My friend decided to try out a different version of our favorite celery ice cream with candied ginger and rum-plumped raisins. He used a more custard-like ice cream base and made it dairy-free. Lactose-free half-and-half will create a somewhat icier texture than normal, but he reports that it was a hit with his guests!
- You can play around with the proportions of cream and milk, as long as they add up to 3 cups
- You can also cut down on egg yolks for a thinner base, but don’t go below three
The Only Ice Cream Recipe You’ll Ever Need
Adapted from the New York Times
Yield: 1 1/2 pints
For the ice cream base:
- 2 cups heavy cream OR lactose-free half-and-half
- 1 cup whole milk OR lactose-free half-and-half
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3-6 large egg yolks
For the flavoring:
- Flavors from the NYTimes
- For celery ice cream with candied ginger and rum-plumped raisins:
- 1 cup golden OR regular raisins
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds, pounded lightly in a mortar with the pestle
- 2-6 tablespoons finely diced candied ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)
If making celery ice cream with candied ginger and rum-plumped raisins, prepare raisins up to 1 month ahead of time:
- Put raisins in heatproof bowl.
- Combine water, rum, and sugar in small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Pour syrup over raisins and let cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate until chilled. You can store the raisins in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- Before use, drain raisins.
The day before making ice cream:
- If necessary, place the canister of your ice cream maker in the freezer.
Make ice cream:
- In a small pot, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt (plus celery seeds, if making celery ice cream) until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk yolks.
- Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream mixture into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream.
- Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170ºF on an instant-read thermometer).
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
- Cool mixture to room temperature.
- Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed. (If making the celery ice cream, pack ice cream into storage container, folding in raisins and ginger as you go.)
Caramel-topped flan is another great dessert for the hot summer months. It’s cool and slinky and refreshing.
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours
Yield: One 8-inch flan OR 6 (6-oz) ramekins OR 7-8 (4-oz) ramekins
For the caramel:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- Squirt of fresh lemon juice
For the flan:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a roasting pan or 9-by-13 inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels.
- Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off heat.
- Put a metal 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides – not a nonstick one – in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel. (If you are using individual molds or ramekins, then skip this step.)
- Stir the sugar, water, and lemon juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5-10 minutes. The sugar will bubble. Remove the pan from the heat at the first whiff of smoke.
- Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.
- Bring the milk and heavy cream just to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, and sugar.
- Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla.
- Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid to temper, or warm, the eggs so they won’t curdle.
- Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the hot cream and milk.
- Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up.
- Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan.
- Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the setup into the oven. Very carefully pour enough hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Don’t worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.)
- Bake the flan for about 35 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there. It will be very jiggly, but a knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean. (If using small, individual molds, start checking for doneness around the 25-minute mark).
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack, and run a thin knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it.
- Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Covered with plastic wrap in its baking pan, the flan will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- When ready to serve, once more, run a thin knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over, and remove the cake pan. The flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard. Once unmolded, its best to enjoy it the same day, otherwise the top will start to look wrinkly. (It will still taste the same.)
- Bring the flan to the table and cut into wedges. Spoon some of the syrup onto each plate.
Compared to the other chocolate mousse recipe on this blog, this version is lighter and fluffier and perhaps more appropriate for a warm summer day.
Chocolate Mousse II
From Betty Crocker
Yield: 8 servings
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup + 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
- Beat egg yolks in small bowl with electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until thick and lemon colored.
- Gradually beat in sugar.
- Heat 1 cup heavy cream in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until hot.
- Gradually stir at least half of the hot heavy cream into egg yolk mixture; stir back into hot cream in saucepan.
- Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (do not boil).
- Stir in chocolate chips until melted.
- Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled. (Or you can leave it in the refrigerator overnight, but you’ll have to let it warm up to stirrable consistency on the counter the next day.)
- Beat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff.
- Stir a large dollop of whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.
- Fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream in three additions.
- Pipe or spoon mixture into serving bowls.
- Immediately refrigerate any remaining dessert after serving.
Creme brulee is lovely in any weather. Here is a variant for ginger lovers! You can adjust the amount of candied ginger according to your preference.
Crystallized Ginger Creme Brulee
Adapted from Creme Brulee by Lou Seibert Pappas
Yield: 6 servings
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger OR 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (depending on how much you love ginger)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 275°F.
- In a medium saucepan, combine cream and fresh OR ground ginger. Cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan, stirring from time to time.
- Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature. If you used fresh ginger, strain cream through a sieve and discard the ginger.
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until pale in color.
- Whisk in sugar until dissolved.
- Whisk in flavored cream, and stir in crystallized ginger and vanilla.
- Place 6 standard-size flan dishes in a baking pan. Divide custard mixture evenly among the dishes.
- Pour warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the dishes.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center of each custard still jiggles slightly.
