Wednesday, March 25, 2015

An Easter Egg Ice Cream Sandwich

Easter, other than an excuse to indulge in overpriced bits of chocolate covered in foil, is also our last gasp opportunity at chasing the sun before the seasonal changes are truly upon us.  So of course we must eat an Easter egg riddled ice cream sandwich because it combines a love of chocolate with a love of cold churned dairy. What's more to love? Wack in a touch of the obligatory salted caramel, some sable for the biscuits and you have got yourself a sweet, salty, soft, crisp chocolate and more chocalety dessert. Perfection.

Salted caramel
200g caster sugar
60g salted butter, coarsely chopped
125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
Chocolate sable
125g soft unsalted butter
125g sour cream

scant 1/2 cup caster sugar
175g plain flour
50g dutch-process cocoa
Combine the ice cream and smashed easter eggs in a bowl and stir to combine. Turn into a deep-sided freezer proof tray lined with plastic wrap. Cover with wrap and place in the freezer to set.
For the chocolate sable, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sour cream and sugar until light and fluffy. Sieve over flour and cocoa and stir to combine, then turn onto a lightly floured surface, form dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Don't be alarmed if it seems quite sticky and wet – it firms up a lot in the fridge.  Roll out to 3mm thick and using a 10cm cookie cutter, cut rings from the piece of dough. If it gets to warm, return to the fridge and repeat the process until you have about 16 rounds.
Place rounds on a baking paper lined oven tray and bake at 180C for 15 minutes, then cool completely.
For the salted caramel, stir sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook until caramel (4-5 minutes). Add butter, whisk to combine, then add cream (be careful, mixture will foam up) and 1 tsp sea salt or to taste and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool slightly.
Remove the ice cream mixture from the freezer and working quickly, gently stir through the caramel – you don't want it to be uniform. Cover and return to the freezer to harden completely, for at least four hours.
When ready to serve, put a chocolate round on a plate. Top with a generous scoop of easter egg ice cream and top with another chocolate round. Repeat with remaining chocolate sable rounds and ice cream.

Monday, March 23, 2015

And we are workshopped!

Last Friday was such a great day! After months of planning, Sneh and I held our first workshop. We combined forces for a food writing, styling and photography workshop at the Cook Republic HQ. Of course the day flew so it felt like we ran out of time but I think that is the sign of a good day. Our group was a fabulous bunch, all interested in working together and hearing each others ideas. I loved it. Normally when you do writing exercises (and I have done my time with writing courses trust me) no one ever wants to read out their work. I'm normally one of them. Not this time! People were so willing to share and it really made the day. I also am a little blown away by the quality of the writing.

We were lucky enough to have some great sponsors help us out including Pressed Juices and Salt, Meats Cheese as well as Breville Australia who generously gave us a Nespresso machine to give away to one of the workshop participants. Meet Ange - she won the machine and I have a feeling it will be put to great use!

For lunch we had a delightful vegetarian pasta dish, one that Sneh cooked for her family Christmas - it is satisfying, colourful and easy. What more could you want? Here is the recipe.