Archive for February, 2008

Difficulty: Moderate

Mint Oreo Ice Cream
(Makes 1 1/2 quarts)

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp peppermint extract (do NOT substitute mint)
1 cup chopped mint Oreo cookies

Combine milk and cream in medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a slow boil over medium heat until it reaches 175 degrees, stirring occasionally.

Combine the eggs, yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with hand mixer until mixture is thick, smooth and pale yellow in color, about 2 minutes.

Pour out 1 cup hot milk mixture and with hand mixer on low add the cup of hot milk/cream to egg mixture in a steady stream. When thoroughly combined, pour back into saucepan and stir. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture thickens and reaches 180 degrees. Pour through fine mesh sieve into medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly in the custard and chill completely. When chilled add peppermint extract. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions and add oreos during last 5 minutes of freezing.

For the Cake & Ganache
1 devils food cake mix or your favorite chocolate cake recipe
1 cup heavy cream
8-10 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz white chocolate
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
green food coloring

Make cake according to directions. Pour into jellyroll pan greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 or until toothpick in center comes out with few crumbs attached. Do not overbake.

Remove from pan and let cool on cooling rack. Cut in half width-wise. Place cake layer onto serving dish and top with softened ice cream, leveling with spatula. Place in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Top with remaining cake layer and using parchment gently press into ice cream so layers adhere. Place in freezer while you make ganache.

Bring cream to a low boil over medium heat. Reserve 1/4 cup. Pour 1 cup cream over chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth. Pour over chilled cake covering top and sides evenly.
Add remaining 1/4 cup cream to chopped white chocolate and add peppermint extract and food coloring. Using pastry bag with small tip or plastic bag with corner snipped drizzle over chocolate in zig-zag pattern. Then run toothpick through to create desired effect. Place cake in freezer to set ganache.


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Key Lime Pie

Difficulty: Moderate
I made mine in an 11-inch tart pan, if I could do it again I would double the filling. It was a bit thin but sooo rich and tart. If you choose to double then bake a few minutes longer until the middle is just set.
Serves 8
Lime Filling:
4 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup lime juice from 3 to 4 limes
4 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Graham Cracker Crust:
11 graham crackers , processed to fine crumbs (1 1/4 cups)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
Whipped Cream Topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 lime , sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar (optional)
1. For the Filling: Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.
2. For the Crust: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; stir with fork until well blended. Pour mixture into 9-inch pie pan; press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pan to form even crust. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
3. Pour lime filling into crust; bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (Can be covered with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap laid directly on filling and refrigerated up to 1 day.)
4. For the Whipped Cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Adding confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just-stiff peaks. Decoratively pipe whipped cream over filling or spread evenly with rubber spatula. Garnish with optional sugared lime slices and serve.

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