Homemade Holiday Marshmallows! 

Try this homemade marshmallow recipe as a base formula. You can make  additions of essential oils or flavored extracts along with organic food colors to create a variety of fun flavors.

So easy, you won’t believe it. You will never want eat a store bought marshmallow again! 

You’ll Need:

3 packages unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Here’s How:

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to dissolve while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. 

Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240’F degrees on a candy thermometer. 

With the mixer on low speed, very slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin running a small stream while increasing the speed of the mixer onto high. Whip until the mixture is very thick and cooling, about 15 minutes. Once the volume has increased by 1/2, add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

With a sieve, generously dust an 8 by 12-inch glass baking dish with confectioners’ sugar. Or spray generously with cooking spray. ( Avoid using any metal pans for this recipe) 

Quickly pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top with wet, clean hands. ( move fast because it sets quickly) Dust more confectioners’ sugar on top. Allow to sit uncovered overnight or until set ( a few hours) if you can’t stand the suspense. The longer it sits the more successful your final cuts will be. 

Turn the marshmallows onto a powered sugar dusted board and cut them in large squares. ( Use my cut technique with non-flavored dental floss ) 

Toss to dust all sides with more confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!

Variations : Add 1 teaspoon of your favorite essential oils or extracts for flavors and 8-10 drops of organic food coloring for nice swirls or complete a solid pastel color.

30 Minute Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes

Molten chocolate lava cakes were developed by one of the worlds most famous chefs- Jean-Georges Vongerichten! He says more than a thousand of these cakes are made in his restaurants everyday.

The ingredient list is simple –butter, chocolate, eggs, sugar and flour which makes this recipe easy for busy people! Below is my adapted recipe.

Rich creamy chocolate pudding in a sauce pan with chocolate chunks and kitchen utensils

You’ll Need:

6 ounces of unsalted butter plus melted butter for brushing the ramekin

Dutch processed Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

4 ounces good quality bittersweet (70% ) chocolate, chopped 

2 large egg yolks

2 large whole eggs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

Here’s How: 

Preheat the oven to 450’F Degrees. Brush 4 – 6 to 8 ounce ramekins with melted butter, and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside in a high sided roasting pan. 

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the the butter in 30-second intervals stirring in between each zap. If you don’t have a microwave melt on the stove top very low heat–melting the butter first then adding the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.

In a medium sized bowl, with a hand whisk, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy about a minute. Add the chocolate mixture while continually stirring. Combine until completely incorporated. Add the flour and mix to combine.

Divide the batter among the buttered and dusted ramekins, filling them two-thirds full. Place pan on oven rack. Add 1/2-1 inch of hot water to the pan.

Bake the cakes in the center of the oven until the tops and sides are set but the centers are still soft, 7-9 minutes. You will notice the centers will still wiggle.

Let stand for 30 seconds, then run the tip of a knife around the rims and invert the cakes onto serving plates. Remove the ramekin just before serving. Waiting will help hold it’s shape. 

Dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream! 

Makes 4 Servings

Holiday Worthy Brioche Bread Pudding with Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce !

Ahhhh, bourbon and brioche. Two of my favorite things! 

You’ll Need:

1/4 cup bourbon 

1/2 cup currants  

1-1/2 pound loaf of Brioche, torn into 1-2 inch chunks, or cut into cubes – allowed to stale overnight  

1 1/2 cups whole milk or substitute 

1/2 cup heavy cream or substitute

4 large eggs or substitute 

1 cup pure organic cane sugar, or coconut sugar

1 Tablespoon good quality pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

4-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter 

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans 

Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce, see recipe below 

Here’s How

Heat bourbon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until warm. Pour the warmed bourbon over currants in a small bowl. Allow currants to reconstitute and plump. Minimum 1 hour, or overnight. 

Cut brioche into large 1-2 inch chunks and let sit out overnight uncovered to stale– or if you didn’t have time –slightly toast in a warm 375’F oven on a cookie sheet until dry.

Begin by Preheat oven to 350’F degrees. With the butter, generously prepare an 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass casserole dish by rubbing it into the pan using your hands — set aside. 

