Archive for July, 2011

Pareve Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream

July 29, 2011

Long ago and far away, I tasted a delicious pareve chocolate ice cream. This “ice cream,” or “glace chocolat,” as it was called, was intensely chocolate like the best flourless chocolate cake or mousse. The recipe for the “glace”/”ice cream” base couldn’t have been simpler: eggs, sugar, oil, plus flavoring (chocolate, of course, for the glace chocolate). No pareve whip, no nut butter, no margarine. And the mixture was whipped light before being frozen, so there was no need for an ice cream maker, either. It was basically a dense frozen mousse, and it was delicious.

Unfortunately, my discovery of this recipe coincided exactly with the emerging realization in the US that raw eggs are unsafe to eat because of salmonella contamination.  So, for many years this recipe lay neglected and unused.

I recently was reading through Bon Appetit and was intrigued by a recipe for chocolate ice cream with caramel swirled in. The picture of the rich ice cream, the description of the texture, and the recipe reminded me of my Glace Chocolat. The Bon Appetit recipe (from Fergus Henderson’s restaurant St. Johns) is described as being “so rich, it doesn’t melt–it just gets truffley.”

So, I decided to dust off my Glace Chocolat and update it.


Parshat Masei, Pareve Condensed Milk and Dairy-Free Chocolate Revel Bars

July 29, 2011

Masei discusses the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael and recounts the journey and encampments of B’nei Yisrael as they traveled from Ramses to the Sinai desert to the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

For my parsha cake, I made pareve chocolate revel bars, which have a bottom and top crust of oatmeal and a fudge filling. The top crust cracks a bit, looking very topographical. With better foresight, I would have shaped the top crust to look like the appropriate land masses and let the fudge filling be the bodies of water. I didn’t have such foresight, so I was compelled to roll out chocolate fondant to make the land. I used marshmallow bits to show the path of travel. If you want to see this kind of parsha cake in color, go here.

Here are the maps that the above parsha cake was based on: travels in the desert from and boundaries of Eretz Yisrael from


A Very Delayed Pesach Cake Post: Lemon Coconut Roll

July 27, 2011

I love lemon coconut cake, and my mother really, really loves it. So, I made a lemon coconut roll for Pesach and then never posted about it. Actually, we never ate it on Passover because there was too much other cake and cookies.

The recipe is a doubled recipe of vanilla cake filled with lemon curd. Out of laziness, I frosted it with marshmallow fluff, which I found KFP. But, you could use the egg whites leftover from making the lemon curd for making a meringue frosting.


Claudia Roden’s Les Fila au Fromage (Cheese Triangles, or Filikas)

July 27, 2011

Rich little (and medium sized) phyllo cheese triangles.  Perfect for entertaining.


Daring Bakers: Fraisiers

July 27, 2011

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

I went with the cake recipe provided, but used the white chocolate mousse and assembly from Alice Medrich’s Strawberry Carousel Cake from Cocolat. I lined my pan with an acetate strip, which you can see still attached to the cake in the above photo. This protected the cake in travel to a Fourth of July BBQ.

Thoughts: Pareve white chocolate mousse is not so great. Not terrible, but not great. This needs to be dairy. Also, I have always found Frasier a frustrating dessert to make.


Mario Batali’s Molto Gusto Griddle Pizza

July 24, 2011

I saw a recipe for Mario Batali’s pizza in the April/May issue of Vegetarian Times and I was intrigued: the recipe calls for par-baking very thin crusts on a griddle. This seemed like a really good idea, especially in brutally hot weather, as an alternative to using a 500 degree oven with a pizza stone. Batali says that you can make the par-baked crusts ahead of time, which sounded like another good idea. I was hoping that Batali’s technique would yield pizza crusts that were chewy and crispy instead of soggy.

(Epicurious has the recipe also, along with a few reviews, which warn that the salt listed is excessive; here is the recipe with reader comments at Serious Eats; here is the recipe along with an interview at the Houston Chronicle; and here is some more at Delaware Online, including reassurance that the large amount of salt is correct and the tip that you can parbake the crust using a pizza stone in the oven, too.)

