Tag Archives: Chocolate

Bailey’s Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings – Happy St. Patty’s Day!


This post is a bit late in making it for St. Patty’s Day, but after all, this is dessert, so it should be getting to you at about the right hour (if you are on the West Coast). I had a little post I had to do earlier in the day for the Sunshine Award (thanks again, Denise), so I am behind in all things (as usual).

I have to admit something…after making this ice cream, I am not sure I will ever want to eat another bite of ice cream out of a supermarket pre-packaged container again. I do not care who makes it or how much it costs…there is just no comparison to homemade ice cream! Besides, they don’t have the big boozy flavor that this one has! 😉 How can you go wrong with Bailey’s Irish Cream and dark chocolate??? Besides, with a little green whipped cream, this one is soooo perfect to end your dinner of green beer (oh, yuck!) and Irish Stew for St. Patty’s Day!

As with most recipes for homemade ice cream, this one is simple. I always like to make the base for ice creams or sorbet a day ahead so it is well chilled. Other than that, piece of cake (no – ice cream!).

Anyway, I was going to just make the Bailey’s ice cream just straight up (ha ha), however, there was this bar of dark Valrhona chocolate just dying to get mixed up in that bucket of ice cream, so naturally, I had to comply!

Bailey’s Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings
Makes about 3 cups

1 1/2 cups Bailey’s liqueur
1/2 cup sugar
3 lg. egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk (why skimp now??)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla (the really good stuff)
1/2 cup dark chocolate shavings (something semi-sweet) from a block of dark chocolate (I shaved the chocolate with a veggie peeler.)

Bring the Bailey’s to a simmer in a small, heavy saucepan and continue to simmer over medium heat. Cook until the liqueur is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Mine took about 15 minutes. The liqueur will be thicker and slightly syrupy. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the sugar into the egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and the sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. (Be careful not to let it boil or you will have scrambled eggs on your hands (and not custard). I usually check to see if the mixture slightly coats the back of a spoon. If it does, you are done!).

Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Add the heavy cream, vanilla and reduced Bailey’ Irish Cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Stir the chilled mixture and then place in your ice cream freezer and freeze (according to your own machine’s directions). When the ice cream is semi-frozen, toss in the chocolate shavings and freeze until firm.

This stuff will not become totally frozen due to the amount of Bailey’s, so I put it in the freezer overnight to help firm it up a bit.


Wow…it it so rich and creamy and chocolaty! And if that wasn’t enough…I topped it with a little sweetened whipped cream with just a hint of green. Even though there is something scary about eating/drinking things that are not meant to be green…I just had to do it! 😉 You will not, however, be seeing that picture….

Hope you had a Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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Filed under Bailey's Irish Cream, Chocolate, Desserts, Holidays, Ice Cream, Irish, Recipes, St. Patrick's Day

Life Is Too Short – Eat Dessert Before Dinner!

I recently had a dinner party for some good friends, so I was going to write about what I served for dinner. However, I was not feeling the love to talk about lamb this morning, so I decided to write about the dessert course before the main dish! After all, everyone loves dessert! 😉 (And the pictures are way better to look at, especially early in the morning!)

This is one of the best and easiest desserts that I make. It is Ina Garten’s Brownie Tart (click for the link to the recipe). I thought about baking a flourless chocolate cake, but I was not interested in buying 28 ounces of top-notch chocolate. I had already gone big time over the budget on this dinner party and was receiving many lectures from my hubby on how much I was spending on dinner (again!) This is a great alternative and a little less intrusive to your wallet.

The presentation is beautiful served on top of a small puddle of Creme Anglaise (click for the recipe, also by Ina Garten). Don’t drown it in the stuff, just a few tablespoons will do! The brownie tart is best served warm, but you can make it ahead. Pop the slices in the microwave for a few seconds to slightly warm up the yummy and gooey chocolate center before your serve it to guests!

I serve the creme anglaise chilled as a custard in the traditional manner (and not frozen, as the recipe suggests). Of course, making the ice cream version is delightful as well, but this is still my personal favorite. You can always find a brownie topped with vanilla ice cream (can you say fern bar dessert??). I know that a half of vanilla bean is optional in Ina’s recipe, but it really makes a difference. The vanilla flavor is much more pronounced and it certainly looks more attractive knowing that real vanilla is in the sauce!