- Remove from oven and lift dishes from hot water.
- Let cool briefly, then cover each dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
- Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over each custard. Caramelize sugar with a hand-held blowtorch. It is best to caramelize the sugar as soon as you sprinkle it, or it will start to sink into the custard. Give the caramelized sugar a few minutes to harden, and then eat.
This is one of those wonderful recipes that taste just as delicious whether gluten free or not. The cakes have an intense chocolate flavor and are warm and gooey inside. They’re so rich that you have to pair them with ice cream or whipped cream.
Gooey Chocolate Cakes
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours
Yield: 6 cakes
- 1/3 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (4 ounces coarsely chopped, 1 ounce very finely chopped)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400ºF. Generously butter (or spray – it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour, and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, and salt together.
- Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl, and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water. (Alternatively, you can very carefully heat the chocolate and butter directly in a small non-stick pot over very low heat, stirring constantly.)
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs and yolk until homogenous.
- Add sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes.
- Add dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs.
- Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.
- Bake the cakes for 13 minutes if gluten free, OR 12-13 minutes if not. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)
- Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatual to lift the cakes onto dessert plates. Serve immediately with ice cream or whipped cream.
- Store leftover cakes in an airtight container at room temperature. The next day, warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds to restore the gooeyness.
I was very happy with how well these cookies worked gluten free. They don’t spread out much as they bake, and helped by the peanut butter, chopped peanuts, and chopped chocolate, they hold together very well. Like sables, they have a sandy texture; like brownies, they’re a little chewy in the centers. I personally like them best fresh out of the oven, when the chocolate is gooey and the cookie soft, contrasting nicely with the crunchy peanuts.
Peanut Brownie Sables
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies
Yield: 36-40 cookies
For sable dough:
- 1 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut (peanuts-only) butter, smooth or crunchy
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel OR pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped OR salted peanuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
For brownie batter:
- 2/3 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel OR pinch of fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar OR 1/2 cup white sugar+dollop molasses
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Make sable dough first: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and peanut butter together on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add sugar and salt, and beat for 2 minutes.
- Add yolks one at a time, beating 1 minute after each one. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Mix in baking powder.
- Turn off mixer, add all the flour, and stir it in partway so it won’t fly everywhere.
- Beat in flour on low speed. (If you’re using all-purpose flour, beat only until flour is almost all incorporated.)
- Add peanuts and mix on low speed until dry ingredients all disappear and peanuts are evenly distributed.
- Scrape dough into another bowl and set aside. Don’t bother washing the mixer bowl.
- Make the brownie batter: Using a rubber spatula, stir together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in mixer bowl or large bowl.
- Add brown sugar OR white sugar+dollop molasses. Pulse mixer to combine.
- Add butter bits and mix on low speed until ingredients are fully blended, about 2 minutes. The mixture looks a little like damp sand, and you might have some crumbs and clumps.
- Add beaten egg and mix on low speed until batter resembles fudge frosting.
- Add chopped chocolate and pulse to mix it in.
- Scrape sable dough back into the bowl with the brownie batter and mix on low speed until homogeneous.
- Drop dough in rounded tablespoonfuls on baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.
- Use either your fingers or the bottom of a jar or glass (covered in plastic wrap) to press each cookie down gently, just enough to level the tops of the mounds.
- Bake cookies one sheet at a time, 12 minutes if gluten free, 10 minutes if not. They will be set at the edges and soft in the centers when prodded lightly with a fork. They will look uniformly dull.
- Cool cookies completely on baking sheet on a rack. They will firm as they cool.
- Repeat with second batch.
- Cookies can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Packed airtight, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
This is one of our favorite dessert recipes ever. It’s both straightforward and fun to make, because who doesn’t like attacking their food with a blowtorch?
Baking note: You can bake the custards in a pan of hot water, which will make the surface come out smoother. However, since you’re going to cover it with a layer of melted sugar anyway, this step seems unnecessarily complicated.
Adapted from All Recipes
Yield: 6 servings
For the custard:
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- grated peel from 1 lemon (optional)
For the topping:
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Place 6 shallow heat-proof dishes on a baking sheet.
- Beat egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.
- Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to boil.
- Remove the cream from heat immediately and stir into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.
- Pour cream mixture into the top pan of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. If desired, stir in grated lemon peel.
- Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into dishes.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Sprinkle 4 tablespoons sugar evenly over the 6 dishes of custard.
- Oven method:
Preheat oven to broil. Place dishes under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.
Hold a blowtorch so the tip of the flame touches and melts the sugar. Keep the flame moving over the surface so the sugar doesn’t burn.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. You can refrigerate the dishes to set the custard, but I usually eat it as soon as the sugar crust has hardened. You can check this by tapping it lightly with a spoon.