Daring Bakers- Feb challenge Chocolate Valentino with Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

My husband is the Ice Cream man in the family! He is the one who bought the Ice cream maker few years ago and it is him who has been in charge of incredible Orange Ice creams. But last year I had an amazaing Strawberry Sorbet experience at Chez Panisse and I started enjoying some ice cream/ sorbet creations .So I was happy to see the new Daring Bakers challenge with Vanilla Ice cream. I love this challenge no too demanding in the kitchen easy to realize with ingredients you have in your friedge and your pantry and at the end you have created someting that you may never have. This is why I love DB challenges because you make things you do not usually make.
So this morning I started to make the Ice cream since I needed few hours to freeze it. I knew right away that the Whipped cream with the egg custard would be fantastic and it was. This ice cream as so rich, creamy and delicious. The cake was a little dry I left it a few extra minutes in the oven but all together it was a pure delight!
Thanks Daring Bakers another lovely challenge I enjoyed tremendously!


Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

Dharm’s Ice Cream Recipe
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)

1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)
{you can easily increase your cream’s fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted – cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed. Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse
Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy. 3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time
4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.
5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse)
By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker)


Sexy Paris Hilton eating an hamburger

I know there was a controversy about Paris Hilton eating a huge hamburger in a swimsuit. I am not offended.Not at all. And you?
Do you know when I am offended? When waiting at a red traffic light and on my side I can see someone seating in her car and eating in the most disgusting way its hamburger at 9 am in the morning…. Yesterday I watched that for 5 minutes… yes the red traffic light was pretty long and I was opset because I was late for an apointment. And from the angle of my eyes I saw this women ( she was huge… but this is the truth) eating and enjoying every bite of her hamburger, once in a whille she was cleaning up some driping sauce over her T-shirt. Yes I was offended. It made me sick. I think America can do better than that….

My Little So-Cal Sushine Salad

Rain, rain, Rain clouds, gray, black…. yes you are in Southern California and it is raining!
So I made a delicious simple salad yellow, and golden for a little sunshine in our plates!

Oranges, Dates and Hearts of Palm with Honey Citrus vinaigrette
-8 TO 12 ounces canned hearts of palm sliced
– 5 fresh dates cut in small pieces
– 2 fresh Organic Navel oranges peeled
– Fresh pepper

Honey citrus vinaigrette
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 tbspoon Olive oil
– 3 tabspoon fresh squeezed oarange juice
– 1 tbspoon Honey

In a medium bowl, add salad items and vinaigrette items. Toss until coated.
Arrange salad mixture on serving plates.

If you close you eyes when teating this salad you can go exotic… this is a salad you may eat in Morroco too where Palm trees, Dates and oranges grow everywhere a little like here in Southern California. Southern California as so much in commun with Morroco: same climate, weather, vegetation, even landscape….

How do you like your Eggs- The Game

I love fresh eggs. I always have 2 Dozen of Eggs in my fridge. I use them for my Creme Caramel, for my omelets, my Fritata, my Quiches…. you name it.

Last time I made Oeufs Cocotte or Bakes Eggs.
Oeuf Cocotte I love this name! It is just an Egg cooked in a ramekin with any ingredients you like. You can also top it with grated cheese. You bake it in the Oven or the Microwave. I like to cook it in a Traditional Oven.
I serve it usually for Dinner but this is can be great for a light lunch with a Salad or Sunday Brunch.

Celine’s Oeufs Cocotte
2 servings

– Butter to grease the Ramekins
– 2 tablespoons of Heavy Cream or Creme Fraiche
– 2 Proscuitto Ham slides, cut in tiny pieces
-2 Organic Free Range Eggs
– 1 cup Organic cooked Spinach
– 1 cup grounded Gruyere, Cheddar and Mozarella mix
– Sea Coarse
– Freshly Ground pepper

– Buttered crispy toasted bread

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease two 6 ramekins with butter. Put your ham, Spinach in the ramekin. Break one egg per ramekin without rupturing the yolks, top with your cheese, salt and pepper.

Place the ramekins in a baking dish and place it in the oven for 15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs, soft, running or harder.
When ready serve it with crsty buttered toasted bread for dipping.

This is a also a great dish for kids, very complete and healthy too!


