Friday, April 15, 2011

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Brownie Bits

Yum.  All I have to say is yum!  I decided to make this ice cream because I'd baked some brownies for my running group and they did not come out the way I'd planned.  The tester came out clean, but sadly when I went to cut the brownies they were grossly undercooked.  So, when life hands you undercooked brownies...  You make ice cream!  Sorry, I couldn't resist!  :)

This was my first try at making ice cream in the ice cream maker I received as a birthday gift in July.  I have to say the process isn't nearly as scary as I'd thought.  In fact, it's pretty simple!  The hardest part is waiting for the ice cream to freeze so it can be eaten!  This recipe came together really quickly.  You can use the following brownie recipe (which is my favorite!) or you can use your own favorite.  I'd even suggest picking up some already made brownies to make this simple process even easier.

For the Ghirardelli brownies
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup Ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate and cocoa
2/3 cup unsifted flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
*I added about 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips as well as 1/4 cup of caramel bites.  The caramels can be found here at Nuts Online.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Coat an 8x8" or 9x9" pan with nonstick spray.  Using a spoon, stir eggs, sugar, and vanilla; add butter.  Sift together Sweet ground chocolate, flour, salt and baking powder.  Stir into egg mixture.  Spread into 8" or 9" square baking pan.  Bake 20-30 minutes.  For chewy brownies use 8" pan and less baking time.  For cake like brownies use 9" pan and more baking time.

For the ice cream (from: Annie's Eats):
8 oz. milk chocolate (at least 30% cacao solids), finely chopped
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks

To make the ice cream, combine the milk chocolate and heavy cream in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and set a mesh sieve over the top of the bowl.

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and salt.  Heat until the sugar is dissolved.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  When the milk mixture is warm, slowly add to the bowl with the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens just slightly and coats the back of a spoon (170-175˚ F on an instant-read thermometer).  Remove from the heat and pour the custard through the strainer into the milk chocolate mixture.

  • Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  Freeze the batter in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Once frozen, fold in the brownie bits with a spatula.  Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
  • Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Spinach and Asparagus Frittata

    I love frittatas!  They're quick, easy and versatile.  Best of all, you can use whatever you have in the fridge. It's a great way to use leftover veggies from last night's dinner!  This frittata has the asparagus that was leftover from last night as well as the egg whites I had set aside when I made ice cream (post to come soon!).  :)

    Like many frittatas, this one came together pretty quickly.  From start to finish, it took about 15 minutes which would make this a great weeknight meal or a last minute brunch dish.  Frittatas are great since you can add just about anything and can be served at any meal - Hot or cold!  The best part is that one serving of this frittata is 210 calories.  I served it along some Ezequiel toast (yum!) and grapes for some added, delicious fiber.

    Serves 2

    2 whole large eggs
    3 egg whites
    A couple tablespoons of water (optional)
    1 cup raw baby spinach
    1/2 cup cooked asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
    Salt & pepper to taste
    1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese (or any cheese you like)
    Nonstick spray

    Heat a nonstick, oven safe skillet and coat with nonstick spray.  Preheat broiler on high and move one of the racks directly under the broiler.

    Beat the eggs.  If you'd like to slightly increase the volume, add 1 - 2 T of water (I added about 1T).  Once the skillet is warm, add the asparagus and heat through.  Add the spinach and toss with asparagus to wilt slightly.  Pour eggs over the veggies and stir slightly and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook until the eggs are almost done and sprinkle with the cheese.

    Place the skillet under the broiler and cook for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.  I usually leave the door propped open while the frittata is cooking because the frittata can go from browned to burned in a matter of seconds!  Cool slightly and cut frittata into quarters.  Enjoy!

    New Look!


    I thought I'd mix things up a bit and slightly change the look of the site with an Easter theme.  Jelly beans are one of my favorite Easter treats, so this background is perfect!