I scream for ice cream…chocolate of course!

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Baby, it’s hot outside! 

Welcome summer…and so, my mind goes directly to ice cream!! Lovely, cold, delicious creaminess! Perfect to not only cool you down but take your taste buds to wonderful places.

Store-bought ice cream is good and super quick, but in no way is it as much fun as making it yourself and with your kids. You also have the ability with homemade ice cream to control what actually goes into it. Take this Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ingredients label below into consideration.

Now are you ready to make your own?

Cherry Garcia Ingredient Label – Skim milk, wafer (bleached wheat flour, isomalt*, maltitol*, caramel color, sorbitol*, palm oil, cocoa, corn flour, modified corn starch, salt, baking soda, natural flavor, soy lecithin), maltodextrin, polydextrose, sorbitol*, cream, stabilizer (mono and diglycerides, cellulose gel, cellulose gum, carrageenan), sucralose (Splenda brand), vitamin A palmitate, acesulfame potassium, natural flavor, artificial flavor.

     *sensitive individuals may experience a laxative effect from excess consumption of this ingredient.

Today making ice cream is quite economical! You don’t have to buy an ice cream machine to make it, but you can get a machine for super cheap. Look at these models available in Chef Central.

  • Zoku Ice Cream Maker  $25.95

  • West Bend Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker $49.95

  • Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker $59.95

  • Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet & Ice Cream $89.95

Ready to be your own Ben & Jerry, creating your own wacky flavors?  Here’s a great recipe to start with…and of course it is dark chocolate!  You can also put the ice cream between 2 chocolate chip cookies for your own ice cream sandwiches. Or be more decadent and check out our new Luxxelles…sweet wafers covered in creamy caramel, Sicilian Trapani sea salt and 72% dark chocolate!  http://luxxchocolat.com/luxxelles4pack.aspx. Or even add cocoa nibs or chocolate chunks!

This recipe is an original from Cuisinart, perfect for their machine.  My only addition would be folding in small pieces of chocolate (please use real dark chocolate!), perhaps some toasted almonds and dried black cherries. Yum!

Deep Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients

2-1/4 cups whole milk

2-1/4 cups heavy cream

1 vanilla bean

1-1/8 cups granulated sugar

1-1/8 cups Dutch process cocoa

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, combine the whole milk and heavy cream over medium-low heat. With a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise; use the blunt edge of the knife to scrape out the “seeds” of the vanilla bean.

  • Stir the seeds and bean pod into the milk/cream mixture. Simmer the milk/cream mixture over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard it or rinse and reserve for another use.

  • Combine the sugar, cocoa, eggs, and egg yolks in a medium bowl; using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until thickened like mayonnaise.

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  • Measure out 1 cup of the hot milk/cream mixture. With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk/cream to the cocoa mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until completely incorporated. Stir the chopped chocolate into the saucepan with the hot milk/cream. Stir the egg mixture into the hot milk/cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to resemble a chocolate pudding. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the chocolate mixture, and refrigerate until completely cooled.

  • Pour the chilled custard into the freezer bowl, turn the machine on and let mix until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Stay cool and enjoy!  Please share with us what your favorite ice cream concoction is and we’ll include on a follow up post!  Send to Lisa at luxxchocolat@optonline.net.

~Lisa Mecray Rogers, award-winning Master Chocolatier and Founder of Luxx Chocolat® xquisite artisan chocolate, ChocoVin Chocolate & Wine Tastings® and Luxx Academy du Chocolat offering classes with adults in mind, Ridgewood resident, recognized as one of 2015, 2014 and 2013 Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America. Luxx Chocolat offers unique handcrafted works of art. Nothing artificial, no preservatives, not mass produced.

Snowy day fun with chocolate! Truffle mania!

red-wine-trufflesSpring may be days away yet, surprisingly, winter seems to still be in full bloom. But being stuck inside can be a lot of fun when there is chocolate involved! How about gathering the kids and your girlfriends together for an afternoon or evening of truffle making?

Truffles may look difficult but they can be quite simple to make. And they are certainly an elegant addition for an everyday dessert, to enjoy when having family or friends over or even as a personal gift from your kitchen wrapped in a beautiful box.

Making truffles with your kids is also an ideal way to get your kids to enjoy dark chocolate, which has less sugar and real health benefits than milk or white chocolate. They won’t even notice since they are having great fun!

You might want to create two different types of truffles…one for the kids and one for adults in mind. How about Cognac or Grand Marnier truffles? Yum!

There are many different ways to decorate them that everyone can have fun with. Be creative! You might already have these things in your cabinet.Picture1

  • Cocoa powder

  • Melted chocolate (dark, milk, white)

  • Chopped nuts

  • Coconut

  • Colored sprinkles

  • Decorative icing

  • Colored sugar crystals

  • Chopped dried fruit pieces

  • Icing sugar

So, let’s get started!  What’s key here is the chocolate you choose and I’ll give you some ideas so you are making truffles with beautiful, rich flavor.  This recipe makes about 60 truffles so you may want to split it in half – one for the kids without the alcohol and one for the adults with the alcohol. Or make two full recipes so everyone can have some to take home.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (16 oz) good dark chocolate such as Valrhona 64% or 72% –

At Whole Foods it’s next to the cheese and bakery section not the bar chocolate aisle. It’s usually in bulk chunk form. Good to ask. Also at Trader Joe’s. Stay away from the round disks from craft stores and some chocolate stores – not real chocolate!

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Cognac, optional

  • 1 tablespoon prepared coffee, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract

  • Chosen decorations – see above for choices

Directions

Chop the chocolates finely with a sharp knife. Place them in a heat-proof mixing bowl.images

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils. Turn off the heat and pour the cream into the bowl with chocolate. With a wire whisk or rubber spatula, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. Kids can help stir. Whisk in the Grand Marnier, if using, coffee, and vanilla. Put in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Use this time to get all of your decorations in place.

Take out several bowls and pour your chosen decorations into each. Take a vote with the kids! Maybe cocoa powder in one, colored sprinkles or coconut in another.

Take out a baking sheet or two lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Take the bowl out of the refrigerator. With 2 teaspoons, spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet.

Now everyone wash your hands!  gluten-free-truffles-baci-04B

For this article, we’ll just touch on dry decorations. Roll each dollop of chocolate in your hands to roughly make a round ball. Please note that if the truffles are held too long in your hands, they will melt. Just refrigerate and re-use.

Put each ball into your bowl containing a decoration. Or use 2 or 3 decorations. Have fun with them! Toss to cover them, then put them on clean parchment lined tray to dry. Allow the truffles to set for about 10 minutes before devouring.  These will keep refrigerated for a week, but serve at room temperature.truffles

Enjoy some wine with your truffles too! A rich red is perfect with dark chocolate, like a nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir with earthy notes.

Have fun and roll on! I’d love to see what fun you had so please send me pictures!

~Lisa Mecray Rogers, award-winning Master Chocolatier and Founder of Luxx Chocolat® xquisite artisan chocolate, ChocoVin Chocolate & Wine Tastings® and Luxx Academy du Chocolat offering classes with adults in mind, recognized as one of 2014 and 2013 Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America. Luxx Chocolat offers unique handcrafted works of art. Nothing artificial, no preservatives, not mass produced.

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