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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

Should I have ice cream or cake? hmmm.... No need to choose any more!
The Daring Bakers July 2010 Challenge by Sunita with small adjustments

Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 5 (out of 5)
For Swiss rolls (dough)
6 medium sized eggs
- 1 cup/ 8 oz/ 225 g caster sugar 
- 6 tbsp/ 1.6 oz/ 45g all purpose flour 
- 5 tbsp/ 1.4 oz/ 40g natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
- 2 tbsp/ 1 fl oz/ 30ml boiling water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda with 1 tbsp apple cider mixed until bubbly
- a little oil for brushing the pans
For Swiss rolls (filling)
- 2 cups/ 16 fl oz/ 500 ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp/ 2.5 oz/ 70 g caster sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, squeezed in a blender and pressed through a sieve to remove the seeds
- 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
For vanilla ice cream
- 2 1/2 cups/ 20 fl oz/ 625 ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/ 4 oz/ 115 g granulated sugar
For raspberry ice cream
- 2 1/2 cups/ 20 fl oz/ 625 ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/ 4 oz/ 115 g granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, squeezed in a blender and pressed through a sieve to remove the seeds
For chocolate ice cream
- 2 cups/ 500 ml whipping cream
- 1 cup / 8 oz/ 230 g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp/ 1.5 oz/ 24 g natural unsweetened cocoa powder
For hot fudge sauce
- 1 cup/ 8 oz/ 230g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp/ 1.5 oz/  24g natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp/ 1 oz/ 15g corn flour/ cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups/ 12 fl oz/ 355 ml water
- 1 tbsp 1 oz/ 14g butter
- 1 tsp/ 5 ml vanilla extract
For Swiss roll
1. Preheat the oven at 400F/ 200C. Brush 2 baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake. Or just half the recipe like I did and make only 1 swiss roll.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
3. Sift together the flour and the cocoa, add in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water and the baking soda mixed with cider.
4. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
5. Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
6. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
7. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
8. Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down. Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
9. In a large bowl beat the cream with vanilla sugar and lemon till very thick. Add the raspberry puree and mix well until uniform color.
10. Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
11. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of 1/2 an inch should be fine).
12. Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.
For vanilla ice cream
13. In a mixing bowl, whip the cream and then add the vanilla extract and the sugar and continue beating.
14. Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.
For raspberry ice cream
15. The same as vanilla ice cream only at the end add the raspberry puree and mix well. 
For chocolate ice cream
16. Grind together the sugar and the cocoa powder in a food processor.
17. In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and whisk lightly.
18. Place the pan over heat and keep stirring till it begins to bubble around the edges.
19. Remove from heat and cool completely before transferring to a freezer friendly container till firm around the edges. 
20. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.
For hot fudge sauce
21. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, corn flour and water.
22. Place the pan over heat, and stir constantly, till it begins to thicken and is smooth (for about 2 minutes).
23. Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla. Keep aside to cool .
24. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices, 10 slices per roll ( approximately 2 cm each ).
25. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.
26. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
27. Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour).
28. Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm ( at least an hour).
29. Soften and spread the raspberry ice cream over the fudge. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze (at least an hour).
30. Soften the chocolate ice cream and add over the raspberry one. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set.
31. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.
32. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.
- First of all, I want to thank Sunita - this was the first time I’ve attempted an ice cream cake. And it’s the first time I managed to make a pretty good ice cream without an ice cream maker (all my previous attempts were much more like icicles than ice cream). 
- I made half the recipe, and it still produced 12 decent servings (and I don’t even want to start counting calories per serving). 
- The original recipe had 1 layer of fudge and 2 types of ice creams, and I had the fudge and 3 layers of ice cream, so my ice cream overflowed. I should have just stuck to the original recipe and used 2 ice cream layers. 
Blog checking lines- The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.-

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicken with Pecan Cream & Mushrooms

A June 2010 Daring Cooks challenge - a really original twist on pasta sauce. 
Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 2 (out of 5)
For Pecan Cream:
- 3/4 cup / 180 ml coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 cup /240 ml water
- 1 cup / 240 ml milk 
- 3/4 tsp salt, more as needed
- 1/2 lb / 225 g pasta
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 tsp olive oil, more as needed
- salt & pepper to taste
For Sauce:
- 1 tbsp deglazing liquid (water, broth, wine; optional)
- 1 tsp olive oil, more as needed
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 lb / 225 g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- chopped pecans, (optional garnish)
Total 4 servings
1. Prepare pecan cream. Grind pecans in a food processor for about a minute or so until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add water, milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Set aside pecan cream.
2. Cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Drain, rinse, and keep warm.
3. If desired, pound chicken to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness to promote even cooking. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken; sauté 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside cooked chicken on a clean plate, cover to keep warm.
4. Add deglazing liquid to pan if using and stir up any browned bits. If needed, add another teaspoon of oil (or more) to pan for sautéing the shallots and mushrooms. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and starting to brown. Add fresh thyme to the pan. Stir in pecan cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 minutes till reduced slightly.
5. Slice chicken into thin strips. Divide the noodles among serving plates. Add a scoop of the mushroom pecan sauce on top of noodles. Lay sliced chicken on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and/or a pinch of chopped pecans if desired.

- A great recipe - I never would have thought of making a pecan sauce for chicken, but it turned out really yummy! Thanks to Margie and Natashya for the brillian idea :-)
- The sauce turned out too salty for me (but I barely use any salt at all, so maybe I’m not a good indicator for others). I added milk to dilute the saltiness - the original recipe did not have any milk, only water. It was still too salty, but the milk added a nice creamy texture. Next time I’ll reduce the salt and keep the milk.
Blog-checking lines
The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by
Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

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