Add stale brioche pieces to a large mixing bowl and set aside. In an additional medium sized bowl, combine cream, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and allspice. With a wire whisk– beat well to combine. 

Pour into bread mixture. Add reconstituted currents and any remaining soaking liquid. Add the nuts. Combine well and mix into the bread well without compromising  the shape of the cubes. 

Place the bread and egg mixture into the buttered baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. 

Allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator for best results –or a minimum of an hour on the counter. 

Bring to room temperature and bake until bread is browned around edges and custard is cooked, about 35 -40 minutes. 

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream and warm bourbon butterscotch sauce.

Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce 

You’ll Need:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup organic corn syrup 

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, cut open and scraped of seeds

2 Tablespoons good quality bourbon 

pinch of salt 

Here’s How:

In a very small saucepan, heat the cream with the vanilla bean and the pod. Bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool. Set aside.

In a large, high sided, heavy bottomed saucepan, add the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt together and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.  

Let the mixture simmer for about 5-8 minutes, or until it’s reached a maple syrup type consistency. Remove from heat, whisk in the heavy cream into the sugar mixture discarding vanilla bean pod. 

Add bourbon and stir until smooth. ( the mixture will bubble up after adding the cream take special precaution not to let it bubble over) 

Note: The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Allow to cool completely and store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.  

Reheat before serving.

Chef Gigi’s Holiday Cutout Cookie Dough


This is my families holiday cut-out-cookie-dough. Easy to make, easy to bake! Holds its shape every time!

You’ll Need:

6 cups, all purpose flour

3 teaspoons fresh baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-2 inch chunks

2 cups white granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons good quality Madagascar or Bourbon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon good quality lemon or almond extract (optional)

1 lemon, zested ( optional)

Here’s How:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using your your hand beater, cream the cold butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and sugar crystals are dissolved. About 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time- beating in between each addition. Add the extracts. Mix well.

In an additional medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients and incorporate the baking powder and salt well throughout the flour.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two or three batches- mixing slowly until incorporated and dough comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly, by hand – knead until dough forms a ball. Flatten and shape into a large 1/4 – 1/2 thick inch large square. Cut with a knife into quarters and individually wrap air tight in plastic wrap. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour, up to a 10 days.

Note:

Always work quickly with this dough to maintain a manageable temperature. If dough becomes too warm it will stick. Continue to keep dough cold, by working only with the
portion you need, and keeping the remaining dough in the refrigerator.

Lightly dust all work surfaces and tools with flour.

Preheat oven to 350’F degrees. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove and cool on rack.

Bake on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon baking mat.

Chef Gigi’s Kabocha Spiced Rum Cake ! 

Looking for that perfect dessert this Winter? Kobocha is the Japanese word for squash. This  squash has a nutty, earthy flavor with a touch of sweetness. So delicious and versatile ! Kobocha squash can be used in sweet and savory applications.

This Spiced Rum Cake will be the perfect addition to your holiday! 

Kabocha Spiced Rum Cake

You’ll Need:

1 1/2 cups mashed kabocha squash

8 large medjool dates, pitted

3 Tablespoons quality dark rum

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 Tablespoons orange zest

2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon quality vanilla

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pecan Caramel Glaze or Powered Sugar topping ( recipes below)

Here’s How:

Preheat the oven to 350°F Degrees. Prepare a high sided baking sheet prepared with organic olive oil.

Carefully cut the squash in half with a sharp serrated knife, careful not to cut yourself. De-seed. Save the seeds for roasting.

Spritz the top halves of the cut squash with a quick spitz of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place squash cut-side down onto the stainless steel baking sheet. Place in center rack of preheated warm oven and bake until golden brown and a knife runs easily through the flesh, depending on the size of your squash anyhwre from 30- 45 minutes. Remove from the oven set aside to cool.

