The cover of the Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section July 22 will feature Menu Planner, a weekly feature giving seven days of dinner menus, shopping hints and tips on using leftovers from one meal in a new way later in the week. The section also includes more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.
Angel Food Cake With Peppermint Ice Cream and Hot Fudge Sauce
Bob Kinkead, executive chef-owner of Kinkead's restaurant, Washington, D.C., and cookbook author, explains that the concept he had in mind in creating the following ice cream recipe is that peppermint is something that we all relate to from our youth.
"If this doesn't remind you of your fifth birthday party or Christmas, nothing will," he says. But the angel cake is light, and the peppermint has a refreshing crispness, so it's perfect for summer or year-round.
"It's a fairly time-consuming recipe, but a real treat," Kinkead says encouragingly. "Be sure to spray the angel-food cake mold well with vegetable-oil cooking spray. It will stick somewhat in any case because of the sugar and egg whites, but much less so if the pan is well seasoned."
For the Angel Food Cake:
1/2 cup cake flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting pans
5 extra-large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a 10-inch cake mold or pan of 6 individual-sized angel-food molds and dust with cake flour.
In a stainless steel bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt. Slowly add the sugar and whip to soft peaks. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice. Fold in the cake flour. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with an open tip. Pipe the batter into the molds. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let cool in the molds, and then remove to a baking rack.
For the Peppermint Ice Cream:
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
2 cups spearmint or peppermint leaves (see note)
6 extra-large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups peppermint hard candies or peppermint sticks (with red and white stripes), plus extra for garnish
To make the ice cream, in a non-corrosive saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the half-and-half, sugar and mint leaves and bring just to a simmer.
Transfer from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and return the cream to the saucepan, discarding mint leaves.
In a stainless steel bowl, temper the yolks by gradually whisking about 1 cup of the cream mixture into the yolks. Add the yolk mixture to the saucepan with the cream mixture and heat over medium heat until the mixture coats a spoon. Do not boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and add the heavy cream and the vanilla and peppermint extracts. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
Chop the peppermint hard candies by pulsing in a food processor. If using a commercial ice cream maker, fold the chopped candies into the ice cream as it comes out of the ice-cream maker, or if using a home ice-cream maker, fold the candies in during the last minute of freezing. Return the ice cream to the freezer for 1 hour before serving.
Note: If mint leaves are unavailable, use 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.
For the Hot Fudge Sauce:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch of salt
Chocolate mint sticks, for garnish
To make the fudge sauce, in a saucepan over medium heat, bring all of the ingredients to a simmer, whisking frequently. Keep warm.
To serve, ladle some hot fudge in the center of each of 6 plates and place a slice of cake or an individual cake on the fudge. Ladle on some more hot fudge and top with a scoop of peppermint ice cream. Garnish with the peppermint candies and chocolate mint sticks.
Makes one 10-inch cake or 6 individual-sized cakes.