Tag Archives: Chocolate

Highlights of Savannah, Georgia

12 Apr

You can say Savannah had me at hello. I feel like every experience I had during my day trip from Charleston last summer was a touch of magic. Savannah filled me with wonder.

Our first stop was SCAD Museum of Art and I was sold. The words that come to mind are multisensory. Rashaad Newsome’s exhibit was auditory while visual while Ling Hongbo’s was visual and tactile. SCAD Museum of Art Colorful Rainbow Paper Guns and Bullets Exhibit

Looking to support some SCAD students? Shop SCAD is a cute boutique with student-filled works.

I am not exaggerating when I say that Chocolate by Adam Turoni is one of my favorite shops in the world.  Each shop is like a room in a fantastical house, the first I visited was a library, a chocolate library. Imagine: glass enclosed bookcases full of chocolate. The staff hands you trays reminiscent of old card catalog drawers. Each truffle or bar variety is labeled, in typewritten font, on library cards.  After visiting the first shop, I knew I had to also visit their second location.The second shop I visited was a dining room, that made you feel as if you had been personally invited to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The chocolates themselves are no less whimsical. From a George Milies Trip To The Moon chocolate to a made to order creme brulee truffle, each piece is a handmade delight.

Adam Turoni Dining Room

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A Scoop of My Favorite Ice Creameries and a Chocolate Hazelnut Recipe

13 Jun

I would eat ice cream in the snow. That is how much I love the milky, melty dessert.  I don’t discriminate between gelato, custard, or frozen yogurt either.

Walking through Anthropologie last week, I found these ceramic ice cream cones. I had to pick up a couple since I have been drooling over the Virginia Sin version, which cost three times as much, since I saw them. Then of course, I had to break out my ice cream maker and create something that would give my new dishes a purpose.

Gusto and Grace: Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Since I have not made much ice cream, I searched for recipes from the best ice cream makers I know: Jeni’s and lick. My favorite local place for lunch, Royal Blue, introduced me to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in the form of a macaron ice cream sandwich. I was bewitched.  Anthony and I went to lick by accident when exploring Austin. If you find yourself in the Capital of Texas, GO! They had me swooning at salted caramel and melting over their Goat Cheese, Thyme and Honey variety.

I could not find anywhere lick had given away their secrets, but I did find a recipe for Jeni’s Ice Cream Base. I used that, and flavored it chocolate hazelnut.

Gusto and Grace Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream
(makes about 1 quart)

2 cups milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (I used pralinutta since my crazy husband doesn’t like nutella)

In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set aside. In a saucepan (3-qts was plenty big), whisk together the remaining milk, 1 1/4 cups cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in milk-cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the remaining milk mixture. In a small bowl (in the microwave) or in a small saucepan (on the stove), melt the chocolate hazelnut spread and mix with the remaining cream. Mix the milk base and the chocolate sauce together. Pour the mixture into a large plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled. (You can also refrigerate it in the container of your choice, however using a bag in and ice bath is the fastest cooling method). Once cool, pour into an ice cream maker and mix per the manufacturer’s instructions. I had it in my KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment for about 20 minutes. Transfer the soft ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set. I let mine firm up overnight. Scoop. Lick. Repeat.

Maybe once I perfect Jeni’s base, I’ll swap the cream cheese for some goat cheese. And maybe Anthony and I can take a short roadtrip to Blue Bell. #icecreamdreams

A Malted Chocolate Cake for Mom

21 Jul

Growing up, my mom always made us, my brother, my sister and me, a homemade birthday cake. With the exception of her own Dairy Queen ice cream cake tradition, store bought cakes seemed like an abomination to birthdays in our home. Each year, she would ask us what flavor and what theme we wanted our cakes to be. I remember Little Mermaid cakes, Beauty and the Beast cakes, Lisa Frank cakes, Barbie cakes, and many more (on channel four, and Scooby Doo on channel two). I used to sit beside her in the kitchen and watch in awe as she so neatly decorated. I also used to lick the bowls and eat the extra frosting, like any good helper would do.

Little Mermaid Cake

In recent years, I have begun making the family birthday cakes. How this greatly important task got passed on to me, I’m not sure, but I sure am grateful. Yesterday was her birthday, but today we are celebrating. She doesn’t prefer to be asked what kind of cake she wants or if she wants a theme. She leaves it up to me. This year the inspiration came easily. My mom loves malts, and malt balls, but only Hershey’s Whoppers. Behold, a Malted Chocolate Cake with Malted Frosting and Ganache. You can find the recipe I used here. The only change I made was spray painting (with food coloring of course) the Whoppers gold. Next time I might use a plain chocolate cake, but the frosting was incredible.

My mom always made our birthdays very special and important days. I hope her day is special. I hope she feels important and loved. Today we will have birthday brunch and birthday cake for breakfast. Happy birthday, Mom.

Wish my mom a happy birthday or tell me some of your favorite birthday traditions: leave a comment!

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