Archive for the ‘Candy, sauce’ Category
One of our special flavours, for the food festival just passed, was dark chocolate ice cream topped with Kilbeggan whiskey cream. It’s a magic combination, with the smoky properties of Kilbeggan well-suited to dark chocolate. There’s a recipe below, and with Christmas coming up, I’m sure you can find many applications for it. It is also, by the way, great in coffee.
Murphys Ice Whiskey Cream
- 227 ml cream
- 1.5 tablespoons Kilbeggan or other full-flavoured Irish whiskey
- 1.5 tablespoons sugar
What to do:
1. Combine the cream and sugar in a mixing bowl.
2. Whip until soft peaks form.
3. Add the whiskey and whip fully.
Note: Different people will have different ideas of how sweet they like it, so you should adjust the sugar according to your own preferences.
As part of the Dingle Food and Wine Festival, we’ve decided to do an Irish theme. It seems especially pertinant in these times, and we should be able to have some fun with it. We are going to do specials like Barry’s Tea Ice Cream and a Biscuit, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Irish Whiskey Cream, Bailey’s Ice Cream with Dingle Blackberry Sauce, and Brown Bread Ice Cream with Caramelised Orange Marmalade.
The last one sounds a bit strange, but everyone who has tried it has been delighted. It’s an odd sensation of eating ice cream while your brain is telling you you’re imbibing that old breakfast standby of brown bread and marmalade.
I caramelised the marmalade to make the flavours a bit deeper and complex, and it’s an easy thing to do and could have many applications. Here’s a recipe:
Murphys Caramelised Orange Marmalade
1 jar marmalade – choose a marmalade that’s tart!
What to Do
1. Empty the jar into a high-sided saucepan or pot.
2. Add water – use 20% of the volume of the jar.
3. Cook on high heat, stirring from time to time, until the marmalade turns a deep brown colour. Be careful – it will be extremely hot, so beware of splatters.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in more water – again, use 20% of the volume of the jar.
5. Serve warm over brown bread ice cream.
I know blueberries aren’t in season in this part of the world, but I found a beautiful-looking punnet of them in our local supermarket, and I thought it would make a perfect topping, served warm, for vanilla ice cream.
It was pretty tasty, I must say, and it is dead easy to prepare. Here’s what I did:
150 grams fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cognac
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
What to do:
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently, just until the sugar is dissolved and some of the blueberries burst and release their juice (about 3-5 minutes). Don’t overcook, or it will be mush.
3. Immediately serve over vanilla ice cream.
Sometimes I ask myself some odd questions, and one of them, when thinking about our recent Mexican ice cream flavours, was whether one could candy chilli peppers in the same way one candies orange peels. They are a fruit, after all. The answer to this is of course you can, and they are strangely addictive. We put them into ice cream as an inclusion for the food festival, but we also snacked on them over the course of the week.
If you want to make something different, and like spicy things, give them a go! (They also look quite dramatic as a decoration – especially if you combine red and green chillis).
Please note: you would be wise to use plastic gloves when chopping the chillis, or at the very least make sure you wash your hands carefully afterwards. If you absentmindedly rub your eye before doing so (as I have done), you will have a very unpleasant reaction.
Candied Chilli Peppers
150g fresh, mild chilli peppers
What to do:
1. Cut the stems off the chillis, then cut them lengthwise. Scrape out seeds, and chop them into narrow, half-round strips.
2. Combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Add the chopped chillis and cook over medium heat for about an hour, topping up with water as needed to keep from burning.
4. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve, catching the chilli peppers. (The syrup is quite tasty too if you want to keep it – great over mango sorbet or fruit…)
5. Using a spoon or spatula, spread the chillis on a baking tray, and bake at 200C for about 5-10 minutes to dry them out. They should darken slightly but not turn brown.
6. Remove from oven, cool, and enjoy!
I’m in a sweet frame of mind, and here’s a toffee I love to munch on. It’s also used in our Toffee Ice Cream, and I’ll put up the recipe for that in due course. I always love making candy, because I find it such a miracle that sugar can transform itself so radically.
