Ice Cream

Aria Chocolate Tart

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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Again with the MasterChef recipes….

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I was jumping off the lounge screaming when I saw Matt Moran’s beautiful chocolate tart and tasting plate. It looked magnificent!

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It combined dark chocolate-based components and created a lovely artwork on the plate. Every aspect seemed to have the possibility of problems, too thick pastry, grainy sorbet and bad tempering of the chocolate – leaving it not shiny and not able to be snapped.

It also involved more than 1kg of dark chocolate… crazy!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as pleased with this as I was with my most recent triple chocolate praline tart. This tart/combination was too rich for me (it may not have helped me eating parts of the dish as I was making it), but I generally only have a couple pieces of dark chocolate when I eat it, whereas I can eat half a block or more of milk chocolate in one sitting.

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The sorbet was quite rich, with both the sorbet and the remaining tart filling (which was used to hold the macarons and pipe on the plate) didn’t freeze well enough (as you can probably see in some of the photos), in more than 2 hours in a normal freezer. Both the sorbet and tart filling were a better consistency after freezing overnight (we had a lot leftover as it made a heaps more than was required for the dishes).

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I tried quite hard to temper the chocolate, although it still didn’t turn out how the MasterChef one did… Here are a few reasons that I think it may not have worked:

I’ve done a bit of research and found most sites say to bring the chocolate up to 46-48C, whereas this one stated 55C. Is this temperature too high?

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I used a milk thermometer as it seemed more sensitive at lower temperatures than my sugar thermometer (was it not sensitive enough?)

Maybe the quality of the chocolate wasn’t good enough for this recipe?

Perhaps some water did get into the chocolate?

I put the bowl into a preheated oven of 160C – the recipe didn’t state how hot the oven should be (it may have heated too much at this stage)

I placed the chocolate covered film in a metal tube at room temperature (could the metal tube have caused it to set too fast?)

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I noticed the chocolate that was spread on later films turned out shinier and cracked – did it need to be cooled to a certain temperature before spreading?

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I am definitely looking forward to trying tempered chocolate again, this time using a more specific recipe, with a lower temperature for the melted chocolate.

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Everyone needed to add a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream to their dish to cut the richness of all the dark chocolate.

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After all that, I am glad I tried this dish, but I wouldn’t make it again. I would be interested in trying the one from Aria though to see how it compares.

Check out the full recipe at MasterChef.com.au

Baci Gelato

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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When I received my ice cream maker a few years ago, one of the first things I wanted to make was a ferrero rocher gelato or ice cream. I tried to find a recipe, but ended up with a quite solid very rich ice cream – which was not what I wanted at all. I was hoping for a beautifully soft lightly chocolate hazelnut flavoured gelato.

When I saw this baci gelato in my delicious magazine, I was extremely excited to try it (even though I have yet to make a good vanilla ice cream, it’s still on my list).

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This was absolutely gorgeous!!! All I wanted was more and more gelato! Unfortunately I had made it a little late in the day and not cooled it enough for my ice cream machine, resulting in the machine stopping its churning and I then had to continue beating the gelato every 2 hours. When it was time to serve the gelato with a lovely chocolate tart, it wasn’t completely frozen, but the colder edges tasted absolutely fantastic! The following days it still tasted wonderful… now, when can I make it again…? 😛

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Baci Gelato
Recipe from delicious magazine May 2009 (some of my hints/changes are in italics)

Consider making this the day before (or early) and placing the ice cream mix in the fridge or on ice to cool before putting it in the ice cream maker.

Serves: 6 (when served with a chocolate tart, it serves 12 or more)

2 cups (500ml) pure (thin) cream
2 cups (500ml) milk
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped (I used 1 teaspoon vanilla essence)
300g caster sugar (split into 2 x 150g lots)
5 egg yolks
220g Nutella or other hazelnut spread (It was cold here, so I place it in a bowl over hot water)
Cocoa powder, to dust (if desired)

Place the cream, milk, vanilla pod and seeds (or essence) and 150g sugar in a pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from the heat.

Beat the yolks and remaining 150g caster sugar with electric beaters (in a large bowl) until pale. Slowly add the hot cream mixture, whisking well to combine. Pour into a clean large saucepan and cook gently over low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla pod. Stir in the Nutella until well combined.

Pour mixture into a shallow container. Freeze for 2 hours or until frozen at the edges. Remove and beat with electric beaters, then return to the container and refreeze. Repeat 2 or 3 times, then freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Alternatively, churn mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufactures instructions.

Scoop gelato into bowls and serve by itself or with White Chocolate slab (recipe also in delicious magazine), or with a slice of Triple Chocolate Praline Tart.

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