3 Ways with Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

As summer gets into full swing, we’re entertaining more often and frequently invite friends over at the last minute. I’m always on the lookout for last-minute entertaining ideas that I can whip up with items already in pantry. Vanilla ice cream is our default, but serving ice cream and berries or chocolate sauce gets boring after a while.  As ice cream is somewhat of a summer staple, I thought it would be a good idea to share three of my favourite ways to serve the classic in a less predictable way.

Affogato

Affogato with biscotti

This simple Italian drink is the dessert we serve most often as it is so simple to recreate and we usually have some fresh coffee beans to recreate this with. Simply add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a single or double shot espresso. We serve it with biscotti when we have (get my recipe here), but it is just as enjoyable served on its own.

It works best if you have an espresso machine that can create some crema, but moka pot coffee could also work. You probably won’t be able to achieve the necessary espresso strength with a french press.

Affogato with biscotti

 

Dom Pedro

Dom Pedro

Dom pedros are kinda like the dessert of cocktails, combining the best of both. I personally don’t like a traditional dom pedro with whiskey, but luckily things like Amaretto, Frangelico, Kahlua and Baileys also work well.

Simply blend two scoops of ice cream, 25 ml of chosen alcohol and 100 ml milk per serving. You might want to adjust this according to your taste and the strength of your alcohol (you might need more of somethings creamy like Baileys or Frangelico to detect the flavour). Serve with a sprinkle of cocoa.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich

I think out of all three options, this is the Chanel handbag of vanilla ice cream desserts. I just went with plain vanilla ice cream sandwiched between the two biscuits, but you could get very creative by sprinkling things on the side. It does however make it more complicated. The combination of a slightly chewy-buttery cookie with the melted ice cream is just as dreamy a combo as you’d imagine.

For this sandwich I used some of the ahhmazing chocolate chip cookies I made (recipe here), but you could use any other chocolate chip cookies you might have in your pantry. Things like Chips Ahoy and FOX would make great alternatives.

For my South African readers, I try to always buy vanilla ice cream that reads “ice cream” and steer clear of anything that says “frozen dessert”  as I am looking for something creamy and not watery. Although something fancy with detectable vanilla seeds would be the best, it isn’t something we usually spring for. Brands that create good vanilla ice cream at reasonable prices are Country Fresh, Ola and Woolworths.

Would love to know if you’re giving any of these a try!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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A friend of ours recently proclaimed that “Surely no-one has all the ingredients necessary for a cake at all times!” I kept quiet about the my stash of my favourite cake mix and answered with a resounding, “Yes, cake recipes usually require so much butter! It is rare that I’ll have a full stick of butter on hand.”

I didn’t lie, I often don’t have enough butter for a full recipe which is how this chocolate chip cookie recipe came about. My sweet tooth demanded some chocolatey-goodness so I took a recipe I’d been meaning to try for a while, made some adjustments (replacements and halving the recipe) and I won’t look back! I’ve made fairly good chocolate chip cookies before but everyone that tasted one of my latest creations has been demanding more of this version. It is the perfect balance of sweet, salt and crispy-ness with a gooey centre.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour minus 2 table spoons
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 160 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup treacle sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 90 g dark chocolate slab, roughly chopped into chunks

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Method

  1. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients with electric beater. Add the chocolate chips last.
  4. Cover the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 4 – 24 hours.*
  5. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  6. Roll the dough in your hand to make small balls approximately 3 cm in diameter and press then down slightly on a prepared baking tray (baking paper sprayed with Spray & Cook). I made two batches and the ones I didn’t press down were smaller, thicker and wasn’t as crispy.
  7. Bake biscuits for approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
  8. Let biscuits cool on a cooling rack before serving.

* I haven’t tested this yet, but apparently the longer you refrigerate the dough the better the results are.

Mine made about 11 cookies (It is possible that I ate more than one cookie’s weight in raw dough though)

 

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Chocolate Soufflé

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Souffles have a reputation for being exceedingly difficult to make, but I promise that this recipe is fool proof. I made this a couple of weekends ago and it was just what was needed to keep the cold at bay. Similar to a chocolate mousse, a soufflé feels light and airy with the only difference being that a soufflé is served hot instead of cold. It is the hot air which gives a soufflé the ability to rise and as soon as the hot air escapes, it will collapse.

The recipe consists of two parts: a custard or crème pâtissière, which can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, and whipped egg whites.

Crème Pâtissière Ingredients:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 60 g castor sugar
  • 20 g plain flour
  • 280 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod or 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 7 g butter

Method:

  1. Whisk together the egg yolks and half the sugar until pale and creamy. Sift in the cornflour and flour and mix together well.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the milk, remaining sugar and vanilla pod.
  3. Bring it just to the boil and then slowly strain it over the egg mixture, stirring continuously.
  4. Pour it back into the saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring. It might be lumpy at first, but it will become smoother as you stir.
  5. Boil for 2 min and then stir in the butter.
  6. If you plan on storing this, leave it to cool before covering with plastic wrap and storing in the fridge.

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Soufflé Ingredients:

  • Non-stick Baking Spray
  • 80 g castor sugar
  • Crème Pâtissière
  • 45 g Cocoa Powder
  • 40 g dark chocolate, melted
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp castor sugar
  • icing sugar, for decorating

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 °C.
  2. Prepare 8 ramekins by spraying them with non-stick spray and then fill them with castor sugar, tilting the ramekin from side to side to ensure that the entire inside is covered. Gently tip any excess sugar out of the ramekin. This will ensure that the souffle doesn’t stick to the sides of the ramekin as it begins to rise. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
  3. If you let the Crème Pâtissière cool down, heat it up in a double boiler, stirring. Add the cocoa powder and melted chocolate and mix well. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually whisk in the sugar, until firm soft peaks form. (Don’t create stiff peaks, which are only suitable for hard meringues.)
  5. Stir in half the egg whites in the Crème Pâtissière to loosen it. Gently fold the remaining egg whites in in a figure 8 motion.
  6. Once you’re sure that its well mixed, fill the ramekins about 3/4.
  7. Place the dishes on the hot tray and bake for 15-18 min. They should be well risen and wobble when tapped. A test skewer should come out clean.
  8. Serve immediately, dusted with icing sugar.

 

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Raspberry Chocolate Tart

100_3880This is the perfect indulgent summer dessert. The raspberries balance the sweet, creamy chocolate filling and the crispy pastry adds the perfect finishing touch to the smooth center.

Pastry

  • 220g butter
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 500g flour

Chocolate Filling

  • 120g butter
  • 450g chocolate, half dark chocolate half milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 165g castor sugar
  • 80 ml cream
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 150g raspberries, halved (to top)

Preheat oven at 180 ⁰ C

To make the pastry

Combine the butter and sugar in a blender and then add the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour and mix until it forms a dough. Cover in cling-wrap and refrigerate for one hour or more.

Remove from refrigerator and press into tart tins (at least 10cm). This is best done by pressing tiny pieces of dough into the shells, but try to make the shell as even as possible.

Place the tins in the fridge for 30 min before blind baking for 15 min or until slightly golden. Remove and allow to cool whilst preparing the filling.

 To make the filling

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler (or recreate the effect with one small pot and a slightly larger one) over low heat.

Beat the eggs, castor sugar, cream and vanilla together until it is light and fluffy.

Pour the butter and chocolate mixture into the egg mixture whilst beating continuously. Pour into the cooled tart shells.

Bake for 15 min. Allow the tarts to cool completely before removing from the tins.

Decorate with halved raspberries.

Makes 18 small tarts.

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