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:

Grapefruit Sorbet with Kabocha & Pepitas

~ This is Day 262 ~

This was the last course of five to my #RontiniFriendsgiving 2020 menu. This is probably my easiest dessert that I’ve ever made for my Friendsgivings. I made this menu thinking that a gluten-free friend was going to participate but she canceled a week before and I didn’t feel like changing the dessert. I was excited to see how this would turn out anyway.

I incorporated some booze in the grapefruit mixture so that churning it would make it more scoopable. The recipe is here, just for the sorbet. You could substitute the Contratto liqueur for Aperol or Campari, if that’s your thing but I personally dislike both Aperol and Campari.

This is Grapefruit Sorbet with Brown Buttered Roasted Kabocha Purée and Candied Pepitas.

With the heavier first four courses, this simple frozen dessert actually turned out perfect because it acted like a palate cleanser. At least I thought it was fitting at the end!

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: Carrément Chocolat

~ This is Day 167 ~

Although I do not have much of a sweet tooth, I do love desserts that are not sweet. Bittersweet is more my jam. So obviously I love dark, luxurious, luscious chocolate. My go-to chocolate dessert is this triple dark chocolate tart that I’ve made many times, usually during Friendsgiving. But I wanted something different today so I made this: Pierre Hermé’s Carrément Chocolat – a cake entirely made of chocolate, a play on textures and temperatures, between the soft, the smooth, and the crunchy.

However, I don’t have a square cake tin and I messed up on the chocolate sheet step but I love my ending result. I don’t have edible gold leaves but the wedge that I cut myself was very delicious!!

Forewarning: this cake takes a long time because of all the resting but you’ll be very satisfied with all your hard work!

Makes an 8-inch square or round cake.

For the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter your 8-inch cake pan, sprinkle 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 wrap. 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 185°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

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 Thin Chocolate Sheet (or Crisps)

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie then remove from the heat. Let the bowl cool at room temperature until the mixture reaches a temperature between 88°F and 90°F. Pour the chocolate over a sheet of wax/parchment paper and spread it out. Before it can set, cut out a square (or circle) of the same size as the cake pan. Place another wax/parchment paper on top and add weights to prevent the chocolate from warping as it dries. Refrigerate this while you move onto the next step.

For the Chocolate Sauce

Place everything into a small pot and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until the sauce is thick enough a coat the backend of a spoon, nappant. Set aside.

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • 100 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 80 g heavy cream
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g chocolate sauce (from above)

In a small pot, bring the heavy cream to a boil and remove from heat. Slowly beat in the chocolate. Set aside to cool until 140°F before adding the butter. Once that is fully incorporated, add in the chocolate sauce and whisk completely.

To Finish

  • Maldon salt (optional)

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, 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. Using a small offset spatula, evenly coat the sides and edges of the cake.

Leave to set for a few minutes before transferring to a cake stand or plate. Remove the papers from the thin sheet of chocolate and place it on the cake. If you messed up like I did, crumple them into little chips and spread that over the top of the cake!

Set the cake in the refrigerator to defrost for 2 hours before eating. Cut with a knife dipped in hot water for clean lines! Sprinkle flaky sea salt over wedge/slice if you like that!

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: Black Forest Cake

~ This is Day 165 ~

(Sorry, no pics yet. It’ll have to wait until I get another cake craving.)

My favorite cake growing up was Black Forest. I remember it fondly. My mother would buy it from a Japanese bakery when we were living in Hong Kong. I’ve had some American variations with the sickeningly sweet maraschino cherries, and those made me sick. I hated eating those artificial flavored cherries.

This recipe, just like the ones that I used to eat from the Japanese bakery, uses fresh cherries! Not only are the cherries naturally sweet, the cake and whipped cream are not overly sweet. I don’t have a big sweet tooth but when I do eat dessert, I like them very low in sugar and on the bitter or savory side of things.

Makes an 8-inch, 4 layered cake.

For the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 8-inch round baking pans lined with parchment paper.

Place all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Stir on low to combine. In a bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients. When adding the hot water, pour in slowly so you don’t cook the eggs. Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the stand mixer on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. The batter will look very thin, this is normal.

