Category Archives: Exotic

Daring bakers: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake Pina Colada style

I was totally thrilled when I saw the new daring bakers challenge this month. Sunita from Sunita’s World – Life and food challenged us into making a Swiss Swirl Ice Cream cake. The moment I read the challenge it was about 25 degrees celcius in Belgium Perfect weather for ice cream and some baking. The day I actually made the cake it was about 35 degrees and I almost melted away in my kitchen. But it was worth it! Every drop of sweat, every hot breeze from my oven.. I forgot about it when I finally took a bite of the cake. It was divine, completely divine! One bite brought me into Ice Cream Cake heaven. I even forgot how scared I was about this recipe. I had nightmares about rolling a cake. Asleep I saw the cake fall into pieces when rolling. But this cake was so easy to make and I will certainly try it again.
Because of the tropical heat and the fact that summer holidays have started over here I made a Pina Colada version of the cake.
Like I mentioned in a previous blog post I am the proud owner of an ancient ice cream maker who I fell deeply in love with. I used my dearly beloved machine to make the creamy coconut ice cream and the pineapple sorbet, but don’t be afraid. You can make ice cream without a machine!

One last warning before digging into the mysteries of the Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake. don’t try to make this in one day. Its just to much. J It took me 3 days to complete the challenge. The first two days I made my ice cream. It could be done in one day though, but my machine was not cold enough to make two sets of ice cream. The third day I made the cake and assembled the who thing. On the fourth day I was in ice cream heaven.

 INGREDIENTS FOR THE SWISS ROLLS

6 medium sized eggs
225 grams caster sugar
45 grams all purpose flour
40 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
30 ml boiling water
30 ml rum essence
500 ml of whipping cream
70 grams caster sugar

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CREAMY COCONUT ICECREAM

3 dl coconut milk
4 egg yolks
75 grams of caster sugar
3 dl whipping cream

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PINEAPPLE SORBET

100 grams caster sugar
100 ml cold water
100 ml pineapple juice
250 grams pineapple

FOR THE SWISS ROLLS

Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. The recipe states that you should use 2 square baking pans from 11 inches by 9 inches each. I did not have that and I just used my regular round baking pans, what work pretty well, but I am convinced that square pans would make a better result. Brush whatever baking pan you are using with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper.

 In a large mixing bowl add the eggs and the sugar and beat till very thick. When you lift the beaters out of the mixture they should leave a trail for at least 10 seconds. I timed my beating and it took me about 12 minutes to get the right consistency.

 Now add the flour mixture in three batches while folding it gently in with a spatula.
Then fold in the boiling water!

 Now divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread out evenly. (I had to use 3 baking pans to get the job done. If you don’t have that many baking pans, just let them cool down and bake a second batch in the same pan!)

Now place the pan in the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake if for about 10 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch!

 Spread a clean kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle it with a little caster sugar.
Now turn the baked cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges. (If you use round forms like me, you could trim it into a square form like I did.)

Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Place the roll an a rack, seam side down and let it cool down completely.
Keep repeating this for the next cakes.

Now for the filling! In a large bowl add the cream and the sugar and beat it till very thick and fluffy. Be careful don’t beat it into butter! Halfway trough the beating process add the rum essence.

Divide the cream mixture between the now completely cooled cakes.

Open the cake rolls and spread the cream mixture. Make sure it does not go right into the edges, cause it will poor out when you start rolling.

Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour in the fridge. This will firm them up and make the slicing a lot easier on you.

 Creamy Coconut Ice

In a large bowl add the sugar and the egg yolks and beat until they are doubled in size and all the sugar is evaporated in the mixture.
Now spoon under the coconut milk and the whipping cream.
Poor this mixture into the ice machine and let it “cream” for 25 to 30 minutes.
When done place the coconut ice cream for at least 5 hours in the freezer.
The downside on making ice cream yourself is that the ice cream is very rich and creamy, but also very soft. The problem is solved when you freeze the ice cream for at least 5 hours. Then the ice cream gets the hardness that store bought ice has.

Pineapple sorbet

In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, the pineapple juice and the water. Place the pan over a medium heat and sit constantly, till the sugar begins to melt into the water. Don’t let it boil, cause it will start to caramelize. When the sugar is totally melted into the water turn down the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
In the mean while mix the pineapple with a blender into a puree.
When the syrup is cooled add the puree to the syrup and poor it into the ice cream machine. Let it cream for about 25 to 30 minutes. When done place the sorbet for at least 5 hours in the freeze.

