Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Yogurt (#59-Y)

11 06 2013

There are a lot of people out there who don’t like yogurt.  For many, it’s the characteristic tang of yogurt that’s the deal breaker.  The solution?  Chocolate.  And lots of it.

This frozen yogurt recipe calls for a whopping 3/4 cup of Dutch cocoa powder — the same amount as in my recipe for Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream, which I made waaaay back in Week #5.  I assure you that the deep, chocolatey taste of cocoa powder will mask any hint of tang in the yogurt.  Even if you have the most discerning palette, hyper-sensitive sour taste buds, and can pick out even the slightest whisper of tang in your food, you will likely attribute that taste to the sweet-tart macerated raspberries that are churned throughout the frozen yogurt.

Rather than using 2% plain Greek yogurt (Oikos brand – 130 calories, 3.5 g fat, 17 g protein per 1/2 cup) as I did with my last two frozen yogurt recipes, I gave 3% plain regular yogurt (Astro brand – 80 calories, 4 g fat, 5 g protein per 1/2 cup) a try this week to see if there’d be any difference in using a thinner yogurt, albeit one with a slightly higher fat content.

Astro 3% plain yogurt

3% plain regular yogurt has fewer calories and is cheaper than 2% plain Greek yogurt, but doesn’t compromise on taste and texture in frozen yogurt recipes.

Results?  Taste: AWESOME.  Texture: AWESOME.  Granted, I ought to test this recipe using both 2% Greek yogurt and 3% regular yogurt and do a side-by-side comparison, but based on this recipe alone, I’m convinced I could use either variety in my frozen yogurt recipes and have fantastic results.  Bonus: regular yogurt is usually cheaper than Greek yogurt!

(Readers: please let me know if you try this recipe using fat-free, 1%, or full-fat varieties of yogurt.  I’d be very interested in hearing about your results!)

Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Yogurt  (Makes about 1 L)

For the Chocolate Frozen Yogurt:

3/4 c Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup white sugar
3 cups of plain yogurt

For the Macerated Raspberries:

1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon vodka

Read the rest of this entry »





Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches (Chocolate Malt Ice Cream #51)

28 02 2013

My friends Pete and Bec are heading back home to Australia!  Pete and I first met in 2005 when he was in Vancouver for a year on a work visa.  He was one of my rock climbing BFFs that summer and I was sad to see him go at the end of the year.  Luckily, our paths crossed again in 2008 in Paris, where we had a fantastic day exploring the city and drinking cheap wine on the banks of the Seine.  Last year, when I heard that he and his new wife were planning a five-month visit to Vancouver, I was absolutely thrilled.  Those months have flown by, and yesterday, we had a celebratory goodbye-for-now dinner.  And what better way to end a dinner with the Aussies than with a dessert inspired by Tim Tams.

For the uninitiated, Tim Tams are an extremely popular brand of biscuits that originated in Australia in the 1960s.  A Tim Tam is a sandwich cookie comprised of two chocolate and malt flavoured biscuits, a light chocolate cream filling, and a textured chocolate coating.  They are considered an Australian cultural icon.  The hit the West Coast market in Canada about 10 to 15 years ago.

Tim Tams

Tim Tam biscuits — an Australian cultural icon!

Tim Tam biscuit

The inside of a Tim Tam biscuit: a light chocolate cream filling sandwiched between two chocolate malt biscuits, all dipped in chocolate.

Since this was a celebratory dinner, I thought a bit of extra effort was in order.  Vanilla ice cream topped with a couple of Tim Tams wasn’t going to cut it.  But homemade Tim Tam Ice Cream sandwiches — two homemade chocolate malt biscuits with a chocolate malt ice cream filling — now we’re talking!  (I decided against the dipped chocolate coating – I figured the ice cream sandwiches would be sweet and rich enough as is.)

If the idea of making ice cream sandwiches sounds like a bit too much effort, I can assure you, it’s not.  One little trick I’ve learned is to use a cookie cutter to cut out perfect rounds of ice cream to sandwich between two cookies (rather than scooping ice cream, squishing it between two cookies, and risking cookie breakage).

