25 ago. 2016

Mocha Fudge Ice Cream

After almost two weeks without new recipes I'm back again. I needed a little digital detox, to spend more time going for a walk, discovering new places to eat and watching movies with my sister at night without worrying about my 'to-do' list or if my e-mail inbox was too cluttered. I highly recommend everybody to spend a week unplugged, or at least to stay away from the computer as much as possible and try to not constantly check your phone. It might feel a bit weird the first two days but once you go out and explore new places, try new things, or simply dedicate some time to take care of yourself, you'll start to feel better.
Recently my sleeping schedule has been quite inconsistent and I've had a very hard time sleeping, thus I woke up quite tired and grumpy. Spending time in front of the computer at night, writting blog posts or checking my Instagram notifications right before going to bed are the things I should avoid if I want to show that insomnia who the boss is! It's hard though, because most of the days the only free time I have to do some blogging tasks is after 10 pm. But going to bed super late is definitelt not the solution...so I must teach my body to adapt to new routines and, most importantly plus the hardest part, to shut off my brain before bedtime.
One thing I've learned over the last two weeks is to avoid eating dark chocolate and/or sugar after dinner, it gives me quite a lot of energy and then I can't sleep. Like that night I decided to eat a big bowl of the Mocha Ice Cream I'm sharing with you today. The dark circles in the morning were worth it anyway, cause this ice cream is so deliciously creamy and chocolaty! Any chocolate or coffee lover should try it before summer ends (owell, I'm one of those persons who still eats ice cream during winter). Chocolate and coffee are winning combo, everybody knows that, but if you're still hesitant about it then I encourage you to treat yourself with this ice cream.

Mocha Fudge Ice Cream
(Yield: 8 scoops approximately)

- For the ice cream:
1 can full-fat coconut milk.
1 cup almond milk.
1/2 cup light brown sugar.
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.
1/3 cup coffee dark chocolate, finely chopped.
- For the coffee fudge sauce:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
A pinch of salt.
1/2 cup boiling water.
5 tablespoons light brown sugar.
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder.

* Notes: Coffee Fudge Sauce adapted from Fran Costigan's 'Thick Fudge Sauce' recipe.

- To make the ice cream:
Place coconut milk, almond milk, light brown sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract in a blender and blend on high until combined. Carefully add in the xanthan gum and blend on low for a few seconds to prevent the xanthan gum from splattering, then increase the speed to high and process for 1 minute.
Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
When the mixture is cold, give it a quick stir and pour it into your ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer's directions, I usually churn my ice creams for 35-40 minutes.
Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, stir in the coffee chocolate chips and cover with plastic wrap to preven ice crystals from forming. Close the container and transfer to the freezer.
Once the ice cream is halfway frozen, stir in the fudge sauce, or alternatively pour it over the ice cream when serving.

- To make the coffee fudge sauce:
Place the cocoa powder and salt in a medium saucepan and combine. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa and stir with a silicone spatula. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Cook the mixture over medium-low heat for 1 minute and, whisking constantly, add the sugar, maple syrup, oil and instant coffee. Once the mixture begins to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and finally add in the vanilla extract.
Cool the sauce to room temperature and, if not using immediately, store covered in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken as it cools so you might need to warm it in a bain-marie.

11 ago. 2016

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

I told you in my last post that peanut butter would make another stellar appearance very soon. Well, here I am, satisfying my ice cream and peanut butter cravings. Summer wouldn't be the same without ice cream, actually the world would be a very boring place without ice cream!
After making this recipe I firmly believe that I've just given Ben & Jerry's a run for their money, ha! It's so super delicious, creamy and definitely addictive. I mean, it's peanut butter ice cream with homemade dark chocolate peanut butter cups, what else can you ask for?! It's heaven in a scoop! And I almost scream of joy when I noticed ZERO ice crystals, you know what a bummer it is when you've been waiting for the ice cream to freeze and, once you get to finally enjoy it, you realize that creamy base turned into a damn big piece of ice.
I highly encourage you to try this recipe, trust me, you won't regret it. The only thing you'll regret is not doing a bigger batch cause it's so yummy it will be gone in the blink of an eye.
I had to be quick while taking these pictures cause it was so damn hot and humid that day (nothing new here, actually), the ice cream started to melt right after the first shots but I didn't want to lose a single scoop so I shot as fast as possible. Reminder to myself: next time I plan to shoot ice creams turn on the AC!
Hope you are all enjoying your summer vacations and eating lots of ice creams!