While the kobocha squash is in the oven, prepare an 10 inch bundt cake pan generously with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside on top of a lined cookie sheet and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the pitted dates with 1 tablespoon of the rum. Fill with boiling water and soak the dates to reconstitute, about 15 minutes. Strain the water solution, discard and place dates in your food processor or blender. Process to a smooth paste.

While the dates are processing, whisk together in a small bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, all the spices including salt and the pepper. Set aside.

Remove cooled kobocha from its skin by scooping out the cooked flesh with a large spoon. Add the flesh straight to your food processor or blender with the dates and pulse process until completely smooth.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, or in a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer–add the butter and sugar.Beat on high speed until butter is creamed and pale in color and sugar crystals begin to dissolve about 2-3 minutes.

Add purée and mix an additional minute. Add 1 egg at a time beating in between addition until smooth. Add buttermilk and orange juice, vanilla and the remaining rum. Beat well.

Add dry mixture working in two additions, beating until just combine with every addition. Scrape bowl. Stir in the orange zest.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Smack on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles and level out batter.

Place on the center rack of a preheated 350’F degree oven and bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick is placed in the center and comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, make the pecan glaze or combine the powered sugar topping. Allow cake to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour before applying glaze.

Dust with a 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar spiked with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Or, pour on the pecan glaze. When pouring glaze make sure it has substantially cooled to a thick but pourable viscosity.

If the glaze is too warm it will run all the way off the cake.

Pecan Caramel Glaze

You’ll Need:

1 cup palm, or your favorote granulated sugar

½ cup whole cream, or your favorite nut milk

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

Here’s How:

In a high-sided pan over medium heat melt the sugar.When the sugar melts and begins to turn golden around the edges, reduce the heat to low and begin to stir until all the sugar has completely melted.

Add the butter and cream carefully – the cream will bubble up fast and could boil over. Continue to cook,stirring on low heat until you have a smooth caramel sauce- this may take up to 10 minutes.

Once the glaze is completely sauce like and thick– add the pecans.

Remove from heat. Cool to a thick but pourable consistency.Pour over the top of the bundt cake.

Serves approximately 12 slices. Delicious warm with vanilla bean ice cream!

Be Happy ! 

Vegan Baked Apple Pastry Roses

I wrote this recipe for my friends over at #30SecondMom. Thought I’d share with you too if you don’t follow me there.

You’ll need:

  • 6 red apples, cored, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or regular butter
  • 1 package phyllo dough
  • nonstick spray
  • water or nut milk, to seal
  • equal parts cinnamon and sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • powdered sugar

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Saute the apples in the vegan butter until soft.
  3. Lay 4 phyllo sheets flat and spread butter in between each sheet.
  4. Cut four 3-inch by 6-inch strips.
  5. Sprinkle the strips with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  6. Place apple slices overlapping along the long side of the dough. Use about half an apple per strip. Top with the almonds.
  7. Fold the bottom half of the dough up to meet the other side of the dough, enclosing about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the apple slices to form one long ruler-like pocket. Now roll from the right to the left to form the rose. Use water or nut milk to seal the edges.
  8. Bake in the muffin tins for about 10-12 minutes, or until brown.
  9. Cool and top with powdered sugar before serving.

10 Minutes to Creamy! Chocolate Avocado Mousse! 

Chocolate Mousse has never been healthier …or faster! When choosing Avocados use Haas variety- they tend to have a rich creamy finish. 

You’ll Need: 

4 ripe avocados

3 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup or optional liquid sweetener. ( do not use granulated sugar) 

3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Small pinch of Himalayan or your favorite salt

4-5 Tablespoons cow or nut milk

1 cup washed berries for garnish 

Cocoa for dusting 

Here’s How:
Split the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pits.

Using a spoon, scoop out the meat and place into your food processor. Add honey, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and milk.

Blend until very smooth. About 1 minute. Taste and adjust sweetness. Add additional milk to adjust consistency. 

Place mixture into serving bowls or glassware, and chill until ready to serve. 

Top with fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of cocoa. 

Makes Approximately 4-6 servings   

Eat it all up! 

No Artificial Color- Empress Red Sugar Beet Cupcakes ! 

