July 29, 2008

Cooking with white chocolate…

Robin in Celebratory Food, July 25, 2008

I do use Green and Blacks when I want white chocolate but I think white chocolate is tricky stuff anyway and maybe that day the weather was really heavy and humid and the chocolate was sulking and didn’t mix with the butter right, or maybe it took exception to your stirring, which in my experience needs to be very gentle and very thorough–far more of either than you need bother with with good old mellow black chocolate. I don’t know if anyone out there has more experience of white chocolate, or can recommend a reliably good-natured brand of the stuff.

Robin’s very squodgy white chocolate brownie . . . er . . . chocolate whiteys recipe

Robin in Celebratory Food, July 25, 2008

The original is from a cookbook you’ve heard from before: Rosie’s All Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book by Judy Rosenberg. I am, however, shameless, and I wanted even more chocolate in mine, so that’s what I did. These aren’t even cake any more: they’re very squodgy.

8 T (1 stick) slightly salted butter

8 oz white chocolate

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 c sugar

1 tsp vanilla (maybe a scrap more. This does vary with your brand of chocolate, but you don’t know till you’ve tried. With Green and Blacks I use about 1 ¼ tsp)

1 c all-purpose white flour

Butter and flour a 9 inch square pan.

Melt butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Break up the chocolate in small pieces and add gradually as the butter melts. Stir gently and thoroughly. It should be perfectly homogenous when you take it off the heat. If it shows signs of separating, stir it some more (gently).

Beat eggs vigorously. You can do it by hand but this is one of those cases where an electric mixer is probably better. Beat till frothy and then add sugar in a slow stream, beating like mad the whole time. Scrape down the sides of your bowl a lot too. Rosie says the whole process should take about two minutes. I never count, but it takes a while. But the result should ‘ribbon’ if you pour it off a spoon. Add the chocolate mixture in a very slow stream, with your electric mixer on low, if you’re using one. Once it’s all incorporated I take the mixer out and use a spoon for about ten seconds to sort of reassure myself it’s all gone together neatly.

Then mix in the flour. I stick to the spoon. You can use your electric mixer if you want.

Pour into the pan. 350° for about half an hour. The original recipe calls for 325°, which I find too low, but you certainly don’t want it more than 350°, so if you have an iffy oven, err on the low side. It’s not going to rise a lot, and it’ll probably be slightly hollow in the middle, but it will set and look done, and it shouldn’t be a solidified puddle in the bottom of the pan either. On the other hand, maybe I’m just strange, and I really like heavy dense things. Well, yes, I do, since you mention it. But feel free to experiment, and maybe raise the flour and lower the chocolate and make it a cake again.

White Choc and Apricot Brownies

Vikkik, comment to Chalice review,  July 24, 2008

2oz white choc (1)
2 eggs
3oz flour
2&1/2oz butter/margarine
8oz sugar
1/2 level tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4oz dried apricots (chopped)

Heat oven to 350F/Gas Mark 4/ 180C.
Grease and flour an 8inch square cake tin
Melt choc and butter together
Whisk eggs and sugar together until light
Add the choc mixture
Sift in flour, baking powder and salt (2)and stir in
Add the apricots
Pour into cake tin and bake for around 30 mins (3)

(1) This is one case where I’d advise against using Green and Blacks – The only time I’ve ever had a disaster with this recipe (and this is my standard brownie recipe with white choc substituted for dark and apricots substituted for raisins) was earlier this year when I used G&B white choc, and it came out as a complete flat failure which I had to throw away…
(2) or just throw in without sifting, this works too ;-)
(3) my oven is fan assisted and they generally cook in about 20 mins

Frozen Chocolate Chinchilla

Anette the Great Dane, 14 July 08, comment to ‘Proofs’ and subsequently by Robin, 15 July, as ‘Ice Heroine’

Now, before anyone start accusing me of covering small animals with chocolate, I better explain that a chinchilla can be both – though not normally at the same time – a small fur-bearing animal and a soft cake made almost entirely of beaten egg whites.
6 egg whites,
125 g (5 oz) grated dark chocolate or 4 tablespoons pure cocoa and 5 tablespoons sugar,
2 tablespoons chopped nuts,
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon or coffee powder (not instant).
Beat the egg whites very stiff, fold in the other ingredients, and bake (medium heat) or steam for about 1 hour. A chinchilla is normally eaten warm or tepid, but I like to eat it slightly frozen/partly thawed.

Chocolate Ice-cream

Anette the Great Dane, 14 July 08, comment to ‘Proofs’ and subsequently by Robin, 15 July, as ‘Ice Heroine’

 It is entirely possible to make a non-dairy chocolate ice-cream. The simplest ways are:
Version 1: Replace the wine in the Sabayon Ice-cream with Cocoa cordial.
Version 2: Replace the vodka in the Vodka Ice-cream with Cocoa cordial and the lemon with vanilla extract.
Version 3: Replace the coffee in the Tiramisu with good pure cocoa (not the sweet instant) powder, but add it to the eggs as it might lump in the cold liquid.