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
(Yield: around 750 ml/ 8 scoops approx.)

- Ice Cream:
1 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk.
1/2 cup natural peanut butter.
1/2 cup light brown sugar.
1/4 cup coconut syrup.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.

- Peanut Butter Cups:
(Makes around 20 mini cups)
115 g/4 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped.
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter.
1/3 cup peanut butter.
1 tablespoon coconut syrup or maple syrup.
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast.
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt.

Blend the almond milk, peanut butter, sugar, coconut syrup and vanilla in a blender and process until the mixture is completely smooth.
Carefully add in the xanthan gum and blend on low for a few seconds to prevent the gum from splattering, then increase the speed to high and process for 1 minute.
Pour the mixture into an airtight container, cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. It's very important that the base of your ice cream is very cold before churning, that will help get a creamier ice cream.
When the mixture is very cold, stir it a few times with a hand whisk and pour it into an ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer's directions, I normally churn my ice cream for 40 minutes.
Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe airtight container, stir in the PB cup chunks and place a piece of plastic wrap firmly against the entire surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming.
Put the lid on and freeze until the ice cream is firm enough to scoop.
The consistency of the ice cream might vary depending on the type of ice cream maker you use. Mine is a very simple and cheap machine so I usually get creamy mixtures, yet they don't look like soft serve.
A lot of recipes say that once the ice cream has been churned it should look like soft serve but don't be afraid if yours have a rather 'melted ice cream' texture. If that's the case, then I don't recommend you to add the chunks at this point. Place the ice cream in the freezer and when it's halfway frozen, stir in the chunks. Alternatively you can leave the ice cream 'au natural' and add the peanut butter cups right before serving.

- To make the peanut butter cups:
Line a mini cupcake/muffin pan with candy cups (I recommend waxed paper). Set aside.
Put the chocolate and cacao butter (melted) into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water and melt stirring occasionally. Let it cool for 10 minutes approximately.
In a small mixing bowl, using a small silicone spatula or fork, stir together the peanut butter, coconut syrup, nutritional yeast and salt.
Pour enough chocolate into each liner so that the bottom and sides are covered, gently tilt the pan to make sure the sides are at least halfway coated. Place cups in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Roll the peanut butter into small balls using a teaspoon to measure and place each ball in the center of each cup, making sure it doesn't touch the chocolate-covered sides of the cup. Place back in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Cover each mini cup with the remaining melted chocolate and transfer to the freezer until set, for 15 to 20 minutes. 
Store in the fridge until ready to use.

4 ago. 2016

Peanut Butter Chocolate Coulant

I'm on a peanut butter kick this week! I mean, I'm a sucker for everything that is 'peanutified' but since I bought my ginormous food processor I make my own PB and love to try different flavors; obviously my favorite variation is the chocolate PB (it's the bomb.com!). So you've been warned, expect more peanut-based desserts these days cause I can't get enough of this delicious nut butter.
Yesterday I made some recipe testing for what is going to be one of my next blog posts and this morning when I checked out my results (first hint: I let it set overnight) I almost did the happy dance...but...I'm a damn perfectionist and there are some small adjustments that need to be done before I can finally share that recipe with all of you. Okay, you want more hints? So I'm just gonna say it's something decadent, refreshing and...can't tell you more! Sorry guys, gotta keep the interest alive (and the copycats away!).
Back to today's recipe: I prefer my coulant fudgy on the inside yet cakey enough so that it doesn't fall apart as soon as my fork touches it. Coulants are easy to make but you will need a few tries until you get your favorite consistence; not to mention that every oven is different.
Anyways, this is pure chocolate heaven, especially for all my dark chocolate fellas! Even though it's insanely hot in Barcelona to turn on the oven these days I can assure you that it's all worth it cause you'll melt of pleasure! ;-)

Receta en español aquí!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Coulant
(Yield: 4 servings)

1 1/4 cups dark chocolate (70 to 72%), roughly chopped.
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed.
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed.
A scant 1 cup of soy cream.
3 tablespoons olive oil.
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour.
Peanut butter.
- For the peanut butter drizzle:
2 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter.
1 teaspoon coconut syrup.
2 tablespoons oat milk (or almond milk).

Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Lightly grease four ramequins or a muffin pan. 
Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler or bain marie until smooth and glossy. 
In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour and sugars until combined. Add in the melted chocolate, the soy cream and the oil, and mix well with a silicone spatula until smooth.
Pour half the mixture into the prepared pans and drop around 1 teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each coulant, cover with the rest of the batter and bake for 18 minutes approximately (do not bake them for more than 20 minutes).
Carefully unmold the coulants and serve while warm, with a drizzle of my peanut butter sauce.
- To make the PB drizzle:
In a small mixing bowl stir together all the ingredients until smooth and pourable. Add more milk if needed. Drizzle over coulants. 
Store the remaining sauce in a covered container, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

28 jul. 2016

Chunky Monkey Nice Cream

I always keep some frozen bananas to use for smoothies and especially for nice creams, they come in handy when you are desperately craving for a frozen treat and don't have the time for the whole ice cream-making process: putting the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer, waiting for the base to chill in the fridge, churning the ice cream and finally putting it in the freezer until it becomes scoopable.
The summer heat can be pretty unbearable here, some days working out can be pretty challenging (especially with the AC turned off) and you just end up covered in sweat and begging for something super refreshing to make you feel alive again. Then, it's when nice creams come to the rescue! Instant gratification with minimum effort.
This recipe is the skinny sister of the famous Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor called 'Chunky Monkey', actually one of my favorites, but I try to resist the temptation and avoid the ice cream aisle at the supermarket. Store-bought ice creams are loaded with tons of sugar, syrups, etc...and I'm not kickin' my ass and working out hard for nothing. So I like to make my own version at home, way healthier and whipped up in just five minutes. The original Chunky Monkey flavor is a banana ice cream base with chocolate fudge chunks and walnuts; I decided to make a "two-in-one" type of chunk and covered my walnuts in dark chocolate...so yummy! I must confess I ate a bunch while I was preparing the props for the pictures. Of course, if you don't want to plan ahead and make your nice cream in less time simply throw in a handful of walnuts and chop big chunks of your favorite dark chocolate bar.
Keep in mind that we are talking about nice creams, they are not actually ice cream so don't expect to get perfect scoops, they are more like soft serve ice cream but delicious and creamy anyway, plus they are gluten-free, dairy-free and also sugar-free if you don't add the dark chocolate chunks...but I highly recommend you to do it. Trust me. Bananas and chocolate are a match made in heaven! ;-)

Receta en español aquí!

Chunky Monkey Nice Cream
(3 servings approximately)

- Nice cream:
4 frozen bananas.
3 1/2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
Coconut syrup, for serving.
- Dark chocolate covered walnuts: 
1/2 cup (88 g) dark chocolate.
1 scant cup (80 g) walnuts.

- Peel and cut into medium chunks your bananas before freezing.
- You can choose to refrigerate the coconut milk overnight and use the coconut cream (the thick white cream), this way the nice cream will become creamier. Or you can also buy organic coconut cream/butter. Either way, I've tried this recipe with room-temperature, well-stirred coconut milk and other times with refrigerated and I got pretty good results every time.

- To make the chocolate covered walnut chunks:
Chop the dark chocolate, place it in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (a bain marie), and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put a wire rack on top. Place the walnuts on the rack and cover with the melted chocolate, set aside to let excess chocolate drip off. Transfer to the fridge until the chocolate hardens.

- To make the nice cream:
Add all the ingredients into a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. You might need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for around 30 minutes so it becomes a tad bit more scoopable.
Place the serving bowls/cups in the fridge, this will help the nice cream to stay cold and don't melt so quickly.
Stir in the walnuts, scoop into bowls and serve in the chilled cups.
Nice creams are best enjoyed straight after they are made, I don't recommend to freeze them longer than 30 minutes or overnight. They don't contain fats and starches like ice creams that keep them creamy so they will become hard as rocks, ice crystals will form and thus all the creaminess will disappear.