Recipe: Chocolate Ice Cream

~ This is Day 285 ~

  • 5 egg yolks + 100 g sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 gelatin sheets

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Lemon Tart

~ This is Day 278 ~

In case you were wondering, my time count above in every post is the number of days since lockdown, of this pandemic. I will stop it once life returns to “normal”.

This is a classic tarte au citron, which is lemon tart in French.

For Pâte Sablée (Short Bread dough)

  • 150 g butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 90 g powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 255 g cake flour (sifted)
  • 1-2 TBS cold water (optional)
  • Butter, as needed, for tart pan

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using a rubber spatula, flatten out butter and powdered sugar or if you’re lazy like me, put in a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until combined. Add yolk one by one and then add sifted cake flour. If you don’t have cake flour, substitute with the following: for every 1 cup of AP flour, remove 1 TBS of it and add 1 TBS cornstarch. Mix slowly to combine. If dry, add the cold water. Form into a ball and flatten it, wrap with plastic and place in refrigerator until firm.

Butter the tart pan and put in freezer.

In between two sheets of parchment paper/plastic wrap/SilPats, roll dough to 1/16 inch or 15 mm. Carefully place into buttered pan, press into place and roll over the top of the pan to remove excess hanging dough.

When using shortbread dough for a tart, you need to bake the tart twice. Once at a higher temperature (cooking the shell) and the second at a lower temperature (cooking the filling/custard). Using a fork, puncture the tart shell with holes. Blind bake with weights for 20 minutes. Remove weights and continue baking until golden. Weights can be any dried legumes or rice wrapped in cheesecloth.

Reserve shell at room temperature before pouring in the tart filling. Lower oven to 300°F.

For the Tart Filling

  • Pinch of flour
  • Butter, as needed
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 lemons: zested, and 150 g juice
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g heavy cream

Zest lemons and mix the juices together. Infuse for as long as possible.

In a bowl, add the eggs and sugar. Whisk until fully incorporated. Add cream, mix lightly and continue to whisk. Stir in lemon juice, zest, and pinch of flour. Strain into a clean bowl and skim off as much foam as possible. Transfer to a container that can pour easily before putting it into the cooled pastry shell. There’s going to be an excess amount of liquid, that’s normal. You could make a mini tart with the leftovers, if you want to!

Bake 20-30 minutes. When removing from oven, the custard should jiggle. Cool on wire rack and serve with fresh berries and whipped cream.

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Grapefruit Sorbet

~ This is Day 271 ~

You could substitute the Contratto liqueur for Aperol or Campari, if that’s your thing but I personally dislike both Aperol and Campari.

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Sample dishes:

Recipe: Brown Buttered Hazelnuts

~ This is Day 257 ~

You can apply this cooking method to any type of nut, I assume, but I’ve only done this to hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, and pecans. Haven’t tried any other kind of nut but I think it should work.

In the restaurant kitchen, this counts as a garnish and garnishes are usually “snacked” on by cooks and chefs. They’re snacked on for a reason because these brown buttered nuts by themselves are indeed an addicting snack! You can either add these awesome toasted nutty nuts to your dish or eat them alone.

(It’s too late now but is it “brown buttered nuts” or “browned butter nuts”. I’m starting to second guess myself… but whatever, you know what I mean!)

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Quadruple Layered Dark Chocolate Cake

~ This is Day 250 ~

This cake is a mashup of this and my signature triple layered dark chocolate tart. I didn’t want to make a tart and I wasn’t entirely happy with the last two layers of the cake that I made in August so I made this instead: a cake-y bottom, ganache, mousse, then a velvety glaze!

Makes an 8-inch square or round cake.

For the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Grease it with either butter or Pam spray, then dust with cocoa powder. 

In a bain marie (which is a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), place the chopped chocolate into the bowl and melt it. Remove from heat and whisk chocolate to completely melt it. Cut the butter into small pieces with a bench scraper and add that into the bowl, along with the sugar, eggs, and sifted flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared mold and place it in the oven for 20 minutes. The cake should look underdone. Unmold the cake onto a rack and let it cool. Clean and dry the mold, then wrap in plastic. Put the cooled cake in the bottom of the mold.

For the Chocolate Cream

  • 70 g dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 100 g whole milk
  • 100 g heavy cream
  • 50 g egg yolks (around 3)
  • 50 g granulated sugar

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar together until pale yellow. Off the heat, slowly temper the egg-sugar mixture by pouring the hot milk/cream slowly into the egg/sugar. Then transfer everything back into the pot and stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is 180°F, be careful not to overheat or else the egg yolk will curdle. 

Pour one third of the mixture over the chopped chocolate, stirring well. Repeat 2 more times then using an immersion blender, process the mixture thoroughly. Pour the cream over the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour and then in the freezer for another hour.

For the Chocolate Mousse

  • 170 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 80 g whole milk
  • 20 g egg yolk
  • 120 g egg whites
  • 20 g granulated sugar

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie then remove from the heat. In a small pot, bring the milk to a boil. Pour the milk over the chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is smooth. Lastly, add in the egg yolk and incorporate well.

In a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff with a dash of sugar. Then as the whites begin to stiffen, add the remaining sugar. Incorporate one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining whites. 

