Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sassy Sweets: Fresh Mint Ice Cream and Chocolate Rose Topping

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I have found the best, coolest, most apt "Dani" club in the history of the world.  Seriously.  If any of you remember, I finished reading Elizabeth Bard's book, Lunch in Paris a few months back and then made a delicious recipe from the book.  Well, I love the book so much that I also started following Ms. Bard's Facebook page.  Ironically, about 2 weeks prior, she had judged a cooking contest all with recipes from her novel.

It's called the Cook the Books Club, and, dare we say, a marriage of my two favorite things.  I read, on average, 3-5 books a week.  And, I cook, on average, 7 nights a week, 3 meals a day.  I mean, what could be better than this!  Even better, the book they had picked for June/July was Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, a book that I bought when I bought Lunch in Paris.  It was just too coincidental NOT to give this a try.  Of course, this is all for fun; a chance to explore great novels and cook what they do! 

I won't give anything away to my dear readers who want to pick up the book; but Claire, the heroine of the novel, has a very fine sense of herbs, spices, and flowers and their effects on the eater.  It was a really fun book, and an even more fun experience to get to try my hand at Claire's profession.  I used fresh mint which, when paired with flowers, cloaks your intent to the eater.  Once your intent is concealed, rose petals and chocolate trigger romance and love.  Successfully completing my concoction, I then ran all over Boston trying to feed this to as many cute bachelors as I could find.  And by that, I mean, John, of course.  Silly me. 
 
Fresh Mint Ice Cream and Chocolate Rose Topping (adapted from here)
Serves:  2 (2 cups ice cream)
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup whole milk
12 edible rose petals (I found them at Whole Foods)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar

Combine the whipping cream, sugar, and mint leaves in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir often until the mixture begins to boil.  Remove from the heat and let the mixture steep for about 40 minutes (taste as it steeps to get the mint taste the way you would like).  Strain and add 1/2 cup milk.  Refrigerate the mixture for at least 2 hours, or overnight.  Then, using your ice cream machine (and following its directions), mix the cream mixture until the ice cream is fully churned.  Place in the freezer until ready to serve.

Make the Chocolate Rose Sauce.  Combine the remaining 1/2 cup milk and 10 rose petals in a small saucepan.  Stir until the mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat and steep 10 minutes.  Strain.  Add chocolate chips into the saucepan and heat over low heat until the chocolate chips melt and the mixture is smooth.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, before serving.
Meanwhile, add a few drops of water to the egg white and mix well.  Brush the 4 remaining rose petals with the egg white and coat the rose petals in sugar.  Shake off excess and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Let the petals rest for about 12 hours, moving them slightly to keep them from sticking. 

To serve, let the chocolate sauce come to room temperature.  Spoon some over the ice cream.  Top with a candied rose petal and serve to the handsome man or gorgeous woman of your choosing!

Note that I did the rose petals the night before, moved them around on the cookie sheet a couple of times before bed and then once in the morning.  They came out perfect.  The best part of all is that both the sauce and ice cream can be made days in advance of serving; put it all together on that special day and let the magic fly!

July is National Ice Cream Month--and what better way to celebrate it than with someone special (or hey, just yourself--I am a big believer of just treating yourself well!). 

This was such a fun adventure that I know I will find some real kindred spirits in this book club!  I can't wait for the next selection, which I am sure I am going to have a lot of fun with (in fact, I bought the book just last week and it is in my queue to read!). 

Until the next time my oven is on...

15 comments:

  1. I'm so glad that you enjoyed our book pick and joined in the fun this round of Cook the Books. I love your beautiful ice cream. So, did you cast a garden spell on someone with your dessert?

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  2. How fun! Love your recipe!!! You and my daughter are the most avid readers I know. There is nothing like a soft, shady spot and a good book.

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  3. What a delightful dessert concoction. Did it have the magical effect you wanted?

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  4. Welcome to CTB. Your dessert is beautiful. I, too, want to know who you enchanted with this ice cream.

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  5. Thank you ladies :) since John is already smitten with me, I am not sure as to the effects of the dessert; but I still maintain that it is a perfect date night dessert. Elegant, delicious, and fun!

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  6. I love this! Your dessert is so beautiful.

    Maria @ A Platter of Figs

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  7. Welcome to CTB! I missed submitting for Lunch in Paris, so didn't meet you earlier. I love this concept! Great presentation!! You can use your own home-grown roses as long as they're maintained organically, with no chemicals added to the soil (some rose foods have systemic aphid control...not organic...) or sprayed on the flowers!

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  8. It's definitely the right season to be making ice cream! It looks delicious and is tempting me to try cooking with flowers as well.

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  9. It certainly sounds like you and Cook the Books were meant to be together! Welcome!

    Your icecream looks gorgeous - and the flowers are lovely!

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  10. Besides lots of mojitos :), I don't do a lot with our mint in the garden. I will try this soon! Glad you posted. (And, where do you find the time to read 3-5 books a week and cook everyday!?!?!?)

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  11. So glad you've joined us at CTB! Food and books are my two favorite things, too ;) I hope your lovely ice cream worked its magic!

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  12. I had forgotten about July being ice cream month. The serving of you ice cream look quite elegant: it's bound to impress the person on the receiving end.

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  13. I am so happy you joined in this round of CTB! I hope you join in this next round too--I am hosting with "A Homemade Life" by Molly Wizenburg. ;-)

    This is such a wonderful dessert. I love the mint and chocolate pairing of course and the rose petals only make it more sublime. Great job!

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  14. Wow! This looks so good!!! Pinning.

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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