After a glorious extended summer with warm days and sunshine through to early October, the rains have hit. Raincouver is back and with a vengeance — I think it’ll probably be raining through to April.
It’s time to hunker down. A cozy dinner with friends is a great start… especially when my dad is cooking!
My dad is an amazing cook, and he’s always eager to host new guests who love food as much as he does. Last Sunday, five friends joined the Official Taster, my family, and I for an amazing dinner. We ate our little hearts out while it poured rain outside:
Home Smoked Salmon Crostini | Pulled Pork Crostini
Grilled Salmon | Grilled Romaine | Potato & Avocado Salad
Prosciutto Wrapped Salmon
Pork Tenderloin Stuffed With Dried Apples, Apricot & Plums
Grilled Pork Ribs
Blueberry Lemon Cake
Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream
The ice cream was, of course, my contribution for the evening. The recipe is based on Week #5’s Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream recipe, with the addition of some cinnamon, vanilla, and warming cayenne. I’ve made this super simple recipe about a dozen times now and it’s definitely one of my favourites. The cayenne gives the ice cream just that little bit of kick to warm you up when there’s a damp chill in the air. Enjoy, and stay dry out there!!
Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream (makes about 1.25 L)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the cocoa powder and sugar.
- Whisk in the eggs.
- Very slowly, whisk in 2 cups of the half-and-half, about half a cup at a time. It should start off like a chocolate paste, then end up like to thick chocolate syrup.
- Add the cayenne, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
- Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking. Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
- Cool and chill overnight in the fridge.
- Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.