Pour the chocolate mousse over the smooth chocolate cream in the mold. Smooth the surface with an offset spatula. Freeze this for 2 hours.

For the Chocolate Glaze

Pour the water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cream and cocoa and simmer for 5 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, bloom the gelatin into a bowl of cold, iced water then squeeze out any excess water when soft.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, whisk in the chocolate and bloomed gelatin and strain through a fine sieve. Leave to cool to about 90°F, stirring occasionally.

Remove the cake from the mold and discard the plastic wrap. Put the cake over a rack lined with a sheet tray. Using a small ladle or not, pour the chocolate glaze over the center of the cake and tilt the cake to spread the glaze over the sides. Continue with the rest of the glaze and cover the top and sides of the cake. You can use a small offset spatula too, to evenly coat the sides and edges of the cake. 

Leave to set for a few minutes before transferring to a cake stand or plate. Return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Cut with a knife dipped in hot water for clean lines! Sprinkle flaky sea salt over wedge/slice if you like that! Or whatever you want, in this version, I have some coffee soil over the top.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Lamb Shoulder Roast

~ This is Day 233 ~

This 3-pound lamb shoulder roast was perfect for 2 people. Doom and gloom winter days? Meat roasts are the answer!

Watch the how to:

For the Herb Marinade

  • 1 head/12 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 TBS kosher salt
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 tsp black pepper, ground
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • 1 TBS rosemary, minced
  • 1 TBS thyme, minced

For Roasting

  • 3-6 lbs lamb shoulder
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock, low sodium

Roasting Instructions

  • 275°F-300°F for 3 hours, parchment paper, foil wrapped
  • 400°F-450°F for 1 hour, only foil wrapped

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: New England Clam Chowder

~ This is Day 236 ~

Doom and gloom winter days? This clam chowder will cheer you up! Best is when you use your own clam stock! The flavor is better than the expensive stuff you buy in the stores!

Watch the how to:

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into thin pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 Idaho potatoes, diced into half-inch cubes
  • ½ cup thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 sleeve soda/saltine crackers, unsalted
  • Clam jus/stock/juice
  • 1 quart chopped clams
  • ½ – 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Sichuan Lamb Shanks

~ This is Day 229 ~

In the past 3 weeks, I think I’ve only seen the sun once, or twice… a mere glimpse, before it disappeared back behind the clouds. When the weather is cozy, I like to make braised lamb shanks, Sichuan-style!

On average, one lamb shank per person. Also depends on how big your Dutch oven is.

The Night Before

  • 2-4 lamb shanks
  • Kosher salt

Using a sharp paring knife or cake tester, poke slits in the shanks. Generously season your lamb shanks with kosher salt and place in a container with a lid, or plate and have it covered.

At 4pm-5pm

  • 4-inch ginger
  • 4 stalks scallions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 2 TBS doubanjiang
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Bouquet garni
    • 1 TBS fennel seeds
    • 1 TBS Sichuan peppercorns
    • 2-3 pieces star anise
  • ¼ – ½ cup dried whole chilis
  • 3 Yukon potatoes
  • 3 rainbow carrots
  • 6 oz. tofu skin
  • Scallion tops/chives, as garnish

I forgot to mention, before putting on the cartouche, make sure your braising liquid is perfectly seasoned. There is a lot of salt in the fermented chili paste usually, so most of the times, I don’t need to add additional salt. But always check and adjust!

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Of course if you live by an Asian/Chinese supermarket, the spices cost a fraction of Amazon’s links.

Recipe: Pandemic Punch

~ This is Day 215 ~

My friend sent me this drink recipe from Saveur magazine and it is literally my new favorite cocktail to drink at home! It’s tart, slightly sweet from the Grand Marnier, and boozy but doesn’t taste “boozy”. This is the Pandemic Punch! You’ve gotta be drinking this, we all need to drink this! If you don’t have Grand Marnier at home, Cointreau and Triple Sec are good substitutes too, according to the magazine. This is great because my Grand Marnier has been sitting on my shelf collecting dust because I used it one time to make a Christmas dessert, however many years ago because time doesn’t mean anything anymore!

To make this Pandemic Punch, just shake equal parts of the following:

  • Gin
  • Grand Marnier / Cointreau / Triple Sec
  • Lillet Blanc
  • Lemon juice

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Comfortably Numb

~ This is Day 206 ~

In case you were wondering, my day counts above in each post is the number of days since the lockdown happened in NYC, which was on March 16 for me. I think the official date was March 20 though.

After having three of these cocktails at Hutong last year for CNY, I rushed downtown to Astor Wines for the ingredients. Sadly, there wasn’t a vanilla vodka that I could find without it being crazy expensive. It occurred to me that I could just infuse my own so I went to this little spice shop in the East Village (Dual Spice Store, 1st Ave. between 5th-6th St.), since I was in the area, and I bought vanilla beans there. I don’t know where else you can get vanilla beans other than Dual and Kalustyan’s, which is in midtown east on Lexington Ave. between 28th-29th St.

  • 1-2 Thai chilis, cut/slit
  • 3 oz. vanilla infused vodka
  • 1 oz. lychee liqueur
  • ½ oz. honey water
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Ice

To make honey water, mix equal parts of honey and water in your microwave or over a pot. Melt until combined then refrigerate to store.

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.