29/2012, a day that will occur only once; a day filled with peace,  love and happiness. To that end, I present Paul’s Special Occasion Ice Cream. What’s the special occasion? Eating this ice cream, of course.

Paul loves white chocolate. I often find him in the pantry eating my white chocolate chips. True story! I know white chocolate brings out strong emotion in people and divides people into different camps. You love it, you hate it, or you like it okay. I’m in the third group but I find myself baking with it more and more. You’re welcome, Paul. ;)

I churned up a batch of David Lebovitz’s White Chocolate Ice Cream from his book The Perfect Scoop. Since white chocolate is the main attraction, I used my block of Callebaut. No chips here. This is a repeat recipe. I’ve made it once before. Again, you’re welcome Paul. My repeat list is very short.   This time I swirled in some biscoff spread because it’s oh so good and since we discovered it we’ve been using it in everything.

White Chocolate Ice Cream

From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Place the white chocolate  in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer over the white chocolate.  Stir until the white chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the cream.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I baked up a batch of Alice Medrich’s Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk  Cookies from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy to go with the ice cream. These are  a little different than other versions because you grind up rolled oats and add them to the batter. It makes them taste a bit nuttier and heartier than the traditional version. Very tasty. You can find the recipe HERE.

Photos by Paulrus

Tarte Noire

I did not intend to make Dorie Greenspan’s Torte Noire from Baking…From My Home to Yours. True, it’s one of the original Tuesdays with Dorie recipes I still needed to make. True, it’s very delicious–a chocolate ganache tart with a chocolate crust.
It didn’t strong arm me nor show up at my office begging me with a raspy voice like an old-school femme fatale. It simply was a matter of convenience. I had leftover chocolate dough from chocolate truffle tarts. I wanted to use it to make a tart or something similar out of TWD v1.0 to cross another recipe off the list.

I made two mini 4″ tarts–one for Paul, one for me–and made 1/4 of the recipe for the filling. The filling is a simple ganache with nothing simple about the taste. Because of the rainy day and rushedness (new word!) of the photo shoot, we didn’t get any good shots. Paul’s solution? “You’ll just have to make these again.” And we will. It’s the little black dress of chocolate tarts. Not fussy, perfectly simple, and with great taste.

The TWD bakers made the tarte back in July 2010 when I was still baking with the group and I don’t recall (other than my life was a mess) why I didn’t make it then. Dharmagirl of Bliss: Towards a Delicious Life hosted the TARTE NOIRE RECIPE.

Photo by Paulrus

Crumpets!!! With 3 times as many exclamation marks.

Yes. They’re that good and worthy of {at least} three exclamation marks. Now that I’ve made crumpets multiple times, {or, um, twice}, I think I’m improving my technique. Case in point: the crumpets have been getting holier without having to go to church or say penance. The more holes a crumpet has,  the better routes for butter saturation. Holy moly.
For my second try, I decided to mix things up.  I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose. I also added honey and cinnamon  for flavor. I think for my next attempt I will use vanilla and maple syrup. I’m tempted to add chocolate chips, but I fear they will interfere with hole production.

Honey Cinnamon Whole Wheat Crumpets

Adapted from King Arthur Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1) Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and beat vigorously for 2 minutes. A stand or hand mixer, set on high speed, work well here.

2) Cover the bowl, and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour. It will expand and become bubbly. Towards the end of the rest, preheat a griddle to medium-low, about 325°F. If you don’t have an electric griddle, preheat a frying pan.

3) Lightly grease the griddle or frying pan, and place well-greased 3 3/4″ English muffin rings in the pan, as many as will fit.  Pour sticky batter by the scant 1/4-cupful into each ring; a muffin scoop works well here.

4) After about 4 minutes, use a pair of tongs to slip the rings off. Cook the crumpets for a total of about 10 minutes on the first side, until their tops are riddled with small bubbles/holes. They should be starting to look a bit dry around the edges. Their bottoms will be a mottled, light-golden brown.

5) Turn the crumpets over, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, to finish cooking the insides and to brown the tops gently.

6) Remove the crumpets from the pan, and repeat with the remaining batter, until all the crumpets are cooked. Serve warm. Or cool completely, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature. To enjoy, warm in the toaster. Serve with butter, or butter and jam.

Yield: about twenty 3 3/4″ crumpets.

Photos by Paulrus

{TWDv2.0} chocolate truffle tart bites

A chocolate bite of heaven or chocolate air cake on a crunchy circle of chocolate dough with chunks of milk and white chocolates and biscotti bits is how we described this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie v2.0 recipe. Yes, with four uses of chocolate in the first sentence you know it’s going to be good.

Instead of making six 6″ mini Chocolate Truffle Tarts as directed, I went smaller and used my mini-cheesecake pan. The light-as-air filling was a perfect contrast to crunch of the crust and the chunks of chocolate and biscotti. Almost a brownie, but not quite, the tarts deserve their own category.

Thanks to  Steph of A Whisk and A SpoonSpike of Spike BakesJaime of Good Eats Blog and Jessica of Cookbook Habit for hosting this week. You can find the recipe on any of their blogs or in the book, Baking with Julia page 382.

Photo by Paulrus

a pair of bundts

Milk Chocolate Mini-Bundt Cake

I am able to cross off two more TWDv1.0 recipes on my list of incompletes. Both are bundts. Both are beyond mini mini-bundt cakes. I recently bought a mini-bundt pan that holds 12 instead of the usual 6 which was the size suggested by Dorie Greenspan to bake Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes. I also baked the Brown Sugar Bundt Cake as 12 minis.

I had some issues in filling the molds with batter. I tended to overfill. Next time I won’t–I’ll probably scrape the batter in the sandwich bag and squeeze into the molds until the fill is just right.

Kristen of I’m Right About Everything selected the Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes to host in February 2010.  Again I was still baking with the group back then. I have no clue why I did not bake them then. I’m may have been having fun flying back and forth for a bit (most likely in between bouts of being a mess). Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cake Recipe.

Mini Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

Peggy of Pantry Revisited hosted the recipe for the Brown Sugar Bundt Cake (full-size) in May 2011, which was after the start of my blogging sabbatical.

Both bundts were delicious. I added cranberries, white chocolate, and macadamia nuts to the brown sugar mini-bundts.