Friday, June 11, 2010

even more chocolate peanut butter

chocolate peanut butter ice cream
oh. my. gosh. This chocolate ice cream was thick and fudgy with a deep, slightly bitter chocolate taste. I used Valrhona cocoa powder, Valrhona 64% chocolate (Manjari) and, because I still can't get enough, several globs of natural peanut butter. I softened the peanut butter and folded it into the ice cream once it was done churning. I have upgraded my ice cream maker to the Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme Ice Cream Maker which has a built-in compressor. I can now churn batch after batch of ice cream whenever I want without having to prefreeze a bowl. I am extremely pleased with this machine because it is easy to operate and clean, even though it is a bit noisy while it is operating.

bread experiment
I bought a book that came out recently called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." The book calls for you to make a large batch of dough that you keep in the fridge and divide into pieces whenever you want to bake bread. I had my doubts. All the bread I've ever made has required a preferment, a piece of old dough that adds flavor to the new dough, and a good deal of kneading to help develop the dough's structure. The base recipe in the book didn't call for either of these things. Despite my skepticism, I followed the book's simple instructions and was amazed at the results. The exterior was crusty and the interior chewy and flavorful. The book has a semolina recipe that I want to try next. My favorite bread from Amy's Bread was the semolina with fennel and golden raisin and I would love to try to recreate it if I can.

...and in other news
I am about to begin my second full week as a full-time pastry cook at Gramercy Tavern in NYC. I have been moved upstairs to the line and am in charge of the p.m. cold station during service. I set the plates up, keep track of all the orders that come through and when it's busy, help scoop ice cream and put the finishing touches on the plates before the runners take them out to the guests. My biggest challenge right now is learning to scoop the ice cream into a perfect quenelle, or football-like shape that you make using a special spoon. I can quenelle whipped cream well, but am still struggling with the ice cream. I'm hoping that this week it will finally click for me. I am also in charge of piping messages on dinner plates with a small cornet filled with chocolate. One of my co-workers has been forbidden to do any piping because his writing looks so psychotic. He really lucked out, though, because I'm finding it very hard to write small enough to fit onto the plates.


  1. We have that bread book at the library and people seem to like it; your bread certainly looks good XD

    Congratulations on your position!

  2. I heard about this book - it may have been on NPR - and the person tested it and came to the same conclusion - the bread was great.

  3. Glad to hear a bit about your job. What kind of hours do you work? Restaurant work is notoriously long hours and late hours...

  4. The hours are tough. I start at 2 p.m. and usually finish by 1:30 or 2 in the morning. I never planned to work in a restaurant but my boss, Nancy Olson, is an incredible chef and I really wanted the opportunity to learn from her.

  5. Hope you are having fun on your new station


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