It’s the season of fresh rhubarb and baby turnips, and garlic scapes, and all I seem to want to cook and eat is chocolate. Shhhh, don’t tell the children. [I've spent the better part of this week chopping, dicing, and slicing veggies for the new Curley School salad bar - BPS' fist ever salad bar in a middle school.] While I’ve been preaching moderation on the lunch line, in my own kitchen it’s all about excess.
First, the ice cream. Turkish coffee. Sweet, but bitter. Coffee, but more. Melting and creamy. Ever treat yourself to a sticky pastry and little copper pot of cardamom scented molten coffee? This is that, but in frozen form.
If you’re feeling simple, stop at the ice cream. Eat it as is, or affogatto style with a shot of espresso. Feeling fancy? Dress things up with David Lebovitz’ caramel chocolate tart – classic dense chocolate in a butter crust, but with the twist of caramelized sugar, which lends a complex sweetness, and a pleasantly chewy texture.
One Year Ago: Buckwheat Crepes with Soft Scrambled Eggs and Herbs.
David Libovitz’ Caramel Chocolate Tart
- One 9 inch pre-baked tart shell – try this recipe or this recipe
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp warm coffee
- 4 oz unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- Pinch sea salt
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tsp good vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sugar in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Once it starts to melt around the edges, gently pull the melted parts towards the center with a rubber spatula – don’t disturb it too much, just guide it around the pan so it melts and colors evenly. Depending on how even your burner is, you may also want to shift the pan around to distribute the heat evenly. Once the sugar melts, it will begin to color – this happens fast, so keep a close eye on it. When it turns a deep amber and just beings to smoke, turn off the heat and add the coffee – stand back – the mixture will bubble and seize.
Stir in the butter and sea salt and whisk to combine. Add both chocolates and whisk smooth. Transfer to a cool bowl and, working quickly, whisk in the eggs. Add the flour and vanilla and mix well.
Pour the chocolate filling into the prepared crust and bake 15-20 minutes until just set – it will be shiny on top and lightly bubbled and puffed around the edge, but still a bit soft in the center. Don’t over-bake. Cool completely at room temperature before serving. Tart keeps well, lightly covered, at room temperature 3-4 days.
Turkish Coffee Ice Cream
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 ½ tbsp instant espresso powder, such as medaglia d’oro
- 12 cardamom pods, smashed open with the flat side of a knife or a mortar and pestle
- 5 egg yolks
Combine the milk, cream, sugar, espresso powder, and cardamom in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then immediately remove from the heat. Leave to steep 30 minutes.
Beat the egg yolks in a heat proof bowl.
Once steeped, return the milk mixture to medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, beating quickly. Whisk well to combine and return the mixture to the pan. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly until the mixture just thickens. Strain into a clean bowl and refrigerate until very cold, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions – this generally takes 15 to 20 minutes. Keep frozen until ready to serve.