Homemade Eggless Chocolate Ice cream

This is the first time ever that i have attempted making an ice cream at home and that too without an ice cream maker. I only went ahead with it as i had some leftover heavy cream and somehow i could not think of making anything else. Also this is an eggless recipe. I do eat eggs its just that i was feeling extra adventurous to try something new. With no ice cream maker at home i just didnt want to mix stuff and freeze it. I really wanted the end product to be as smooth as store bought ice cream. 

And so, i searched and searched the internet and zeroed down on the ice bath method. This method basically replicates the mechanism of an ice cream maker. The basic idea of this method is to breakdown the ice crystals that are formed when you freeze the mixture. Although the end product was not very smooth but it definitely was very very close. And the recipe is something i came up with. It is indeed a keeper. 
As far the picture goes you might be thinking why just one scoop of ice cream rather than 2 or 3? Yaaaa soooo there is a reason behind that. The ice cream came out so good that me & hubby gobbled down almost the entire bowl. Finally when i thought about clicking some pictures only one scoop was left. :D. This is a small recipe so please double the ingredients if you want to make a good size batch.


Ingredients:
1/4 cup of granulated sugar 
2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tsp of strong brewed coffee ( i used store bought coffee concentrate by trader joes). This is optional but highly recommended as the coffee brings out the flavor of chocolate and makes it more chocolaty. If you don’t have one then go ahead and use 1 tsp of vanilla extract instead.
1/4 cup of chocolate chips melted and cooled at room temperature. 
Method:
1) Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, cool it and keep it aside.
2) In a separate saucepan add the sugar, milk, heavy whipping cream and cocoa powder. Mix it and switch off the gas once it starts to boil. At this point the sugar will be melted and the cocoa powder will be nicely combined with the milk. (Please refer the pictures below).

4) Pour a little of the hot milk mixture onto the melted chocolate and combine. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate mixture with the rest of the hot milk mixture. Cover the saucepan with a cling wrap (so that it doesn’t form a skin) and let it cool down at room temperature.

5) Once cooled, chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30- 45 mins.

6) Remove the ice cream mixture from the refrigerator. Prepare an ice bath by putting ice cubes in a big bowl.  You should be able to fit the small bowl (which has the ice cream mixture) in the big bowl such that the ice cubes completely surrounds the small bowl (Please refer the pictures below). 
7) Now with a hand mixer beat the mixture on high speed for 5 – 10 mins. Cover it with cling wrap and keep it in the freezer along with the ice bath for 1 hr. (You can also use a whisk but you may have to whisk it for at least 15 mins….that will be a good workout for your arms. :P)
8) After an hour remove and repeat the same procedure. Beat the mixture on high speed for 10 mins. 
I repeated this procedure 3 times within an interval of 45 mins to 1 hour. 

9) Now when you beat the mixture for the third and the last time, the consistency will be like a soft serve.

10) Finally cover it again with the cling wrap and freeze it (no ice bath needed at the end) overnight or until it is set. Serve chilled with you favorite toppings.

Almond & Pistachio Kheer

Are you bored of the usual rice and vermicelli kheer/pudding? Do you want to try a different kheer other than the usual stuff?

Presenting to you all a very delicious Almond and Pistachio Kheer.

The recipe for this sweet delicacy was passed on to me by my MIL (mother in law). Something totally different from the usual kheer preparation, this rich and delicious kheer is perfect for any festivals or special occasions. I had prepared this once during ramadan but couldn’t post the recipe soon.

Recipe:

Since i made this on a weekday on hubby’s demand, i only used small quantities of almonds and pistachios. So this recipe will yield 4 servings.

1/2 cup of almonds (soaked, skins removed and dried or toasted)
1/2 cup of pistachios (soaked, skins removed and dried or toasted)
2 tbsp of ghee or clarified butter
1/3 cup of sugar (you may use more if desired)
2 cups of whole milk
1/3 tsp of ground cardamom powder
Few strands of saffron.

