Archive for June, 2007
I wrote here already about one of my favourite treats – the Affogato al Caffe, but I thought I’d revisit it after trying it with the Kahlua Espresso ice cream. I thought it was sublime, so if you do make the ice cream (here), definitely try it! The warm espresso and cold ice cream, with a huge coffee kick, is pretty close to heaven.
To make an affogato, you simply take a scoop of ice cream (we like to serve it in a small coffee cup) and pour over some espresso (we use a single shot run long, in other words, an espresso lungo). In the shops, we serve the shot of espresso on the side and let the customer do the pouring.
It was a busy weekend in the shop, and one highlight was Copernicus stopping in for some coffee. Another big highlight was that my brother Sean’s baby Una had her first taste of ice cream. Una’s grandmother is visiting, and as we all know, grandmothers can be much easier to convince than mothers. Sean’s wife, Wiebke, has been very strict about keeping ice cream away from the baby, but when Una was in the care of her grandmother and reached for the ice cream, she got it.
It’s wonderful to see the expression on a baby’s face at the first taste of ice cream. It’s so different from what they have experienced, especially in terms of temperature, so there is always puzzlement, shock, and delight.
Of course, Una found it just as interesting to stick her fingers in the ice cream as she did eating it…
One of my favourite ice cream flavours that we make is our “Caife” – Kahlua Espresso with Chocolate Shavings. Coffee cuts sweetness and makes a great adult ice cream. In addition, the alcohol makes it even smoother, and the chocolate shavings provide a bit of chocolate that melts on the palate with the ice cream. I do hope you like this as much as I do!
1 Cup (237ml) + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
1 1/8 Cups (266ml) Cream
1 1/8 Cups (266ml) Milk
1/2 Cup (118ml) espresso
1/4 Cup (60ml) Kahlua
50g Good quality dark chocolate
Yield: 6 Servings
1. Add one tablespoon of the sugar to the espresso and reduce over medium heat until it is about 1/3 of its volume. Cool.
2. Beat the egg yolks into the rest of the sugar until thick and pale yellow.
3. Bring the milk to a simmer.
4. Beat the milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream.
5. Pour the mixture back into pan and place over low heat. Stir until the custard thickens slightly (around 70C). Use a thermometer, as at 75C the eggs will scramble!
6. Allow the custard to cool to refrigerator temperature (5C).
7. Use a potato peeler to shave the chocolate, keeping the shavings as long and thin as possible. Stir into the mix.
8. Stir in the espresso and Kahlua.
9. Whip the cream.
10. Gently fold in the custard.
11. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, or cover and place in the freezer, stirring every few hours to break up the ice crystals.
This is probably getting a bit boring, but I’m going to talk about my new flash and lens again. I can’t help playing with new toys, even though most of my time has been spent scooping ice cream in the shops! Once I get my head around how to use the system to its full potential, I should be able to get some very cool photos.
It’s such a handy thing to have photographs of the various tasty treats that we sell, and a benefit of taking pictures myself is that I love the subject! Now I just need to get a little more professional about it.
One of the most exciting things about a flash system is that you can take high speed close-up photos, and I managed a few of espresso. It’s a bit awkward to get the lens into a position to take the shot, but I think these turned out pretty well…
For anyone who is interested in flashes and lighting, there is a fantastic blog called Strobist that has a wealth of information…
Â As per the last post, my new lens will be very useful indeed. I also managed to work out the flash system without any trouble at all. It’s actually super-easy. The first cool thing about it is that the flashes are remote, so you can move them at will to get the effect that you want. The second thing is that you can use the command unit, which fits to the camera, to increase or decrease the amount of flash between the units so you can get the lighting balance right.
In the photo above, I took the shot in the courtyard of our shop. There was enough light without any flash for the ice cream, but the backdrop was coming outÂ too dark. So I took one of the flashes with a soft filter on it and lit the logo.
In the photo on the right, I simply dripped chocolate from a spoon onto a blue plate. The effect comes from shining the flash across the plate from the bottom left, and I used the second flash, with less intensity, on the bottom right to remove most of the shadows…
It’s going to be too busy, coming into the season, to play much with this. I’ll be scooping ice cream. Maybe it’s for the best. I could spend weeks fooling around!
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