 Assembly

Cut the Swiss rolls into equal slices (approximately 2 cm each)
Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with plastic wrap.
Arrenge two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm. (I froze them for about 1 hour)

 Take the creamy coconut ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften up a bit. Then take the bowl out of the freezer and remove the film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides to the bowl. Cover again with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour.

In the original recipe you add to add a layer of fudge sauce between the two layers of ice cream. I left that part out, just because I thought that with the flavours I had chosen it was already rich enough.

 Take the pineapple sorbet out of the freezer and let it soften up a bit. Then take the bowl out of the freezer and remove the film cover. Then add the sorbet on top of the coconut ice cream. Spread it out evenly. Wrap again in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Remove the plastic cover and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water.

Slice the cake with a hot knife and serve!

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Stir fry with black bean garlic sauce and zucchini

A little while ago I bought a jar of Black beans and garlic sauce from the brand Lee Kum Kee in our local Chinese shop. What I was going to do with that? I had no idea to be honest. But it sounded exciting, exotic and the hubby always orders beef in black bean sauce when we order take out Chinese… So I was going to give it a try. I found some inspiration at Cooking Light, where they prepared chicken and zucchini with the sauce. The recipe needed some adaptation, cause it was a little bland in flavour. That’s the problem when you see the dish prepared in your head but the results in the pan don’t look anything like your imagined dish. But I worked some magic with all kinds of jars and pots and the result was a very tasty, slightly hot chicken with zucchini.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CHICKEN

Chicken filet
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of dark soja sauce
1 teaspoon of cornstarch

FOR THE SAUCE

2 tablespoons of black beans and garlic sauce
1 teaspoon of sambal oelek
½ tablespoon of ginger powder
½ teaspoon of lemongrass powder
1 teaspoon of ketjap
½ tablespoon of brown sugar
100 ml vegetable stock

FOR IN THE STIRFRY

1 zuchinne sliced into thin rounds
2 tablespoons of wok oil
2 spring onions
cooked rice

Slice the chicken into small pieces and mix it with the rice vinegar, the soy sauce and the cornstarch into a ziplock. Let it rest for at least one hour in the fridge.

Mix in a small bowl all the ingredients for the sauce. ( Black Bean sauce, sambal, ginger, lemongrass, ketjap, brown sugar and stock)

Heat a tablespoon of wok oil in the wok and bake the zucchini in it. The zucchini is ready when she is slightly brown and tender.
Take the zucchini out of the pan and add another spoon of oil. Now stir fry the chicken in it. When the chicken is done add the zucchini together with the black bean sauce.
Bring it to the boil and serve it with rice and spring onions.

Crocodile goes curry style

Sometimes you want something completely different on your plate. And for that reason I am a huge fan of Delhaize. They always have something special in their range of products. Every week I take a quick look at the exotic meat section and sometimes I let myself be tempted by Impala steak or Austridge filet. This week I found something special, crocodile! In a long distance past I ate crocodile nuggets in Miami. I seemed to remember they tasted a little bit like chicken and they had a nice dip to go with them. The crocodile disappeared in my shopping basket for some exotic cooking later that night. Once home and ready to cook, I realized I had no idea how to cook crocodile. For once the internet did not bring me the solution. I could not find a lot of recipes with crocodile and the stuff that I find did not meet my expectations. I decided to go a little fusion and prepare the crocodile with a creamy curry sauce and serve it with gratin dauphines. The hubby who ate crocodile for the first time in his life was enthusiast and announced that this would become a regular on our menu. But I still wonder how I could taste chicken in the nuggets all those years ago. Crocodile turns out to be fairly weak in flavor and really needs a good sauce to pimp it up a little.

INGREDIENTS
Crocodile (+/- 350 grams)
Oil
1 scallion finely chopped
1 garlic clove
2 cardamom pods
4 mustard seeds
1 red hot chili pepper
A splash of white vermouth
250 grams of double cream curry powder
Pepper and Salt

Cut the crocodile in little cubes and season it with pepper and salt. Now heat in a non sticking pan a little bit of oil together with the garlic clove. When you start to smell the garlic, take it out of the oil and add the chopped scallion, the cardamom pods and mustard seeds. Let it simmer for a while until the scallion turns a light brown color. Now add the finely chopped red hot chili pepper and the pieces of crocodile. Stir-fry until the meat is truly done. Now add the vermouth and let the liquid boil away. Add the double cream and season with curry powder according to taste. Let boil untill you have a thick and creamy sauce. Taste and if needed add some salt, pepper or curry powder.