Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chocolate Ice Cream

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 

To link to Cookbook Countdown Specials : BAKE, click here
To link to Cookbook Countdown #7, click here


For this month's Cookbook Countdown #7, my selected cookbook is The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz.  This week's treat is Chocolate Ice Cream. Nobody would turn down a scoop or two of chocolate ice cream, especially the kids!

Full of chocolate flavour! You would definitely want more than a scoop!

Chocolate Ice Cream
(adapted from "The Perfect Scoop", by David Lebovitz)
makes about 1 quart (1 liter)
2 cups (500ml) heavy cvream
3 tablespoons (21gm) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ounces (140gm) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150gm) sugar (I use 1/3 cup)
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks (I use 4)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Warm 1 cup (250ml) of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup (250ml) cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out).

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #7 hosted by 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Penne with Pepperoni, Baby Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

We are cooking with tomatoes at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme "I Say Tomato, You Say Tomahto!"  I've made one of Curtis Stone's pasta recipe which I have bookmarked to try for ages. Some members of IHCC, (Kim, Tina and Susan) has made this pasta for previous themes and everyone has given a thumbs up review. So it's my turn to join the wagon!

Sweet juicy cherry tomatoes roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper until the tomatoes begin to spilt, which took about 15-20 minutes. I've used more tomatoes than the recipe calls for.

Originally the recipe is called "Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Salami, Baby Tomatoes, Olives and Capers".  I could not find Rigatoni and have replaced with Penne. Did not have Spicy Italian Salami too, but I do have some frozen pepperoni so that was what I've used. 

Slices of pepperoni are fried in a little oil until lightly browned. Saute the chopped garlic, add in the roasted tomatoes, stir for a few minutes, then pour in the white wine, olives and capers. Stir and add in the pepperoni and parsley ( I have used cilantro). Stir in the cooked pasta, adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

 A very tasty pasta dish. The next time I will add even more roasted tomatoes. 

I sprinkled some chilli flakes over my plate, a habit of mine with most pasta dishes, preferring the chilli flakes over cheese!

Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Salami, Baby Tomatoes, Olives and Capers
(adapted from "Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone")
Serves 4
20 cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces spicy salami, such as Sopressa Vicentina,, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup extra-fine capers
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely
8 to 10 ounces rigatoni pasta

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the tomatoes on a small baking sheet and drizzle with the 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until they begin to split. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool slightly.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While the water is heating, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy saute pan over medium heat. Add the salami and cook for 30 seconds on each side, until light golden in colour. Remove the salami from the pan and reserve.
Return the pan to the heat, add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute, or until tender. Add the tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for about 3 minutes, or until reduced by about half. Add the olives and capers and toss gently. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the salami and parsely.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling salted water for 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta and toss it in the pan with the sauce. Season the pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to plates, spooning any extra salami and tomato mixture from the pan around the pasta, and serve.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week, 
"I Say Tomato, You Say Tomahto!"

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cinnamon-Oatmeal Cookies

Cookbook Countdown Specials : Bake is a baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  This is a "spin-off" from our on-going monthly Cookbook Countdown. Cookbook Countdown Specials : Bake is for baking desserts ; pastries, cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, breads. While the monthly Cookbook Countdown is to use from one selected cookbook each month, for CC Specials : Bake, you may use any baking cookbooks of your choice, either from one single cookbook or from numerous books. The link is open from July to end September. You may link your post here. Do join us, everyone is welcome!

To link to Cookbook Countdown Specials : BAKE, click here
To link to Cookbook Countdown #7, click here


Another keeper recipe from this awesome book, Williams-Sonoma : Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw. A personal project of mine to bake through this book, one recipe at a time.

If you like chewy oatmeal cookies, then you would probably love this. There's a few variations as to the add-ons, like raisins, dried currants, or chocolate chips. While the author love hers with chocolate chips, I like my oatmeal cookies with raisins.

As usual, I've reduced the amount of both the brown and granulated sugars, by half, which for us, the sweetness was just right. I've baked the cookies 3 minutes longer than the recipe indicated. When eating them just barely warm, the sides are a little crisp and the centre soft and chewy. The next day, these cookes are chewy throughout, which is really very nice.

Fragrance with the cinnamon, sweetness from the raisins and chewiness of the oats, makes these cookies a great snack to nibble on anytime of the day. And even as a midnight snack! 

One thing to take note is that, while the recipe states that it yields about 2-1/2 dozen cookies, I got exactly 4-1/2 dozens! And I did follow the required cookie size by following the instructions of  "drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough onto the prepared pans" !

Cinnamon-Oatmeal Cookies
(adapted from "Williams-Sonoma : Home Baked Comfort", Kim Laidlaw)
makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies
1-1/2 cups (7-1/2oz/235gm) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda (I use 1/2 tsp each baking soda and baking powder)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt (omitted the salt, use salted butter)
3/4 cup (6oz/185gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature (use salted butter)
1 cup (7oz/220gm) firmly packed light brown sugar (I use 1/2 cup loosely packed)
1/2 cup (4oz/125gm) granulated sugar (I use scan 1/4 cup)
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups (7oz/220gm) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (6oz/185gm) dried currants, raisins, or chocolate chips (optional)

Space 2 racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350F (180C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and oats and beat on low speed until incorporated. Stir in the currants, if using.

Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough onto the prepared pans, spacing them slightly apart. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Cookbook Countdown


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