September 2010

Native raspberries--fresh from Berruti's!

Most people don’t think of brownies when they pick up fresh raspberries–but I’m not most people.  Though I did consider making something else, I couldn’t resist making my favorite Ghirardelli brownie recipe from their Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa canister. Can’t find that label in the grocery store? Ghirardelli’s Double Chocolate is the same thing, as I learned on Chowhound from my friend Caitlin.

I’ve been adding fresh raspberries and white chocolate chips to this recipe for a long, long time. Today I added a little chopped dark chocolate, too.

Mmmmm, more chocolate!

How can something so delicious be so easy? Try it and see!

Omit nuts

1/4 cup fresh raspberries–use a spoon to squish (!) each raspberry against the side of the bowl
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
a bit of dark chocolate in chunks (I added less than 1/4 cup)–I never add a whole cup of chips…in fact, this recipe is fine without additional chocolate whatsoever

Save an empty Ghirardelli canister to shake the dry ingredients rather than sift them.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Et voilà!

April Katt was not very interested in my snackpile of raspberries, by the way.

She was far more drawn to a praying mantis she saw in the window yesterday.

"What have we here?!"

I’m sure she thought it was some sort of moving plaything for her benefit. She gave it a high-five!

"Let's play!"

I suspect you’ll give these brownies a high-five as well. 🙂 Enjoy!

Katty's Pignoli Cookie Gelato

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to punch the pignoli cookie to a higher floor–gelato. Your friend the almond-loving kat was in the mood for something new in the frozen treats category. So I took my trusty base gelato recipe and cookie-d it up à la one of my favorite baked goodies, a specialty of many fine Italian bakeries. Come with me to the Land of Nom–you’re gonna love this one!

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
1.5 cups whole milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Toast nuts in a frying pan over medium high heat, shaking/stirring regularly till they are golden and fragrant–about 5 or 6 minutes. Let the nuts cool about 5 minutes, then grind ’em up in a food processor till they form a paste. I toasted and ground them separately since it was a last-minute decision to add almonds.

ground pignoli

Add nut paste to milk and heat on medium to  medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, till small bubbles form at edge of pan. Remove from heat.

Beat together egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk till smooth. Temper egg mixture by slowly adding to hot milk, whisking constantly.

making the custard

Cook over medium-high heat and continue to whisk until mixture reaches 160 degrees F and custard coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil!

Strain through fine-mesh sieve into clean bowl. When you do, you’ll notice you’ve left some ground nuts behind. I scanned for any eggy bits and otherwise added the nutty part back to the gelato. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in almond extract and salt. You can make an ice bath to speed up the process. Chill custard overnight or at least four hours.

Just before turning the chilled custard into your ice cream maker, place the custard and the dasher from your machine into the freezer for up to 10 minutes. And now, into the spin cycle: process according to your ice cream machine’s directions.

"Well, what have we here?"

So as Prince sang, “Let’s go crazy…let’s get nuts!” You just might get nuts about this nutty, creamy gelato. And if you do, be sure to take me with you. HA HA HA! Seriously, try it and see!