Monday, March 26, 2007

Orange Chocolate Baklava

When Michael M suggested a Mediterranean theme for Sunday's dinner, I took the opportunity to try Scharffenberger's Orange Chocolate Baklava recipe from The Essence of Chocolate. The chocolate part is chopped up chocolate bits in the filling. The orange flavor is entirely in the sugar/honey syrup, which is cooked with orange juice, orange peel, and a cinnamon stick, then strained and poured over the just-baked pastry. And let's not forget the cup of clarified butter. Who wants butterfat?

Orange Chocolate Baklava - making honey-orange syrup Orange Chocolate Baklava - ingredients Orange Chocolate Baklava - almonds and pistachios Orange Chocolate Baklava - filling mixture Orange Chocolate Baklava - layering filling over phyllo Orange Chocolate Baklava - rolled up and ready to bake Orange Chocolate Baklava - baked and honeyed Orange Chocolate Baklava

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Inspired by a gourmet marshmallow site, and having an overabundance of gelatin from our upcoming Jello-themed party, Will and I decided to try making marshmallows from scratch. Super yummy, and turned out to be super easy. Heat up some sugar and corn syrup (we used honey) to soft ball stage, mix in gelatin and whip till frothy. Whip some egg whites and mix them in. Add some vanilla. Pour out onto powdered-sugared pan. Chill. Slice. The end! The honey substitution imparted a slight extra flavor, but not too strong.

I need to stop eating this much sugar all the time. Seriously.

Marshmallow Ingredients Marshmallow - cooking honey and sugar Marshmallow - bringing sugar to temperature Marshmallow - whipping it all together Marshmallow - trying a few in silicone pans Marshmallows - the main brick, pre-setting Homemade Freakin' Marshmallows

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Challah with Chocolate

I wanted to get through a glut of bread flour and decided to make a simple challah recipe. Garnished with chocolate. I found a recipe for "Honey Challah" in Jeff Nathan's Adventures in Jewish Cooking, a book I got a while ago and somehow forgot about. Bad Ben. Anyway, the recipe turned out well. I haven't made bread in a while. It's super easy to do it with the stand mixer compared to kneading it by hand. I did one loaf (braid?) with the chocolate mixed right into the dough and another loaf with the chocolate just on top. Must use this book more often.

challah ingredients kneading challah dough challah going into oven freshly baked challah with chocolate challah going into oven freshly baked challah with chocolate cross-section, challah with chocolate mixed in cross-section, challah with chocolate on top

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ice Cream Crazy

Acting on a tip, I picked up a fancy new self-freezing ice cream maker last week at a crazy discount. Of course, I couldn't decide on just one flavor to break it in with, so, you know, I made them all. Ended up having a bunch of friends over to share the bounty. Avocado, Dark Butterscotch, White Chocolate Ginger. Will made Goat's Milk Ice Cream with Fig and Chocolate and a couple sauces, Mexican Chocolate and Bourbon Caramel. Never anything plain.

I don't have pictures of every flavor, but you can see the new machine and a lot of the intermediate steps. I think the Avocado was technically a sherbet (no eggs). The Butterscotch was from Room for Dessert, but I used dark muscovado sugar instead of regular brown sugar. Really emphasized the brown sugar aspect of the butterscotch flavor. The white chocolate ginger recipe I just made up. Tweaked a basic vanilla recipe by adding melted white chocolate, a little zested ginger, and chopped candied ginger.

Having way more ice cream than I'll ever need to eat left over, I made everyone take a pint home. Now don't you wish you lived closer?

my new ice cream maker mixing muscovado into ice cream base mixing butterscotch ice cream mixing butterscotch ice cream blending avocados for ice cream blending avocados and sugar mixing avocado ice cream avocado ice cream base getting ready to freeze ice cream freezing avocado ice cream chopped candied ginger will making bourbon caramel sauce