Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream


Nothing screams summer like a waffle cone piled high with scoops of homemade chocolate ice cream. 

I must admit that I've been more of a vanilla girl my entire life. Chocolate is good, but I've always been partial to vanilla. 



Austin's favorite-beyond-favorite-would-do-anything-to-get-it ice cream flavor is chocolate fudge brownie. Most brands at the store don't have it. 


So we pull out one of our favorite wedding gifts (our ice cream maker!) and make our own chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. 


There are so many variations for this recipe. I make the chocolate ice cream and the hot fudge from scratch, but I make the brownies from a box mix. 

I'm still not convinced that from-scratch brownies are any better than boxed mixes. 


You can use store bought fudge and it will still be awesome! You can also be a hero and make brownies from scratch, just don't expect me to do that!

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream

Yields: 1 quart

2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp dutch-process cocoa powder
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate*
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla 

Chocolate fudge, see below (Add as much as you want)
Brownies, chopped, from a box mix (Add as much as you want)

1. Combine cream and cocoa in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, then add chocolate and stir until melted. Pour into a bowl. 

2. In that same (now empty) pot, combine milk, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat. Beat together egg yolks in a small bowl. Temper the egg yolks with warm milk by ladling some warm milk into the egg yolks, then pour the yolk-milk mixture back into the pot. 

3. Stir the milk mixture constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 170-175 degrees fahrenheit. Pour into the cream-chocolate mixture and add the vanilla. Stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly cooled. 

4. Mix according to your ice cream maker's directions. Add chocolate fudge and brownie bits, then freeze until the ice cream is set. Enjoy! 

*roughly 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Chocolate Hot Fudge

Yields: 2 cups 

2/3 cup cream
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla 

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of the chocolate until melted. Reduce heat to low, and let cook for 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate. Let cool before eating.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Challah


Challah. You might've seen it at your local bakery. You might not know how to pronounce it


One thing we can all agree on is that it's delicious. 


Challah is a Jewish egg bread that's traditionally braided and eaten on the Sabbath. 


While I was researching how to make braided challah bread, I learned some interesting things about the history and symbolism of Jewish challah. 


The bread dough is traditionally made the day before the Sabbath, then it rises overnight, to be baked on the Sabbath morning. 



Traditionally, the bread dough is divided into 12 strands to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The strands are then divided up to braid the loaves. 



The bread is also said to symbolize manna from heaven from the Old Testament, and it's often covered in a special cloth to represent the dew that protected the manna. 


I've done 3, 4, and 6 strand braided loaves before, and they've all turned out great. Check out this link to see directions for the 4 strand braid. 


A 6 strand braid is the simplest to me-- just bring the rightmost strand over 2, under 1, over 2 and repeat. 


Challah

Yields: 2 large or 4 medium loaves
Time: 2-3 hours 

2 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
8 to 10 egg yolks (6 oz. total)
5 tbsp veggie oil
5 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla 
1 tbsp salt
7 to 8 cups flour
1 egg, beaten + 1 tsp water, for egg wash

1. Combine water and yeast in a bowl and let activate for 5 minutes. Add yolks, oil, honey, vanilla, and salt and combine. 

2. Add flour, about 1 cup at a time, until it holds together enough to knead it on the counter. It should be soft and supple, but not very sticky. Knead until it springs back when you press your finger into the dough. You can do this in a stand mixer, if desired. 

3. Let dough rise, covered, in a greased bowl until doubled in size. 

4. Divide dough into the number of loaves you want, then divide the loaves into strands. Braid dough, place on lined cookie sheets, brush egg wash on the dough, and let rise (uncovered) until very puffy. 

5. Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 25-35 minutes.