Punch Ice

Anette the Great Dane, 14 July 08, comment to ‘Proofs’ and subsequently by Robin, 15 July, as ‘Ice Heroine’

It quite possible to make an ice-cream just by freezing ordinary punch (lemon, sugar, rum and water), but this recipe started life as a Jewish version of the Victorian party-dessert Ice-Punch. The texture is supposed to be very slushy, so that you can almost drink it.
0.5 bottle of champagne or sweet white wine,
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon and 2 oranges,
75 g (0.33 cup) cane sugar,
4 tablespoon rum,
4 egg whites,
150-200 g (ca. 1.5 cup) powdered/confectioner sugar.
Mix wine, juice, zest, cane sugar and rum, and let it stand until the sugar has dissolved (over-night is fine). Freeze while churning until you have a thick slush. This you can store in the freezer for a few hours, but if you leave it longer, you’ll probably need to break it up with an electric whisk. Shortly before serving beat the egg whites to a meringue with the powdered sugar, and fold this into the slush ice. Serve immediately in glasses or small bowls.

Tiramisu-mousse Ice-cream

Anette the Great Dane, 14 July 08, comment to ‘Proofs’ and subsequently by Robin, 15 July, as ‘Ice Heroine’

Just replacing mascarpone with tofu in a Tiramisu doesn’t work unless you adjust the other ingredients. Once that is done, it’s actually better frozen, and if you are going to freeze it anyway you don’t really need the tofu to dilute the taste.
4 egg yolks,
60 g (0.25 cup) sugar,
1 packet silk tofu (that’s 125-150 g (5-6 oz)) (optional),
4 egg whites,
60 g (0.25 cup) sugar,
Instant espresso or coffee powder,
4 tablespoon dark rum,
Good quality dark chocolate.
Beat the egg yolks very thick and pale with the first portion of sugar. Cream the tofu until smooth. Whip the egg whites to a stiff meringue with the second portion of sugar. Dissolve enough coffee in the rum to get a pronounced coffee flavor. Chop the chocolate. If you want to make this in an ice-cream maker, mix everything except the chocolate, which should be sprinkled over after freezing. If you have a very cold freezer, there’s no need for churning, and you just mix everything and freeze it in a container. Serve with cookies, but try finding some more interesting than Lady Fingers. I like Cat Tongues and Florentines.

Fruit Ice-creams

Anette the Great Dane, 14 July 08, comment to ‘Proofs’ and subsequently by Robin, 15 July, as ‘Ice Heroine’

You can sieve a mush of for example strawberries or passion fruit and make a granita, but fruits still with their fibers are also ideal for sorbet.
Here’s a series of different fruit ice-creams all intended for sorbets:

1 can of peaches with liquid.
Blitz in a blender or food processor until smooth, then freeze while churning.
This is the easiest of all ice-creams, and other canned fruits such as apricots and pineapple can be treated the same way.

Passion fruit:
The pulp of 8 or more ripe (wrinkled) passion fruits,
150-200 g (ca. 0.75 cup) sugar,
250 ml (1 cup) cold water.
Mix and stir to dissolve the sugar, and let it steep for 1 hour. Sieve and freeze while churning.

1.5 pound watermelon meat without pips,
150-200 g (ca. 0.75 cup) sugar,
Juice of half a lemon,
250 ml (1 cup) cold water.
Mix and blitz together in a blender or food processor until smooth. Freeze while churning.
Other ripe melons can be treated the same way, as can pineapple.

I am so fortunate as to have a very superior old type of strawberries growing in my garden. Most of the crop is eaten fresh and straight from the plants, but in bumper-crop years I sometimes want to preserve some for later as an ice-cream. Commercially grown strawberries are types where things like stiff stalks, high yields, and tough skin are more important than flavor, so I really think you need different recipes for different types of strawberries.
Ingredients I:
1 pound full-flavored strawberries,
2 tablespoons of sugar.
Blitz, taste, sieve, and freeze.

Ingredients II:
1 pound fresh strawberries,
1-2 tablesp. fresh orange or lemon juice,
100-150 g (0.5 cup sugar),
75 ml (0.25 cup) water.
Boil the water and sugar together for a few minutes to dissolve the sugar, and let it cool. Blitz and sieve the strawberries, add the other ingredients, taste, and freeze.

Ingredients III:
1 pound frozen strawberries,
1-2 tablesp. fresh orange or lemon juice,
0.5 split vanilla pod,
150-200 g (ca. 0.75 cup) sugar,
Mix all the ingredients in a pot, and let it stand until the strawberries have thawed and produced some liquid. Boil together at low heat, and let it cool. Blitz, taste, sieve, and freeze.


Lemon Ice-cream/Granita

Anette the Great Dane, 14 July 08, comment to ‘Proofs’ and subsequently by Robin, 15 July, as ‘Ice Heroine’

I find this a bit boring on its own, but very nice in a glass of ice-tea.
150 ml (ca. 0.75 cup) lemon juice,
The grated zest of a lemon,
150 g (ca. 0.75 cup) sugar,
250 ml boiling water.
Dissolve the sugar in the water, add the other ingredients, cool, and freeze either as a sorbet or a granite.

Tea Ice-cream/Granita with Limoncello

Anette the Great Dane, 14 July 08, comment to ‘Proofs’ and subsequently by Robin, 15 July, as ‘Ice Heroine’

Just as with the coffee this works equally well as a sorbet and as a granita.
3 bag of your favorite tea,
1.5 pints (3 cups) boiling water,
0.5 cup sugar,
Limoncello to taste.
Pour the hot water over the tea, and let it steep for 5 min before removing the bags and adding the sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, and let it cool. Add the cordial, and freeze.
If you prefer it, you can use other fruit cordials such as peach or apple instead of the Limoncello or you can just omit it.

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