Friday, June 29, 2007

It's Birthday Season

I have a summer birthday. My husband has a summer birthday. All but one of my children have summer birthdays, and that one is pitied because her birthday is wrong. Too close to Christmas. At Christmas you get sleds and sweaters as gifts. For your birthday you get shorts and water toys. When do you get the cool summer toys if you don't have a summer birthday?

Today is the official kick-off for our birthday season. We've got tickets for the opening day of Ratatouille. Yeah! I can't wait. A Pixar movie about an adorable rodent who wants to be a chef in Paris? I'm all over it!

Then, tomorrow, even though my birthday is a month away, my honey is sending me to the David Lebovitz ice cream class at Sur La Table. Woo hoo! I'm a major fan of his blog (really funny writing and really toothsome recipes), so it was no stretch of the imagination for my hubbie to figure out what I wanted for my birthday when I breathlessly announced that David Lebovitz was coming to town. I'll get to watch him prepare lots of delicious frozen treats and taste them, too. My sweetie did draw the line at the "I HEART David" t-shirt, but I'll take a notebook and my camera, so look for a write-up and my bad pictures on Monday.

In honor of the occasion I made a fabulous ice cream from his new book, The Perfect Scoop. Gianduja Gelato. It has intense hazelnut and chocolate flavor - think Nutella in a cone. Silky smooth and so rich that just a tiny scoop suffices. I wanted a bit more chocolate flavor to balance the hazelnuts, so I added my favorite, The World's Best Hot Fudge Sauce. Oh, heaven in a spoon!

I'll ask David if it's OK to post the recipe. If I get a green light, you'll see the recipe on Monday, along with the write-up. In the meantime, I'll give you the hot fudge sauce recipe from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. This is fabulous stuff. A friend of mine makes it to give as gifts to her friends every Christmas. Lucky friends! This is thick and not too sweet, becoming even thicker when poured over cold ice cream. You can store it in the refrigerator for a week or two, but be wary. It's awfully tempting to just eat it with a spoon straight from the jar!

The World's Best Hot Fudge Sauce

1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp sweet butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
pinch salt
1/2 cup strained Dutch-process cocoa powder (don't substitute - it must be Dutch process for the right color and flavor)

Place the cream and butter in a heavy 1-quart saucepan over moderate heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the cream just comes to a low boil. Add both sugars and stir for a few minutes until they are dissolved. (The surest test is to taste; cook and taste until you do not feel any undissolved granules in your mouth.)

Reduce the heat. Add the salt and cocoa and stir briskly with a small wire whisk until smooth. (If the sauce is not smooth - if there are any small lumps of undissolved cocoa- press against them, and stir well, with a rubber spatula.) Remove from the heat.

Serve immediately or pour into a straight-sided glass jar to cover and store in the refrigerator. To reheat slowly, spoon the sauce into the top of a double boiler over hot water, or in a heavy saucepan over the lowest heat. My favorite way to reheat is to spoon just as much as I'll use into a small microwave-safe container and heat on high for just 8-10 seconds.

The directions say that if it looks too thick on reheating, stir in a bit of hot water, adding very little at a time. But seriously, too thick??


Jerry said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you have a fun time with David! Can't wait for the report!

Anonymous said...

I think we might be birthday twins...July 28th? I wish I could go to ice cream classes! Have a good time and share all the good ideas and recipes if possible.

Anne said...

Advance Happy Birthday! your husband is so sweet to send you over to DL ice cream class ;)

What can I say, I'm speechless when I saw your ice made my cravings more intense!

WokandSpoon said...

Enjoy the ice-cream class! That sounds like a lot of fun! Looking forward to your post!

Anonymous said...

I like your blog. :-)

I found it by googling brownie recipes. I wanted to find one using Evaporated milk (an old vintage recipe) but I am still on the search.

I went through your post. I adore your use of Longaberger pottery in the pictures.

And I am a little south of you in Covington, which is between Maple Valley & Kent, WA. So howdy blog neighbor. :-)

Kelly-Jane said...

I have this ice cream marked to try, it looks devine!

How lovely would it be to be given a jar of fudge sauce by a friend at Christmas? I'd be really pleased!

Helene said...

Hope you enjoyed the class. I am envious! You MUST give us the recipe for that ice cream. I made your PB& choc. chip to take to our neighbors as a thank you for the 3 pounds of halibut he dropped at our door, and if I don't take them there first thing in the morning or they will all be gone. They are awesome!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Happy Birthday, dear Lynn!
And Happy birthday to the husband, too!

What a tempting sauce, what is "sweet butter"?

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Jerry - Thanks!

Melinda - I'm the 31st, so we're close. Send me a picture of your birthday cake and I'll send you one of mine.

Anne- Yes, my husband is a sweetie. But sending me to the class is to his advantage, too. :-)

Wok and Spoon - It was great!

Jackie - Hi blog neighbor! It's a small world, isn't it?

Kelly-Jane - Do try it. It's so worth it!

Tartelette - So glad the cookies worked out for you!

Patricia - Thanks, sweet blog friend. Sweet butter I've always assumed to be salted.

Anonymous said...

I must get that cookbook!

Roxie said...

Late night food blog browsing should be banned in my home. I've officially concocted my birthday menu now! Thanks to you, I'm now a month prepared. :D Now to go shopping! You're officially #2 on my favorite food blog list! :)

Anonymous said...

Just made your hot fudge sauce and served it over peppermint ice cream - sooo good! You were right - the dutch process cocoa (I used some I got at the King Arthur flour store last month) was key. This recipe will go into my permanent files ... definitely a "keeper"! Thanks so much!!