Method:
1) Soak almonds and pistachios for at least 5 – 6 hrs (you may also soak them in warm water to decrease the soaking time). Drain the water and remove the peels. 
2) Originally this recipe calls for air dried almonds and pistachios. So you can spread the almonds and pistachios on a paper or a large dish and let it dry off in your patio/balcony. Since i didn’t have the time for air drying i roasted them in the oven instead. 
3)  Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the almonds and pistachios on a baking sheet. Toast the almonds and the pistachios for 20 – 25 mins or until they are dry, crisp and very slightly brown in color. Make sure that the baking sheet is kept in the middle rack. I mistakenly kept it one rack above the middle hence the almonds and pistachios have more color on them in the pictures. But its fine as long as they are not burnt. 

4) Remove from the oven and let it cool for few mins. Transfer into a food processor/mixer and grind it into fine powder. 
5) In a saucepan heat about 2 tbsp of ghee/clarified butter. Now add the powdered almonds and pistachios and saute on a low heat for few mins. Since i had already toasted the almonds and pistachios, i didn’t toast the powder for too long in the ghee. If you are using the powdered mixture which was not toasted in the oven, you will need to toast it in ghee for few mins until it gives out a nice aroma. 
6) Add the sugar and mix. Then add the milk and stir. Let it cook on a low to medium heat until the milk starts to thicken a bit. Keep stirring frequently so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom. Mine took around 20-25 mins. The consistency should be a little thick but not too runny. 
7) Finally finish off with cardamom powder and few saffron strands. 
Serve warm. 

Tiramisu……Valentine’s Day Special

Tiramisu….(which means “pick me up”), is a very popular coffee flavored Italian dessert. It is basically made of ladyfinger cookies dipped in expresso or coffee which is then topped off with layers of rich and creamy custard and whipped cream mixture and is finished off with lighted dusted cocoa powder on top.

I first had this lip smacking dessert in an Italian restaurant located in Mumbai few years back. It was hubby (who, back then was my boyfriend :P) who introduced me to this fabulous melt in your mouth Italian delicacy. I simply loved the combination of cookies and custard with coffee. The second time I had it was in the form of a cake for my very first birthday after I moved post marriage to New Jersey. And boy ohhh boy…. I was in love with Tiramisu!!!

Curiosity kicked in and I started searching for the recipe online. And to my surprise I found out that it was one of the easiest dessert to make at home. So the first time around I followed the original recipe which calls for raw egg yolks and it turned out really good. But this time around I played safe and tried the other version in which the egg yolk mixture is cooked on a double boiler. This turned out even better than my last version and tasted absolutely divine. So this recipe is definitely a keeper if you want to avoid raw eggs altogether. 

Here’s what you will need:

(Makes 6 servings)

18- 20 Italian ladyfinger cookies (savoiardi
3 egg yolks
8 oz (225g) – Mascarpone cheese 
1/4 cup and 1 tbsp of sugar 
1/3 cup of milk
3/4 cup (175ml) of heavy whipping cream 
2 tsp of vanilla essence 
1/2 cup of expresso or strong brewed coffee (I used freshly brewed expresso)
Cocoa powder for dusting or bittersweet chocolate shavings (optional)

For the custard:

First up, whisk the egg yolks, 3 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla essence in a heat proof bowl until the mixture turns pale yellow in color. Now place this bowl on a saucepan with simmering water. Cook the egg yolk mixture on a medium flame while stirring it continuously. Now gradually add the milk in parts. After about 8-10mins the mixture will thicken. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and allow it to cool. 
Add the mascarpone cheese to the cooled egg yolk mixture and mix well with an electric mixer or a wire whisk until smooth. Set this aside. 

In another bowl add heavy cream. Whisk the heavy cream with an electric mixer and add about 1 tbsp of sugar gradually to the heavy cream. Whisk until the heavy cream forms stiff peaks or you can simply turn the bowl upside down, if the cream doesn’t fall off its ready 😛

Now fold the heavy cream slowly and gradually into the egg yolk and mascarpone mixture. 