Pour evenly into the pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure perfection. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Cherry Liqueur Syrup

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup cherry liqueur 

Place sugar and water into a pot to make simple syrup. Bring to a boil, simmer for 1 minute then remove from heat. Stir in the cherry liqueur and allow to cool completely.

For the Whipped Cream

  • 3 cups heavy cream, cold
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted 

Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar in a cold stand mixer bowl until stiff peaks. Place into a pastry bag with a star tip.

Or if you have an iSi gun (pint size :: quart size), put everything in there with 2 NO2 chargers. You’ll need to split the recipe in half for the pint iSi.

For the Chocolate Bark

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 20-second bursts. Using an offset spatula, spread melted chocolate into a thin layer on a large sheet of parchment paper. Roll up the paper from the width side and then place it into the freezer until firm. Unroll to create chocolate bark.

To Assemble

  • 3 cups cherries pitted, cut in half
  • 1 bar dark chocolate, for shavings (optional)
  • Cherries with stems, for garnish 

Cut each cake later in half horizontally. Place one layer of the cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Brush generously with the cherry simple syrup. Top with approximately 1 cup of whipped cream and spread evenly with the offset spatula. Top with 1 cup of pitted cherries and gently press them into the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and frost the outside of the cake. Decorate with chocolate bark, chocolate shavings (using a vegetable peeler), rosettes, and whole cherries!

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: Mango & Sticky Rice

~ This is Day 15 ~

For having a not-so-sweet tooth, there are few desserts that I crave for. With this self-quarantine and almost every restaurant is closed, the only way to satisfy that craving is to make it at home yourself. Luckily, this dessert/snack is incredibly easy to make at home.

Here is fresh Mango with Sticky Rice (also called glutinous rice) with a Coconut Sauce, Toasted White Sesame Seeds, and Mint.

Serves 6.

  • 2 cups glutinous rice, soaked overnight
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 13.5oz cans coconut milk
  • ½ cup palm sugar (more if you like it to be sweeter; substitute brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Mangoes
  • Garnish: sesame seeds, mint, Thai basil

Soak rice in cold water overnight. Drain completely. Add 2 cups water and cook rice until tender. 10 minutes set to steam in rice cooker is enough.

In a pot, melt palm sugar and salt in coconut milk. Do not bring mixture to a boil. Pour half of the coconut milk into the rice and mix thoroughly. Reserve the other half for pouring over the rice on the plate with the mangoes. Garnish with toasted white sesame seeds and fresh herbs.

Recipe: Coffee Soil

I totally forgot that I have already featured coffee soil in my other posts. I mostly use coffee soil for ice creams and desserts but it could also be used for savory dishes. I also use decaffeinated coffee beans for this recipe.

  • 9 oz. sugar
  • 3 ½ oz. cocoa powder
  • 3 oz. finely ground coffee
  • ½ oz. salt
  • 5 oz. butter, melted

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl or KitchenAid stand mixer, pour in the melted butter and thoroughly mix to combine. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour. Let it cool and crumble either with fingers or in a food processor.

Sample dishes:

Cheesecake with Citrus

This was the third and final course to my Friendmas dinner of 2017.

I originally wanted to make a new chocolate dessert but I do that too often. Then I thought about cheesecake. I had planned this to go with blood orange because it’s perfect for winter but none of the Whole Foods Markets in NYC had blood oranges the weekend of Christmas (I looked and I called) so I had to resort to Cara Cara navel oranges instead. Then, the Whole Foods that I did the majority of my Christmas shopping at was out POM pomegranate juice!!! Because I wanted to dye the juice with pomegranate juice. Argh, the struggles of shopping in NYC…

THEN, when I was making the honeycomb, I accidentally measured the glucose in milliliters instead of grams and that basically fucked up everything. I didn’t want to make it again because I was tired so boo hoo, no honeycomb. The cheesecake by itself was still delicious. The base had enough texture to balance out the creaminess and softness of the cheesecake so all was well.

Here is Cheesecake made of Mascarpone, Cream Cheese, Crème Fraîche, Orange Zest, Lemon Zest, and Grand Marnier, with Streusel on the bottom, and Orange Jelly on top, served with Citrus Sorbet.