Still not convinced?  You have a few other options to achieve chocolate-malt Tim Tam goodness:

  • Option B: Crumble your homemade chocolate malt cookies and churn them into your chocolate-malt ice cream (a deconstructed Tim Tam Ice Cream sandwich!)
  • Option C: Feeling cookie lazy?  Chop up some store-bought Tim Tams and churn them into your chocolate malt ice cream.
  • Option D: Just make the chocolate malt ice cream!

Which malted milk powder to use, you ask?  You will probably have three options: Horlicks, Ovaltine, and Milo.  Horlicks has the most malty and least chocolatey taste, while Milo has the least malty and most chocolatey taste.  Ovaltine is somewhere in between.  Since I was already adding cocoa powder to both the cookie dough and the ice cream, I opted for Horlicks to maximize the malt flavour.  Horlicks also has the fewest weird ingredients (e.g. modified palm oil, oligofructose)

I used half of the ice cream for ice cream sandwiches, and churned cookie bits into the other half.  Results?  Both were incredible!  The ice cream has a toasty chocolately flavour, and the ice cream sandwiches — individually wrapped in parchment paper– were super cute and fun to serve for dessert.

If you are freezing the ice cream sandwiches overnight or longer, I would suggest taking them out of the freezer for 5 minutes prior to serving.  That way, the cookies will have a chance to soften up every so slightly.

Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches

For the Chocolate Malt Cookies – slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Malt Sandwiches recipe

(Makes about 40 single cookies.  If you are making sandwiches, you will have some leftover cookies)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons hot water

For the Chocolate Malt Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt Read the rest of this entry »





Nutella Ice Cream (#50)

21 02 2013

There were signs:

  1. When I stopped at my sister’s last weekend, she was toasting hazelnuts.
  2. When we stopped at La Grotta del Formaggio on Commercial Drive later that afternoon to pick up a few cheeses, I came across bags and bags of hazelnuts.
  3. When we popped across the street to Triple A Market for some produce, there was a huge display of Nutella.

Week #50 clearly had to be Nutella Ice Cream.

For those unfamiliar with Nutella, it’s a creamy hazelnut-chocolate spread that was created by Pietro Ferrero in the 1940s in Italy.  But while Nutella is (still being) marketed as a nutritious food (50 hazelnuts in every jar!  Full of skim milk!), it’s actually not that great for you.  In fact, in 2012, the makers of Nutella had to pay $3 million in a class action lawsuit over false nutritional claims.  The top two ingredients in Nutella?  Sugar and oil.  Yikes.  This meant having to make my own healthier version of Nutella to use in my Nutella Ice Cream recipe.

It turns out that 50 hazelnuts is not all that many.  I figured to yield 1 cup of Nutella, I would need at least 1.5 cups of hazelnuts — which turned out to be 125 hazelnuts.

toasted hazelnuts

125 toasted hazelnuts went into my homemade version of Nutella.

I tipped the hazelnuts into my Vitamix along with some cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and a dash of cream and gave it all a whirl.  At first, the mixture was incredibly thick, not at all like store-bought Nutella.  But after adding a tablespoon of coconut oil and blending further, things started looking good!  I combined the Nutella with a slightly modified custard recipe… but not before sneaking a couple of spoonfuls into my mouth!

Final results?  Ultra rich and creamy.  Nutty.  Chocolately.  AMAZING.  I think I could have eaten the entire batch of ice cream in one sitting!  Garnish the ice cream with a few toasted, salted hazelnuts.  The salty-sweet contrast is absolutely delicious.

Nutella Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

For the Nutella (makes about 1 cup)

1 .5 cups shelled hazelnuts
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 c half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon coconut oil or canola oil (Note: If you are making Nutella to spread on toast, crepes, etc., you might want to add an extra spoonful or two of oil for a thinner, more spreadable consistency.)

