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

{twd} chocolate ganache ice cream

Not a whole lot of ingredients, intense chocolate taste, and a perfect summer treat. This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is a perfect dessert for hot August nights. Actually, is there ever a bad time for ice cream? I don’t think so.

Thanks to Katrina of Baking And Boys! for hosting this week’s recipe, Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream. She’s an awesome mom and loves chocolate and ice cream so it was a no-brainer for her. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

{sms} mini strawberry rhubarb cobblers

With apologies to Tracey, I only made a third of the components of this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie. It was supposed to be a biscuit-topped cobbler in a pie crust. I didn’t make the pie crust and I’m not a fan of biscuit toppings for cobblers. I made the strawberry-rhubarb filling though!

For the the cobbler topping I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything and I made 1/2 the recipe of the filling which I baked in mini-ramekins. I ate mine with Fresh Ginger Ice Cream a la David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. It was the perfect dessert for a warm lazy Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures for hosting this week. Check out her blog for the recipe and  her fabulous content/pictures. She’s also one of my blogging friends, although I admit I haven’t been active in the food blogging world as of late.

{twd} two for the price of one

This week marks the second anniversary of Tuesdays with Dorie, the awesome blogger baking group that is baking it’s way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. To celebrate the occasion Laurie, the founder of the group, let the bloggers decide which recipe to make and chose a second one  as another option.

I made the Tarte Tatin for the non-chocolate dessert option at my supposed-to-be-vegetarian Christmas Eve dinner. Darn, those parents! Anyway, the tarte was easy to make and used simple ingredients.  You caramelize apples in a pan and then cover the apples with puff pastry (what I used) or tart dough and bake it in the oven. Once done, you flip it and the apples are on top. And, YAY!, all my apples behaved.

I, of course, served it with homemade ice cream. I made the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert. See the flecks! Love it.

I really liked the Tarte Tatin. It wasn’t too sweet and it was light and flaky. I’ll definitely make it again, maybe using different fruits.

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I made the Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake for Olivia’s first birthday party. Olivia is my best friend’s daughter. I made it for the sole purpose of destruction.  I made half the recipe and baked it in three 4-inch round pans. I froze two of the little cakes and split the third to make layers. The cake was a big success with Olivia. See the photo montage below.

Thank you so much to Laurie for starting Tuesdays with Dorie 2 years ago. It’s been so much fun and I’ve met and have become friends with so many new people since I joined. If you would like the recipes for both, please buy the book or visit Laurie’s blog.

Tahitian Vanilla Bean Star Cookies and Eggnog Ice Cream

You probably all don’t know this, but I just got back from vacation. :P And on this vacation I bought vanilla beans. A lot of vanilla beans. Although most of the beans I bought came from Taha’a, French Polynesia, I also bought some in Vava’u, Tonga.

The quality of the Tongan beans doesn’t compare to the Tahitian ones and my Polynesian friends scoffed when I showed them my purchase. Visually  I knew the quality wasn’t there, but they smelled like vanilla and the price was right–10 beans for $5. I figured I could use them when vanilla isn’t the star of a recipe or maybe to make vanilla sugar.

Last Saturday, I invited my intrepid pastry sous-chef Diego over to help me get back into the post-vacation baking swing of things. When I asked him what he wanted to bake, he told me ice cream. Okay, not really baking–but I heart ice cream so all is good. We flipped through The Perfect Scoop looking for a recipe I hadn’t made and had all the ingredients. We came upon Eggnog Ice Cream. Not only did it meet my criteria, it was also seasonally appropriate. Score!

{I realize Diego is holding a duster and not a whisk in the above picture, but he also likes to clean in addition to baking.}

The original  recipe calls for vanilla extract, but I decided to test out my Tongan beans and used two of them instead. The ice cream is wonderful. Not only is it perfectly creamy, it packs a punch of flavor with the perfect combination of vanilla, nutmeg, and booze. Oh, yes–not only do I heart ice cream, I heart boozy ice cream most of all {see: Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream, Tiramisù Ice Cream, Prune-Armagnac Ice Cream}.

You can find the recipe for Eggnog Ice Cream HERE. Note: To sub the vanilla beans, I scraped the seeds into the sugar and rubbed them with my fingers until the sugar was moist and fragnant. I then added the milk and 1/2 the cream into a medium saucepan with the sugar and vanilla seeds and pods. Once heated, I let it seep for 30 minutes and then proceeded with recipe as written.

I paired the ice cream with a cookie in which vanilla beans are the star (ha ha) of the show: Tahitian Vanilla Bean Star Cookies. The recipe comes from the Sunset Magazine 2009 Holiday Cookbook special issue and doesn’t specify what type of bean, so use what ever type you have on hand.

The cookies are simple butter cookies with the ingenious addition of a vanilla bean. No need to refrigerate before rolling and cutting, so if you are a speedy baker you can have cookies in less than an hour. {I am not a speedy baker}. I may change the name of these cookies to Tahitian Vanilla Bean Bliss Bites. These are now my go to roll and cut sugar/butter cookies. YUM.

You can find the recipe for Vanilla-bean Cookies HERE. {Note: I also used the scrape seeds directly into sugar and rub method here. I find this a better method for mixing the seeds into the sugar.}