There has been some discussion between several bloggers and chefs about the proper way to make creme anglaise. Should it be made with cream or milk? You can read this blog by Michael Ruhlman on the subject. I really did not know that it was such a hot topic!

I have made creme anglaise for many years and have always made it with whole milk. I find that when the custard is properly thickened there is no need for cream (at least not for the desserts I serve it with). The consistency is perfect. Besides that, who needs the extra calories? We eat enough fattening stuff around here! I would think that there might be times when making it with cream would be preferable, but I think this particular version is wonderful with the chocolate in the Brownie Tart.

This is a beautiful and easy dessert to make. It is perfect for a larger dinner party because it can serve between 10 and 12 guests (I think it is best served in smaller slices). You can bake it and make the creme anglaise in advance and assemble the plates when you are ready to serve your dessert. It is always a huge hit and looks fussier than the time it takes to make it. Most of my friends are not big cooks, so it is easy to fool them into thinking you spent many long hours preparing this dessert when you didn’t! 😉

I feel better already now that I have had my dessert first!

Bon Appetit!

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Filed under Baking, Brownie, Chocolate, Creme anglaise, Desserts, French, Recipes, Vanilla

Oh My Ganache!

THIS RECIPE IS A FINALIST IN THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING CONTEST IN ATLANTA! Judging is March 11 at The Cooks Warehouse!

I decided to do some baking and enter the Great American Baking Contest in Atlanta. This event and bake sale help to support efforts by Share Our Strength to end childhood hunger in America. This year marks the 3rd anniversary of the bake sale in Atlanta. The actual event is on Thursday, March 11th at Cooks Warehouse in Midtown Atlanta.

My hubby and I will attend so that we can get to taste all the goodies, support the effort and see who wins the best dessert in all the categories (professional, amateur (that would be me 🙂 ) and child baker.

I had been thinking about trying to create a cupcake that combined all my favorite things – dark chocolate, raspberries, mascarpone cheese and a little booze! Well, this is the winner!

I have baked a dark chocolate cupcake, filled it with a raspberry filling, glazed it with a dark chocolate ganache flavored with Chambord and topped it off with a decorative touch of mascarpone icing! There is nothing better than getting a bite of the cupcake with all the chocolate, raspberries and ever so slightly sweetened cheese. Oh, yum!

There are so many recipes for chocolate cupcakes out there. I know one of the favorites is Martha Stewarts’s One Bowl recipe. I say use whichever you prefer and then add the other goodies. I start with a recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated. I add a little espresso powder to really bring out the flavor of the 2 types of chocolate. I prefer this one since it only makes 12 cupcakes and I know I certainly do not need to have more than that number in my home!

Be sure to check these cupcakes for doneness at about 15 minutes. You want to underbake them just a bit!

Oh My Ganache!
Makes 12 Cupcakes

Cupcakes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa (1 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (3 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3/4 cup sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup sour cream (4 ounces)

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have 1/2-cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.
3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.
4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add espresso powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogenous and thick. DO NOT overbeat the batter.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out almost clean, 15 to 18 minutes.
6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.

Raspberry Filling
1 10 oz. package frozen raspberries with sugar
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Thaw raspberries and drain. You should have almost 3/4 cup liquid/juice. Put liquid in a small saucepan and combine with sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Cook stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and is very thick. Let cool. Stir in raspberries without the extra juice that drains further (you want the filling to be thick). Fill cupcakes by removing a small piece in the middle of the cupcake, fill hole with about 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling. Trim the piece you have cut out and place back over the filling in the cupcake. You can also pipe filling into the cupcake, however, this is pretty thick, so it is more difficult.

Chambord Ganache
3/8 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoon Chambord

Bring cream and butter just to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until glossy and smooth. Add Chambord. Let mixture sit 5 minutes to set before frosting cupcakes.

Mascarpone Frosting
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
3/8 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 cup whipped heavy cream

Beat together mascarpone cheese and sugar until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream until combined. Place in a decorating bag and decorate tops of cupcakes as desired.

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Filed under Atlanta, Baking, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Great American Bake Sale, Mascarpone Cheese, Raspberries, Recipes, Share Our Strength