Archive for February, 2007
We have been serving chocolate and caramel sauce in our shops for the past six years, and I feel we’ve pretty much perfected them. Hot fudge sauce, however, is something that I miss from time to time. It can be time-consuming to make, but it is so tasty that I’ve been considering adding it to the mix. I feel I’m pretty close with the following recipe, and I’ve also worked on a method of cutting the time down for preparation (some recipes take upwards of two hours to make). If you want to try it:
Hot Fudge Sauce
150g 70% chocolate
What to do:
1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over simmering (not boiling) water.
2. Add the cocoa and stir until it is completely integrated.
3. Keep the chocolate mix warm in the double boiler.
4. Combine the sugar, milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture boils. Remove from the heat.
5. Add the hot milk mixture to the warm chocolate mixture as follows – add one sixth of the liquid, stir until the liquid is completely incorporated, then add the next sixth, stirring again, and continue thus until all the liquid has been added. Â
6. It will clump at first, and it may separate, but keep adding a bit of the milk mixture and stirring it in until theÂ sauce is glossy and smooth.
7. Serve the fudge sauce warm over ice cream!
Note: This makes quite a bit of sauce, but you can keep it refrigerated for a couple of weeks (if you have that kind of self-control!)
My niece and nephew are around for midterm break (they live in Germany), and above is a little video we made and put on YouTube to entertain them and ourselves…
Also, I’m happy to have found two new Irish food blogs via their comments here. Check out:
The Humble Housewife – A wide range of recipes from Edenderry, and a very good addition to the scene.
Eat Drink Live – I am positively delighted to see a blog from a Limerick baker with lots to tempt the sweet tooth.
Almost everything we do centres on making our customers happy, and we pride ourselves on doing so. Recently, however, we have been getting feedback from more and more customers who are angry about something that is out of our control – road signs.
A few months ago, just before the An Daingean/Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis plebiscite to decide the town name, which I wrote about here, the government taped over the name “Dingle” on all road signs leading to the town. The name of the town is in limbo at the moment, but the road signs only point to “An Daingean.”
Dingle is in the Gaeltacht (designated Irish speaking area), andÂ road signs within the Gaeltacht are in Irish only (rightly so, in my opinion). However, when tourists arrive in Killarney, Tralee, or Farranfore, which are all outside the Gaeltacht, most of them are looking for the town of Dingle. They don’t know about An Daingean.
And so we listen to tales of woe from people who have wasted precious hours of their holiday driving around in circles, searching in vain for a town that is in guidebooks and on maps as “Dingle” but on the road signs as only “An Daingean.”
The Irish language is a valuable asset to the area in many ways, including tourism. Tourists will have exposure to the Irish language when they arrive in West Kerry, and it will enrich their experience. The purpose of road signs in Tralee, Farranfore and Killarney, however, should be that tourists do arrive and do so as quickly and easily as possible.
What sense does it make to remove the Dingle name from signs outside of the Gaeltacht without any coordination with maps, guidebooks, GPS systems, etc.? We are dependent on tourism in West Kerry, and the signs are confusing many of the people we are trying to attract, making their first experience of the area a negative one.
Signs are bilingual elsewhere in the country outside of Gaeltacht areas (see photo right), and I cannot understand why the same can’t be true in Kerry, at least until there is agreement on the town name and full coordination with all relevant publications.
In the mean time, if you’re heading this way, make sure you have a good bi-lingual map - one that has the Irish names of towns in a legible font size. Better still, get a GPS. You’ll find “Dingle” listed on all of them.
We’re into Lent (a Teutonic word meaning simply “Springtime”), but it certainly doesn’t seem to have made any difference to our customers in the Dingle shop, where we had a huge day today, serving out lots of chocolate, coffee, ice cream, etc.
Of course, I don’t have any problem with that, since fasting traditionally meant giving up meat, and we have none on offer. I wrote about sweets and Lent last year (here), and I don’t think I’ll add more except to say that there cannot be any doubt in my mind about hot chocolate being perfectly ok during any fast, since the Vatican made a pronouncement in 1662, allowing it (more here).
What I will do is add my second annual list of things to give up for Lent:
- Crab Cappuccinos (or any such appetisers or in between courses)
- Any “Super-sized” food item
- Drinking at home in a rural area (Irish country pubs need the business, and we might as well keep our taxi drivers happy too)
- Being in such a hurry
- Fake chai (chai is not a syrup!)
- Eating in the car (excluding snacks)
- Non-ripe supermarket fruit, especially those white, tasteless strawberries
- Any cake that goes by the name of “Gateau,” unless you happen to be in France
- Tipping for terrible service
- Diet minerals or anything labeled “low fat” that has high calories and dubious sugar substitutes
We had a baking day in production with 6 of us, working on new recipes and combinations of flavours for cakes for the shops. It’s really one of my favourite things, playing with taste and coming up with new combinations.
I think the winner was our take on an Irish coffee cake – a chocolate sponge (with me, there always should be some chocolate)Â with a layer of whiskey cream, frosted with coffee cream. Keep an eye out for it in Dingle and Killarney!
Ice Cream Ireland has made the short list for the Irish blog awards in two categories: Best Specialist Blog (along with Ask Direct, Beaut.ie, One Breast Less, and The Waiting Game) and Best Business Blog (along with Allagi Blog, Argolon, Ask Direct, BH Consulting Blog, and Biz Growth News). I am most delighted to be in such esteemed company, and there were also many great blogs that sadly didn’t make the short list. Best of luck to everybody…
And thanks, thanks, thanks to all of you who voted! Your vote did count!
I do love this business! Easter is still a ways away – we are not even into Lent, but this morning, when I went into our Killarney shop for a staff meeting, there was a full array of chocolate Easter products on display.
These were Lorge chocolates, and Benoit Lorge himself was on hand to explain his line to us and to supervise tasting. Not a bad way to start the day!
His Easter eggs are huge, and he has them available filled with chocolate pralines and unfilled. The prices seem quite reasonable given the size and decoration (€10-30), and I’m sure they will be a success.
Lent might seem even longer this year!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a raspberry sorbet and strawberry ice cream sundae we’re making for Valentine’s day…
By the way, a handy little trick if you’re making a romantic dessert this evening is as follows:
Whip some cream and once it is firm mix in some crushed or pureed raspberries or strawberries until they are completely incorporated.
It gives you a dramatically pink cream for decoration. And even better, it tastes good too!
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