Soul Searching Twenty-Something Seeks Food Love: Settles For Food Like Most Days

Soul Searching Twenty-Something Seeks Food Love: Settles For Food Like Most Days

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mocha Ice Cream Tart

No, really, I believe the phrase "addict" has been applied to me in conversations about ice cream.
Last summer, I discovered a little ice cream shop with amazing peanut butter cup sundaes the size of my head.  Literally, huge scoops of ice cream smothered in peanut butter and chocolate sauce and crushed peanut butter cups, topped with a big ol' dollop of whipped cream.  Addictive.  Orgasmic.
I love ice cream so much that one of the most used gifts from my bridal shower was the ice cream maker attachment to my KitchenAid mixer.  I made all sorts of ice creams with that thing.

I have to admit, I was a little bit worried about getting through the summer without my ice cream fixes.  I like the mini ice cream sandwiches from So Delicious, but they definitely aren't a head-sized sundae of oozing goodness.

I decided to get started preparing for my summer fix at the nudging of my friend over at Ugly Dude Food.  He participates in a weekly Dorie Greenspan baking circle and a few weeks back I saw they had made a coffee ice cream tart.  I thought, "what gets better than that?" and requested the recipe, which he kindly offered up here.

The recipe is a bit of a cheat, if you ask me.  Make an asshole easy crust, buy store bought ice cream and mix in some nuts, smear that mixture into the crust, garnish and freeze.  It's precisely because of this cheat that I think this is an awesome easy summer treat to finish up a light dinner party, if you're in a bit of a time crunch.  But I was not planning to buy my ice cream, I was going to make it.
Well, store bought coffee ice cream always tastes likes cream and sugar, with a touch of coffee added in for coloring.  I think that coffee ice cream should taste like coffee.  And most store bought ice cream tends to be made with cream. . . can't forget about that either!
So my ice cream is made with coconut milk and soy milks, infused with Mocha Via (the Starbucks instant coffee).  What's great about this ice cream is that it's got a nice strong coffee flavor with just a bit of cocoa-y sweetness!

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  How did I make this lovely tart?  Well, I started with the Ice cream Batter.
I cooked up a 1/2 cup of full fat Coconut Milk with 2 cups of Vanilla Soymilk in a medium pot.  I added three packages of Mocha Via and cooked the mixture until it was extremely hot, but not boiling.  I babysat the temparature with a candy thermometer and took it off the heat shortly after it reached 190 degrees (F), because the last 20 degrees will happen before you realize it.  Mix in just a 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum to assist with the texture of the ice cream batter.  Then place it in a bowl to chill in the refridgerator.  This will take some time, so feel free to plan ahead!

Next, I moved onto the crust.  I followed the Dorie recipe, more or less, subbing Earth Balance for butter and Ener-G egg replacement.  So here it goes:
For the Crust
1 cup (4 ounces) toasted slivered or sliced blanched almonds
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) of Earth Balance, (cut into 4 pieces)
1 portion of egg replacer
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
To Make the Crust
Lightly butter a 10- or 11- inch fluted tart pan and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Put the almonds, flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt in a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the nuts are coarsely chopped.  Toss in the pieces of butter and pulse until the dough resembles coarse meal.  Add the egg and extract and continue to pulse until the dough forms clumps and large curds, about 10 seconds.  Turn the dough out into the tart pan.  Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.  Freeze for 30 minutes.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter a piece of aluminum foil and press it, buttered side down, snugly into the tart pan; put the tart pan on a baking sheet.  Bake the shell for 20 minutes, then remove the foil.  If the crust has puffed, press down with the back of a fork.  Bake the crust for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack.
Scatter the chopped chocolate over the bottom of the hot crust and use a small icing spatula (or a pastry brush) to spread it even.  Cool the crust to room temperature.

And then, while the crust was freezing, I brought my batter out and put it into my KitchenAid ice cream attachment and gave it a twenty minute spin until it looked like a delicious mocha soft serve ice cream!  I plopped it down inside of my tart crust while melting a bit of semisweet chocolate.  I spread the ice cream out evenly with a spatula and then went all Jackson Pollock on it with the melted chocolate.
Last step is to be patient.  This is the hardest part for me :(  But you've got to give the ice cream a few hours to set.
I presented the tart with a "Pollock"ed plate and slivered almonds to rave reviews!  I'm ready for the eighty degree weather that's due next week!  I won't even suffer without ice cream!  Take THAT butter bakers!!!

Pair it up with  a buxon, rich red wine, some drippy, flickering candles in a low-lit room, and the one you love to find yourself in true Food-Ecstacy (and perhaps a little Other-Ecstacy, too ;))

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