Ingredients:

1 cup puréed fresh red sugar-beets, (fresh cooked not canned)

1/3 cup coconut oil, slightly heated to pourable state

1 1/4 cup granulated organic sugar

2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons natural cocoa powder ( do not use Dutch processed cocoa for this batter) 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup almond milk or substitute 

Method

Preheat oven to 350′ F Degrees. 

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. 

In the bowl of your stand mixer, or large mixing bowl – add the beet purée. 

Fitted with the whip attachment, whisk on medium high speed and slowly begin to combine the beet purée with the oil by adding the oil in slow, yet steady steam hitting the interior side of the bowl- while whipping. Continue until all the oil is incorporated. If added too fast he after will delegate. We call this ” breaking” – so take your time adding the oil. 

Next, add the sugar and the vanilla extract. Beat an additional minute. 

Alternate adding the flour mixture and nut milk until incorporated into the batter. Continue to beat until combined. 

Divide among cupcake liners, filling them 3/4 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle.

Cool and keep airtight in cooler. 

Storing airtight is an important step to retain moisture and the natural red color. Only remove 30 minutes prior to serving to frost. 

Chocolate Cake Day! No Flour? No Problem!

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Oooooh La Lahhhhh! It’s National Chocolate Cake Day here in America, why not celebrate with … well,…. A CHOCOLATE CAKE!

I’m craving a chocolate flourless cake so here it is!

Chocolate Flourless Cake with Chocolate Ganache

You’ll Need

1 cup semisweet or bittersweet good quality chocolate chips such as Guittard

1/2 cup, ( 4 ounces or 8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa

 Grand Mariner or raspberry liquor ( optional )

Chocolate Ganache Glaze

2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

1 cup heavy cream

4 ounces cold butter, cut into chunks

Here’s How

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease an 8 inch round cake pan; cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit the bottom inside of the pan. Lightly butter it, and lay it in the bottom of the pan- butter side up. Set aside.

Melt butter and chocolate together. If you are using a microwave, melt in a medium sized mircrowave safe bowl in ten second intervals, stirring between each addition of time. Continue until the butter is melted and the chips are soft.

If working on the stove, melt the butter chocolate mixture in a medium sized glass or stainless steel bowl; over a pot of slightly simmering water. This set-up is called a, “Bain Marie”. Using this helps keep delicate ingredients- like chocolate from scorching.

Once the chocolate and butter mixture are melted, whisk in the sugar, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the cocoa powder, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into the 8 inch prepared cake pan. Place in the oven set inside a  flat bottomed roasting pan. Once positioned inside the oven add enough hot tap water to surround the outside of the cake pan 1/3 of the way up. This is called a water bath, and works to keep the cake moist and assists in the baking process.

Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes; until the top has formed a very thin crust, and it should register at least 200°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.

Remove it from the water bath and turn the oven off oven, allow cake to cool it in the pan for 5-8 minutes. Before removing the roasting pan with the hot water from the oven allow it to cool. 

With a sharp paring knife, loosen the edges of the cake from the cake pan. Place a serving plate ver the top and invert, gently turning it out onto the plate. The bottom will now be the presentation side of the cake. The top.

Allow the cake to cool while preparing the glaze. Remove the parchment bottom carefully and sprinkle the cake with a little Grand Mariner or raspberry liquor. Completely cool the cake, add to the refrigerator 30 minutes – 1 hour before glazing. 

Prepare the Ganache  heating the cream in a medium high sided heavy bottomed  sauce pan on low heat until the cream is very hot, but not simmering. Remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is completely smooth. Add the cold butter one chunk at a time and continue to stir to all butter in=s incorporated and chocolate glaze is at a high shine.

Remove cake from the refrigerator and place on a cookie cooling rack on top of a parchment lined, high- sided cookie sheet. Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, lifting cookie sheet to carefully tilt the cake allowing the mixture to gracefully spread and drip over the sides.

Allow the glaze and the cake to rest at room temperature, or refigeration to set for several hours before serving the cake. Cut with a hot, dry knife or clean unflavored dental floss. See my pro chef hack – how-to here! 