For the Ice Cream

2 3/4 cups half-and-half cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
Pinch of sea salt Read the rest of this entry »





Black Forest Ice Cream (#22)

9 08 2012

There was a news story that broke a few days ago that made me a bit sad.  Apparently, excess cherries from the US are being shipped to Canada, flooding the local market and causing prices to drop.  Cherry farmers in the Okanagan are receiving just half as much for their fruit compared to previous seasons.  With prices so low, farmers cannot afford to harvest the fruit.  Cherry pickers in the Okanagan have been laid off… leaving tens of thousands of pounds of beautiful, crispy, sweet cherries unpicked on the trees.  Sad faces all around.  Support our local farmers!  If you are able, pick up some local Okanagan cherries (and other local fruits and veggies) the next time you’re at the market!

Okanagan cherries

Okanagan cherries

I picked up a couple of pounds last weekend with a specific purpose in mind: BLACK FOREST.  I love chocolate and cherries!

Black forest cake itself is rather… involved.  Last year for my birthday, I was set on making a black forest cake from scratch.  Chocolate shortcrust pastry.  Chocolate sponge cake.  Cherry filling.  Freshly whipped cream.  Shaved chocolate curls.  Project Black Forest was accomplished over two days, the help of my dad (who just happened to have a homemade cake turntable on standby for my use), and caused quite the chocolately mess in the kitchen.

homemade black forest cake

Project Black Forest

But black forest ice cream is a cinch.  Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream + kirsch + boozy cherry compote = THE MOST AMAZING BLACK FOREST ICE CREAM EVER.  And it takes about 20 minutes of prep time!  (Hint: use a cherry pitter)  If you love chocolate and cherries as much as I do, you must try this recipe!

Black Forest Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

Ice Cream

3 eggs
1 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
3 3/4 cups half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons kirsch

Boozy Cherry Compote (makes about 2 cups)

3 cups of fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons kirsch
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Read the rest of this entry »





Egg-Free Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (#5-E)

1 08 2012

My Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream recipe from Week #5 is one of my favourites, and I’ve discovered a super simple way to make the recipe egg-free: mashed banana.  The addition of gooey, ripe banana adds that little extra depth and scoopability to the ice cream, compared to some other egg-free chocolate ice cream recipes that use only chocolate, sugar, and milk or cream.  And since this recipe uses a relatively large amount of cocoa, you don’t even notice the taste of the banana!

Use ripe and speckly bananas for this recipe (ones that look like this).  Be sure the bananas aren’t over-ripe (i.e. very high percentage of brown patches), as this will introduce a slightly boozy overtone to the ice cream.  But hey, you might enjoy that too!

Egg -Free Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (makes about 0.75 L)

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

Read the rest of this entry »





It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!

7 06 2012

June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, so I thought I’d reprise an oldie but a goodie: Week #5’s Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream.

Chocolate ice cream

Week #5’s Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream

This super simple ice cream recipe uses only four ingredients, and I assure you it will taste better than any premium chocolate ice cream you’ll find at the grocery store.  If you have time to make and chill the custard this morning, you can churn out a creamy batch of ice cream for dessert tonight.  Cheers to chocolate!





Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (#5)

11 04 2012

Dutch processed cocoa

I’m keeping things super simple this week and going with a classic that uses only four ingredients: chocolate ice cream. What I love about this recipe is its rather unabashed use of cocoa powder.  Unlike other chocolate ice cream recipes that use a scant few tablespoons of cocoa, this recipe uses a whopping 3/4 cup.  The result is an ultra decadent, rich, and chocolatey ice cream.

If you can find it, use Dutch-processed cocoa powder rather than natural cocoa powder.  What’s the difference?  Natural cocoa powder is lighter in colour, has an intense flavour, and is slightly acidic.  Dutch-processed cocoa powder is treated with an alkalizing agent to neutralize its acidity.  As a result, it’s darker and has a mellower, smoother taste.  Dutch-processed cocoa is also more soluble in liquids, making it the favoured cocoa powder for ice cream.

(PS: If you plan to do any baking with your leftover cocoa powder, keep in mind that natural cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa powder cannot necessarily be used interchangeably because of their different pH levels.  David Lebovitz has a great FAQ page on cocoa powder.  Have a read — it might save your brownies from disaster!)

Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (makes about 3/4 quart)

Adapted from the Donvier Ice Cream Maker Recipe Booklet

2 eggs
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

Read the rest of this entry »








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