This toffee is very dark and rich, since the recipe calls for dark brown sugar, and one inevitably eats far too much of it. One can, of course, make it with light brown or even regular sugar, but I like the deep flavour of the molasses contained in dark brown sugar.
- 150 g butter
- 200 g dark brown sugar
- 50 ml water
- 1 teaspoon golden syrup
What to Do:
- Butter a small baking dish.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
- Stir over medium heat until the ingredients are combined.
- Turn up the heat and stop stirring.
- It will start boiling.
- If it starts smoking around the edges, stir gently in a circle around the edge to keep it from burning.
- Check if it’s ready by dropping a bit of the toffee in a cup of cold water. It should be firm but not hard to the touch.
- Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the buttered baking dish.
- Allow to cool somewhat.
- When it’s mostly hardened, score it with a knife to make it easier to break.
- Allow to cool completely, break up and enjoy!
- A word of caution – caramelised sugar is very, very hot, so please take care when making this!
- Make sure the pan is very clean before you start. If there is residue already on the pan, it is more likely the candy will burn.
- The final product will have the consistency of the bit you drop into the cold water. If you like your toffee soft, take it off the heat when it forms a soft ball when dropped in the water. If you like your toffee hard, keep cooking and take it off the heat when it forms a hard ball in the water.
Our best-selling ice cream in our shops is Honeycomb crunchy caramel (this ice cream flavour originates in New Zealand, where they call it “hokey pokey“), and last night I set about final testing on the recipe for the crunchy bits that make it so distinctive. Known also as “cinder toffee” and “sponge candy,” it is as actually quite easy to make.
By the way, if anyone knows who invented the candy, please pass it on!
Here’s what works for me, and it lasts fairly well without going soggy.
Honeycomb Caramel Candy
- 400g sugar
- 100ml water
- 40ml golden syrup (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
What to do:
- Combine the water, golden syrup and sugar and cook over medium heat without stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Turn up the heat until the mixture becomes the deep golden colour of honeycomb, stirring if it cooks unevenly.
- Stir in the baking soda, until it is fully combined, but don’t over-mix! It will froth up and more than triple in volume.
- Immediately pour out onto a non-stick baking mat or greased baking sheet.
- Allow to cool fully.
- Break into pieces and enjoy!
Note: 1. For those scientifically minded, the sugar mixture should reach hard crack stage, which you can test by using a candy thermometer or spooning a few drops into a glass of cold water, where it should immediately harden and break easily when you take it out. That being said, I find that once the colour is right, the temperature is right!
2. Make sure there are no lumps in the baking soda, or it might not dissolve fully!
Â As part of the food festival, my brother and I will do a cooking demonstration in St. James’ Church in Dingle (Saturday, 3:30). We’ve decided to do brown bread ice cream with a chocolate whiskey sauce. I’ve been tinkering away with the sauce, and here’s what I’ve come up with…
Chocolate Whiskey Sauce
- 150g good quality dark chocolate (I used 2 bars of Valrhona Gran Couva)
- 100ml milk
- 20g sugar (around 1.5 tablespoon)
- 45ml cream (aboutÂ 3 tablespoon)
- 30ml whiskey (aboutÂ 2 tablespoons)
What to do:
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
- Heat the milk and sugar in a very small saucepan over low heat to a low simmer, stirringÂ until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the milk in small parts to the melted chocolate, stirring all the time until you have a smooth, glossy emulsion.
- Stir in the cream.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Stir in the whiskey.
Note: you can freeze this sauce if you won’t use it all soon. Otherwise, it will last in the fridge about 3 days.
This recipe, from this week’s Irish Times article, is a simple way of enjoying great quality chocolate and ice cream together. It is designed to form an unsweetened hard crust on ice cream, and I suggest vanilla, so you don’t have competing flavours. The butter is simply to make the chocolate less brittle…
Gourmet Chocolate Crust
- 100g high quality, dark chocolate
- 10g (2 teasp) unsalted butter
What to do:
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or microwave.
- Stir until fully combined.
- Pour over vanilla ice cream.
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