Food & Drink

S’mores Ice Cream

DSC_5479

DSC_5475

S'mores Ice Cream

  • Servings: 1 quart
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 graham crackers, crumbled
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup hot fudge sauce
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow cream

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine whole milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder.  Whisk until sugar is melted.  Add vanilla extract and salt.  Whisk until combined.  Refrigerate mixture for 2 hours, or until cold.
  2. Pour mixture into ice cream maker.  Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, or until soft-serve consistency.  Pour ice cream into the desired container.  Swirl graham crackers, marshmallows, marshmallow cream, and hot fudge sauce into the ice cream.  Freeze until ready.

Food & Drink

Chocolate Pots de Crème

DSC_5397

DSC_5400

In college, one of my go-to quick desserts were mini pudding cups.  I’d cut up a rolled-out pie crust and place them in a muffin tin and blind bake them.  Meanwhile, I’d make chocolate pudding (from the box) and stuff the cups.  It was super easy and looked quite impressive.

I have nothing against chocolate pudding now, but I do think there are so many other fun desserts that have that pudding-like consistency and taste so much more elevated.  One of them is pots de crème.  Pots de crème literally translates to “pots of cream” in French.  It is a loose-textured custard, quite similar to pudding.  It tastes so rich and decadent but it takes so little effort.  Like seriously you’ll be done in less than 10 minutes (well you do have to wait for everything to cool, that’s the hard part).

DSC_5387DSC_5383DSC_5391

Chocolate Pots de Crème

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Ingredients

Pots de Crème

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Topping

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tb granulated sugar

Method

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt over medium-low heat.  Continually whisking until mixture is thick and can coat the back of a spoon, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Pour in chocolate chips and whisk until chocolate is melted and everything is incorporated.  Transfer this mixture into 4 ramekins (mine were 5oz ramekins).  Place in the refrigerator to set, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Before serving, whisk together heavy cream and granulated sugar until soft peaks.  Top the chilled pots de crème.

 

Food & Drink

Chocolate Mochi Ice Cream

DSC_5318

DSC_5319

Ahh summertime, my favorite indulgences is ice cream.  Unfortunately, as much as I say that I’m not a dessert person, I am such an ice cream person.  Seriously, you can put a pint of ice cream in front me, pop on an episode of “The Office”, and by the time the episode is over, I’ll be scraping the bottom of the container.

For me, mochi ice cream is the perfect solution – bite-size ice cream, perfect for portion control.  (If making things bite-size won’t stop you from having more than 1, I don’t blame you).

This recipe is really straight forward and just requires some planning ahead.  For example, scooping out ice cream beforehand and freezing individual balls is crucial since we’ll be working with our hands, so you want ice cream that will be really cold.

One mistake I made was not doing a better job in redistributing the mochi after I sealed it, so when I cut into it, there was definitely more mochi on the bottom than I would’ve liked.  That’ll be something I need to practice more on.

Chocolate Mochi Ice Cream

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 pint chocolate ice cream
  • 1 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

Method

  1.  Use an ice cream scooper or two spoons, scoop out 1 inch size balls of ice cream.  Put on a tray lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer and freeze until rock hard, about 2 hours.
  2. In a large glass bowl, stir together sweet rice flour, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder.  Stir in water and mix until well combined.  Cover and microwave for 5 minutes, stopping and stirring after each minute.  Allow to fully cool before continuing.
  3. Sprinkle a little bit of cornstarch on work surface.  Roll out mochi dough into a large rectangle.  Use a round cookie cutter or a glass and cut out circles around 2 inches in diameter.  Take each circle and wrap the balls of ice cream, pinching the edges to seal, smooth mochi dough to redistribute.  Return mochi balls to the freezer for at least 1 hour before serving.

Food & Drink

Chocolate Banana Bread

DSC_5293

DSC_5285

DSC_5283

What’s better than banana bread?  Chocolate banana bread, of course!  This is also a one bowl recipe, which is a huge plus.  Although this is probably better as a dessert, I have managed to convince myself that this is perfectly acceptable as breakfast.

Chocolate Banana Bread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a large glass mixing bowl, melt butter in microwave (or double boiler).  Remove from heat.  Add the bananas and use a fork or potato masher, mash the bananas until no large lumps remain.  Add egg, yogurt, and sugar, using the fork to incorporate.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
Adapted from Simply Recipes

Food & Drink

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

DSC_5211

I did a thing!

So let’s back up, in February I went on a family trip to Monterey, California.  There, we stayed at Portola Hotel & Spa.  The hotel itself is nice and all, but the best part was this massive oatmeal chocolate chip cookie they greet you with at the front desk.  This is not an exaggeration, it was the best cookie I’ve ever had.  My entire family thought so.  It was so good that we’d sneak down to the lobby and ask for seconds throughout our stay.

