Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 12:20PM
Off the shelf
baking book reviews
Top to bottom: The Sweet Life in Paris David Lebovitz, the foodies' guide to Melbourne 2010, Ratio Michael Ruhlman, Pizza Modo Mio John Lanzafame, Masterchef Australia The Cookbook, Rose's heavenly cakes, chocolates confections Greweling, The Fundamental techniques of classic pastry arts FCI, Larousse Gastronomique, The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef Friberg
I was very lucky to receive a swag of cookbooks from friends & family this Christmas!
Some are "big guns", The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef, The Fundamental Techniques of classic pastry arts & Chocolates Confections are all text books covering advanced techniques.
Some are Australian; the Melbourne foodies guide (thank you Cindy), Masterchef Australia cookbook from the top rating TV show and Pizza Modo Mio from Sydney based world pizza champion John Lazafame.
Others are from some of my favourite food authors; you can't go past Rose Levy Beranbaum for exactly the right way to bake to a cake, David Lebovitz I adore (more on him later in this post) and Michael Ruhlman where I'm sure he is going to tell me I don't need any of these cookbooks it's just a matter of basic ratios!
And lastly you know I'll be quoting from Larousse Gastronomique ad nauseam this year ;)
But today I'm not covering any of the above I'm going with David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop.
David, David, David, my favourite food blogger & my favourite pastry chef. As an American based in Paris with his humorous & witty musings and fabulous recipes one can't help but adore him, I could at this point wax lyrically but I better get on with it....
The Perfect Scoop
256 pages (Hardcover)
All the basics are covered for producing home made ice-creams, frozen yoghurts, sorbets, sherbet & granita. Plus mix-ins, toppings, sauces, cones, crepes, brownies, meringues & more.
Flavours to tempt you from the dozens and dozens of recipes include Butter Scotch Pecan Ice-cream, Fresh Fig Ice-cream, Grape Granita, to die for Vietnamese Coffee Ice-cream, Pineapple Champagne sorbet, to the more unusual varieties like basil ice-cream to all the standard classic berry, chocolate and vanilla.
I do have other ice-cream books, but this is the only one that is dog eared and okay, the only one that is splooshed with splashes of what as far as I can tell is blueberry frozen yogurt.
From Mr. Lebovitz's blog is this most versatile & wonderful vanilla ice-cream. Slightly different from the version in the book, both are marvellous & the perfect accompaniment to all your fruit desserts, fruit pies or when you want to add a luscious sauce.
Vanilla Ice Cream
About 1 quart (1l)
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press)
For a richer custard, you can add up to 3 more egg yolks. For a less-rich custard, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream, realizing that the final texture won't be as rich or as smooth as if using cream.
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Note: Used vanilla beans can be rinsed and dried, then stored in a bin of sugar. That sugar can be used for baking and, of course, for future ice cream making.
Classic Hot Fudge page 164 The Perfect Scoop
(Makes 2 cups)
3/4 cups (180ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (60g) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup (125ml) light corn syrup
170g (6oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (15g) salted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I omitted this & replaced it with a four to five drops of peppermint extract/essence)
Mix the cream, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and corn syrup in a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds.
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Serve warm.
*the sauce can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm it gently in the microwave or by stirring over very low heat.
* this is an adult tasting sauce, the book also contains a sweeter fudge sauce & even a lean chocolate sauce.
For the brownie base use your favourite brownie recipe (there is several brownie recipes in the book), I used a Chicago Metallic Molten N' More pan to bake mine in for easy removal, otherwise if you don't have a removable base tin line a muffin tin with strips of parchment paper extending above the cups so you have makeshift "handles" to lift your brownies out.
Top cooled or warm brownie with a scoop of ice-cream & spoon over sauce.
David Lebovitz's blog can be found here.