Happy Birthday to Me!
So it was my birthday last Wednesday on the 7th of November! Happy Birthday to Me and hope that I will always stay beautiful and gets wiser through the years. Haha! (●´∀｀●)
While I had my birthday celebration with Feng during the previous weekend (3 – 4 November), it’s still in my tradition to not work on my birthday if possible. So both of us took leave on that day and celebrated my first birthday at our own house! (*note that I celebrated my birthday last year in Japan though we have already moved in. apologies for the VERY LATE Japan post that has yet to come! :X)
Wanting to do something special for my own birthday and also making good use of last year’s birthday present, I decided to have a make-and-bake session this year by making ice cream and baking a cake! *(*´∀｀*)☆
Did I mention I love late-night shopping at NTUC Fairprice ‘cos it’s not crowded and we can take my time to walk around the whole area! I just love shopping around in supermarket. So off we went about looking for tools and ingredients needed for my make-and-bake. Sadly. Very sadly. We can’t find a suitable baking tin for the cake of my choice hence we gave up the idea of a cake and decided to head over to another section to get my ice-cream ingredients. As mentioned, I love shopping around the supermarket and so we ended up with LOADS of stuffs from different sections put into our little shopping basket. Oops.
And before long, we got a heavy basket with many random items besides the required tools and ingredients. Haha! And I also decided to get a White Wing Golden Buttercake mix for my baking instead. Once again, we failed to find any suitable cake tin and hence we decided to make cupcakes using the cake-mix instead! Talk ’bout being flexible. *hiakz* (^～^)
So before heading off to NTUC Fairprice, I have popped in my KitchenAid ice-cream attachment into the freezer to get it frozen for at least 15 hours before making my ice-cream the next day. Considering the attachment was a present from my best buddies last year, it took me really long to start using it to make ice-cream. Oops. （。-＿-。）
So it’s the day of my birthday! And it’s time for me to start my make-and-bake session! Decided to start off with the making of ice-cream instead considering more time is required of the whole process as compared to baking using cake-mix. Here’s the recipe for my Chocolate Ice Cream that I got from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. It’s a really nice recipe book with really clear instructions on how to start off with making your first ice-cream! Was having some jitters at first ‘cos was really afraid the custard making process will be a failure but thank goodness all turned out well! Ｏ(≧∇≦)Ｏ
- 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (21g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 140g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Warm 1 cup (250ml) of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup (250ml) cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
- Warm the milk, sugar and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.)
- Before getting started, prepare an ice bath so as to expedite the chilling of the custard. Make on by putting ice in a large bowl and then some cold water so the ice cubes are barely floating. Note that after the first step of preparing the cream mixture, the bowl should go into the ice bath and keep it nearby so that during the third step of the process, you can pour the custard into the bowl right away. I totally forgot ’bout this step and Feng got to rush down to the supermarket near us to get a pack of ice. *phew*
- In the third step, the mixture is considered done when it begins to steam or when the mixture coats the spatula. Test if by running your fingers across the spatula and it leaves a definite trail upon doing that. BUT DO NOTE THAT IT’S HOT!!! I burnt my finger doing this. (ToT)
- The recommended chilling time for the ice-cream mixture is 8 hours or overnight in the book but I only did ’bout 6-7 hours before taking it out to freeze in my ice-cream maker. So do note to always start the ice-cream making process way in advanced if you’re running short of time!
- Heavy Cream - Greenfields Whipping Cream (failed to find any heavy cream carrying a 36% – 40% fat content so the Greenfield has the closest percentage)
- Cocoa Powder - Hershey's Cocoa Natural Unsweetened Powder
- Chocolate - Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Baking Chips
- Whole Milk – Emborg Full Cream Milk
- Vanilla Extract - Virginia Dare Pure Vanilla Extract
So after the whole process, the mixture is put into the fridge to be chilled while we cleaned up and started our next process, the bake! The baking was pretty easy since I am using a cake-mix which means no raw ingredients mixing and mess. Just everything into the mixing bowl and turn on my KitchenAid and then it will do its job in the required amount of time. Only the scooping out of the mixture into the cupcake mould was the slow part. Hehe.
During this time, Feng was preparing my requested birthday lunch! I had asked for Aglio Olio cooked by him the day before so we also bought some ingredients from the supermarket. Usually Aglio Olio is cooked by me ‘cos it’s honestly like one of my best dish since it’s easy. Hahaha! And usually my Aglio Olio is a weird mix of pasta with Chinese meat ball and prawns. Feng called it Meatball Aglio Olio. Haha! So this time he’s cooking Seafood Aglio Olio for me with mini scallops and prawns! (●´∀｀●)
So here’s sharing some photos of the day’s work. Apologies for no photos of the ice-cream making process ‘cos I did it at night and the lighting wasn’t that fantastic for any photos. （＠´＿｀＠）