Sunday, 26 January 2020

Hot Fudge Sundae's!



Quick! Simple! What’s the best food pairing you can think of? Anyone who does not immediately answer "hot fudge and vanilla ice cream" is far too grownup. There are hundreds of perfect pairings—bacon and eggs, peanut butter and jelly, rice and beans—but none is as wonderful as the pure black and white simplicity of hot fudge and vanilla ice cream. It has everything going for it.
Hot and cold. Black and white. Sticky and smooth. But best of all is the way hot fudge makes vanilla ice cream taste more like vanilla, and vanilla ice cream makes the densest hot fudge reveal new aspects of its personality.
If you’ve been buying bottled hot fudge, this may be news to you: Making hot fudge is easy. Nothing you can do in the kitchen offers bigger rewards for so little effort. As for ice cream, there are many excellent brands out there, but ice cream is always at its best when it is freshly made and eaten right out of the churn. Here are the steps to sundae heaven.
   1. Use the best, deepest, densest, chocolatiest chocolate you can find. (I use Valrhona chocolate baking drops.) In this case, better really is better. You also need cocoa powder for that fudgy taste.
   2. And you need a little bit of instant espresso. Coffee has the magical ability to make chocolate taste more like chocolate. A little pinch of instant espresso powder makes the chocolate flavor leap right to the forefront (and you will never taste the coffee).
   3. Corn syrup has a bad reputation, but you really do need it to give your hot fudge body, shine, and smoothness. Why? Because corn syrup is an invert sugar, which means that it prevents sugar crystals from forming as it cooks.
   4. Whipped cream? Sprinkles? Cookie crumbles? Nuts? Cherries? It is totally up to you, of course......but I don’t—why interrupt perfection?

Hot Fudge

2/3 cup heavy cream
½ cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 pinch salt
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix and heat: Mix the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, salt and cocoa powder together in a small (1-2 quart) heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add half the chocolate and stir, over medium heat, until the chocolate is melted.
Keep cooking: Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth. Add the butter, remaining chocolate, vanilla and coffee and keep stirring, off the heat, until it is smooth and shiny.
Serve or store: Pour it over vanilla ice cream and revel in the flavor. Or let it cool and keep it, in a covered jar in the refrigerator, for up to a couple of weeks.

Vanilla Ice Cream
 (adapted from David Leibovitz)makes about 1 quart

I had the pleasure of taking a ice cream class from David. It was a great class with lot's of information on ice cream makers and making smooth, creamy ice cream.

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups whipping cream
5 large egg yolks

Infuse the milk and sugar:  Stir the sugar and salt into the milk in a small saucepan over low heat. With a small knife, slit the vanilla bean open and scrape the seeds into the milk mixture. Throw in the bean pod as well. When it is warm, cover the pan, take it off the heat, and let it sit for an hour so that the milk soaks up all the vanilla flavor.
Make an ice bath, and chill cream: Put a small (2-quart bowl) inside a large one that is filled, about half way, with an ice and water mixture. Put the cream into the small bowl to keep it cold.
Temper egg yolks into milk: Gently stir the yolks in a small bowl to combine. Reheat the milk, very gently, pour a bit of the warm into the yolks, whisking constantly, and then pour the now warm yolks into the milk in the pan. Cook, over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat a spatula.
Combine cream and milk base: Put a strainer over the bowl of chilled cream and slowly strain the yolk/milk custard into the cream. Stir over the ice until it is cold, and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, until it is completely cold. Longer is better.
Spin and serve (or freeze): Take the vanilla bean out of the mixture and freeze the ice cream in an ice cream maker. Serve right away, or pack into a freezer-proof container and freeze until hard, at least 4 hours.

Cheers!
JJ




Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Instant Pot Sticky Toffee Pudding



For Amy's Birthday she requested a very special dessert, "Sticky Toffee Pudding"!! We were off on a snowmobile trip in the Cascade Mountains and this  seemed perfect, after a day on the mountain trails!

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Turkey Gravy - extra gravy for left overs!



The season is here and I am ready! I have made my favorite Cranberry Sauce and my pastry is done and in the refrigerator for my Pecan Pie. 
Find links to more Thanksgiving recipes after the gravy recipe.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Instant Pot Chili





A good chili is often made on the weekends when there's time to soak the beans overnight, and you have a few hours to cook on the stove top. With this recipe, you can cut the prep time down significantly using the instant pot. With this all in one vessel you can saute the ingredients and pressure cook the beans in just under an hour!

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas



These creamy chicken enchiladas are amazing! I started with a basic recipe a few months ago and have perfected it to "Wee Bear" status! It has lots of creamy sauce and it is soooo delicious! This will be the last enchilada recipe that you will ever try!  45 minutes start to finish.....you are going to love them!!

Friday, 11 October 2019

Tarragon Chicken


When it comes to cooking traditional French food, most people think of a complex concoction of ingredients in a Le Creuset pot, which has been simmering for hours and hours on the cook top. 

Monday, 23 September 2019

Barley Soup



Fall is here, the weather has cooled, sweaters abound and boots are being worn! Fall means the kids are back to school and the grand parents are headed south to warmer weather. Everyone is busy running kids to soccer, ballet and football...life is busy! I always cook up a big pot of this delicious barley soup when the weather starts to turn. It's does bring back memories of my childhood, Mom would make a version of barley soup– a sustaining dish full of vegetables and cured meat, that’s actually more of a meal than a soup, and perfect for this time of year. This Swiss soup that can be dinner with a thick piece of crusty bread!