The game is easy.You publish on your Blog the recipe related to your favorite “ Egg recipe” with a link to this game.
You leave a comment on this post with a link to your recipe. You e-mail me your picture by e-mail
Email me! with the name of your Blog and your URL.
Before March 10, 2009.
I will publish all the Recap of your Eggs Recipes.

Delicacy for Royalty

Last week at the local Temecula Farmer’s Market I stopped at the ” Dates” booth. The dates displayed looked so good, I had to get some.
Once I arrived at home I could not resist eating one. It was out of this world, sweet, smooth,creamy almost like honey. I had,1 and 2 and 3. Then I stopped I wanted to show you these beauties.

Originally from Morocco, the Medjool Date was reserved for royal hosts and other dignitaries. Centuries later, in the 1920’s, disease threatened the existence of the Medjool Date in Morocco. In a radical move to save the Medjool, the Chariff of Morocco gave the United States, 11 immature palms to replant

Dates may be the oldest tree crop cultivated by man. More that 5,000 years ago this valuable food plant helped sustain desert peoples and nomadic wanderers of the Middle East and North Africa. Dates were also considered a delicacy and served by royalty. Dates were introduced in California in the 18th century by Spanish missionaries. At times, dates are referred to as the “candy that grows on trees.”

‘Medjool’—formerly exported from Morocco; 11 off-shoots imported into California from Bou Denib oases in French Morocco in 1927; is now marketed as a deluxe date in California; is large, soft, and luscious .

This is a real treat, eating those dates almost from the trees is fantastic. What makes me sad is that only few people know how we have great stuff in Southern California, they do not know how to appreciate it… dates are good for your body rich in vitamins and calories a handful is equivalent to an entire meal. it provide energy and they are easy to take with you everywhere!
Stop eating processed snacks you have the best handy almost in your gardenyard.


Best of 2008

Tout d’abord, let me offer you my sincere wishes for a Delicious New Year: may you and yours be healthy, wealthy, safe, happy, and well fed throughout thw new Year 2009

I’d like also to take a moment to say Bye- Bye to 2008, and reflect on the good things it has brought.

Beside the concretization of hands-on Cooking Classes with the Murrieta Community Center, beside some great Private Cooking Parties I conducted in different spots in Southern California, beside my Blog writing consistency, displayed Recipes and columns in local magazines, my soon Website launched, a great trip to SF with our best friends, my comeback to Yoga with Sophie’s Classes, my kids now at school for few hours per day, and finding old friends via Facebook, here below, in no particular order, a list of things that have marked my year:

Favorite new recipe: Pate a choux, for Chouquettes, Choux a la Crème, Gougeres.. Mes Chouquettes

Favorite beautiful French food Blogs : Chez Garance B comme Bon

Favorite Greenest new habits: using reusable shopping bags, using Lemon/ Vinegar/ Baking Soda to clean everything in my home, getting rid of Plastic Containers, keeping all glass jar to keep and organize things in and around the kitchen.

Favorite new dip : Spinach Artichoke Dip From Trader Joe’s

Most inspiring Food Blog exchange: Laurie, Elra and Flo Dalla Mia Cucina, Elra’s Baking , Bretzel et Cafe Creme

Favorite non food-related reads: Betina at <a href=” http://chezlarsson.typepad.com/myblog/
“> Chez Larsson

Favorite new toy: KitchenAid Stand mixer 5 QT

Favorite new hobby Book
: Simple Sewing by Lotta

Favorite restaurant: Chez Panisse

share your own best of 2008 list? The comment section is all yours!

Healthy Snack from Spain

Galettes croquantes et craquantes

Long time ago I saw an article in a French Magazine Elle or Marie Claire I do not remember about some ” Galettes a l’huile d’olive” and the article was raving about these tryly delicious snack, at this time it was available in a single shop in Paris, but I was living in NYC.
Last week while strolling at Henry’s Market in Temecula, completly by chance I saw packs of “Tortas de aceite” from Spain made with Olive Oil. It reminds me the “galettes” I rad about years ago. I bought one pack and brought it back home. I had the first Galetta with some tea. It was light, crispy, delicious. I am keeping the parchment paper they use to wrap up each galetta, I can use use for my baking or to keep some homemade cookies fresh.
Now everytime I go to Henry’s Market I get more galettas, I can’t help it!
The ingredients are really natural, this is a no processed food perfect for a morning coffee, afternoon tea, late snack…
I am sure that Laurie from
Dalla Mia Cucina will love that!