Luckily, the packaging had a list of ingredients: brown sugar, pastry flour, rolled oats, chocolate chips, butter, eggs, milk, salt, baking powder, baking soda.  I knew my task once I went home, I was going to recreate these amazing chocolate chip cookies.

Back home, I got to experimenting.  I first scoured the internet for a copycat recipe, but there weren’t any.  There was a YouTube video on their page talking about the cookies and there’s a brief overview of them making it.  But it was in massive quantities so it was hard to translate that for the home cook.  But what I got from the video was the steps that went into making these babies, and boy … they are quite different from your regular cookies!  The weirdest thing you might notice is combining the oats with eggs and milk in the beginning.  In my opinion, I think what this does is it softens the oats a lot so when you eat it, it’s not this sharp and hard bit that you’re biting into.  So here’s my ode (and attempt) at recreating the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

P.S. One of my favorite episodes of Friends is the one Monica tries to figure out Phoebe’s family recipe for chocolate chip cookies.  So if this recipe is basically Betty Crocker’s, please don’t tell me because I’ll be absolutely gutted.  Lol.

DSC_5202

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a large cookie sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and vanilla extract.  Add rolled oats to the egg mixture and use a spoon to combine.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine pastry flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Add oat mixture and the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low until well incorporated.  Add chocolate chips and mix until just mixed.  Divide dough into 8 large balls.  Flatten gently on the cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and there are cracks on top of the cookies.

Food & Drink

Chocolate Lava Cake

DSC_5077

Yoo-hoo!  This past weekend, we welcomed May and I baked up a storm.  The theme was all things chocolate.  So this coming week, you’ll be seeing so. much. chocolate, and I’m thrilled about it all.

First up on the list is this decadent chocolate lava cake (aka molten chocolate cake or petit gâteau, if you’re French and fancy).  This actually came from a challenge my husband jokingly gave me.  We were chatting about our favorite desserts, and he mentioned that his favorite dessert is the Chocolate Lava Crunch Cake from Domino’s.  Yes, Domino’s as in the place that you get cheap pizza from.  He then challenged me to bake a homemade version that tastes better than Domino’s.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure if this challenge was insulting or not, but nevertheless, I was up for the challenge.

We did a side-by-side comparison.  Honestly, the Domino’s version is so overwhelmingly sweet, the chocolate flavor doesn’t really come through.  The flavor reminds me of an Oreo.  This homemade version has very sophisticated chocolate notes and the texture is much better in terms of mouthfeel.  The best part is, the whole thing comes together so fast, AND YOU CAN EAT IT OUT OF THE OVEN.

DSC_5055

Chocolate Lava Cake

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tb granulated sugar, plus more for coating the ramekins
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tb all-purpose flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.  Grease four 5-oz ramekins with butter.  Sprinkle each ramekin with 1 tsp of sugar, rotate to coat and tap out the excess.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
  2. In a double boiler, melt dark chocolate chips and butter until smooth.  In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt until pale the mixture falls like ribbons.  Pour in chocolate mixture and flour,  mix well.
  3. Pour evenly into ramekins.  Bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes. (The top should be just set and when you shake the pan there should be a slight jiggle).  Let cool for a couple minutes.  Turn out to serving plates.  Serve with fresh fruits or ice cream.
Adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerichten

 

 

Food & Drink

Twice-Baked Raspberry Brownies

DSC_5011

Does the internet really need one more brownie recipe?  YAAAAASSSSSS.

I love experimenting with different brownies recipes.  Recently, I stumbled upon a recipe by food gastronomist himself, Mr. Alton Brown.  His recipe seems really straightforward, but the technique is a little different, as the brownies are essentially twice-baked.  He bakes it for 15 minutes, lets it cool for 15 minutes, then pops it back in and bakes for an additional 30 minutes.  Doing so leads to very dense and rich brownies.  GAHHH I’m drooling as I’m typing this.

I decided to apply this method to my own brownie recipe and the result is the best raspberry brownies ever.  It’s dense, moist, and rich.  The raspberries are perfectly cooked and provide just the right amount of tartness.  I should warn you – this recipe is so indulgent.  So … find lots of friends to share it with.  Or hit the gym after you eat these.

fullsizeoutput_551cDSC_5016

Twice-baked Raspberry Brownies

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup raspberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line a 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper, or grease the pan.
  2. In a double boiler, stir together chocolate chips, butter, and brown sugar until melted.  Gently whisk in eggs, one by one.  Add flour and cocoa powder.  Add about half of the raspberries.  Stir until combined.  Pour brownie mixture on prepared pan.  Dot the pan with remaining raspberries.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Bring it out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.