Approximately 8 to 12 servings.

Classic French Profiteroles with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce 

profitteroles

A profiterole is a classic tiny filled ball made from the French Pâte à choux dough. ( the only dough cooked twice) typically sweet, but can also be savory. This pastry is used to also make, croquenbouches, éclairs French crullersbeignetsSt. Honoré cake, Parisian gnocchi, and gougères to name a few of my favorites.

Dessert profiteroles are usually filled with whipped cream, custard, pastry cream, or as in the USA, vanilla bean ice cream. These cute little puff balls may be decorated, left plain or garnished with warm chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar. They can be made ahead of time and frozen until ready to serve. So delicious you can’t eat just one!

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon sugar

Pinch salt

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon water

Vanilla Ice Cream, ( only need 1/2) recipe follows

Powdered sugar, for garnish

Chocolate Sauce, recipe below

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line two high sided baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed, medium sized saucepan, combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted.

Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once, stir vigorously with a large wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated. Return the pan to medium-low heat and stir briskly until the mixture becomes a smooth paste and pulls away from the sides of the pan in a ball. 1 to 2 minutes. ( Steam will be coming off the dough very quickly while the flour cooks and evaporation occurs.) 

Once the flour is cooked, about 2-3 minutes–remove from the heat. Mash the dough ball open and allow it to cool slightly. 

Place the dough ball in the bowl of your standing mixer, or a medium mixing bowl and mix on medium high speed. Begin to add 4 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Always make sure the dough is smooth before the next addition. At first the dough will look as though it is separating, but just continue to beat until it comes together. After all the eggs have been thoroughly mixed in— allow the dough cool.
Beat the remaining egg with the water in a small bowl to make an egg wash add a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain 3/4-inch tip and pipe out 16 golf ball-sized rounds, 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. If you don’t have a parchment bag with a tip, use a gallon sized food storage bag and snip off a corner. With a wet finger tip, press down any points on top of the balls or they will burn.

Lightly brush the egg wash on the tops and sides of the dough using a pastry brush and bake until doubled in size about 15-18 minutes.

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 375’ F degrees and bake until the balls are golden brown, puffed and firm to the touch— and hollow inside. About 8 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door ajar for 10 minutes for the puffs to dry.

Cool puff balls completely on a wire rack for an additional hour. Cut each profiterole leaving 2/3 at the bottom and cutting off 1/3 at the top. Scoop out the doughy centers with a small spoon and discard.

To serve, fill the bottom halves with a small scoop about 1-ounce of vanilla bean ice cream and cover with the top. Place 2 to 4 profiteroles on each dessert plate and sift the confectioners’ sugar over the profiteroles and decoratively onto the plate or drizzle each profiterole with warm chocolate sauce and serve immediately.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean, split in 1/2 lengthwise and seeds scraped

6 large egg yolks

Method: 

In a heavy bottomed, medium sized saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla seeds and pod. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg yolks until creamy and lemon colored, about 2-4 minutes. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream. This is called tempering. ( brining the egg yields up in temperature to the milk, this step helps prevent the eggs from scrambling ) once the egg mixture has been tempered with the hot cream, gradually add all the egg mixture to the hot cream in the pan, whisking constantly. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring, occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not walk away, it can burn easily or scramble.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly against the surface of the custard to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Makes Approximately 1 quart

Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients:

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 pound good quality 60 – 70% semisweet chocolate, in chips or cut into chunks about 1 1/3 cups

1/4 teaspoon good quality pure vanilla extract

Method:

In a medium sized sauce pan with high sides bring the cream to a boil and remove from the heat. ( Careful cream does not boil over).

Add the chocolate and vanilla to the cream and let sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Serve slightly warm. The sauce can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; rewarm gently before serving.

Makes Approximately 1 1/2 cups

Variation: Add a Tablespoon of Framboise liquor for a Raspberry finish or Grand Mariner Liquor for a Orange finish. Both flavors are a great pairing with chocolate.