Ice Cream Social Countdown: Mexican Style Chocolate Ice Cream

The 4th of July party is just an hour away! For the finale I made a recipe from the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet that came with my ice cream maker: Mexican Style Chocolate Ice Cream.

2 C whole milk

1 1/2 C heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1-2 pinches cayenne

pinch salt

2/3 C granulated sugar, divided

5 large egg yolks

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Medium saucepan whisk milk,cream,vanilla,spices, salt and half the sugar. Bring to a boil

In a separate bowl combine egg yolks and remaining sugar whisk until pale and thick.

In another bowl place chopped chocolate.

When the cream mixture comes to a slight boil, whisk 1/3 of hot liquid into the yolk mixture and whisk so it doesn’t become scrambled eggs. Whisk in another 1/3 of the hot liquid then return the cream/yolk mixture back into the saucepan stirring with a wooden spoon constantly over low heat until it is thick and coats the spoon.

Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer into the bowl with the chocolate pieces which to combine and let it come to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

When ready, pour it into the ice cream maker and let it process 20 minutes. It is soft and creamy so if you want it to have a firmer consistency, pop it back into the freezer.

Patty’s Points:

1. Lovely flavor, nice combination of cinnamon and cayenne.

2. I didn’t have bittersweet chocolate so I used cocoa powder and improvised (3 TBSP cocoa + 1 TBSP oil = 1 oz chocolate).

3. I didn’t have whole milk and substituted half and half and it turned out fine.

I am dashing off to the party now. As you can see below, I made my Pretzel Sparklers that I will be bringing to the party to serve with ice cream. Details of the party to come later….

Oktoberfest 2011- Homemade Soft Pretzels

The Fearless Cooking Club’s Adventure into Oktoberfest ends with the pretzel: soft, homemade, chewy and great with mustard and beer!

This author had the privilege to meet Alton Brown at a book signing several weeks ago and this recipe came from his new book Good Eats 3. He spoke to a crowd of 250 people for thirty minutes and signed books and posed for pictures for two hours. Very gracious!

My family loves soft pretzels so they were excited to see these roll out. I was intimidated because the recipe in the book didn’t give me the full picture of putting it together. So I watched the Good Eats Pretzel Logic Yeasts on YouTube. It helped quite a bit to visualize the entire process. The sock puppets posing as fungi were LOL entertaining as well.

After two batches of pretzels the keys points of the trial and error process were as follows:

1) Rolling the pretzels took some practice. The book and video indicated to wear gloves on an oiled surface. That didn’t work for me. I oiled the dough after the rising process but rolled it on a dry cutting board.

2) The dough was divided into eight parts. Each portion of dough was rolled from the inside outward to 24 inches in length.

3)  The pretzels were formed into a “U” shape, then folded over like arms crossing.

4) The pretzel dough was boiled for 30 seconds in a water and baking soda bath. The mixture provided a positive ion ph base, coating the dough to enable the browning process when baked.

5) Scooped from the water and back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, they were brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with a coarse salt.  Baked to a golden brown for 16 minutes at 450 degrees.

I also made homemade mustard to go with the pretzels. The homemade mustard is in the Part 2 of Good Eats Pretzel Logic Yeasts episode.

The Fearless Cooking Club met today to eat the bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels and homemade mustard. It is hard to believe that this was a seven week process of food preparation!  On my next entry I will post that celebration and report on the sauerkraut, sausage tasting and member updates. Cheers to the end of Oktoberfest!