Apple-Cranberry Crumble with Orange-Carrot Frozen Yogurt

Apple-Cranberry Crumble with Orange-Carrot Frozen Yogurt

Don’t be surprised it wasn’t served with ice cream. See, I need to shed a couple of pounds here – I am trying to squeeze into this party dress by the end of the month. So, the dish is basically my diet food – less fat, more vitamins. If you are favoring traditional views you can top the crumble with a scoop of vanilla or orange ice cream. But the yogurt actually turned out pretty tasty, and it was good with the crumble, as well as on its own.

Does anybody else think that food blogging has an inevitable weight-gaining side-effect?

Frozen Yogurt

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Baci Ice Cream

Baci Ice Cream

Baci or Gianduja – different names with the same meaning. The flavor is the winning combination of chocolate and hazelnuts – one of my favorite ice cream flavors. I was determined to get it right this time (yes, it was not my first attempt :). I wanted the ice cream to be rich chocolate with pronounced hazelnut flavor. The good quality cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate took care of the first part of the task while a generous portion of Nutella and toasted coarsely ground hazelnuts provided the ice cream with recognizable and so delectable hazelnutness. The ice cream tasted wonderful, and I was not surprised here. But the texture was a complete and pleasant surprise – it was incredibly smooth and silky. After reading the list of ingredients on the Nutella jar label I realized that the well-known commercially made chocolate-hazelnut spread became the miraculous component responsible for the success. Soy lecithin which is a common emulsifier contributed to the unbelievably smooth texture.

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Espresso Ice Cream

Espresso Ice Cream

This is the ice cream that was served in its unfrozen form with mocha éclairs mentioned earlier. The recipe is from Kate Zuckerman “The Sweet Life”. She emphasizes the importance of the caramel in achieving deeper, more complex and interesting flavor of the ice cream. I do agree with her, the caramel does really improve my old time favorite ice cream. High concentration of sugar raises the temperature at which the eggs coagulate, increasing the time it takes to cook and thicken the custard. But it also reduces the freezing temperature and improves the texture.

And a word of warning. The ice cream is sweet due to the caramel presence, which is fine by me. But if you usually prefer lightly sweetened ice cream this might be not your thing.

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Frozen Watermelon-Lime Bars

Frozen Watermelon-Lime Bars

I bought “the hugest” (my little son’s description :) watermelon a couple of days ago. Since there are only two watermelon-eaters in our home, everyone got quite a share; but we still couldn’t finish it. Sometimes, when you eat too much of your favorite thing you can suddenly (and never gradually) reach to the point when even a thought about what you were eating a moment before with an impressive appetite, becomes unpleasantly disturbing. That was the case. The leftover of this watermelon was sitting in the fridge, occupying always valuable space. I was too weak to get rid of it (I hate throwing perfectly good food away). Instead, I started thinking about transforming it into something else. This August’s “Gourmet” I got in the mail had just what I might had needed. Usually, I’m quite skeptical about the idea of utilizing condensed milk as a main ingredient in the dessert. But here it was used only in one layer, and was diluted with a very generous amount of lime juice, so, I gave it a try. It wasn’t bad, really. And I LOVED the watermelon sorbet.

A bit of tequila prevents the sorbet from freezing too hard, and adds a nice touch. The dessert cuts nicely and looks pretty on a plate; but it’s a very good idea to chill the plates before serving. This way the guests get a chance to enjoy eating the dessert with a fork rather than drinking it or licking from the plate.

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Lemon-Basil Sherbet

Lemon-Basil Sherbet

There’s another frozen and basil-containing treat. But the basil here is not dominant and very pronounced; it’s more of a subtle and intriguing accent. The sherbet is tangy, refreshing and light. And it’s so effortlessly put together. For an appealing presentation the sherbet can be served in the juiced hollowed lemons (reserve the juice for making the sherbet and keep the leftover juice (if any) for other use.

I’m thinking this sherbet would be nice layered with espresso granita in a glass… I’ll try it next time. There’s nothing left to experiment with now.

Just slightly adapted from Alice Medrich’s “Pure Dessert”.

This is my entry for this month’s CLICK event (Citrus).

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Grilled Peaches with Basil Ice Cream and Pine Nut Crocante

Grilled Peaches with Basil Ice Cream and Pine Nut Crocante

I loved everything about this ice cream – the flavor, texture, and the color. I so wanted it to be green (without addition of any food colorings which I avoid whenever possible) that for a moment I thought if I was too hard on the basil. Turned out I had worried for nothing – the basil flavor was delicate enough and not overwhelming. The ice cream was lovely served on top of the grilled peaches brushed with Muscovado sugar and melted butter mixture before grilling and drizzled with good quality balsamic right after. The pine nut brittle was just the right accompaniment. The only thing I regret I didn’t make a double batch of the ice cream, it disappeared so fast…

Basil Ice Cream

I’m submitting this recipe to Ammalu’s Kitchen as an entry for Herb Mania – Basil.

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