One of the most delicious things in the world is marzipan. Not that cheap kind made of apricot seeds, but the real stuff. I can eat that stuff right out of the wrapper. Some time ago I tried my hands on making a homemade marzipan loaf. If you can read Danish, you can find the recipe at Odense Marcipan’s website.
It goes like this:
Marzipan is mixed with egg white and sugar to get a squishy dough. I thought perhaps it was a little too wet, so I might leave out some of the egg white next time. As you might be able to tell from the picture, I used thawed berries, but of course fresh berries work just as well (or probably even better since they aren’t as wet).
Next you’re supposed to roll out the marzipan dough, but this was really tricky due to it being so sticky. I could’ve left it in the fridge overnight, but I didn’t have the time for that, so I had to make do. I sort of pressed it down with my hands and fingers, you know, good ol’ hard work. Then I made a nice little row of raspberries and blueberries and rolled the whole thing together. For this it was very handy to have it on baking paper so I could cover everything nicely without ruining the results with my warm fingers.
As you can see, I cut the baking paper into squares to ease rolling the loaves together. They are now ready for the oven. Don’t mind the packed up fish next to them. There is no relation.
When they came out of the oven they looked like this. Pretty delicious looking already, but not enough.
Covered in chocolate and set aside to cool. It was fantastic. It was crunchy, chocolatey, and sweet, and not hard at all to make. I am definitely considering doing these again for Christmas, although in smaller sizes.
One of the most delicious inventions in the world is ice cream. It is completely made of win. We have at our disposal a large freezer, which means that we actually have room for ice cream. Sometimes. Although, to be honest, the freezer has a tendency to always be full, no matter how hard I try to keep things at a minimum. I periodically threaten my significant other with the fact that we need to buy a second freezer as I always seem to run out of space in the one we have. So far there has been no positive reaction.
Regardless; there was the time for my mother’s gourmet dinner, which I decided should also include chocolate covered ice cream. Yes, not chocolate ice cream but chocolate covered ice cream. I like to set my standards high sometimes. We had some black currants in the freezer, so I decided to give them a whirl and see how things turned out. I also like to try something new – otherwise how will you know if it’s good or not?
First black currants and sugar were put to a boil and simmer. Black currants have a great taste but are a bit sour, so I wanted to soften them up a bit, tastewise, and I also wanted my ice cream to contain a mash of black currants rather than individual berries.
Here things are boiling along nicely.
After the sugar had dissolved and a lot of the liquid had evaporated from the berries, I blended the mixture.
Then I passed the whole ordeal through a sieve to get rid of the tiny stalks and such.
Meanwhile I whisked together whipped cream in one bowl, and egg yolks and sugar in another.
The two things combined – carefully to keep the air in the whipped cream and the eggs.
Plop! Black currant sauce added.
It didn’t take a lot of mixing before I got this.
And then all of a sudden it looked like this. Extremely pink! Nice colour for a girl. At this point the mixture was actually rather thick and it tasted delicious. It had a very strong black currant taste, but not overpowering in the sense that it became too much. If the mixture had been a little thicker, it would have been absolutely perfect in a layer cake or something along those lines. Another time I might add less whipped cream or maybe melt some gelatine in the black currant sauce. It is definitely worth keeping in mind!
Now, we have a real ice cream machine, so I poured it in and let it run until the machine could move no more, but if you don’t have a fancy machine, you can just scrape the ice cream into a container of some kind and stick it in the freezer until it’s frozen enough for your taste. I’ve tried both, and while I will say that the machine definitely makes the ice cream creamier, ice cream just stuck in the freezer tastes just as delicious. I never bothered to take out the container and give the mixture a stir every half hour, like some recipes suggest. Just pour it in and leave it there, that’s the easiest way.
Next stage: the chocolate covering stage! Here the chocolate is melting in a bowl over boiling water. I know, I know, there are fancier ways to melt chocolate, but this suits me just fine when I only need a small portion.
And then to cover the ice cream. I had previously made scoops of ice cream and put them back in the freezer to set again.
I was a little worried about how things would work out – I mean, warm chocolate combined with ice cream – won’t it just melt? But it didn’t. Or, well, it sort of didn’t. The trick is to work quickly and to cover every little crevice there is. You can just pour the warm chocolate over the ice cream and carefully turn it around to cover all visible pink spots. The chocolate hardens pretty quickly – but the ice cream will ooze out if you’re not quick enough to get the whole scoop covered, like I mentioned. Most of the scoops I covered in dark chocolate, which worked amazingly, but a few I did with white chocolate (there are some of us who are not that big a fan of dark chocolate), and I found that the white chocolate took a lot longer to harden, which did result in the ice cream melting too fast and mixing with the chocolate (which made it very difficult to get everything covered). I therefore definitely recommend using dark chocolate and not the white variety. A lighter dark chocolate would probably work, too, but I haven’t tested it yet, so I don’t know what percentage range to aim for. But white chocolate is out.
I thought the end result was pretty impressive and I’d definitely consider it for a dessert some other day. It’s something you can make a long time in advance and put together in a matter of minutes. You do get a thick layer of chocolate – but since when was that a problem?