Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A juxtaposition

I have really sad news. I'm just devastated. After 8 or more weeks of rigorous exercise- I've lost count- I'm not quite seeing the results I'd like, so I'm resorting to (gasp!) dieting for the next seven weeks until I leave for my cruise. So the following recipe is one last hoorah for a while as I'm giving up decadent desserts and focusing more on (ew, gross) healthy recipes. I feel like a traitor. I'm going to miss my butter, cream, and chocolate so much.

Profiteroles with White Chocolate Ice Cream and Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

Choux Pastry Puffs Recipe adapted from Tartelette's Choux a la Creme with modifications from Baking with Julia

85g all-purpose flour
75ml water
75ml whole milk
65g unsalted butter
2 eggs + 1 egg white
1T sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 425F. Set up a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Sift the flour and set aside. Heat the water, milk, butter, and salt to a full rolling boil. Stir the flour into the liquid with a heavy wooden spoon, adding it as fast as it can be absorbed, but not all at once or it will form clumps. Cook the paste, stirring constantly and breaking up lumps if necessary, until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the dough to the mixer bowl and stir at low speed to cool the paste slightly, so that the eggs will not cook when added. On medium-low, mix in the eggs one at a time, then the egg white. The dough should have the consistency of thick mayonnaise.
While the dough is still warm, place it in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe quarter-sized puffs about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, then use a moistened spoon (or finger) to smooth out the tails at the top.
Bake at for 15 minutes at 425F without opening the oven door, then reduce heat to 350F and continue to bake until done, about 7 to 12 minutes.
To check for doneness, remove one puff from the sheet and tap the underside with your fingers; it should feel firm and hollow. (If you undercook the puffs, they may deflate as they cool, so err on the side of golden brown rather than pale). When baked through, remove the puffs from the oven and let cool.

White Chocolate Ice Cream

I'm so thrilled to finally find a white chocolate ice cream recipe that I just love. This was adapted from David Lebovitz's website.
About 1 quart (1 liter)

2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
1 cup plus 1 cup heavy cream (500 ml, total)
8 ounces (230 g) white chocolate, finely chopped
5 large egg yolks

1. Warm the sugar, the milk and 1 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan.

2. Put the chopped white chocolate in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the cream mixture, whisking constantly as you pour in the warm cream. Pour the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the white chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and chill thoroughly. You can set the bowl over an ice bath to speed it up.

5. Chill mixture thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Easiest Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Confession time: I cheated and used a jar of Scharffen-Berger chocolate sauce I already had on hand. (It's delicious and locally made, so it's hard to feel too guilty.) But making your own chocolate sauce is dead simple with this recipe, which I've used in the past with great results.

6oz best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3T water
1/4 cup heavy cream

Set a a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Melt all ingredients in the bowl, stirring until the mixture is smooth.

To assemble the profiteroles:
Cut each puff in half through the equator; it's easiest if you use a serrated knife. Place three bottom layers on each plate; top each with a small scoop of chartreuse ice cream. Place the tops on the puffs, and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

So out with the old and in with the new. Okay so maybe healthy recipes don't deserve that "ew, gross" I labeled them with before. I tried this one tonight for dinner and it was pretty good. A little on the spicy side. Since I'm serving this to little children, maybe next time I'll cut down the cayenne pepper a little more. But the point is, I think there definitely will be a next time.

Indian-Spiced Chicken Burgers

Serves 4.

  • 1 1/2 pounds (4 to 5) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into rough chunks
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger (from a peeled 2-inch piece)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for grates
  • 4 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas
  • 1 cucumber (8 ounces), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
  • Cumin yogurt sauce (see recipe below)


  1. Heat grill to medium-high. In a medium bowl, place chicken, scallions, ginger, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine. Set aside to marinate, at least 10 and up to 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken mixture to a food processor; pulse until roughly chopped, but not pasty, 10 to 12 times. Gently form mixture into sixteen 3/4-inch-thick patties (about 3 tablespoons each).
  3. Moisten a folded paper towel with oil; grasp with tongs and rub over grates. Season patties with salt and pepper; grill until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. For the Cumin Yogurt Sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin; season with coarse salt and ground pepper.
  5. Halve pitas crosswise (toast on grill, if you like). Into each pocket, place 2 chicken patties, cucumber slices, and cilantro sprigs. Serve with Cumin Yogurt Sauce.


Sara said...

I love those indian burgers! Sorry you have to diet, but I'm sure you'll look amazing on your cruise :)

Sara said...

welcome to my life! *sigh*

Everything in moderation, my friend.
Allow yourself one cheat meal (or day) per week ... that's my secret!

let's hang out! i miss you!

The last Unicorn said...

You sure now how to go out in style! Those look amazing! And I have to say, healthy can be yummy too :) Trust me... there are some sacrifices you will have to make, but healthy dishes can be full of flavor and just as satisfying. I have to agree with Sara above though, let yourself enjoy a treat once in a while.

DeGooyer Family said...

Oh, these look r-e-a-l-l-y good... Thanks for posting! And have FUN on your cruise! =)

Melody said...

So I'm not the only one feeling the dieting downer? Just kidding, we are loving it actually. I think we could eat steamed vegies every night. Yum. I can't get enough. I'm going to try your pita recipe. Looks great!

Jenny said...

Oh katherine, you are so strong. i would simply throw my hands us in defeat. I must try those.

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