I’ve had a melody stuck in my head all day today. You know that Adele song ‘Chasing Pavements’? The song in which she sings “should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements even if it leads nowhere?”? Those few lines have been on repeat in my head today, but with slightly different lyrics:
“Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing daylight even if it leads nowhere?”
Yes, I’ve been chasing daylight today. Cause man, the days are short! When I didn’t have a food blog yet, I was never really aware of the fact that around this time of year the suns sets before 5. I just went about my business not really caring about it… But now, now that I do have a food blog, I’m all too aware of the lengthening shadows!
It’s a food bloggers nightmare!
Especially if you’re like me and try to make 5 desserts for one post in one single day!
Ambitious? Me? Totally!
So, here’s what I did today. After my normal morning routine of eating breakfast and taking a shower and such, I jumped into the car to get some groceries. I needed cream, chocolate and vanilla. As soon as I was back in my kitchen, I started on this delicious, I-could-eat-the-whole-batch, double chocolate ice cream. It’s the best. Trust me. This stuff is just scrumptious. You’ll never want any other kind of chocolate ice cream again!
Anyway, once the ice cream mixture was cooling, I made some pastry cream, followed by some toasted almond shortbread. And this was all before lunch! Anyway, around this time I found out that I forgot about one recipe and that I needed more cream, so I quickly got onto my bike and raced back to the store, feeling like quite the idiot. Once back home, I proceeded with some crème de marrons and churned the ice cream. Followed by a smooth, silky chocolate chestnut mousse.
Oh, and I ate lunch and walked Lucy too!
In other words, quite a lot of stuff done today. Why? Well, I had a great idea yesterday. Remember my post on Chestnut Cake? After I made the chestnut cake, I still didn’t have the feeling that I knew what chestnuts were all about. I wanted more!
So I came up with the idea of a Chocolate Chestnut Tasting Plate! A delicious, spectacular, show-stopping dessert! Great for Christmas too, because you can plan ahead and make all the element ahead of time, so you don’t have to spend Christmas in the kitchen…
Anyway, once I finished all the elements and the mousse was in the fridge to set, it was already half past 3. So all I got to show for my hard work is this Double Chocolate Ice Cream. I didn’t even have time to properly freeze it after it had been churned before I photographed it either. It’s still a little soft and sloppy… It’s dang good though! The best chocolate ice cream I have ever had! With a rich, deep chocolate flavor and little chocolate chunks! Seriously, Ben & Jerry’s: eat your hearts out! Your ‘Chocolate Therapy’ doesn’t have anything on this ice cream!
It’s custard based, which means that there are eggs involved. Eggs that need to be cooked. A mixture that needs to be cooked until it coats the back of a spoon. I always thought of that as a pretty vague description. But no need to fuss about this step! The picture below shows just what the phrase ‘cook until it coats the back of a spoon means’!
It means you cook the custard over low to medium-high heat, until it thickens slightly. If you dip a spoon in the mixture and run your finger through the custard down the back of the spoon, the path you’ve just created with your finger should hold its shape. If you’re still unsure about this step, you can also use a sugar thermometer. The custard should be done once the mixture reaches a temperature of 80°C (175°F).
The next post will be about the Chocolate Chestnut Tasting Plate.
And it’s gonna be good!
Can’t wait for Christmas…
- 360ml (or 1½C) whole milk
- 360 ml (or 1½C) whipping cream
- 130g dark brown sugar, divided
- 15g cocoa
- 20g honey
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 300g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- In a large saucepan, combine the whole milk, 120ml of the whipping cream, 100g of the sugar, the cocoa, honey, vanilla and salt. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar with a little splash of the milk mixture. Pour the remaining cream in a medium-sized bowl and set a strainer over the top. To another medium-sized bowl, add 200g of the chopped chocolate. Scald the milk mixture in the saucepan, stirring until the sugar, honey and cocoa have dissolved.
- While whisking continuously, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Once all the liquid has been added, quickly give the saucepan a good rinse to get rid of any remaining cocoa on the sides (it might burn if you leave it on) or proceed with another (clean) pan. Pour the mixture back into the clean saucepan. Gently heat the mixture over low heat, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture has thickened and can coat the back of a spoon. You have now made crème anglaise.
- NOTE: To test whether the crème anglaise is done, dip a spoon in the mixture and run your finger through the custard down the back of the spoon. If the path you've just created with your finger holds its shape, the custard is done. If you are unsure about this step, you can use a sugar thermometer. The crème anglaise should be done once the mixture reaches a temperature of 80°C (175°F).
- Take the crème anglaise of the heat and pour it through the sieve on top of the prepared chocolate. Leave to sit for a minute undisturbed and whisk until all of the chocolate has melted into the crème anglaise. Next, pour the crème anglaise into the bowl with the whipping cream, whisking to incorporate. Leave the custard to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and chill the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once the ice cream has finished churning, stir in the remaining 100g of chopped chocolate.
- Add the ice cream mixture to a freeze-proof container, cover with a lid and freeze for at least 4 hours or until ready to serve.
- Twenty minutes before serving, take the ice cream out of the freezer and allow to soften in the fridge or on the countertop. Top with the remaining caramelized oats.