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Saturday, February 28, 2009


The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

There is nothing better than being apart of a group of people who are passionate about the quality of the food they make and eat. This month's Daring Baker challenge was a decadent doozy of a chocolate cake paired with homemade ice cream.

Everyone had free choice in the flavouring of the ice cream but I decided vanilla cardamon ice cream with a straight up Chocolate Valentino would be the combination. I followed Dharms' recipe and it was decadently delicious.

The Chocolate Valentino was inspired by Chef Wan of Malaysia from his book Sweet Treats. I'm an absolute chocolate freak so I was excited to see this challenge!

We've made a lot of flour less chocolate cakes in our household and this one was a little disappointing. The edges were dry and the middle very very wet. However, the cake was much better the following day after refrigeration. The flavour of the Valentino was very dependent on the chocolate since the only ingredients were eggs, sugar and chocolate. Overall it did not have the wow factor of other flour less chocolate cakes. A hint of orange zest, ground hazelnuts, vanilla or a counterbalance of a pinch of salt would have elevated the taste.

But the ice cream, ohhhhh, the ice cream was divine and a huge hit with our family and guests.....

Dharm, our very own James Bond, created an amazing recipe which I am shamelessly pasting here because the world is a better place with this ice cream.

Dharm's Ice Cream Recipe
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)

1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)
{you can easily increase your cream's fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted - cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed. Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthwise. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse
Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy. 3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time
4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.
5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse)
By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker)

No pictures yet... I love my hubby. Alot. But he borrowed my camera AND the wire that goes along with it, so no pictures today until I find the wire, or my husband, wherever he is hiding.

Lessons Learned

1) Daring Bakers are the best, most helpful, interesting bunch.

2) Homemade ice cream rocks.

3) My husband is one up in the Hide and Seek game.

4) Chocolate needs a counter flavour to bring out it's best side.

5) Found the camera wire so I win! Actually hubby found it so we both win.

Check out the other Daring Bakers to see their creations!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gluten Free Snogging

I call my husband the glutenator. He has a love of pasta, pizza and bread that has been sidelined by a celiac diagnosis. We're slowly adjusting and discovering new sources of gluten everywhere - toothpaste, shampoo, etc.

There is bread and gluten in the house since we are a liberal biglutenous family.

One of my children, who wants to remain anonymous stated,"I can only kiss someone if they are gluten free." This caused her parents' eyebrows to raise. The glutenator crossed his arms and assumed the angry bear stance.

Realizing what she said, she quickly retreated... too late. Parental antennae were up.

Slowly and painfully we pulled the story out. It turns out that my daughter kissed someone who ate regular wheat filled food. She couldn't understand why she felt slightly unwell, not a full out reaction but some ongoing nausea. After a bit of time, she connected the reaction to the snogging.

....I'm afraid to ask how much time this took....

But this is going to be a better parental control tool than the glutenator could ever hope to be!