My results? First, I found it somewhat easier to stretch the dough to the 10″ size suggested from a 4 ounce ball of dough when the dough had been refrigerated overnight, but this is not critical.

Second, the pizza crust created is chewy, but not so crisp unless you crisp it well in the oven afterward OR (and this took me a while to figure out), you actually put the crust back on the griddle with topping added, and heat it to melt the topping on the griddle (cover the pan to speed the melting process). By the time that the topping have melted, the bottom of the crust will be crisp:

Even so, the pizza tastes and looks like you made it with chappati or aish tanoor. There are little black flecks that add flavor, but turned off my kids.

Here is what my first batch of pizza crusts looked like:

Here is the second batch, made with dough that had sat in the fridge for a day or so:

My kids liked the first, paler batch better, even though the second batch was crisper and more flavorful.

Bottom line: this is an interesting technique for pizza, and useful for when you have access to a cooktop, but not an oven. I used a non-stick pan, a black steel pan, and an enameled cast-iron pot, and all worked well (although the cast-iron worked especially well because it got really hot and stayed really hot). The downside is that crust is just not the same as an oven-baked crust, and it is hard to get away with using lots of topping. My kids wanted more tomato sauce than the thin floppy crust could hold.

As for the salt, I used 2 tbl. of KOSHER salt, which is probably equal to 3 tsp. of table salt. The dough was salty, but not overpoweringly so.

(Here are the measurements, converted to weight: 10 ounces water, .25 ounces yeast, 18.5 ounces all-purpose flour, 2 scant Tbl. kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp. sugar)

Note to self: it seems that there is more excitement about Otto’s olive oil ice cream than its pizza, strange as that sounds. (see here, here, and here)

Pan Seared and Slow Roasted Salmon Trio

July 22, 2011

Cook’s Illustrated had a article on making better glazed salmon. The basic idea is this: (1) coat the salmon with a mixture of brown sugar and cornstarch (1 tsp. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, black pepper, as needed); (2) sear the salmon in a hot pan to brown it; (3) cover the salmon with a sauce that has been cooked down a bit with a little cornstarch to thicken it and make it stick to the salmon; (4) bake the salmon at 300 degrees until done.


Too Beastly Hot to Cook Cauliflower Salad

July 22, 2011

I had a cauliflower to cook, but I just couldn’t face roasting it today. The temperature is close to a hundred and the air is so thick with humidity, that when you step outside it feels like you are walking through soup. “It is like living in a terrarium,” my husband says.

So, then I remembered Rachel’s cauliflower salad, which involves NO COOKING. I made a few changes here and there, adding in corn, roasted red pepper, and chick peas.


Parshat Matot: Marshmallow Sheep

July 21, 2011

“The descendants of Reuben and Gad had an abundance of livestock very numerous and they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock.”

In this week’s parsha, Matot, the descendents of Reuven and Gad request that their allotted portion be the good grazing land on the east side of the Jordan, just outside the land promised to B’nei Yisrael.


Coping with Tragedy

July 20, 2011

Chai Lifeline has on its website valuable information for coping and helping our children cope with the recent tragedy in Boro Park.

See here for a list of resources, videos, audio conferences, crisis intervention line, plus a list of upcoming symposia (two are scheduled for tonight, one in Fallsburg, and one in Far Rockaway).

See here for telephone dial-in and audio downloads.

I found the following helpful (I have not yet listened to the other speakers listed):

Helping Yourself and Your Child Cope With Tragedy
Dr. Norman Blumenthal Listen
Director of Chai Lifeline’s Project CHAI (Chizuk, Healing and Intervention)

(here is a pdf summarizing many of the points mentioned by Dr. Blumenthal)

Children’s Safety for the Future
Dr. David Pelcovitz Listen
Straus Professor of Psychology & Education, Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University

The Leiby Kletzky Memorial Fund. Coping With Grief by Doing Good.