Friday, May 29, 2009

Updates, updates

Yes I have been working in the kitchen.. Updates should be coming soon soon. Remember if you want previews, do keep up with my Flickr blog :)



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Three Decadences - Donut Trifle with Rich Chocolate Pudding

So I want to have fun, lots and lots of fun. I also want to use the knowledge I have to build to new heights. I read about the creations at P*ONG, Per Se, Citizen Cake, etc. and I want to have them, but I also want to make something I could stealthily slip among their fun, whimsical offerings without disappointing the palette. This is a noble first step... it needs work, but it is a good first step. The pudding I used for this is also a fantastic stand-alone item, if you need a spiced pudding...

Anyway, this is an odd, fun recipe. You can make these in individual dishes, one larger dish, martini glasses, plates, whatever you have. Improvise!

3 Strawberry Jelly Filled Donuts
3 Devil's Foodcake Donuts

I left them in the dehydrator overnight, at about 110 degrees or so. You don't have to do this but for me I love the crunchiness and flavor concentration it creates. When they are good and dry, break up the chocolate donuts into fair sized chunks (about eight to twelve pieces per donut). Cut the jelly donuts into quarters, set aside a couple of pieces of the jellies for top-decorations.

Now that that is done, onto the...

Chocolate Pudding (!!!)
14 oz can coconut milk
1/2 c water
3 T sugar
4.5 oz good dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used Valhrona and Callebeut)
3 T dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Sharffen-Berger)
1/4 C Arrowroot starch
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 t curry powder or spices of choice (I used a bit of freshly ground ginger, vietnamese cinnamon, madras curry powder, chili powder, anise, and nutmeg).

Mix the coconut milk and water together, set aside 1/2 c of this mix. Put the rest of the coconut milk in a sauce pan. Add the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile whisk together the remaining coconut milk, arrowroot starch, spice blend, and cocoa powder until smooth (I used a blender for this). When the milk-mix has started simmering, take about 1/4 cup to the starch-milk mix and add slowly, stirring all the while until consistent.
Turn the heat down to the lowest setting, and slowly whisk in the starch mix into the simmering liquid. Now whisk the mixture vigorously until the pudding returns to a simmer and thickens up a bit. Remove the saucepan from the heat, keep whisking for another minute. Add the chocolate and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

At this point you can either use the hot, thick mixture to arrange the trifles, or you can put it in a dish and let it cool then arrange your trifles. It comes down to how you want to do it. Given I made my dessert in a dish for people to serve their selves out of, I chose to pour it on hot, rather than letting it set.

The object in the photo is adorned with vegan whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and a marashino cherry. Fresh strawberries would also be a fantastic adornment.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Red is Stop. Green is Go. Pink is Yum.

Waugh firefox crash just sucked my post into a void :(
Needless to say, I have a serious problem.
Pictured above is a sorbet, an ice cream, and a frozen yogurt. Not pictured is another four or five ice creams, another sorbet, and well.. probably some other stuff, too. My fridge is full of ice creams... FULL! Well, onto the recipes...

Red Wine Strawberry Sorbet with Black Pepper
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and washed
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c dry red wine
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 T vanilla paste
  • 1/2 fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 t balsamic
  • 1/2 t citric acid (if strawberries are out of season, or to taste)
Toss strawberries with lemon juice, balsamic, vanilla, and citric acid, set aside. Meanwhile put wine, sugar, and black pepper on the stove. Warm over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour syrup over strawberries, stir, let cool to room temperature then refrigerate until chilled.
Puree or blend strawberries until smooth, then prepare according to ice cream manufacturer's instructions.

Thai Basil Coconut Ice Cream
**Under Construction!**: Re: I didn't log it, and it needs work anyway... I want to say I based it off of this recipe from Kitchen Therapy but looking at the recipe to say I based them off one another is a very very loose interpretation...

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
  • 1 pound plus 2 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and washed
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 C strained plain vegan soy yogurt
  • 1 T agave
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 2 T red wine
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t citric acid
  • pinch salt
  • dash lecithin
OK I should say straight up, pretty much every ingredient after the yogurt is semi-optional, if you don't have it, don't stress it. Don't have open red wine? Use kirsh, or vodka, or rum, or nothing, or whatever. And so on... HAVE FUN! Anyway, that said, dice the strawberries, toss them with the sugar and liquor. Let sit for 2 hours.
When two hours have passed, blend with the rest of the ingredients, chill in refrigerator. When chilled, prepare according to manufacturer's directions.

I am going to say that the posted recipes are 'sketches.' These are rough guidelines I followed in the kitchen. I often find recipes restrictive and when it comes to flavouring, I explore with abandon. Not having some things listed rarely stops me from making something. In the case of the strawberry sorbet, rather than opening a bottle of red wine I used 1 C of a red wine black pepper sorbet I had left over, which was very dry without much sugar. In that red wine sorbet I used some leftover concord grape sorbet. I am constantly using things as much to get rid of them as I am to explore and experiment. I do advise you to do the same, though admit my boldness may be bolstered by my compression-based ice cream maker that does not need recuperation time to make a second batch...

Remember, failure is just an excuse to cook even more, and if you are sticking to the sort of ingredients life happened to hand to you it isn't like you invested any money in the recipe... Speaking of things being handed to you, next up is going to be the Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers...