Monday, May 30, 2011

Rocky Road Ice Cream

My good ol' ice cream maker is tougher than I thought! I have been using it almost every week, making ice cream recipes from scratch. If its paddles were muscles, I swear it could have been ginormous by now from all those flexes. All those turnings and churning, it has more work out sessions than us. I'm only glad it could not talk back and demand an over time pay.

The ice cream experiments won't be complete without making  The Rocky Road Ice cream. This is one road I bet anybody wants to take. I mean who could ever say no to the dark as sin, silky  almost bitter, chocolate ice cream with white as the clouds, soft as pillow sweet marshmallows?  However there's more to it than just chocolatey delight.

Photo from:

The Rocky Road ice cream's name  is a reflection of the era in which it was created. The downfall of the American stock market in the 1929 that led to a 12 year depression. A historic  and tough economic time that caused uncertainties to many American citizens. The inventor of this famous ice cream recipe, William Dreyer,  associated  the cold dessert with the difficult road,  the people of his time is facing ahead  . The creation of this ice cream was meant to give the citizens something to smile about,  despite of being in the midst of an economic difficulty.  His aim was to give his fellow citizen's dragged down spirits a lift. Chocolates has certain component that could make people happy.Tryptohan is an amino acid that is found in small quantities in chocolate and is used by the brain to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that can produce feelings of happiness. Whether  Mr. Dreyer achieve his main objective,that is giving his fellow citizen a reason to be happy,  I can not honestly say, but one thing I am sure of though, the guy gave ice cream history a very important contribution.

Mr. Dreyer's original recipe used chopped walnuts in it which was later replaced by toasted chopped almonds. My version on the other hand is in somewhat less rocky, which means, nut-less. Hmmm should I name this recipe, rock-less road ice cream instead? I wanted see nothing but the black as the night ice cream custard and the white spots of marshmallows .Its just a personal preference. 

In a thick saucepan whisk together 300 ml of cream, 300 ml of full milk and 50 g of unsweetened cocoa powder until the mixture become paste like and thick. Bring the liquid into a scalding point ( foams start to appear around the edges) . Add in 70 g of good quality , chopped dark chocolates. Keep on whisking until chocolate has melted.Take the saucepan out from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile,in a heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together 4 egg yolks and 100 g of granulated sugar until pale and thick. Gradually pour hot cream and milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks while whisking it vigorously to avoid it from curdling. Tamper the egg yolks first by adding about half a cup of hot liquid. Do not add all the liquid at once to avoid ''cooking'' the egg yolk.

Put the heatproof mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the egg and cream mixture with a wooden spoon until custard is set and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once custard is ready, stir in vanilla extract. Cool the custard completely before transferring it to your ice cream machine. Use machine according to the manufacturer's instruction. When the ice cream if almost done, fold in  about a cup of small marshmallows and a handful of toasted nuts ( if using).

Gooey, marvelously chocolatey and sinfully delicious!It will certainly have you smiling with every spoonful.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sights and Eats: Singapore Day 6

Before coming to Singapore, I already heard a lot of things about the country. Clean , safe, multikulti and  small. Somebody even told me that I could see and explore the city in 1 day! Well, after 6 days in Singapore, we've discovered that things that were told to us were indeed true. The city is impeccably clean, safe(  haven't heard a police serin at all),  socially and culturally rich and small yes, but not small enough to be explored in one day. We've been here for almost a week but, I have the inclination that we are still missing a lot of things.  Today, we went back to Sentosa to visit Universal studio.

Nobody's too old for an amusement park.

Just to you give a clue what to see inside. Universal Studio SG is not big but they certainly use every square meter of the area wisely. The place is compact without giving the impression of being cramped.

First stop: Hollywood!

A Star for a star and Lights! Camera! Action!

 Explored  Madagascar. Snack bars and  restaurants are all over the place so no chance for hypoglycemic state.

Ok I was riding this merry go round and looked ridiculously happy  in many pictures. LOL. The gentle speed of this ride is all what my clogged heart could muster. 

Shrek's Shack. It's funny seeing a group of adults pushing and daring each other to take a peek inside. Seems like some people still do believe in fairy tales. (^_^)

Of course a must in every amusement park. The crown jewel. Here is Shrek's ( or his in-law's?)  castle which happens to be just a few minutes walk away from his humble shack.

The Lost World

Left: Artificial Eco system but nice nevertheless. Right: Baby Dino eyeing its first meal of the day.

If it's action you want ( from a seat that doesn't twist and turn) , be sure not to miss this place.

The show is packed with lots of combat stunts, battles, diving and falling and of course, explosions. The whole place was on fire and smoking during the play. It's like being in a movie set. Just a clue though, if you don't want to get wet or end up having  singed eyelashes, try not to sit too close in front.

The revenge of the Mummy.

Too chicken to try the ride. LOL

The  Sci Fi City which was not quite finished when we visited
The Transformer themed area. Where's Bumble Bee?

The Battlestar Galactica. I dare you!

Lunch! With 10 S$ consumable coupon per person, we barely spend anything in this meal. It was filling but a far cry from the Bongo Burgers of  Jurong Bird Park.

A show we saw through the window of  Mel's Diner. It must be pretty boring to dance to the same tune and lypsing to the same song 3 times a day and seven days a week.

Starting from Hollywood, going to Madagascar, got magically swift to Far Far Away Kingdom only to end up facing ginormous but thankfully frozen dinosaurs in the Lost World, hang around with  bare chested mummies and their abs, missed Bubble Bee in the Sci City, we finally end our journey here. New York! New York!

Shops on the right and shops on the left.

It not surprising that despite of its small sized area, we spent the entire day in this  park. After getting ourselves some souvenir items which are very abundant in this place. We decided to call it a day.

A trip to Universal Singapore is not complete without visiting the shop, Hersheys!

Chocolate bars, syrup, powder,cups,  candy . Chocolates,chocolates and mooooore  chocolates!

That pretty much sums up our day trip in Universal Studio. It was late in the afternoon when we say ''bye! bye!'' to the place. We were drenched in sweat but happy.

Since it's our last night in Singapore, we tried to make it memorable. We booked a table at  the Equinox Restaurant in Swissotel the Stamford. The place was perched on the 70th floor of the hotel. With its high celling and wide windows, it offers an unparalleled view of the metropolis. Having a window seat in the restaurant means paying something extra. Since it's our last night, we gave in for the sake of a better view.

Birds eye view of Singapore'.

Amuse Bouche.  Plates were big, servings were small, very very small but hey, It's on the house and it was yummy so we were happy. Sorry, can't remember what it was though, looks like my brain could only hold dim sum names. He he

FF and I decided to order the same thing. Here's our first course, Salmon in lobster bisque served with edible ashes. It actually has fancier name, a french one but I totally forgot it.

I'm not a big fan of lambs, unless its caldereta ( lamb o goat ba yon?!), but since I've read a few raves about the dish, I ordered it. There was still a hint of gameness to it or maybe it's just me, not being a lamb-meat lover. I guess I still like my lamb grazing on the meadow than being served on my plate chopped and swimming in a foamy mushroom gravy.

By the time dessert was served, the view outside got more prominent. To give particular emphasis on city's beautiful  backdrop, lights in the restaurant was dim almost to the point of  darkness. I could barely see our last course. It also did not help that dessert was so tiny! Sayang, yummy pa naman. The view is indeed spectacular, unfortunately despite of the restaurant's opulence, our dinner did not quite impress me.

Lesson learned: A man does not need to dig deeper into  his pocket to be satisfied.
 I have a feeling, I would be much happier and more sated if we've gone back to Clarke Quay . I don't mean to sound too spoilt! I guess after a week of stay in Singapore, I'm used to good  but inexpensive foods. Kuripot ako eh! Well more reason to go back and visit Singapore then! (^_^)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Apple Crumble Cake

Nothing beats the smell of a  freshly baked cake in the morning. But your kitchen will be  smellin' devinely good til noon after baking this cake. Who hates the smell of apples and cinnamon anyway? The added bunos is, it tasted great too.



Cream  200 g butter ( at room temperature) and 175 g sugar together until thick and pale.
Next.Beat in four eggs. One after the other.Beat in 1 tsp. vanilla  until everything is well combined.


 Whisk together 375 g of flour, 1 tbsp. of baking powder and a pinch of salt.Sieve in half of the flour mixture into the egg and butter mixture.Using a spatula, carefully fold everything together adding few drops of milk if batter is too dry.Do not use electric mixer at this point. It would make the cake hard after baking.


Fold in the rest of flour and few drops of milk if necessary.Spread  cake batter in a well buttered rectangular baking pan. Pour apple sauce ( about 400 g) over the cake batter spreading evenly.

Peel two sour apples, cube it finely. Add 50 g of white sugar and a tsp of powedered cinnamon. Mix everything thoroughly. Scatter cinnamon apples over the cake, spreading evenly. In another mixing bowl, make curmble topping. Mix 200 g of butter ( chilled and cut into cubes ), 150 g white sugar , 50 g brown sugar , 250 g all purpose flour and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or food processor, work everything together until the mass resembles a moist crumbly sand. Spread crumble  over chopped apples. Bake in a preheated over (180°c)  for about 50 mins or until cake is set and crumble toppings turn golden brown.

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