In a wide bowl pour the expresso or strong coffee. Add about a tbsp of sugar (optional) and 1 tsp of vanilla essence. Many people also add marsala wine or even rum to the coffee. I did not add any. 

Now its time to assemble the tiramisu.

Have an approximately 9 inch square dish ready. Dip both sides of the lady fingers in the expresso/coffee very quickly and line them on the bottom of the dish. Now spoon in half of the custard and spread it over the ladyfingers. Dust it with cocoa powder. Repeat the same procedure to make a second layer.

Cover the dish with a plastic cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hrs until set. Tiramisu tastes best when made a day before. So it would be best if kept overnight in the refrigerator before serving.  

The eggless version:

Now for those who are vegetarians and wish for an eggless version you can easily skip the egg yolk mixture part. Instead just whisk the mascarpone cheese with sugar and fold in the whipped cream and follow the rest of the recipe.

And the best part…you can make this ahead of time for any of your special occasions.

This dessert is my hubby’s favorite and I made this for him today 🙂


So guys, isn’t this an absolutely easy dessert to make especially for valentine’s day? I think it is…..so go ahead and give it a try and let me know how it was.


Happy Valentine’s Day. 😀

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Flourless chocolate cake? cupcakes???….ya you heard it right “flourless”. I didn’t know a dessert like this does exist until recently. Gluten free, decadent and oh soooo chocolatey.

I was not planning to bake anything for the next few weeks or may be months (trying to cut out sugar from our diet you see) but sometimes i desperately crave for chocolates. This was one of those days and i wanted to bake something that was hassle free, needs less ingredients and which bakes in less that 30 minutes. 
Hubby dearest was not happy (he is a chocoholic and is trying his best to stay away from them…hehehe…) coz like i said we were supposed to cut down sugar and here i was doing exactly the opposite :P. Nevertheless he liked it very much. 
Flourless chocolate cake or cupcake is a delicious dense chocolate cake which i bet all chocolate lovers will absolutely devour. This decadent dessert is also good for people who can’t tolerate wheat or gluten. 
All the recipes out there (found on the internet where else?? :P) consists more or less the same ingredients. The one i made is also the standard recipe but the measurements were all mine :D. As expected it turned out to be yummy and was the right texture. 
I didn’t want to bake a big cake so this is a sweet and small recipe. And i baked them on a cupcake tray just for fun :D. 
Here’s what i did: 
Ingredients:
4 oz of semi sweet (56%cocoa) chocolate bars (you can also use bitter sweet chocolate)
4 tbsp of unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of regular unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 tbsp of granulated sugar (less sugar as i was using semi sweet chocolate bars and i like the bitterness of cocoa, you can use more if you desire)
Five ingredient fix….it cant get any better than this 🙂
(oh thats the vanilla extract next to the eggs i didn’t use it but u can :P)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave. 
In a separate bowl, add sifted cocoa powder and sugar, combine. Add the eggs into this mixture and whisk until nicely combined. Now slowly pour a little of the hot melted chocolate and butter mixture into the egg and cocoa powder mixture ensuring to mix constantly so that the eggs doesn’t scramble.
Chocolate + Butter

Melted chocolate and butter mixture

Cocoa powder + egg + sugar

Chocolate mixture +cocoa powder and egg mixture combined
Pour in the rest of the melted chocolate and mix until nicely combined. And you are done. Pour this mixture on to a cake pan which is buttered and lined with parchment paper  or you can do what i did ….bake them in a cupcake tray with cupcake liners. 

Bake time
Bake for 15-20mins or until toothpick inserted comes out a little wet (not gooey). Dust the cupcakes with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired ( i ate it as is yummmmmyyy)


So until next next time Happy Baking and Happy Holidays 🙂