Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ice Creams

I really wanted to try making an ice cream in the style of Jeni's Ice Cream of Columbus, OH. Her flavors are fascinating, but even more interesting to me is that, unlike every other ice cream recipe in the universe, these are thickened with corn starch instead of eggs. Using the vanilla recipe as a base, I did a cinnamon ice cream with a muscovado brown sugar swirl. Okay, I kind of made up the swirl part and it was really more brown sugar chunks than swirls, but whatever... it was a good ice cream. I brought it to a picnic at the park last week with some sugar cones and it disappeared in no time. Not sure if anyone got pictures, but I'll see what I can find. Incidentally, if you ever have $100 to blow on a birthday gift for someone, I can think of worse gifts than Jeni's Signature 9.

With the leftover milk and cream, I threw together a more traditional egg-thickened ice cream with chai latte mix, extra cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom, and chopped coffee beans. Also not bad, especially considering I just pulled it off the top of my head. I think next time I would try candying the coffee beans, to cut the bitterness a little further. Still have a pint of this left, if you can make it to my place in the next few days. :)

Chocolate Babka

This is one of the more successful recipes I've done in a while. People really responded well to it, and the final product looked kind of rustic and professional at the same time. This style of babka is basically an extra-buttery challah dough with a giant swirl of chocolate through it and a streusel topping. The filling was made of dark chocolate, cake crumbs (great way to reuse leftovers), and pureed apricot jam for kind of a mild sweet tanginess. Even though the recipe was kind of long, it came together very easily. Definitely a recipe I'd keep on hand to throw together for a potluck or brunch. It'd be fun to try other filling flavors, too, like cinnamon. Speaks well for the new book I got the recipe from, The Art of the Dessert.

Chocolate Babka - preparing yeast for dough Chocolate Babka - incorporating flour, eggs, yeast, milk, sugar, vanilla Chocolate Babka - mixing/kneading dough Chocolate Babka - setting dough up to rise Chocolate Babka - dough has doubled in size Chocolate Babka - preparing baking pans Chocolate Babka - filling layers Chocolate Babka - rolled up dough Chocolate Babka - ready for last rise Chocolate Babka Chocolate Babka